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Thread: Cast Iron

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    Cast Iron

    Does anybody have any places in the Iowa City or Ames area where they've found good second-hand cast iron, preferably Griswold or Wagner? I've looked around eBay and a couple second-hand stores, but haven't found what I'm looking for for a gift. Thanks.



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    Re: Cast Iron

    Not to derail your thread, but what is the difference in the brands? I have a Lodge skillet that is great to use.



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    Re: Cast Iron

    Quote Originally Posted by nboltz View Post
    Not to derail your thread, but what is the difference in the brands? I have a Lodge skillet that is great to use.
    Amazon.com: Lodge Logic 5-Quart Double Dutch Oven and Casserole with Skillet Cover: Kitchen & Dining

    I bought this and it was my first of anything in cast iron and I use it all the time. It is great not to mention pretty cheap too.



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    Re: Cast Iron

    Quote Originally Posted by nboltz View Post
    Not to derail your thread, but what is the difference in the brands? I have a Lodge skillet that is great to use.
    Lodge is the only American producer of cast iron cookware left. Old cast iron (Griswold and Wagner being the big names, but there are others) is A) collectible because of this and B) often a little higher quality. The iron ore was better and the pieces underwent an additional machining (I think that's a word) and are much smoother as this is no longer done (saves cost). The older pieces are also lighter (walls and bottom are thinner). That said, there's no reason to drop $75 on a Griswold if you're not a collector. But if you can find an old #8 skillet for $30-$40, I'd recommend it. I would recommend staying away from anything that's not Lodge, ie the celebrity chef-endorsed lines (Emeril, Paula Dean). Those pieces are made elsewhere (I think generally China) and are usually not good quality. I know sometime in the last couple of years there was a big recall of Paula Dean skillets because they were cracking while on the heat.



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    Re: Cast Iron

    My mom looked with curiosity when I bought a cast iron skillet. After all, her generation moved on from those archaic things to non-stick (DON'T USE METAL UTENSILS!!!!) I've got a few pieces (all Lodge) that I use fairly frequently, and she's gone from curiosity to begrudging interest. I predict she'll have something within a few years.

    She offered to buy me a set of cookware for Christmas. A VERY nice set from Younker's, it was on sale, you know. A nice set with a chef's name on them. Probably worth about 75% of the sale price to someone who really cooks. She was disappointed when I politely declined and said that I was all set for cookware.



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    Re: Cast Iron

    If you live in IC, and really want to spend time looking, I'm assuming you've already tried Houseworks and Stuff, etc., but will throw those out just in case. Another odd place might be Sharpless Auctions. They have regular auctions at their place at the east end of town. Have only been there once, but some people make a regular trip of it for the variety of stuff they have there.



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    Re: Cast Iron

    I must be missing something. What is the advantage(s) of cast iron besides ruggedness?



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    Re: Cast Iron

    Better heat distribution.



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    Re: Cast Iron

    Quote Originally Posted by Bamacyclone View Post
    I must be missing something. What is the advantage(s) of cast iron besides ruggedness?
    Less cancer when the non-stick coating heats up too high and becomes cancerous flakes of death.


    ISU Grad 1997.
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    Not in CO anymore but I'm not changing my name :)

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    Re: Cast Iron

    Quote Originally Posted by Bamacyclone View Post
    I must be missing something. What is the advantage(s) of cast iron besides ruggedness?
    I think it gives a more satisfying sound when you beat somebody over the head with a cast iron skillet.



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    Re: Cast Iron

    Quote Originally Posted by Bamacyclone View Post
    I must be missing something. What is the advantage(s) of cast iron besides ruggedness?
    Teflon kills Canaries



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    Re: Cast Iron

    Once you learn to cook with them, they can't be beat for some things. They take longer to heat up, but because of their slow heat transfer rate and large mass, once heated up, it's easier to maintain an even temp. A lot of electric ranges do temp variation by cycling on and off. The cast iron skillet evens those spikes out into an even temperature. There's times a stainless steel pan will have advantages too, I have both and have learned when I like each.



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    Re: Cast Iron

    Quote Originally Posted by 00clone View Post
    Another odd place might be Sharpless Auctions. They have regular auctions at their place at the east end of town. Have only been there once, but some people make a regular trip of it for the variety of stuff they have there.
    Sharpless Auctions, every Wednesday night. The main rooms start at 5pm. You will find Griswold and Wagner products there all the time. I would say about every other week I stumble upon some cast iron there. I have bought all my griswold cast iron from there along with all kinds of other junk, I mean come on, it's an auction:)

    Sharpless Auctions Home Page

    You can peruse through their photos if you have an hour or two to kill. They sell a ton of **** every Wednesday!!




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    Re: Cast Iron

    Quote Originally Posted by Bamacyclone View Post
    I must be missing something. What is the advantage(s) of cast iron besides ruggedness?
    It's been covered a bit, but I'll go ahead a chime in. As others have stated, the heating is a big thing. Cast iron holds onto heat like nothing else in your kitchen. A regular stainless steel or non-stick pan could lose 30-40 degrees when you add the food into it. Cast iron will hardly lose a thing. Very nice to have if you're trying to put a nice sear on a piece of meat. There is no better way to make a steak than with a cast iron skillet. You could also find a bad, warped piece of cast iron, clean it up (no need to season it), then just stow it in your oven and that'll keep your oven temperature much more constant. It's also really versatile. The main reason I wanted/got my first skillet is because I wanted something that could go from stovetop to oven. It can also sit on the grill, go down into burning coals, just about anything. Lastly, a well-seasoned cast iron pan does non-stick better than teflon, at least in my opinion. It definitely takes some time, but once you get it there, it's just great. So yeah, that's more than you wanted to know.



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    Re: Cast Iron

    Also, thanks to everyone who replied to my original question. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on Sharpless Auctions.



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