Have you ever wanted a traditional cast-iron skillet or a trusty Dutch oven but put off by the weight or the need to reseason the cookware? Well, the ingenious people at Sanjo Special Cast Co., Ltd. has created two lines of cookware called Unilloy and SSC that are up to 50% lighter than other brands in a comparable size.
But before you put a new Japanese cast iron skillet or enameled Dutch Oven on your shopping list? Let’s find out if Unilloy and SSC cast iron cookware is right for you.
Table of contents
- Company information
- Who makes Unilloy and SSC brands?
- Product information
- Features of Unilloy and SSC cookware
- Should you use Unilloy or SSC cookware?
- Potential disadvantages of Unilloy and SSC holloware
- Buying considerations before purchasing
Table: Company Information
When was Sanjo Special Cast Co., Ltd. founded?
The company founded in 1961
What cookware do they make?
|Sanjo Special Cast Co., Ltd. manufacturers SSC and Unilloy cookware|
What are they known for?
The company is well-known for lightweight cast iron cookware
What products does the company make?
The company makes a wide range of Dutch Ovens, casserole dishes and skillets
Where are the products made?
All products are manufactured in Niigata, Japan
Who makes Unilloy and SSC cast-iron cookware?
The company behind SSC and Unilloy cookware is Sanjo Special Cast Co., Ltd. The company is heavily involved in the manufacturer of automotive and heavy industry casting. But as you are about to find out, they also manufacture high-end coated and enameled cast iron cookware that you’ll love.
What lines of cookware does the Sanjo Special Company make?
The company makes two lines of cookware in their hometown of Tsubame-Sanjo in Niigata, Japan. They make a household brand called SSC, an abbreviation from the name of the company. And they also make a professional-grade of cookware known as Unilloy. And within these two lines, they manufacture the following:
- Cast irons skillets (SSC and Unilloy)
- Enameled cast iron Ditch ovens (Unilloy)
- Cast iron enameled casserole dishes (Unilloy)
SSC skillets come in a range of sizes, starting from 20cm. A perfect size if you want to cook side dishes smaller meals such as omelets. And go to the ever-popular 26cm pan or just under 10.5 inches, for singles, couples and young families. These skillets have an easy-clean silicone coating.
These professional-grade skillets look fantastic and are well constructed. They are currently two sizes, the standard 26cm and 28cm for those wanting a little extra space. Unilloy cast iron skillets have a silicone coating for semi-nonstick cooking. And the handles are flat and slightly angled to make moving from stovetop to the oven a breeze.
Unilloy Duch Ovens and casserole dishes
If you want to cook wholesome meals, it’s hard to look past a cast-iron Dutch ovens and casserole dishes. Luckily for us, Unilloy makes some pretty snazzy Dutch Ovens. These ovens compete in the high-end market with their famous French counterparts, Staub and Le Creuset.
But Unilloy enameled pots are made with FVC iron. And this offers consumers slow cooking options without the weight of traditional cast iron. And the ovens are much easier to clean than an air fryer.
Features of SSC and Unilloy cookware
Let’s look at some of the features of Unilloy and SSC cookware. After all, these are nice looking pots and pans. But they cost more than many other brands. So should you part with your hard-earned cash?
How much lighter is Unilloy and SCC cast iron?
As mentioned earlier, cast iron made by the Sanjo Special Cast is much lighter than many other brands because the company uses FCV iron and FCD iron in the manufacturer of their cookware. The metal is harder to work with compared to standard iron. But because of the added strength of FVC and FCD, the casting works can make cast iron cookware that is only 2mm in thickness. And this makes the cookware much lighter compared to other brands.
For a fun experiment, let’s compare a Unilloy 11-inch skillet with the slightly larger 12-inch Lodge skillet.
Unilloy Cast-iron Skillet
Lodge Cast-iron Skillet
|11-inches or 28cm||12-inch or 30.48cm|
|3.30lbs or 1.5kgs||7.92lbs or 3.6kg|
|FCD Cast Iron||Cast Iron|
|Heat Resistant Silicone||Polymerized Vegetable Oil|
Country of Manufacture
Another feature of Sanjo Special Casting cookware is the enameling on their Unilloy Dutch ovens and casseroles dishes. Unlike their French counterparts, Unilloy has enameling on the rim of the lid and pot.
Because the cookware has enameling around the edges, there isn’t a horrible grinding sound when you cover the cast iron cookware with the lid. While most other brands, grind down the enamel on top of the pot to avoid sticking during the manufacturing process.
Each piece of SCC and Unilloy cast iron cookware is checked carefully for imperfections. Before, any rough burrs and edges rounded and smoothed.
First, workers use a grinder to remove the molding gate mark and to smooth the edges. Then foundry workers take an extra step and use a precision tool to round the edges and to remove any roughness from inside the handles. And this extra care makes the cookware a joy to pick up and use.
Disadvantages of Unilloy and SSC
To provide the best information possible, I have to mention any negative points I might see from my experience as a user and collector of cast iron cookware. And ultimately, provide you with the information you need to decide if the cookware is right for you, And this is especially important if you’re shopping online.
And I have two points you might want to consider
Dutch oven sizes
Because the company currently focusses on the Japanese and Northeast Asian markets. The maximum capacity of their biggest Dutch oven is only 3.8 liters or 4 quarts. Smaller than the Dutch popular 5.5-quart ovens in the West because of the style of cooking.
So if you want to cook a whole chicken or braise lamb shanks, you might need a larger size pot not currently available.
For advanced cast iron users, many like the idea of cooking with a natural cooking surface. And many cast-iron enthusiasts share methods on how to reseason their cookware and what oil to use.
However, many Japanese prefer non-fuss cookware that is easy to use, clean, and replace after the cooking surface deteriorates.
SSC and Unilloy skillets have a modern silicone coating similar to the bonded layer on bakeware such as muffin trays and roasting dishes. It would be almost impossible to strip the original silicone layer and replace it with your own seasoning.
What’s the difference between a Unilloy and SSC skillet?
I think you’ll be happy with an SSC branded skillet or a Unilloy skillet. However, there are a few differences between the skillets. And before you buy, let’s take a look at which one is best for your needs.
Table: A comparison between a SSC and Unilloy 26cm skillet
SCC cast iron skillet (26cm)
|Unilloy cast iron skillet (26cm)|
|1.1kgs or 2.42lbs||1.3kgs or 2.86lbs|
|2.9L or 3qt||2.3L or 2.4qt|
|FCD cast iron||FCD cast iron|
|Heat resistant silicone||Heat resistant silicone|
|Comfortable rounded handle||Flat solid handle for professional use|
Country of Manufacturer
A lightweight skillet with a comfortable handle.
You’ll get the full benefit of FCD cast iron
Slightly, heavier and robust construction
Build for professional chefs and serious cooks.
Choosing a Dutch Oven
Are you’re looking for a good quality Dutch oven? Well, the Unilloy line has a good selection of colors and sizes on offer. And most importantly, the cast-iron ovens are well-constructed. You’ll be surprised how much lighter these ovens are if you compare them to other brands.
I recommend the 3.8-liter capacity oven. This way, you can take full advantage of the Unilloy thinly cast and light oven. Also, “you can cook a little food in a big pot, but you cant cook a lot of food in a smaller pot.” So I’d go for the bigger pot.
Where can you buy Unilloy and SSC cast iron
The Sanjo Special Casting Company currently caters, mostly to the domestic Japanese market and their close neighbors in Korea and China. But you can check out their online shop and see the range of goodies they have on offer.
I’d also recommend checking out the shipping information and confirm they can deliver to your country. Also carefully, choose the right items before you purchase. After all, you’d be buying direct from the casting works in Japan, and shipping cast-iron cookware can be pricey. Understandably, the company does not offer returns once send from Japan, as it would be too cost-prohibitive.
Why not head on over the Unilloy online and shipping page if you’re interested. I’ve also included some important links before purchasing. Because you need to check if the company ships to your location.
- Unilloy and SSC Product Shop (Non-affiliate link)
- Buying and shipping (Important buying and shipping information)
- Buying guide (How to buy online direct via the company)
I’ve also found a Japanese store in Philadelphia called Rikumo that currently stock the SSC skillet and it looks like they ship within the State too. Rikumo (Non-affiliate link).
Just to let you know, I have no affiliation with Sanjo Special Cast Company and receive no commission for any purchase. But I’ve visited their company in Niigata, and I was very impressed with their casting-works and their cookware. They’re good honest people too. I think you’ll be impressed if you decide to use their cookware.
Many people would like to use cast iron cookware in their homes. Unfortunately, modern cast iron is thicker and heavier than antique ironware from the early 1900s. So many people opt for cookware made from a lighter material.
Here’s where Unilloy enters the scene. They use graphite cast-iron for their cookware. So the cookware is lighter and thinner. The end product can be half the weight as other cast-iron alternatives.
The Sanjo Special Cast Company manufactures a wide range of beautifully finished enameled ovens and cast-iron skillets. Skillets have a semi nonstick cooking surface. So you don’t need to worry about reseasoning your cookware. If you are looking for a new frypan or Enameled Dutch oven, take a look at SSC and Unilloy.