Patent-pending AUS-ION™*.....pioneering a whole new category of commercial steel cookware: seamless one-piece.
The top chefs are talking....
The AUS-ION™ Kickstarter launch models
AUS-ION pans work with any heat source, including induction, and any surface, including ceramic/glass tops, and in any oven (except microwave!). Tough enough for camp cooking on open flame.....for many generations.
Why support the creation of our new AUS-ION™ cookware here on Kickstarter?
We have the vision, experience, capability, and burning desire to create simply the world's best commercial restaurant pans.
Expertise and integrity. You can trust our expertise and track record of success and integrity. See founder and development engineer Mark J. Henry's profile below, our 4 previous successful Kickstarter campaigns (search 'Solidteknics' at Kickstarter.com), the expert acclaim, retail and export success for the SOLIDTEKNICS AUSfonte cast iron cookware in their first amazing year ( http://www.solidteknics.com/blog/good-news-for-australian-manufacturing-new-australian-made-ausfonte-cookware-outsells-all-the-old-import-brands )
Share the pioneering spirit. It has been a long and intensive process to pioneer a whole new way of making one-piece steel/iron restaurant pans.....in Australia. Nothing exactly like AUS-ION™ existed before now, but should have. Why not? It's much harder than it looks......
Ready for launch. Most of the hard work has already been done to prove our AUS-ION™ concept: dies have been made and prototypes finished. Top chefs are already loving cooking with the pre-production prototypes. Now we need your help to fund those dies and first full production to now bring our Australian commercial cookware vision to the wider world.
It's ready, we're ready, and we believe the world is ready!
'WIFM?' Pledge support for this crowd funded project and in return we'll send you limited edition AUS-ION™ pan/s engraved with 'FIRST EDITION' and the manufacturing date. These rare pans are for Kickstarter backers only, and only available by pledging before the October 23 campaign deadline. We promise our Kickstarter supporters these pans will never again be offered as limited First Edition models. We keep our promises.
The AUS-ION™ Project Timeline
1. Now until Oct 23 project deadline: spread the word as quickly and widely as possible across Australia, USA, Canada and UK, with the help of our VIP chef and food industry supporters, and our BIG happy group of AUSfonte™ supporters who want to add different iron pans to their Australian iron collection.
2. November production: Commence making First Edition AUS-ION™ pans at our Sydney factory.
3. November-December shipping: Packing and shipping First Edition AUS-ION™ pans to their new kitchens. Social media and restaurants buzzing when new owners first cook with them, discover what we know, then post their reviews online.
4. Forever: Grateful for all our supporters who helped pioneer a new world-leading commercial cookware industry in Australia.
We launched a whole new cookware industry for Australia when we successfully crowdfunded our first AUSfonte™ cast iron cookware campaign here on Kickstarter in Sept 2014. That first campaign was followed by 3 more very successful campaigns, and now AUSfonte™ cast iron is acclaimed by chefs and experts, selling strongly in Australia and exported to the USA.
SOLIDTEKNICS' AUSfonte™, and now AUS-ION™, are the only production cookware brands made in Australia. Every other brand is imported.
If you LOVE what we’ve achieved in this new Australian cookware industry, please tell all your friends that you’ve found the finest iron cookware available today, they're 100% made in Australia, and these new heirloom collectible FIRST EDITION AUS-ION™ pans are only available by pledging here on Kickstarter before the October 23 campaign deadline.
Thank you and Happy Cooking!!
Mark, Rebecca, Natasha, Lara and the SOLIDTEKNICS Team
What are those scientists' warnings? http://www.solidteknics.com/blog/dont-believe-us-about-dangers-of-nonstick-pans-weve-got-something-to-sell-believe-the-unsponsored-scientists
.....well, kind of.....
All the detail you probably want was presented above. However, we've added much more detail below, with more links to resources: for the serious researchers, or for those who don't already know us, our capability, and integrity.
EXPANDED CAMPAIGN INFO:
More detail: what makes AUS-ION™ pans different to every other pan on the market today?
Our pans are similar to the best French sheet iron/steel restaurant pans, except with Australian innovation for higher performance:
1. Hygiene: Seamless construction means no rivets to loosen over time and no gaps under rivet heads to trap food (and sometimes steel wool).
2. Durability: Made from one thick piece of seamless iron (low carbon mild steel: very tough), with no welds or rivets to fail. AUS-ION™ pans come with a multi-century warranty against breakage from materials and manufacturing defects.
3. Comfort, control, reduced fatigue: Handle re-engineered for hard-working chefs to improve dynamics ('ergodynamics': motion and forces, not just static comfort). Long, wide and concave all the way through broad tail. Superior to regular plain narrow flat handles (uncomfortable and too narrow for rotational control) and round handles (statically comfortable but, more importantly in dynamics, extra hand strain to control rotation).
4. Cool handle: Strong aerated neck webbing design keeps end of handle usually cool enough to lift from hot stove with bare hand at end of handle. Simple thermodynamics: high surface area to metal volume ratio, for better heat dissipaton than solid handles.
5. Hot pan: AUS-ION™ skillets are made from thick 3mm iron for even pan heating and heat retention. Solid, but not as heavy as cast iron. This is the same material and thickness as the best French commercial pans in use all around the world, so AUS-ION™ heats and cooks the same. (Our woks and deep pans are 2mm iron.) Perfect even heating on induction, or any heat source.
6. Healthy and sustainable: All-natural pre-seasoning at factory (like our AUSfonte™ cast iron) for healthy low-stick that only improves with cooking. This vegetable oil-based seasoning is safe at high temperatures, and forever renewable, not disposable. Continue seasoning and maintaining just like any steel or iron pan. It's easy, and we provide instructions.
7. Time-saving out of the bag: No need to strip toxic factory oils and do your own pre-seasoning: we pre-season AUS-ION™ pans all over so chefs don't need to waste time with the traditional stripping of machine oil/beeswax/lacquer/etc and then hand-seasoning each new pan (not a good use of a chef's valuable time). We also season our handles instead of paint them so there is absolutely no question about paint fumes at high heat or deterioration over time.
8. Value: All the above performance benefits for a price that's competitive with the best French commercial pans, and less than many imported synthetic-coated pans that need disposal after a few years.
After all the R&D to combine all the above benefits in one pan we believe very strongly, and with sound engineering basis, that we have developed the world's best iron/steel pans.
And yes, we make AUS-ION™ 100% in Australia, from 100% Australian steel, 100% proudly.
World-first, or world-best?
Certainly not the world's first one-piece formed-iron pans.....
We make our AUS-ION™ pans with a new combination of modern forming processes (patents pending), but single-piece iron pans are not new, with many examples surviving from antiquity. Roman soldier-cooks carried them (some hand-forged examples still survive) and 'cowboy pans' were popular with, well.....cowboys (usually pressed from quite thin steel, with rolled round handles). You can still find some artisans hand-forging thick single-piece pans today (beautiful, though expensive and not practical for commercial kitchens).
.....but world's-best, we believe:
The closest modern equivalent to AUS-ION™ cookware would be the best classic French steel/iron pans, with 3 rivets securing a strip steel handle; used in most good restaurants all around the world. They have been the standard for hundreds of years because their thick steel pan bodies provide even heating and enough strength to minimise warping over many years of restaurant hard slog. They have become thicker (3mm like ours), now that most French restaurants have switched to induction, to avoid warping of thinner pans from the extreme temperature changes.
Seasoned bare iron has long been the standard in commercial kitchens because the seasoning is quite nonstick ('low-stick'), can safely handle high heats without toxic fumes, and the nonstick never wears out: being forever renewed by cooking in oils/fats (like bare cast iron).
They are excellent pans: we've loved and cooked in French iron for decades. BUT, particularly for the toughest environment of all, the restaurant kitchen, we really wanted to improve on their uncomfortable handles and eliminate the antiquated rivets. We had a burning desire to make the ultimate one-piece iron pan for world-leading durability, hygiene, and happier chef's hands.
Makes sense, so why isn't everyone else doing it?
We know from long engineering experience that it is NOT easy to make a one-piece sheet iron pan. While it could be done (like the artisans), the investment is so prohibitively high in traditional die tooling and/or labour expense that the final high purchase price is out of reach for most cooks, and certainly not economical for restaurants.
After decades of wanting this, we found a way to make the processing economically viable by combining the best of modern flexible manufacturing, production techniques, and good old-fashioned artisanal skill.
Artisanal and innovative, great.....but what technologies, exactly?
Sorry, but we can't reveal the details of each step we take to form the final AUS-ION™ pans from a single sheet of iron, particularly at this early stage. All we will say is we combine 3 key manufacturing methods to arrive at a seamless one-piece pan, and nobody else does. Otherwise they'd already exist. It is simply the logical best result.
We know our competitors are watching with great interest (and some of them are BIG and 'old school'). We're also operating under patents pending* for certain aspects of our innovations. To find out which aspects, competitors will need to wait for the full patents to be published......
Then there's the regular offshore copycats we'd like to avoid gifting our trade secrets to at this point.....though it's only a matter of time until they reverse-engineer our pans and beat us on price with cheaper labour and inferior materials. We'd like to delay having to sue the importers of their copies for as long as possible (because it's impossible to sue those offshore factories). We're also hoping the importers with integrity will refuse copies of our pioneering Australian-made, Australian-designed, Australian-patented innovations. We'll soon find out.....
How do AUS-ION formed-iron pans fit in with our existing AUSfonte cast iron cookware?
Since our four succesful Kickstarter launches of AUSfonte cast iron cookware, beginning in September 2014, AUSfonte has become a major success in gourmet kitchenware stores and online (see http://www.solidteknics.com/blog/good-news-for-australian-manufacturing-new-australian-made-ausfonte-cookware-outsells-all-the-old-import-brands ).
Chefs only use cast iron for specialty dishes, and not for the bulk of their regular cooking. For that they mostly use traditional 3 rivet steel pans, and most of the best restaurants around the world use French steel pans for the bulk of their Western cooking.
And they are very good pans. But our Australian AUS-ION™ pans are better, for all the reasons presented in this campaign. We made sure of that, otherwise there would be no point manufacturing them in Australia. There would be no way to compete against all the old European brands or the cheap imports unless it was very clear we produced the very best commercial pan in the world.
If the chefs agree we've achieved what we claim, we want to see our Australian pans in all those restaurants around the world.
"For most of the cooking I do, these are my personal favourites. AUSfonte 32cm BIGskillet cast iron for the big meals and for the ultimate in seasoned natural nonstick and heat retention. AUS-ION skillets are lighter and so easy to grab for the fast and simple components. All go in the oven, so it's BIGskillet cast iron for roasting and baking, and AUS-ION for finishing baking steaks after a quick hot sear on the stove. I use all the pans we make, but these are the pans that never leave the stove top."
Mark J. Henry
SOLIDTEKNICS founder and development engineer
Comparing benefits of our cast iron and steel pans:
1. Cast iron pans are heavy: Our AUSfonte™ pans use good engineering to make that inherent weight more manageable (see http://www.solidteknics.com/blog/australian-engineers-discover-how-to-make-a-big-cast-iron-pan-easy-to-lift ), but here's no way to eliminate that weight entirely. They cook great, like cast iron is famous for, but they're just too heavy for chefs to swing around all day long. AUS-ION™ pans are much lighter for real daily chef work, though still strong and thick enough for even heating. Eg. our 26cm AUS-ION™ skillet weighs 1.6kg, and our 24cm AUSfonte Sauteuse pan weighs 2.4kg.
2. Cast iron pans hold a better seasoning: the porosity and texture in the surface of cast iron helps to anchor the natural nonstick seasoning that builds up through cooking with oils and fats. Steel pans do season well, but not quite as well as cast iron, and this can make their seasoning more 'patchy' in appearance. Not serious though, and chefs know that steel pans are nonstick enough and safe at high heats. Also that seasoning doesn't wear out like synthetic nonsticks, which usually only last months in the heavy restaurant environment. The low-stick nonstick created by seasoning cast iron or steel pans is forever renewable, not disposable like synthetics, just getting better with time, with a little of the correct care.
Caring for AUS-ION™ seamless steel cookware
While our AUS-ION™ pans are multi-century durable (with multi-century warranty), it still takes some simple care of the natural seasoning to maximise their healthy low-stick performance.
The simple summary is that AUS-ION™ needs the same care as all French steel pans, which is very similar to steel woks, and bare seasoned cast iron cookware. It's also very simple once you've seen it, and we provide a link to online instructions with each pan, including videos. While we're still working on those specifically for AUS-ION™, you can watch our AUSfonte™ cast iron care overview video as a guide: http://youtu.be/fzvaw4b_zVc
Our full seasoning instructions and video will be ready before your AUS-ION™ pans are shipped, with the link provided with your pan: www.solidteknics.com/ion
Pledge costs and shipping
Shipping costs to anywhere in Australia are a lot more reasonable this time than with our big/heavy cast iron pans! With a growing base of supporters in the USA, we've also worked hard to keep international shipping costs down through relay in bulk through our US importer/distributor.....but it's still solid iron.....all the way from Australia.
We've now also added the UK and Canada because we've had a lot of interest from cooks in those countries for our AUSfonte™ cast iron. Shipping cost is still relatively high, but we hope the keenest supporters will appreciate owning First Edition AUS-ION™. We also hope that support will motivate a local distriubtor to import in bulk and radically cut costs for retail after Kickstarter.
All pledge/shipping amounts are in Australian dollars (so they're a significant discount for our US backers, with the AUD/USD rate being 0.71 on Sept 10, for example). The pledge options listed at right don't show shipping charges (Kickstarter lists them later while you're pledging), but we don't want any surprises for our backers, so here they are:
$19 per delivery per pan, for delivery anywhere in Australia.
Starting at $39 per delivery per pan, for delivery anywhere in USA.
There are some savings for multiple pans, but our freight rates don't drop much with weight, sorry.
(Shipping to other countries is possible, but costs are significantly higher and will require an additional pledge to cover them. Please contact us in advance of your pledge if you are outside USA, Australia, UK, Canada. We'll quote the freight and, if you agree, we'll add your country as a shipping destination for that reward.)
Kickstarter quirks and our 'house rules'
Not familiar with Kickstarter, or had trouble understanding pledging/rewards in our previous campaigns?
The Kickstarter system is perfect for proving there's enough support for funding expensive Australian moulds, but it can be 'quirky' for first-timers. So please first familiarise yourself with the overall Kickstarter method here: https://www.kickstarter.com/hello
Please remember that SOLIDTEKNICS is a development engineering company, not an importer, and not a retailer. We can't sell direct, but we do launch new products through Kickstarter to fund expensive pioneering development, and we wholesale those new products to retailers around the world after our Kickstarter campaigns close. Kickstarter collects pledges for our special First Edition rewards on our behalf, but only until the campaign closure deadline. We can't change pledges and we can't take new orders for First Edition pans after the campaign closes.
Be cool, and first give us the benefit of the doubt, if you have any doubts:
.....please do not run first to post publicly on social media before giving us a chance to resolve your problem. We will occasionally make human errors, but you can be certain of our integrity and you can be certain of our goodwill toward all our backers. This is community, not sales.
If you know us, you know we are not here to make fast money with Kickstarter or SOLIDTEKNICS: we are carefully and patiently building a multi-generation brand based on cooking innovations with multi-century durability. (That's also why we're only in specialty independent expert cookshops and not in mass retail, and only in one online specialist per country.) We are building a community of like-minded supporters who trust and believe in our vision for a sustainable Australian cookware industry (very clear on our front page: www.solidteknics.com ). Thus, we reserve the right to cancel any pledge from anyone who does not share our spirit. Life's too short to not remain true to our vision.....
However, we DO look forward to many years of making many more like-minded friends who are lovers of great food and great equipment!
The development process in pictures
(.....the non-confidential parts at least!)
#IONchef #AustralianMade #restaurant #chef #cookware #Lodge #deBuyer # Matfer #Bourgeat #steelcookware #Solidteknics #AUSfonte #castiron
*Patent and Trademark notice:
AUS-ION™ and AUSfonte™ are trademarks of Solidteknics Pty Ltd and reserved for our exclusive use worldwide. Various innovations in Solidteknics products or product features are protected under utility patents pending. Please do not copy any of our intellectual property. We defend our hard-earned innovations vigorously.
To be clear: DO NOT COPY SOLIDTEKNICS cookware. The key utility features are protected in all our markets of interest.
Compulsory Kickstarter 'risks' section:
Risks and challenges
We have a very strong grasp of the risks associated with the project, after having (quite successfully) funded and shipped four AUSfonte cast iron pan projects here on Kickstarter.
After a long and intensive development period, successful pre-production runs, and overwhelmingly positive feedback from top chefs, we know AUS-ION is ready to impress the restaurant chefs and serious home cooks. We believe this campaign will be at least as exciting for old and new supporters, and with new distribution in the USA we're also shipping to US backers at reasonable cost. So we believe we should achieve our funding goal.
Though undeniably very hard work, on the scale of products and businesses I’ve launched, this is certainly at the low risk end. After decades in the chef equipment industry and a long R&D process, I’m very confident the product is the best it can be, for all the reasons listed in the project detail.
If our backers allow us reach our target in time, the funds will be quickly applied to the moulds and production costs and we will ship on time (barring 'acts of God'!), as promised by our factory and by us. We have a long and proven track record of keeping our promises, and fixing any unexpected issues quickly and thoroughly.
Mark J. HenryLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (37 days)