Cast Iron Cookware: Part 2

| 1/19/2015 11:45:00 AM

Of Mice and Mountain MenLast time we looked at the history and development of cast iron cookware, this week we look at some more practical applications of the topic.

Where to Find Cast-Iron Pots and Pans

If you are looking for high quality cookware, you will be seeking Griswold and Wagner Ware items. As these companies went out of business half a century ago, antique shops and cooking specialty stores will be the best place to look. On occasion we read about someone who bought a box full of disused cast-iron cookware at a farm auction or yard sale for just a few dollars and hidden among them were a few treasures worth hundreds of times what he paid for the whole lot, but this is rare. More likely you will be finding Lodge cast-iron goods. They are still manufacturing in America and their products are available in many stores selling housewares as well as online. Lodge enjoys a good reputation for new-school cast iron. Finex Premium Cast Iron Cookware is an Oregon based company that was established to provide hand crafted high-end cookware for the specialty cooking market and is also an option if price is no object.

There are several French companies such as Le Creuset and Staub that are making cast-iron cookware, but these are mostly enamel coated. There were many European manufacturers, but most have gone out of business. Their products will be floating around out there, but not so much here in America as Griswold and Wagner, which were manufactured here and considered top brands. You may also find Vollrath, Favorite, Atlanta Stove Works, and Wapak brands, which were made in America but have since gone out of business or changed to other products.

Old-World vs New-World

The main difference in old world and new world cast-iron cookware is the means of casting the products. The old school way was to pour the molten iron compound into molds made of ceramic, then grind away the flash flanges after the molds were opened.

1/21/2015 8:28:49 AM

Allan, cast iron cook ware is the best. I use it on a daily basis. I have purchased very few pieces and have inherited it mostly from family estates when cleaning out a member's house due to moving into assisted living or from death. My other source is thrift stores. On occasion a good piece of cast iron will show up at a reasonable price. I have a good set of different size skillets and even a Dutch oven with lid and wire handle. Thrift store cast iron is great for campfire cooking. Thanks for sharing how to reclaim cast iron pieces. ***** Have a great cast iron cooking day.

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