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Cast Iron Cookware

jafenskejafenske Posts: 11
edited July 2012 in Forum List
I would like to have some cast iron cookware to use on my XL. It seems like a lot of folks around here use Griswold cookware. I have looked at Etsy and Ebay at some Griswold cookware. I was hoping someone would be able to share some tips on what to look for in Griswold or any antique cast iron cookware.   
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Comments

  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 5,001
    The bigger they are, the more they cost. Try for no "pitting" in the cook surface. If it has a ring around the bottom it's about 100 years old. The ring is for an old wood stove. 10 1/2 in is about as big as you can find and still be affordable.

    Griswold and Wagner are supposed to be the best. Wagner is cheaper. I have both and like both.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • FockerFocker Posts: 6,694
    edited July 2012

     http://www.griswoldcookware.com/undersatnding_griswold.htm

    Things to look for...

    1.  Cracks

    Knock on the piece as you would a door.  Should ring like a bell.  If not, it's cracked or was cracked and repaired

     

    2.  Warping

    Find a flat surface and grabbing the handle, spin the skillet.  Should stop right away.  If not, you've got a warped "spinner".  On the egg or a gas stove, this is no big deal.  I use spinners on both and have no problems.  It loses value and collectibility. 

     

    3.  Cancer/Rust

    Worst I've restored have been a stage II, (stage I being surface rust)

    Stage III and IV chemo treatments(lye and bar keepers friend) would be ineffective 

    This you just learn by seeing various pieces. 

    Been real lucky on the POS carbonized pieces bought on fleabay.

     

    4.  Major pitting

    Have a severly pitted #3 Griswold that works fine.  Similar to my 10" Lodge lol

     

    Check your local garage sales, estate sales, and antique stores.  Watch items of interest on ebay and look up completed listings for a value baseline.

     

    Griswold vs Wagner is a toss up.  I honestly think the Griswolds get the nod slightly in quality, and ore.  Probably a mental thing? lol

    Also, I have a few "unmarked" skillets that were manufactured by both Griswold and Wagner that work flawlessly.  They have the same mirror machined finish that makes the Griswolds and Wagners so desirable without breaking the bank 

     

    Brandon
    Quad Cities
    "If yer gonna denigrate, familiarity with the subject is helpful."

  • jafenskejafenske Posts: 11

    Are there markings I can look for on the cookware to ensure that I get a skillet from a good period in their manufacturing.  

  • FockerFocker Posts: 6,694
    edited July 2012
    Brandon
    Quad Cities
    "If yer gonna denigrate, familiarity with the subject is helpful."

  • jafenskejafenske Posts: 11
    Just saw the link... Thats perfect. Thank You.
  • mcmacmcmac Posts: 493
    I have picked up 3 griswold skillets off eBay and they are great. I just waited for good pieces and paid a fair price. Can't beat quality. Good luck, and I know you'll love them. Great for searing steaks... egg or stove.
    XL BGE -  Med BGE - Mini BGE - Traeger Pellet Grills

     Hillsboro OR
  • chuffchuff Posts: 255
    Logo size is a big indicator with Griswold, as well as the already mentioned fire ring. When it comes to Wagner they are all over the map. The truly older Wagners are outstanding, and in my opinion right up there with any Griswold. However, the Wagner brand changed hands many times and was still being manufactured fairly recently, but with a HUGE drop in quality. If you're going to buy Wagners you really need to do a little research. 

    Your best bet is to troll antique shops, junk shops, and yard sales. As long as a skillet isn't warped or cracked it can be restored to almost like new condition fairly easily. Then you just have to re-season and you're off to the races. The best deals I've found have always been skillets with so much caked on gunk that the name on the bottom was completely or nearly completely covered. You take an educated guess based on some other features of the skillet, then clean it up and see what you have. There are some indicators around the pour spouts, fire ring, numbering on the handle, etc that you can learn to pick up on with some research, and if the skillet looks crappy enough it is usually priced accordingly. Don't sweat it though. Like I said, decades of caked on garbage is an easy fix as long as it looks to be otherwise sound.

    For cleanup and restoration look into a simple electrolysis setup. It sounds complicated, but all you need is a rubbermaid tub, a garbage piece of stainless steel, and a car battery charger to set one up. Once you're up and running you just drop in the skillet and let it sit for 24 hours or so in the tank, then you take it to the sink and rinse the years away. It really is easy.
    XL BGE
  • mcmacmcmac Posts: 493
    Good advice.... :\">
    XL BGE -  Med BGE - Mini BGE - Traeger Pellet Grills

     Hillsboro OR
  • JWBurnsJWBurns Posts: 337
    I've got a cast iron skillet on my list as some eggcessaries I've been wanting.

    What would you guys say is a "must have" in any eggers arsenal? Such as, one skillet and one pot? Also, which sizes would you recommend?
  • AviatorAviator Posts: 1,680

    I have a whole collection of Lodge CI ware and like it a lot. Noneed to chase zebras.

    They are easy to season and perform very well. I also cook indoors with it.

    ______________________________________________ 

    Large and Small BGE, Blackstone 28 and a baby black Kub.

    Chattanooga, TN.

     

  • FanOfFanboysFanOfFanboys Posts: 2,035
    Is lodge any good? I see them around a lot
    Boom
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 7,608
    The bigger they are, the more they cost. Try for no "pitting" in the cook surface. If it has a ring around the bottom it's about 100 years old. The ring is for an old wood stove. 10 1/2 in is about as big as you can find and still be affordable. Griswold and Wagner are supposed to be the best. Wagner is cheaper. I have both and like both.

    Can you give more info about that ring? I've got an old (it was my grandmother's) skillet that has a ring on the bottom, an 8 etched into the bottom and a raised letter D. No other info on it, but would like to know what it is. Its about 10.5" across on the top.

    Rowlett, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

  • KristinnnKristinnn Posts: 133
    if you live near nashville theres a big flea market at the fair grounds .. theres an old guy in the way back by all the junk that has a bunch of nice ones he restores.. i bought two from him so far and they are sweeet.  im going again this weekend to maybe get another
  • StoaterStoater Posts: 292
    Is lodge any good? I see them around a lot
    I love my lodge pans, I also bought some of there little serving dishes and have made creme brûlée and frangipane tarts with them they are great and if you go to wally world you get them at a fraction of the price you pay at lodge.  Plus when you bring them to the table it keep the food hot, bonus.
  • KristinnnKristinnn Posts: 133
    i have 2 lodge pans.. if you season them right they work okay but once you see a lodge in person and compare it to a griswold..you will buy griswold.  The surface is so smooth..
  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 5,001
    Griffin said:

    The bigger they are, the more they cost. Try for no "pitting" in the cook surface. If it has a ring around the bottom it's about 100 years old. The ring is for an old wood stove. 10 1/2 in is about as big as you can find and still be affordable. Griswold and Wagner are supposed to be the best. Wagner is cheaper. I have both and like both.
    Can you give more info about that ring? I've got an old (it was my grandmother's) skillet that has a ring on the bottom, an 8 etched into the bottom and a raised letter D. No other info on it, but would like to know what it is. Its about 10.5" across on the top.

    The 8 is the size, as on it's a number 8 pan. I'm not sure on the D.

    Does the pan have a raised line in the middle of the bottom?

    The ring is designed to maintain an even heat distro when cooking on a wood stove top.

    The number 8 size is common and worth about $50 if it's in good condition.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 7,608
    I'll try and get a pic of it tonight if I remember. I really don't care what its worth as to me its priceless. Just wondering who made it.

    Rowlett, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

  • FockerFocker Posts: 6,694
    edited July 2012

     

    I've got a cast iron skillet on my list as some eggcessaries I've been wanting. What would you guys say is a "must have" in any eggers arsenal? Such as, one skillet and one pot? Also, which sizes would you recommend?


    A #8 skillet is the easiest to find.  #10 is best in regards to a LBGE.

    For a CI DO, best overall would be a #12 Lodge DO with the legs placed on the platesetter.  You could also use it over a small fire at the campground.  Scouts use these all the time.

    Lodge's 5 qt double dutch oven is perfect for the small.  Lid doubles a skillet.

    Brandon
    Quad Cities
    "If yer gonna denigrate, familiarity with the subject is helpful."

  • LitLit Posts: 6,667

    As stated lodge is not even close to a Griswold. The lodge has a bumpy finish on the bottom where the griswold is as smooth as glass. I have a number 10 small logo and a number 9 large logo with heat ring and they are both really smooth even though the small logo is bigger it cost s a quarter as much. The small logo is much thicker and much heavier which I don't really like but to just cook in the egg it doesn't really matter. A number 9 or 10 is as big as I would ever need. Picture below has number 10 on the left and 9 on the right (With cornbread pizza). I have never had any luck getting deals at flea markets or antique places I have actually always seen people selling them for more than they are on ebay at those places. You might want to consider getting a number 8 it is still like a 10" diameter but they are not as rare so don't get as expensive. Here's a link to a really nice number 8 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Griswold-Slant-Letter-Large-Logo-8-Cast-Iron-Skillet-704-H-/300745430446?pt=Cookware&hash=item4605d315aeimage

    image

  • FockerFocker Posts: 6,694
    edited July 2012
    The bigger they are, the more they cost. Try for no "pitting" in the cook surface. If it has a ring around the bottom it's about 100 years old. The ring is for an old wood stove. 10 1/2 in is about as big as you can find and still be affordable. Griswold and Wagner are supposed to be the best. Wagner is cheaper. I have both and like both.

    Can you give more info about that ring? I've got an old (it was my grandmother's) skillet that has a ring on the bottom, an 8 etched into the bottom and a raised letter D. No other info on it, but would like to know what it is. Its about 10.5" across on the top.
    The 8 is the size, as on it's a number 8 pan. I'm not sure on the D. Does the pan have a raised line in the middle of the bottom? The ring is designed to maintain an even heat distro when cooking on a wood stove top. The number 8 size is common and worth about $50 if it's in good condition.

    If I were to guess, seems like you have an old Lodge.  Old Lodge is really good stuff.

    A Griswold #8 isn't even worth 50 bucks....maybe 30 to 40 tops, in perfect condition.

    Heat rings don't necessarily date the piece back 100 years.  A gatemark would.

    How does a heat ring improve heat distribution?  IMO, it was a design used to eliminate an unlevel gatemarked pan.  Why would they later omit the heat ring, if it were such an improvement? 

     


     

    Brandon
    Quad Cities
    "If yer gonna denigrate, familiarity with the subject is helpful."

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 23,975
    The bigger they are, the more they cost. Try for no "pitting" in the cook surface. If it has a ring around the bottom it's about 100 years old. The ring is for an old wood stove. 10 1/2 in is about as big as you can find and still be affordable. Griswold and Wagner are supposed to be the best. Wagner is cheaper. I have both and like both.

    Can you give more info about that ring? I've got an old (it was my grandmother's) skillet that has a ring on the bottom, an 8 etched into the bottom and a raised letter D. No other info on it, but would like to know what it is. Its about 10.5" across on the top.
    The 8 is the size, as on it's a number 8 pan. I'm not sure on the D. Does the pan have a raised line in the middle of the bottom? The ring is designed to maintain an even heat distro when cooking on a wood stove top. The number 8 size is common and worth about $50 if it's in good condition.

    If I were to guess, seems like you have an old Lodge.  Old Lodge is really good stuff.

    A Griswold #8 isn't even worth 50 bucks....maybe 30 to 40 tops, in perfect condition.

    Heat rings don't necessarily date the piece back 100 years.  A gatemark would.

    How does a heat ring improve heat distribution?  IMO, it was a design used to eliminate an unlevel gatemarked pan.  Why would they later omit the heat ring, it it were such an improvement? 

    Recently restored a #12 unmarked skillet for a friend from the 1950s


     

    I'm going to guess the heat ring keeps flames under the pan so it heats more evenly.  This is an interesting article about how cast iron can get hot spots:  http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/02/16/heavy-metal-the-science-of-cast-iron-cooking/

    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • JWBurnsJWBurns Posts: 337
    @focker your a cast iron connoisseur eh?
  • FockerFocker Posts: 6,694
    edited July 2012

    Never discovered a hot spot in a pan.  I use low/med heat and allow at least 15 minutes for the CI to preheat over gas.  Sometimes, I preheat them in the oven for higher heat sauteing, searing, etc.  Same for the egg.  CI goes on for about 30 minutes before anything goes into it.

    Brandon
    Quad Cities
    "If yer gonna denigrate, familiarity with the subject is helpful."

  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 5,001
    @focker I got my info on the heat ring from a few sites on the net. I could be wrong. Your idea about the gate mark makes sence, kinda.

    Any clue why they put the heat ring on pans that were gated on the lip and not on the bottom? Or why did they call it a heat ring and not an even ring?

    I'll try and find some reference when I get on my computer.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 23,975

    Never discovered a hot spot in a pan.  I use low/med heat and allow at least 15 minutes for the CI to preheat over gas.  Sometimes, I preheat them in the oven for higher heat sauteing, searing, etc.  Same for the egg.  CI goes on for about 30 minutes before anything goes into it.

    That's because you're doing it right.  If you put a big pan on a small burner or vice versa and heat rapidly, you're gonna get hot spots.  I get them all the time and it drives me nuts.  I guess I'm impatient and I heat too fast.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • FockerFocker Posts: 6,694
    edited July 2012

    @travisstrick

    Nobody is right or wrong bud.  No need to start googling gatemarks, lol

    When they changed the casting like you stated, and grinded the gatemark from the lip, the heat ring disappeared.  Maybe our ancestors in the shop called it a ring or rim.  It has been referenced in old Wagner and Griswold literature.  More than likely a marketing gimmick.  How can such a small amount of extra iron on the outside diameter of the pan, improve it? 

    Brandon
    Quad Cities
    "If yer gonna denigrate, familiarity with the subject is helpful."

  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 5,001
    The stuff I read said it raised the bottom of the pan above the flat metal surface of a wood burning stove to avoid hot spots from the un even heat of the wood burning stove.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 23,975
    Like a hot air balloon.   They're open on the bottom, helps keep the heat next to the bottom of the cast iron rather than leak out the sides unevenly.  This is completely a theory and I'm probably wrong, but that makes sense knowing hot air rises.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • LitLit Posts: 6,667
    I cooked 4 pounds of bacon a couple weeks ago and it took about an hour and there were still hot spots at the end.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 23,975
    My brother told me a trick he got from the restaurant industry for cooking bacon.  Especially good if you're cooking a big batch.  Cook it low and slow in the oven.  The crispiness comes from desiccating the water out, not high heat.  The high heat just creates more nitrosamines from the nitrites, which are carcinogens.  Adding ascorbic acid reduces that bad reaction.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

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