Andreas Rohrmoser has been forging thousands of wrought-iron pans the old-fashioned way in his centuries-old hammer mill in the Bavarian village of Bad Oberdorf near the Austria border.
The 53-year-old German hammersmith took over the mill from his predecessor two years ago but had been working there for 15 years already.
The red-roofed mill itself, nestled in a valley in the foothills of the Alps, is more than 500 years old, he said in an interview on Monday. It sits on a canal of the Ostrach river that was built centuries ago specifically to power the mill.
The canal’s water power, channeled through a mill wheel, drives a gigantic hammer inside the building punching down on the anvil. There, in his blacksmith shop, Rohrmoser flattens and shapes his famous skillets.
“The secret of my pans is that they don’t have any kind of coating and therefore you can heat them to a much higher temperature than most other industrially made pans,” Rohrmoser said.
Rohrmoser also used to make horseshoes in the past, but the demand for his skillets has been so strong that he only focuses on them now.
His pans come in different sizes and cost from about $50 to $100.
Among the many dishes he recommends making with his skillets are Bavarian Kaiserschmarrn pancakes, steak and home-fried potatoes.
“The strong heat will make the different dishes — like the fried potatoes — so much crunchier and better,” he said.