So, this post is part excitement (about getting more pans!) & part information for those interested in a good deal.
About six weeks ago I posted a thread on my new frying pans, & around that same time I placed an order with Rocky Mountain Retinning for a set of sauce pans. These are probably best described as “unused old stock” pans, as they need to be restored to “like new” condition before you get them. That process takes about a month, & they won’t start to work on them until you place (& pay for) your order.
Why does it take so long if they’re already made & sitting around the shop? Well, because they’re old stock. Really old stock. According to Erik (who’s now running the business his father started), his father bought quite a few sets of these pots more than 40 years ago. They’ve been hanging around the shop all these years, & lack of use hasn’t been kind to them. The cast iron handles are a bit rusty, the copper is no longer bright, & the tin has oxidized. So, when a customer wants a set, a lot of restoration work has to go into them. Erik said they don’t like the old rivets, so they install new copper ones. Then, they hand-wipe a new, heavy coating of tin to replace to old stuff. Finally, they buff the handles & polish the exteriors.
The results are stunning …
Their website shows 2 sets of 4 sauce pans (0.9 qt - 2.3 qt), one set with lids & one set without, but also mentions that lids are no longer available. The reality is, besides no lids, they no longer have the smallest pots either, & now only have sets of the 3 largest sauce pans (1.35 qt - 2.3 qt). That was okay for me, as I rarely need something that small. And, as a bonus, the price has dropped to a mere $210. $210 !! I’m not a copper hunter, but that seems like a bargain to me.
As older stock, the pans exhibit the typical quirks found in hand-made items. One of my pans has an odd mark in the side, & another has the 3 handle rivets in a non-symmetrical pattern. Only the smallest pan has a handle with a nice flattish space against the pan wall (easier cleaning), while the largest pan didn’t have a flat bottom (a few well-placed strikes with a plastic-faced mallet took care of that). The pans have no makers marks anywhere. Oh, & their handles are substantially more robust than anything else I’ve seen on the contemporary market.
The RMR website lists the pans as 3mm thick, but mine measured at 2.5mm. This was at the top of the pan walls, so it’s possible they get thicker as they approach the bottom. Unfortunately, I have no way to measure the thickness of the bases, so it’s entirely possible that the bottoms are a full 3mm thick. Even so, considering the amount of work they put into them, their asking price still seems like a good deal to me.
I guess I just need to decide if I need another set before they’re gone …