Cast Iron

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by norseclone, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. norseclone

    norseclone Active Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    399
    26
    28
    North Liberty, IA
    Ratings:
    +26 / 0 / -0
    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.
     
  2. nboltz

    nboltz Member

    Apr 9, 2006
    168
    5
    18
    IT Manager
    Ames
    Ratings:
    +5 / 0 / -0
    Not to derail your thread, but what is the difference in the brands? I have a Lodge skillet that is great to use.
     
  3. cytech

    cytech Well-Known Member

    Apr 10, 2006
    6,384
    126
    63
    Hiawatha, Iowa
    Ratings:
    +148 / 8 / -0
  4. norseclone

    norseclone Active Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    399
    26
    28
    North Liberty, IA
    Ratings:
    +26 / 0 / -0
    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.
     
  5. 00clone

    00clone Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2011
    19,676
    514
    113
    "Before" picture model
    Iowa City area
    Ratings:
    +565 / 2 / -0
    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.
     
  6. 00clone

    00clone Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2011
    19,676
    514
    113
    "Before" picture model
    Iowa City area
    Ratings:
    +565 / 2 / -0
    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.
     
  7. Bamacyclone

    Bamacyclone Member

    Jan 7, 2012
    448
    10
    18
    Retired - Ops/Eng Mgmt
    SE
    Ratings:
    +10 / 0 / -0
    I must be missing something. What is the advantage(s) of cast iron besides ruggedness?
     
  8. sloaner

    sloaner Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    242
    19
    18
    Indianola, IA
    Ratings:
    +24 / 1 / -0
    Better heat distribution.
     
  9. CyinCo

    CyinCo Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2006
    5,748
    165
    63
    Engineer
    Clive, IA
    Ratings:
    +248 / 2 / -0
    Less cancer when the non-stick coating heats up too high and becomes cancerous flakes of death.
     
  10. CtownCyclone

    CtownCyclone Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2010
    10,878
    732
    113
    Project Engineer
    Where they love the governor
    Ratings:
    +1,736 / 23 / -0
    I think it gives a more satisfying sound when you beat somebody over the head with a cast iron skillet.
     
  11. BloodyBuddy

    BloodyBuddy Well-Known Member

    Mar 13, 2012
    1,705
    26
    48
    Ratings:
    +33 / 0 / -0
    Teflon kills Canaries
     
  12. 00clone

    00clone Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2011
    19,676
    514
    113
    "Before" picture model
    Iowa City area
    Ratings:
    +565 / 2 / -0
    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.
     
  13. sandiego

    sandiego Member

    Dec 14, 2006
    63
    1
    8
    Mars Chocolate
    Waco, TX
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    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!!
     
  14. norseclone

    norseclone Active Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    399
    26
    28
    North Liberty, IA
    Ratings:
    +26 / 0 / -0
    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.
     
  15. norseclone

    norseclone Active Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    399
    26
    28
    North Liberty, IA
    Ratings:
    +26 / 0 / -0
    Also, thanks to everyone who replied to my original question. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on Sharpless Auctions.
     
  16. 00clone

    00clone Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2011
    19,676
    514
    113
    "Before" picture model
    Iowa City area
    Ratings:
    +565 / 2 / -0
  17. MeanDean

    MeanDean Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2009
    5,659
    821
    113
    Male
    Retired Civil Engineer
    Clarence IA-Jensen Beach FL
    Ratings:
    +1,724 / 9 / -0
    If you don't want to go the auction route, you might check both Mt. Vernon and Kalona, each have antique shops so you will probably find something there. I have an old Erie brand skillet that was in the family for generations. One of the things I really wanted when cleaning out the house. I use it a lot, much lighter than the newer ones. I bought some newer iron skillets but whoever mentioned the smoothness of the inside cooking service is 100% right. The newer ones are not NEARLY as smooth and stuff will end up sticking. So make sure the inside cooking surface bottom is glass smooth!
     
  18. NickTheGreat

    NickTheGreat Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2012
    7,308
    278
    83
    Enginerd
    Johnston
    Ratings:
    +825 / 34 / -0
    Which is why I keep a teflon pan on low heat constantly in my house. I don't want any damn birds flying around :realmad:
     
  19. Wesley

    Wesley Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2006
    70,964
    542
    113
    Envr Engr/Program Manager
    Omaha
    Ratings:
    +544 / 0 / -0
    Supposedly the newer coatings are better than the old Teflon flakes.

    The max recommended temp for teflon use may be something like 350 degrees.

    Cast iron is very nice for bacon.
     
  20. Wesley

    Wesley Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2006
    70,964
    542
    113
    Envr Engr/Program Manager
    Omaha
    Ratings:
    +544 / 0 / -0
    Cast Iron Skillets, Cast Iron Pans, Cast Iron Cookware, Seasoning Cast Iron, How To Season Cast Iron, How to Clean Cast Iron

     

Share This Page