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Old 05/02/09, 12:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: a ways out
Posts: 97
cast iron cookware

Hey folks, I have a dilemma. I want to get some more cookware, but am having a hard time finding older cast-iron stuff(somewhat expected). I do find stuff, but ALOT of it is enameled. I can't say I know much about cast-iron, but I do know they enamel sinks and tubs. What's the deal with cookware? Is it any good? How does it stack up to the bare iron? What do yall's say?
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Old 05/02/09, 12:27 PM
Wasza polska matka
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: zone 4b-5a
Posts: 6,912
I have an old enamel roaster. Its sometimes hard to clean, but has the heating properties of cast iron I love. Now my skillets and dutch oven are regular seasoned cast iron, and are beautifully non stick. Personally I prefer the bare iron, but I do like my roaster
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Old 05/02/09, 12:44 PM
TexasArtist's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,693
have you scouted goodwill or salvation army type stores? Alot of times when granny passes on the kids don't want "those old heavy junk pans' so they give them away there. I've found about 3 nice peices at goodwill about 3 bucks each. One of them needed a little scrubbing and she was good as new.
Remember folks THANKSGIVING - it's the holiday to gobble till ya wobble!
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Old 05/02/09, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 2,341
Le Creuset. Try it. It's wonderful!
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Old 05/02/09, 02:49 PM
IMContrary's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Kansas
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And sometimes you can find pieces in antique stores that cost less than new. I got a really nice stew pot in one for about $15 once. I use it all the time for chili, stews and beans.
‎"We all too often have socialism for the rich and rugged free market capitalism for the poor" -- MLK Jr., 1964
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Old 05/02/09, 02:57 PM
Wisconsin Ann's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South Central Wisconsin
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The heavier enamel ironware keeps the heat like the straight cast iron, but you can scrub and clean the enamelware in soap and water.

I find a lot of cast iron pans at the local goodwill type places, like others have said. This time of year, check out yard sales and farm auctions. Literally TONS of the stuff goes for scrap just 'cuz the kids don't want grandma's old cookware.
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Old 05/02/09, 02:59 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
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I love my plain old cast iron. I have a new Lodge Logic frying pan that came pre-seasoned, and I love it too. I inherited a few of my grandmother's old cast iron pieces, and I use them often. I like that they can all be used on my electric stove, in the oven, or over the fire outside.

I never use soap on them - just a little hot water and a nylon scrubbie if needed. Then I dry them and while they're still warm I spray them with cooking spray and then let them re-season. Unlike my aluminum and Teflon type older pans I won't have to worry about them wearing out.
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Old 05/02/09, 03:33 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: South of DFW,TX zone 8a
Posts: 3,678
Check on ebay, I've got several pieces lately, that, even with shipping, were cheaper than new, and theses were Wagner pieces. Just got a cornstick pan today at estate sale for $5, it is a Wagner piece as well.
"Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness."
Thomas Jefferson to George Washington 1787
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Old 05/03/09, 09:01 AM
7thswan's Avatar  
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: michigan
Posts: 23,896
I have a Large collection of old cast iorn. I have started collecting the enamled cast, and yes it is the same but easyer to clean. Got a set off a TV comercial, but latley have been getting them at TJ Maxx. They are expensive, but last forever unlike others like Celfanon, and copper has to be cleaned all the time. I have an old gas stove that makes the pans sooty on the bottems and only use cast on my woodcookstove. So the enamled cast is very helpful in the cleaning dept. for me.
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Old 05/03/09, 09:14 AM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ohio
Posts: 203
I love my cast iron. Honestly though, I've gotten almost all of it new (mostly its either camp chef or lodge). The used stuff isn't any cheaper 9x out of 10 around here. Don't know why. But it isn't. $40 for a 10" skillet at goodwill isn't worth it to me, just cause' its 30 or 40 or 50 years old, yk?

I don't have any enameled stuff, and really I don't see the point. Unless your trying to avoid getting lots of iron in your diet, as far as I can tell, there isn't one.
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Old 05/03/09, 09:24 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 595
We have Le Creuset and Lodge cookware. We love all of our pieces and they are now all equally non-stick. I absolutely love my Le Creuset but I love that the Lodge adds Iron into our diet. If my husband has his way I think we will have all Le Creuset someday. The enameled is very nice. If anything sticks a little one minute soak in hot water washes it clean! Love it!
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Old 05/03/09, 11:38 AM
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Location: West Central WI.
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f you go to say Outdoor type stores, Any one of those types would have heavy cast type cookware, even some farm type stores that also carry out equipment, Sporting good places, Scheels, Gander Mountain, places like that.
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Old 05/03/09, 12:59 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,521
What are you looking for I may have it?I have been considering getting rid of some of my stash.
Zone 6
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Old 05/03/09, 03:24 PM
deb deb is offline
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: WI
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New cast iron pots are either made in the US by Lodge or are cheap no name imports. The cheap imports are made of poorer grade metal and have a very rough surface inside the pan. Lodge costs more, but is a better grade metal and has a smoother surface. BTW WalMart carries both kind.

The older used cast iron pots and pans can be better made, have a smoother surface which makes it easier to clean. I no longer find nice old cast iron pots in thrift stores because they often get sold as antiques to dealers. Prices for cast iron pots in antique stores vary. A local antique store had a bunch of nice cast iron pans for sale and in this case they really didn't cost that much more than a new pot. Check used pots for warping and cracks.

If you want to buy larger cast iron pots and can't find them locally, look at I bought a large Lodge cast iron pot there while back when I couldn't find one locally. Amazon's price cost less than ordering it directly through Lodge and it included free shipping! This thing weighs a ton and having it shipped for free was great.

in WI
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Old 05/03/09, 04:02 PM
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Learning everyday
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: TN
Posts: 1,960
You could also check flea markets. I just bought a cast iron pot (Kirby & Allen) for $3. It is a pretty big one. It was missing the lid but I had an old lid waiting to be cleaned up. Worked out well.
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Old 05/03/09, 05:08 PM
NJ Rich
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Springsteen Area of New Jersey
Posts: 1,239
Yes, Flea Markets are a wonderland source of cast iron if you are willing to spend some time looking. My local market is 4 miles away so going every week is not a problem. I have bought about 9 pieces of cast iron and have never paid more than $5.00 for anything. Most cost me two or three dollars. I pass by those pieces that "don't look right". Maybe someone used it to make soap or drugs and I don't buy them.

I have many old Wagner cast iron pieces and a couple of Lodge. I have so many I don't buy anything that isn't something I want or the "price is right". That means cheap. My total of pieces is around 10 or 12. There are 2 Dutch stove top ovens; 2 Camp Dutch ovens; several frying pans of many sizes and 2 griddles. One of the griddles is a Wagner in very good condition and I bought it for a dollar.

Porcelain cast iron is easier to clean and some recipes actually call for this type of cookware if "you have one". Go on-line and look at the sites telling you how to clean and seaon cast iron. There are hundreds of recipes to be found also.

Remember: Soap is a four letter word.

Take your time; spend your time and you will find some great buys for yourself. Good hunting to you, NJ Rich


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Old 05/03/09, 06:23 PM
DW DW is offline
plains of Colorado
Join Date: May 2002
Location: plains of Colorado
Posts: 4,014
Love it

If you are looking at old: Wagner or Griswold...good. I do like the new Lodge. My latest are 2 bread pans.
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Old 05/04/09, 08:05 AM
Cabin Fever's Avatar
Former Mod
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
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Originally Posted by DW View Post
If you are looking at old: Wagner or Griswold...good. I do like the new Lodge. My latest are 2 bread pans.
I agree with the Wagner and Griswold recommendation. You can find these old brands for sale at many prepared to pay $20 (+/-) for each pan. The nice thing about Wagner and Griswold cast iron is that they are thinner than modern brands like Lodge. Thinner = lighter weight. And most of these old pans have seen decades of cooking, consequently they are very smooth.
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Old 05/04/09, 09:06 AM
Living in the Hills
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 4,534
I am finding mine at second hand stores and at the farm store (Runnings, here).
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