Crow Canyon makes tableware beloved by chefs, cowboys, restaurants, and K-pop stars. Here’s why we love this California company.
A colorful new collaboration from Crow Canyon and stylish camping gear company The Get Out. Photo courtesy of Crow Canyon.
Enamelware is having a moment. Yes, those speckled, brightly colored, porcelain-coated metal plates you’ve seen in cowboy movies, at campsites, and maybe your mom’s or grandma’s cupboard are everywhere. If you’re a close reader of K-pop social media, a hipster restaurant-goer, or shopper of stylish boutiques you might have seen them there too.
Not many products can claim such a wide appeal because not many products are as iconic, loveable, useful, and stylish as enamelware. The reigning champion of the category is Crow Canyon, a California-based company that has been using the old formula of porcelain-coated steel and updating it with new designs and cool collabs, making it one of our favorite kitchen and tableware brands. In recent years they’ve collaborated with some of the West’s most iconic names, including Filson and Jenni Kayne. We love them so much we put a pair of their super cute and versatile mugs in the holiday edition of our quarterly subscription box, which you should order now! Here are a few of the many reasons Crow Canyon deserves a place at every Westerner’s table.
The current Sunset subscription box includes these two beauties.
Thomas J. Story
The History Is Cool
The best enamelware is made of steel coated with porcelain enamel, a tough and lightweight combination developed in France where swirls of pigmented enamel decorated the pieces and protected the steel from food and rust. Crow Canyon’s twist was the signature splatter pattern, which gave it a more swoopy poppy vibe. The light weight and durability made it popular with campers and cowboys long before plastic came along. As co-owner Cara Barde puts it: “They didn’t break and you could put them on your horse.”
They’re Just Plain Fun
Unfussy and cheery, they’re an instant mood booster. When Barde and her husband took over the company they introduced a simple gray and black line as well as more vivid colors. The ‘80s aesthetic came back and the line took off attracting apartment dwellers in L.A. and Brooklyn and brands like Urban Outfitters followed. Design stores like Merci in Paris took note too and they became an international phenom. And recently New Balance released a line of Crow Canyon slides in Korea.
You Can Cook with Them
The splatter pattern not only looks cool, but its uneven surface makes it naturally non-stick when you cook on it. Plus enamelware is ovenproof. (Think about it; it’s finished in a blazing 1,200-degree furnace. But beware: Knock offs are sometimes painted instead of enameled and therefore aren’t oven safe.) How many other plates can double as a sauté pan, baking sheet, or sizzle platter?
They Get Better with Age
Those chips you see on vintage pieces do nothing to detract from their usefulness. In fact, it’s a point of pride for restaurants in France where crazing, cracks, scuffs, and chips add the patina and cred of old age. The sustainability, durability, and charm of these pieces put them in the category of “forever” objets worthy of heirloom status.
This collaboration with Helmsie is about as nostalgic as you can get.
Courtesy of Crow Canyon
The super thin profile means 10 enamelwares can stack in the same space as five ceramic plates. While they’re too heavy for backpacking they’re perfect for car camping.
They’ve Gone Viral
Even Barde can’t keep up with the brand’s growth: “The other day my kids showed me a TikTok video with Kendall Jenner and Post Malone in the kitchen with Crow Canyon!”