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Cast iron pan restoration

NC-Ratler

Four Pointer
Lastfling, 1930-39. Nice piece and def great for cooking on. I use a size 9 the most, usually along with a 12 and 6.

I think one of the reasons why many are attracted to the Griswolds beside the long history, they are lighter in mass weight Wagners and def. Lodges, both good names and quality cast iron.
 

Homebrewale

Old Mossy Horns
Lastfling, 1930-39. Nice piece and def great for cooking on. I use a size 9 the most, usually along with a 12 and 6.

I think one of the reasons why many are attracted to the Griswolds beside the long history, they are lighter in mass weight Wagners and def. Lodges, both good names and quality cast iron.
What determines quality cast iron?

It seems people favor the old cast iron due to the smooth finishes instead of the rough, pebbly finish of Lodge that is sold everywhere. Are any of the modern smooth finish cast iron skillets any good? You find them online but not in stores. There is Field, Smithey, and Butter Pat to name a few.
 

dc bigdaddy

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
What determines quality cast iron?

It seems people favor the old cast iron due to the smooth finishes instead of the rough, pebbly finish of Lodge that is sold everywhere. Are any of the modern smooth finish cast iron skillets any good? You find them online but not in stores. There is Field, Smithey, and Butter Pat to name a few.
Look up Cowboy Kent on YouTube. He does a cast iron comparisons ob the new stuff
 

NC-Ratler

Four Pointer
I'm by no means an expert, just a modest collector and user for about the past fifteen years that's done some reading both in print and online groups and ebay watching. There are some online groups, including a large Griswold FB group, about cast irons and opinions often vary, and the reason why I often state imo. I would love to know the metal contents, on a molecular breakdown, of the griswolds and other brands, esp through out the years and what properties a metal expert would think best for cast iron skillets - strength, smoothness, even heating, safety of cooking food, etc. What I can say is that USA made companies that have been doing it for a long time or did for a long time, I would definately trust more than foreign imports, esp those of Asian regions. As mentioned above by another, Lodge is heavy and rough surface, but with seaonsing build up they become smooth and their skillets have an opposite side lip from the handle for use with your second hand which women sometimes like. The only foreign company that I know of and would trust prior to doing research on is Le Creuset who produce a lot of enameled cast iron and state what materials they use to make them. I've only ever owned one and regret selling it. I own several others, some with no names, just USA made that I like. I own a McClary Dip Top Spider that I like to use every now and then. However, overall, I just like the Griswolds the best for three reasons - usually lighter in mass weight than any others which is good on the arms and faster heating, smooth inner surface, and the collectors value is only going to go up provided you take care of them - I like tangibles. That book I referenced above is the 5th addition and from 2013, and already the prices are way low compared to what selling prices are online. I've seen the Griswold market really take off esp with online collector groups forming over the past several years.
 

NC-Ratler

Four Pointer
With a piece that big, 60ls, I wonder if you put a little bit of that plumbers lye in vegetable oil and smeared it on the cast iron and maybe repeated it every day or so? Not sure how the two would react? Facebook has a good Griswold group and maybe someone there may know a good method?

Years ago when new to cast iron, I put my mother-in-laws skillet in a hot wood fire until the metal turned red, then took out. Warped it badly and changed the steel temper and was ruined. My good and old, thinner skillets esp, I baby and don't cook above Med-High (mostly medium). Some of your thicker skillets like Lodges they would be a lot harder to warp. Cowboy Kent, cool dude and liked many of his videos. Dissagree with his cleaning by getting skillet super hot then run under hot water. That thing created a lot of steam and wonder if a thinner older pans would warp, crack, or change temper? I let mine naturally cool before cleaning. To each their own and maybe ok to do, I won't take that chance however.
 
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