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Old 04-21-2008, 11:50 AM   #1
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Advice, please, on buying cast iron skillet

I recently reseasoned 2 old CI skillets (Griswold 8 and unmarked 5). I'm enjoying using them and wanted to get a bigger skillet to add to the collection. I've looked at Lodge skillets and noticed that they have a rough surface on the inside as opposed to the smooth surfaces of my old skillets. It makes me wonder about the nonstick properties. It looks like stuff would stick like crazy since the surface is so rough. I haven't bought any yet. Will this rough surface eventually smooth out or not? If it's going to stay that way I will continue my search for the older ones at yard sales or on ebay.

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Old 04-21-2008, 12:08 PM   #2
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I have no experience with Lodge, jabbur, because almost all of my cast iron is very, very old. Many pieces were given to me and the remainder were purchased at yard sales, etc.

I would tend to hold out for finding the right one at a yard sale or such. Now that the weather is nicer, yard sales will be popping up all over.

However, I'm sure someone who has some of the new Lodge pieces will come along and offer some information.

Best wishes on your quest.
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:13 PM   #3
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Oh yeah, the surface will eventually smooth out, after it fills with crud.

It seems many are of the belief that whatever is black and stuck to the inside of a piece of iron is seasoning and thus good.

It's not.

A couple of years back I saw Lodge had a stipple(?) finish similar to the surface of a basketball, more recently I see they have a surface like a raw sand cast. To me neither of these surfaces are acceptable as these surfaces promote the collection of crud.
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Old 04-21-2008, 01:14 PM   #4
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I would go vintage. Grisowold or Wagner if you can find it but dosen't have to be. The new Lodge are OK anything less is just not worth the trouble.
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Old 04-21-2008, 01:43 PM   #5
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As far as new Lodge skillets go, I am inclined to agree that the surface just isn't all that great. I have recently purchased a Lodge camp dutch oven and the surface is much smoother than their skillets. I can't explain why.
If you can find older skillets at yard sales, thrift shops, etc. I would recommend them over the new skillets I have seen.
They will likely be less expensive too.
Good luck!!
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:07 PM   #6
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That was my gut feeling. I've found some on eBay for decent prices but I've never bought anything there before. I think I'll check with my MIL first. She may have some old ones in the attic or something. She's in her 80's and doesn't cook as much anymore. I know she has a bunch of stuff from HER MIL put away as well. Thanks for the input all.
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:10 PM   #7
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Snag anything with an Indian head on it. Let her know it's valuable though. Wouldn't want to see you be a thief.
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Old 04-22-2008, 04:43 PM   #8
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jabbur,
I own a 12 inches Lodge skillet, the type that has an additional handle.
I seasoned it twice since I bought it (about a year ago) and works fine.
The cooking surface is rough as you described but nothing sticks to it.
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Old 04-23-2008, 03:49 PM   #9
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Watch out buying cast iron on e-bay, unless it come free shipping the shipping cost will kill you.
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Old 04-23-2008, 03:59 PM   #10
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That is not really true Elf. I thought the same thing until I did some searching. The last time I looked (which admittedly was a number of months ago) most auctions had very reasonable shipping costs.
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Old 04-23-2008, 04:26 PM   #11
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I have some Wagner, some Lodge, some un-named, or its worn off and one named, Benjamin & Medwin. They are all old and I love them all. The Lodges were the roughest, but the seasoning fills in those pours.
I suggest you physically shop around, then see if you can do better on-line. But if you see a good deal at local sales, buy it.
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Old 04-23-2008, 07:27 PM   #12
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Not cast iron in the traditional sense but, last year, Katie E and I bought an 8-inch LeCreuset skillet on eBay's last minute auctions for 99 cents. Shipping was way low, too. Love that little critter. Not a color we'd choose but, for the price, we don't care.
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Old 04-27-2008, 11:24 AM   #13
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I must concurr with those who wonder about the sand cast finish on new Lodge. I have a couple of pieces, and they simply do not perform as well as my collection of vintage pieces. They are hard to clean, and food sticks. If you scrape them, you get shiny cast iron showing through, and the valleys fill with gook If I ever get around to it, I am going to take the new pieces to the garage and attack them with a sander. Yard, and especially those labelled estate, sales, are good sources of cookware, especially cast iron. The fact that there is so much old stuff around attests to it usefulness and long life.
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:28 PM   #14
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I emailed my in-laws. Dad says they have some pieces that they will be happy to me. He didn't know for sure what all they have but will get them out of the attic for me next time we visit which looks like Memorial Day weekend. I've kinda stopped looking real hard until I see what I get from them. Thanks for all your input.
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