The Muurikka is a round-bottomed cooking pan for outdoor cooking over an open fire (although gas can also be used). It’s similar to the Chinese Wok and the Discada of the American southwest, but this one has Finnish origin.
I happened to receive one of these for my birthday and finally put it to the test a few weeks ago during a family gathering out in the snow.
The Muurikka is loved by many in Scandinavia, and I must say after trying it out that I also like it. Here’s the breakdown:
Performance – 7
I’m not a griddle pan expert by any means, but I can tell you that the food I cooked with it over an open fire was delicious. I used regular rapeseed oil, but any cooking oil will work. The 3mm thick steel combined with the round bottom provides a fairly even heat distribution.
I have the 48cm diameter model with screw-on legs, but I did not have to use the legs because I built a custom frame for our grill. I got this Muurikka as a gift, but if I had bought it myself I would have probably chosen the slightly larger 58cm model. I’ve had no problem cooking for 8 people with the 48cm model, but for slightly larger gatherings I’d run into some capacity issues.
One thing I like about the Muurikka is its versatility. You can use it both with a gas burner, electric grills, charcoal, or over the open fire (my preference).
So what can you cook with it?
Anything really. Prepare warm toasted sandwiches, full English breakfast, stir-fry’s and, my favorite, pancakes. I would guess that the shallow shape makes it less than ideal for soups though.
Construction Quality – 9
The Muurikka is made out of hot rolled steel, 3mm thick, with welded bolts for the screw-on legs. It’s a really solid and heavy build, and I have no doubt it will last a lifetime if properly cared for. Rust is its greatest enemy, but that can be prevented from happening with a few easy steps.
Ease of Use – 8
Most frying pans are dead simple to use, and the Muurikka is no exception. You can use any unsalted fat or cooking oil
The first time you use it you should wash it with hot water, heat the pan dry and then give it the following treatment immediately after the cleaning: Wipe the pan with oil or spread a thin and even layer of Muurikka Silava Pork Fat all over the surface of the pan. Heat up the pan until the fat or grease darkens and dries at least in the middle of the pan.
You can repeat the greasing and heating until the pan turns black, but this is not necessary as the pan will turn darker and patinate while it is used. I just did two initial rounds of greasing and heating and then started cooking with it, and it worked well.
Maintenance – 7
As mentioned, rust is the main threat your Muurikka pan is facing, but it’s easy to keep the pan in perfect shape if you follow the below advice from Muurikka:
CLEANING – Always clean the pan after use. It is easier to clean immediately after use. Pour a little water on the pan, boil it up and clean the pan with a spatula and paper towels. Wipe the pan dry and spread a thin layer of cooking oil or unsalted Muurikka Silava Pork Fat on the frying surface.
STORAGE – Before storing the pan, clean, dry and grease the pan heating it with Muurikka Silava Pork Fat (heating removes the moisture from the pan and the fat protects it against rust). Store the pan in a dry place.
Brand Reputation – 8
The Muurikka griddle pan was developed by the Muurikka founders in the 1970s. The story began with an idea to expand the diameter of a cauldron in order to increase the frying area available. After further refinement of the idea, the first Muurikka griddle pan was born, fashioned from the inspection hatch of a steel container.
Today, Muurikka griddle pans of all different sizes are still manufactured in Finland, industrially of course, and tens of thousands sold to date.
Muurikka is a well known and trusted brand in all of Scandinavia and in the UK. To my surprise they don’t have a large presence in the USA. Whether that’s because of prohibitive shipping costs or some other reason I don’t know.
Guarantee – 5
I can’t find any mention of a guarantee on the Muurikka website, but I’d be surprised if they don’t offer at least a 1 year manufacturers warranty. I’ll update this section once I’ve heard from them.
Sustainability – 6
You can’t really compare the Muurikka with other methods of cooking, because you can use a wide range of fuels. You can use a gas burner, an open fire, charcoal, etc. This just adds to the versatility and long term sustainability of the Muurikka.
Self-Reliance – 7
As long as you can get your hands on fuel (firewood or gas) and cooking oil or some form of fat the Muurikka is a viable outdoor cooking method for the long term. Note I said outdoor. Unless you live in a tipi or big yurt you’ll have a hard time using the Muurikka inside, so the Muurikka will likely not be your main cooking vessel. For outdoor cooking for larger groups, it does not get much better than this though.
Value – 7
I haven’t found any reseller in the USA that stocks Muurikka, so right now your best bet seems to be to order from the official UK distributor. In the UK the Muurikka 48 cm model with legs cost £48 GBP (~$73 USD), but as the pan is made of solid steel count on expensive shipping charges.
It will cost you an additional £42 (~$63) in shipping to the USA, which would put the total cost for americans at $136. That’s a hefty price to pay considering the alternatives.
For example I mentioned the southwestern Discada, an american counterpart to the Muurikka, and with a similar price (minus the hefty shipping cost). You can find a range of discadas over at Southwest Disk, for example this 22 inch discada ($60) with traditional handles.
Another option is a regular cast iron skillet. You won’t be able to cook as much food at the same time, but it works over the open fire and will last you a life time if cared for.
Yet another alternative is a classic cast iron wok, that will set you back around $50 and can be used on any stovetop: electric, gas and induction and can be used in the oven and over the open fire. This one will surely also last you a lifetime if cared for.
So does the Muurikka represent good value? Disregarding shipping costs, then I think it represents excellent value considering that it will last a lifetime. But for all you americans out there, you might find more value in getting a discada or a wok from a US based company.
Excitement – 7
One reason for why I like the Muurikka is because it gives me and my family the perfect opportunity to come together around the fire, cook good food, and just enjoy the outdoors and each others company. This pan will surely last for at least a couple decades, and I’m certain I’m going to enjoy many meals on it together with the people I hold dear.
Diameter: 48 cm
Weight: 5.5 kg
Material: 3mm hot rolled steel
Accessories: 22cm screw-on legs