People have been cooking with cast iron cookware since around 220 A.D. but did you know that the only enameled cast iron cookware in the United States is made in Owego?

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Maybe you remember your grandmother making a Sunday pot roast in a cast iron skillet like I remember mine doing, or maybe you use cast iron cookware because you’ve heard of the health benefits, but do you know how cast iron cookware is made?

Cast iron cookware is made by melting blocks of iron and steel together. Chemicals are then added to the mixture which raises the carbon levels. From there, the molten metal mixture is poured into a mold which is made of sand, water, and powdered clay. Once the cast iron piece has cooled, the sand mold is broken to reveal the cookware.

One of the big reasons that people love to cook with cast iron is that with proper care, it will last forever and even if it does become rusty, with a little bit of work, it can be restored to its original beauty.

In 2011, John Truex and Liz Seru of Owego decided to try their hand at making their own cast iron cookware, and quickly, their products caught the eye of the food industry. The late Anthony Bourdain even visited John and Liz’s business in 2014 as part of his show “Raw Craft” and in the episode, the world was introduced to Borough Furnace and the unique way that John and Liz craft their cast iron cookware.

Interestingly, Bourdain explained that the process of making the cast iron cookware involved recycled iron (specifically old brake rotors) and reused vegetable oil to fuel their furnace.

Each piece of cast iron cookware is carefully made and made to last forever.

Those who have experience with cast iron cookware know the importance of seasoning their product before use, but John and Liz have thought of everything, including pre-seasoning their skillets with organic flax seed oil so that they’re literally ready to use right out of the box and Borough Furnace say they are the only maker of enameled cast iron cookware in the United States.

In 2022, John and Liz launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to bring their enameling process in-house. The campaign received $107,899 from 457 backers.

Borough Furnace has received praise from the likes of The New York Times, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, bon appetit, and more. Even the website for featured Borough Furnace in an article detailing the uniqueness of enameled cast iron cookware which detailed how the product is made.

The Southern Tier is so proud of John and Liz and of their contribution to the world of food! 

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