Anybody Else Here a Cast Iron Collector?

CMH

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 17, 2010
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Billings, MT
#1
I know, kind of a weird question, but what the hell, it's the bear pit - I've seen a lot more stupid crap in here. I started a collection of cast iron cookware for camp cooking over a fire. The high quality, smooth finish old stuff is somewhat hard to come by in MT, so of everything I have looked at, I have bought a little. Anybody else a vintage cast iron collector? If anybody has some collecting dust that they have no interest in - send me some pics.
 
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Bender

Something witty here
Feb 12, 2014
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#2
My brother in law is....

He found some old abandoned 20” all rusted and nasty, he restored it and it will fry the perfect egg in the bottom.

I had no idea the work that went into good iron.
 
May 20, 2006
2,034
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Winnipeg, Mb.
#3
There's the iron, and then there's the seasoning.

Between it all, there's the 'conditioning'. I generally use a 'scraper' to condition before I season. And in saying such, it is a carbide scraper that I'd made years ago, for removing portions of a thou off of a surface. I'm not talking 'putty knife' or 'paint scraper' here.

But yeah, when the pan is in proper condition it is both 'no stick' and 'easy clean' with just water. THAT is so hard to grasp, by some. And that's just a little, sad.
 
Jan 3, 2018
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#4
I have a small frying pan and an elongated dutch oven thingy that was my grandmas. They are hanging on the wall nearnthe fireplace. They too were rusted when i got them from a family member that didnt give two shits about them. So i got them and cleaned them up and hung them on the wall. Havent cooked a singlenthing in them
 

Strykervet

Resident Phoenix Eye and Dim Mak Instructor
Jun 5, 2011
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#5
My grandmother was and she had iron she inherited going back at least to the early-mid 1800's. Some of this stuff is as smooth as Teflon. Gotta look for the old stuff and you find more of it in the south.

You know there are only two cast iron skillet makers in US right? And they're both owned by the same company. One is a higher end product but nothing compares to the old stuff really. I have no idea how to get it as smooth as hers were. Even her cast iron kettle (like a witches cauldron but not quite as big and with a lid) was smooth, black.

I use iron and from time to time lard it and put in the oven. You're never supposed to use water and soap on one --some of Granny's could make a good gravy with just water and flour, the flavor was cooked into the skillet! She had ones for different use, including a newer one she used for cooking with water or washing after. Always have a "beater" she said, in this case it meant a new one! Oh, and once I used one of her older skillets to cook hamburger helper, you put water in for that. Then when I was done, I washed it well with soap and water. She didn't get angry, no, she just held her head down and cried and I felt SO DAMN BAD. She said that her grandmother bought it and it hadn't been cleaned since so, over 100 years. Yeah, I felt like a dick, but I was young.

My aunt is sitting on all this now, Supposedly I'll get it all, if so I'll have one helluva collection of cast iron and real silverware someday. Mandatory for cooking good southern soul food for sure!
 
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Rthur

Philomath
Apr 16, 2010
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#7
There's the iron, and then there's the seasoning.

Between it all, there's the 'conditioning'. I generally use a 'scraper' to condition before I season. And in saying such, it is a carbide scraper that I'd made years ago, for removing portions of a thou off of a surface. I'm not talking 'putty knife' or 'paint scraper' here.

But yeah, when the pan is in proper condition it is both 'no stick' and 'easy clean' with just water. THAT is so hard to grasp, by some. And that's just a little, sad.
Sounds similar to scraping the ways on machinery.
An art form in itself.

R
 

pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 6, 2011
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#10
Have you had success with that diet?
Been looking for some extra tactics to add to running/bench work.

R
It's not a diet.

I pour the grease from the pan over my bacon, eggs and cheese and lap it up like I'm eating at the Y.

I'm down 10-15 pounds since beginning of March and havent suffered a bit.

Sure I miss ice cream but.........bacon!
 
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CMH

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 17, 2010
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Billings, MT
#12
My brother in law is....

He found some old abandoned 20” all rusted and nasty, he restored it and it will fry the perfect egg in the bottom.

I had no idea the work that went into good iron.
I have been looking for a 20" pan but prices have been astronomical. I have a #14 Wagner Pie slice logo skillet that is like glass on the bottom. If you are feeling froggy, you can fry eggs on it with no grease...
 
May 20, 2006
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Winnipeg, Mb.
#13
Sounds similar to scraping the ways on machinery.
An art form in itself.

R
That's exactly what the basis is, for the scraper I built. And reason.

One thing that eludes so many folks, regarding cast iron cookware, is the seasoning. It isn't magical. But it IS 'developed over time'. The more a pan is used, the deeper the season is 'built'. The seasoning is a build-up of dried/baked oil molecules to form a 'shell' (that's the short version) and everybody knows that soap attacks oil. That's the first reason why you don't use soap on cast iron. ONLY WATER.

The second reason is, microscopically, the soap particles attach onto the oil and don't all get rinsed off. So, unerringly, the next dish can have 'soap' in it, which ruins the dish as well as the pan.

But the more the pan is used, (properly) the deeper the layer is built. And the more valuable that pan becomes, simply because you won't want to use anything else to cook a meal in. We don't 'collect' here, but we do have an assortment that we've been building over the years. And I have my grandmother's pan too.

Anyone who says " just throw it in a fire to clean it " still writes in "Howdy Doody For President" come election time.

But that's another story.
 

W54/XM-388

Online Training Member
Oct 1, 2005
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Dallas, TX
#14
One of the primary reasons the pans prior to 1940 are so much better than cheap modern pans is because they were hand polished as part of the manufacturing process. The modern sand casting crap sets you up for 20 years of trying to get it smooth.

If you want something that cooks amazingly well, like an old classic pan but is brand new & is a work of art, check out these two:

https://smitheyironware.com
http://www.stargazercastiron.com
 
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Maggot

Philo-Sophia Fidelis et veritas
Jul 27, 2007
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Charlottesville, Virginia
#15
One of the primary reasons the pans prior to 1940 are so much better than cheap modern pans is because they were hand polished as part of the manufacturing process. The modern sand casting crap sets you up for 20 years of trying to get it smooth.

If you want something that cooks amazingly well, like an old classic pan but is brand new & is a work of art, check out these two:

https://smitheyironware.com
http://www.stargazercastiron.com
Another is that the iron was of a higher quality and it was annealed during the manufacturing process. That creates an iron with less grain. The same is true of audio output and power transformers. The old onew are much more desirable than all but the absolute top dollar stuff made today. They even went so far as to run magnets over the iron to align the electrons in one direction. Nobody has time for it anymore.
 

Rthur

Philomath
Apr 16, 2010
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#17
That's exactly what the basis is, for the scraper I built. And reason.

One thing that eludes so many folks, regarding cast iron cookware, is the seasoning. It isn't magical. But it IS 'developed over time'. The more a pan is used, the deeper the season is 'built'. The seasoning is a build-up of dried/baked oil molecules to form a 'shell' (that's the short version) and everybody knows that soap attacks oil. That's the first reason why you don't use soap on cast iron. ONLY WATER.

The second reason is, microscopically, the soap particles attach onto the oil and don't all get rinsed off. So, unerringly, the next dish can have 'soap' in it, which ruins the dish as well as the pan.

But the more the pan is used, (properly) the deeper the layer is built. And the more valuable that pan becomes, simply because you won't want to use anything else to cook a meal in. We don't 'collect' here, but we do have an assortment that we've been building over the years. And I have my grandmother's pan too.

Anyone who says " just throw it in a fire to clean it " still writes in "Howdy Doody For President" come election time.

But that's another story.
I have a bud in NM that uses salt and tin foil to scour post cooking.
Years ago we started making woks out of disc blades.
24" is just right.

R
 
Oct 8, 2014
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Shreveport, Louisiana
#18
One of the primary reasons the pans prior to 1940 are so much better than cheap modern pans is because they were hand polished as part of the manufacturing process. The modern sand casting crap sets you up for 20 years of trying to get it smooth.

If you want something that cooks amazingly well, like an old classic pan but is brand new & is a work of art, check out these two:

https://smitheyironware.com
http://www.stargazercastiron.com
I bought my wife and my three sisters a Stargazer cast iron skillet for Christmas this last year. They're awesome. I think they're coming out with a 12" pretty soon.
 
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May 20, 2006
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Winnipeg, Mb.
#19
Rthur's absolutely right in talking about salt regarding the cleaning of CI. I can't say anything to the aluminum foil, though I'm not arguing at all. I've just never done it. My main point of what I was saying, for clarification, when I said "only water" was that NO SOAP be involved.

Some even use gravel/sand in the stream-bed when camping, to clean. Sure, fine, and dandy. Just don't use soap and you'll continue to be happy. And the more you use the pan, the more it gets seasoned, and the more the pan gets seasoned, the more you'll want to use the pan. Just think of building an 'eggshell like covering' one micro-layer at a time. The thicker it gets, the gooder it is.

The less you abrade or etch said covering, the better. Acidic foods such as tomatoes and whatnot, can 'etch' the surface. Take that into account, also.

But don't be afraid of CI. It is the premium cookware, and only adds to your talents. Aluminum pans covered with teflon are the Super-Sniper Scopes of the kitchen. Keep that with your pantry full of Kraft Dinner boxes, Itchy-bum noodles, and other pre-packaged foods.

Cast Iron is for people who COOK. :D
 

45cal4life

It's a secret
Jan 20, 2005
142
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Arkansas
#20
Not a collector, but I did discover cast iron about 2 months ago and I'm hooked. Using it tonight for some Brats. Thought all I ever needed was high end Demeyere stainless, wrong...
 

Nik H

Constantly Learning
Jan 22, 2014
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#21
Rthur's absolutely right in talking about salt regarding the cleaning of CI. I can't say anything to the aluminum foil, though I'm not arguing at all. I've just never done it. My main point of what I was saying, for clarification, when I said "only water" was that NO SOAP be involved.

Some even use gravel/sand in the stream-bed when camping, to clean. Sure, fine, and dandy. Just don't use soap and you'll continue to be happy. And the more you use the pan, the more it gets seasoned, and the more the pan gets seasoned, the more you'll want to use the pan. Just think of building an 'eggshell like covering' one micro-layer at a time. The thicker it gets, the gooder it is.

The less you abrade or etch said covering, the better. Acidic foods such as tomatoes and whatnot, can 'etch' the surface. Take that into account, also.

But don't be afraid of CI. It is the premium cookware, and only adds to your talents. Aluminum pans covered with teflon are the Super-Sniper Scopes of the kitchen. Keep that with your pantry full of Kraft Dinner boxes, Itchy-bum noodles, and other pre-packaged foods.

Cast Iron is for people who COOK. :D
A complete kitchen has CI, Aluminum and copper. They all have their place.
 
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Nik H

Constantly Learning
Jan 22, 2014
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#23
I'd avoid Aluminium totally. But throw in Stainless Steel for some boiling pots & you are good with Cast Iron, and Copper rounding things out for stove top usage.
You need to check out AllClad. Aluminum with a stainless liner. Aluminum is the metal of choice for most cooking due to the thermal conductivity. Not cheap but lasts forever
 
May 20, 2006
2,034
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Winnipeg, Mb.
#26
Yeah, for cooking wise, we've been buying the "professional chef's pots and pans" from the "professional chef's store/Restaurant supply" because that is what they use. Quality stuff, basic, Stainless Steel, aluminum sandwiched, magnetic-stainless based (for use also on induction) cast iron, and copper.

My Lady was given a 'teflon package set' from her mother, some years ago. They're still here, because they were from her mom. The professional stuff, sounds fancy but it isn't. It's more the "Caterpillar" grade of the kitchen. It ain't pretty, but it'll last a bazillion years. And ALL the handles are oven-proof.

None of that plastic-handled shit for us here. Nor wood. Just straight Cast, or Stainless.

When I have some extra copper sheet laying around, I'm going to pound out a few bowls, and maybe a saucepan or two. I've a few other projects in mind though, for the next batch of sheet copper I get my hand on.

But that's a WHOLE 'nother story, in a whole 'nother venue. For a whole 'nother time.
 

Marinevet1

Full Member
Feb 14, 2017
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#27
I bought my wife and my three sisters a Stargazer cast iron skillet for Christmas this last year. They're awesome. I think they're coming out with a 12" pretty soon.
My wife and I got one of these last year for Christmas.......still haven't got it seasoned.....any suggestions...
 
Oct 8, 2014
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Shreveport, Louisiana
#30
My wife and I got one of these last year for Christmas.......still haven't got it seasoned.....any suggestions...
After doing a little research, I settled on using this for seasoning my cast iron. I got it at a health food store. I can’t remember for sure, but it seems like Stargazer recommended flaxseed oil too.


Notice the Stargazer on the stove. I just got through using it, and I put a light coat of oil on it, and left it on low heat for a while.
 
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CMH

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 17, 2010
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Billings, MT
#31
After doing a little research, I settled on using this for seasoning my cast iron. I got it at a health food store. I can’t remember for sure, but it seems like Stargazer recommended flaxseed oil too.


Notice the Stargazer on the stove. I just got through using it, and I put a light coat of oil on it, and left it on low heat for a while.
Double check that low heat plan. You need to heat it past the smoke point of the flaxseed oil can toxic. It is only OK heated past smoke or raw....
 
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Oct 8, 2014
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Shreveport, Louisiana
#32
Double check that low heat plan. You need to heat it past the smoke point of the flaxseed oil can toxic. It is only OK heated past smoke or raw....
The bottom got hot enough. I’ll put it in he oven tomorrow. My wife won’t be home to bitch about the smell of the oil. Even though, the flaxseed oil does not smell that bad, and it doesn’t smoke.
 

pmclaine

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Nov 6, 2011
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#33
The bottom got hot enough. I’ll put it in he oven tomorrow. My wife won’t be home to bitch about the smell of the oil. Even though, the flaxseed oil does not smell that bad, and it doesn’t smoke.
Also makes a good oil for walnut rifles. Flaxseed oil, or Linseed Oil as Uncle Sam called it, kept everything nice and conditioned in the mil rifle department up until the M16 came along.

The polymerizing of the oil is what creates the non stick in the pan and the protection to the rifle.

Dont leave any flaxseed oil paper towels balled up in the trash, they can spontaneously combust.
 
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Oct 8, 2014
759
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Shreveport, Louisiana
#36
There is so much wrong in these comments

However, what do I know.
OK, that’s fair. I guess I could have stayed it differently. It doesn’t dissolve it, as it turn it into a liquid, but the acid in tomatoes, I ever, and anything acidic, does etch away the aluminum. I used to have an aluminum pan that actually had pits etched through the side. I had to throw it away.
 

pmclaine

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Nov 6, 2011
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#40
I sure am hoping that the eggs were cooked in that beautiful bacon grease!
Dude 8 weeks ago I would have thought it disgusting but I now pour that bacon grease over the finished meal and use a spoon at the end to slurp it down.

Friend on the same eating regimen (diet sounds so gay) just had his cholesterol tested and he went from borderline having issues to dropping his bad cholesterol into the safe zone.

There is a thread in the health and fitness section that talks about keto. Check with your doctor though before diving in.

Almost time for lunch, either a salad with double servings of dressing and avocado or maybe tuna with olive oil, mayo and cheese.
 

pmclaine

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Nov 6, 2011
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#41
Nice pmclaine. I have a #9 of the same marking and vintage....
I got this one because the person that threw out the others in the set didnt see this little one hidden away.

I was about a day late to realizing what they did or I would have been dumpster diving to get the others back.
 

Nik H

Constantly Learning
Jan 22, 2014
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#42
Dude 8 weeks ago I would have thought it disgusting but I now pour that bacon grease over the finished meal and use a spoon at the end to slurp it down.

Friend on the same eating regimen (diet sounds so gay) just had his cholesterol tested and he went from borderline having issues to dropping his bad cholesterol into the safe zone.

There is a thread in the health and fitness section that talks about keto. Check with your doctor though before diving in.

Almost time for lunch, either a salad with double servings of dressing and avocado or maybe tuna with olive oil, mayo and cheese.
Been doing it for years. I collect, filter and put the fat in a jar and store in the fridge. Use it a lot.

My cholesterol is 168 and my good cholesterol is 88.
 

CMH

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 17, 2010
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Billings, MT
#45




Old gate cast (line across the bottom) piece I got with some other stuff. Surface defects make it at least partly unusable, but still a very cool early piece. Not a lot of info on these unmarked pieces.
 
May 20, 2006
2,034
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Winnipeg, Mb.
#48
Speaking of rough finish, can you smooth one out with some sort of abrasive media?
In truth, it's 'just' cast iron. As in, what your engine block is (was?) made of. It can be re-bored, reground, re-machined to any configuration you want. Obviously, it would need to be re-seasoned afterwards, but it is YOUR pan, and you can do what you want with it. Especially if your actions simply make it more 'useable'. There are some fanatics out there, who'll lament at you even thinking of altering its appearance (for collectors value type thing) and if all you want is a pan, that size and style, then get said 'collector' to pay for said wanted pan, and their shipping, and whatever you want to make it worth your while.

In some cases, there's individuals who'll pay $200 or more dollars, for something 'rare' and that 'final piece' that finishes off their collection. So that then their self-worth has been achieved and the world is a better place.

(don't forget, some folks get right fanatical about stamps, too)

But Cast Iron is about a half a step above the Bronze Age technology (see what I did there?) so you can do whatever you want with it. Realize too, that wall thickness is synonymous with strenght and heat retention.

Hope that helps.

(posts like this will change Cast Iron Hide to "Hide your Cast Iron"....)
 
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