Iowa's Largest Fryin' Pan
As I’ve said before, “World’s Largest” claims are sometimes dubious at best, but the large frying pan in Brandon, Iowa, only claims to be the largest in Iowa. The makers of the Brandon pan did have high aspirations, however, and it was originally designed to be the world’s largest frying pan. But the final pan turned out to be three inches smaller than the actual world’s largest frying pan at the time, located in Long Beach, Washington (which itself has since been usurped, and I’m unclear where the North Carolina contender ranks here).
Brandon’s slogan is “A Little Town We’re Proud to Call Home,” and you could just about fit the entire town inside of their large pan—according to the 2010 census the 0.32-square-mile town had a population of just 309 people. The post office is housed in what looks like a temporary construction site trailer, and despite being promised that the “Brandon Kwik Stop has a variety of “Fryin’ Pan” souvenirs for sale,” the clerk informed us that they were out of souvenirs, and had been for some time (the much-needed bathroom was also out of order).
The “Fryin’ Pan” was built in 2004 by locals to promote the annual Brandon Cowboy Breakfast, held the third Sunday in September. One thousand people a year have eaten the breakfast since 2000, which comprises “scrambled eggs, ham, sausage, pancakes, fried potatoes, sausage gravy and baking powder biscuits.” Proceeds from the breakfast initially helped to fund the construction of the Brandon Area Community Center and additional funds help with its maintenance. While the food is not actually cooked inside of the large pan—it’s purely for decoration—the 9’ 3” x 14’ 3” pan could theoretically hold 528 eggs, 352 half-pound pork chops, and 88 pounds of bacon.
Iowa’s Largest Fryin’ Pan
800-850 Main Street,
Brandon, IA 52210