Monday, August 25, 2008

Cast Iron Cookery

Over the years the scullery has filled with a large number of heavy pieces of cast iron cookwear. Either I'm obsessive/compulsive, or the stuff just works, because I use all of it for cooking; none of it's for show. Most of the pieces are fairly old, ranging back from now to the 70's, 60's, 50's, 40's, 30's, and even the 20's. None of the pieces are older, although fine cast iron was made well before the turn of the last century.

Some is very modern, like the contemporary Lodge red enameled dutch oven. Easy to use and clean; and it's beautiful!

Lange is a Danish company that made the beautiful red enameled stove in the Denali Park house. This little Fondue Pot is a green enamel on the outside, white in the middle. Lots of Swiss Cheese has melted in this pot. I bought it in about 1978,

Hibbard must have been a forge somewhere, but I have yet to find any information on this old dutch oven lid.

Four little cast iron kettles for beans, puddings, soup, or what not. They have a trivet leg set underneath. No markings of origin.

How about this old Griswold 10 1/2 inch Chicken Fryer, not made by Griswold because it doesn't say Erie PA. But, it's a fun old piece. It probably dates from the late 50's or early 60's.

The Platt Pan was made by Jotul. I cook the little unleavened pancakes like I did in Finland 45 years ago. In fact, I own two of them, so I can get a bunch of lettuja going at once, so they are ready at the same time for breakfast. Cooked in lots of butter, sprinkled with powdered sugar and a squirt of lemon, they are a treat.

I've used the old Norwegian Jotul waffle iron for over 30 years. The little heart shaped waffles are my favorite. It sits over a gas stove on a ring with a ball to swivel on. Spring steel handles allow the sides to be squeezed for a bit.

Three 6" pans I paid $2 each at a thrift stores over the years. They are great for one-person meat dishes.

The bottoms of the three pans are all different: the first one has a heat ring and the words: 'No. 3 - 6 5/8 inch' , the second has no marks, and the third the first one says '6 1/2" Skillet - Made in U S A'.

Although modern, the little 8" pan is very useful for making cornbread in the oven and dinner for one. It's a contemporary Lodge piece.

Last weekend I found this old Griswold No.7 Cast Iron Skillet at Sis's Antique store in Wasilla, AK. It was slightly rusty and a bit the worse for wear, but after cleaning and seasoning, it's a beauty!!!

Through the old rust, I could see the italicized "Griswold" in the large cross with the words "ERIE" below, and 701 with a "0" below it. This piece probably dates from 1895-1020.

My old 10 5/8:" frying pan is my favorite. I've cooked on it for over 35 years. I'm not sure who made it or where I got it, but it has the "heat ring" for use on a wood stove, so it may be fairly old. No company logo to be seen anywhere on the pan

My largest frying pan, a new Lodge 12" with the signs of lots of cooking in it.

The old frying pan is 11 1/8" with the small Griswold logo on the bottom. The small logo means it was likely made after 1957 by the Wagner company which bought the Griswold rights.

This piece is a Griswold dutch oven. The first photo is of the oven with the lid on and the wire handle up. The second photo shows the underside of the lid which has a ceramic dove gray coating, The third photo shows the underside of the oven with the large GRISWOLD cross and ERIE PA and the words, "Tite-Top" Dutch Oven. It likely dates from the 1940's when the logo still said Erie, PA, but the Griswold was not italicized anymore. Its a beauty, with a golden tone to the seasoning.


sbt said...

I love that you took the time to catalog your cast iron colletion - you have some beautiful pieces! I'm definitely jealous. Can I put my order in now for a breakfast of lettuja next time we come & visit?

Phil said...

I love my iron too! Glad to see you use it. Can you give me some instructions on using the Jotul?? I have one and I struggle with it each time! thanks

Robin said...

Hi there. I just bought a great cast iron dutch oven today at an estate sale and the pot roast is cooking as we speak. But! I have a question that you might be able to answer. It does not say Griswold on the bottom, or Wagner. It only has the number 8, with the capital letter Z next to it. Any ideas? It has a wire handle. The lid is a Griswold, but from a skillet - though it fits! Quite a mystery. I would appreciate any input you might have... you can email me at . Thanks!

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