Author Topic: American made cast iron with...... ahem........ a price.  (Read 579 times)

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Offline wsdstan

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American made cast iron with...... ahem........ a price.
« on: September 18, 2018, 07:08:58 PM »
I was looking at a magazine about luxury lifestyles in the southern States and saw an ad for cast iron fry pans. The company is Butter Pat Industries.  I like quality stuff so I went to the websites.  They sure look like high quality and cost like it too.  They have two companies I think, one makes the frying pans and the other makes cauldrons supported by a tripod.  The cauldrons come in different sizes too.

The fry pans start at $145 for a 6" cooking surface and go to $395 for a 12" cooking surface.  They are polished and made in the USA.

The other company is Cowboy Cauldron Co. and they make tripod supported Cauldrons.  Big ones.  Expensive too, from $1695 to the middle $3500 with all the accessories.  They are basically suspended fire pits with a grill.  The large one is 42" across and weighs in at 220 pounds with the tripod adding another 84 pounds. 

The cauldrons are interesting and I am now really sorry I passed on a large and very old iron cauldron at a recent estate auction.  It sold for $65.00. 

www.butterpatindust ries.com
www.cowboycauldron. com
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Offline madmax

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Re: American made cast iron with...... ahem........ a price.
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2018, 04:40:04 AM »
On polished cast iron, one of my good friends decided to polish a cast iron skillet to make it easier to clean (He's a little OCD).  So he went at it with an electric drill and various brushes then sanding.  Both of us were pretty impressed with the result.  Cooked well and very easy to clean.  I've got a no name skillet I'm going to do the same to.  My Griswolds and Wagners will remain traditional cast iron.

Mom had a huge cauldron (we called it the witches pot).  We cooked burgoo when we lived up north.  The men wood stay up all night keeping the fire going (there might have been alcohol involved).  The women would stay up in the farm house wrangling the little ones with the comforts of home.  Good memories.  I sure wish I had that witches pot now.


Everything you found is really out of my price range, but you never know what will pop up at a estate sale or garage sale.  Here's hoping.
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
Hunter S, Thompson

Offline wsdstan

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Re: American made cast iron with...... ahem........ a price.
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2018, 10:47:23 AM »
Tony I don't think there is a drug I could take that would make me buy one of those pans or cauldrons at the prices.  There is way stupid pricing on things these days and this stuff qualifies.

Flea market, here I come.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: American made cast iron with...... ahem........ a price.
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2018, 11:40:26 AM »
  There are several small forges that specialize in cast iron skillets,  they all offer only one or two different sizes, most are 8" skillets, very highly polished and very high quality, the least expensive that I've seen sells for $149.99 plus about $35.00 for shipping in the con. US.
  In my opinion there's no reason to spend that kind of money for a good cast Iron skillet, grill pan, or chicken fryer, there is still a lot of vintage cast iron around if one is willing to take the time to find it, and most well kept vintage cast iron can usually be found at reasonable prices well under a hundred dollars,  my last cast iron purchase was about a year ago at a yard sale, a Griswold #8, it is in great shape and cost me $18.00.
 All but a few of my cast iron cookware collection are either Wagner Sidney or Griswold, I have a few high quality pieces that have no makers mark but I believe they were made by Wagner or Griswold for the economy market, my most used and best loved skillets is a MIAMI branded 10" skillet, they were made between 1921 and 1926, it's actually smoother than my Griswolds and a bit lighter,  it is truly as non stick as any modern day stoneware non stick skillet on the market.
 I don't believe in smoothing out modern cast iron cookware like those offered by Lodge cast iron,  with just a little patients to build up some proper seasoning they cook just a well as any vintage cast iron pan and are not any harder to care for,  I think using grinding wheels and sand paper to smooth out a rough pan for fun is a worthy project, but not a practical use of ones time given the ease, availability, and price of purchasing good quality cast iron.
 I've also run across cast iron cookware made in Canada, France, and Portugal that is good quality,  but I have a personal bias against using any cast iron cookware produced in Asia, especially Chinese made cast iron cookware, Lodge and several other American based companies are marketing coated cast iron cookware made in China from locally sourced materials,  while I trust those companies to put out a good product, where those raw materials come from and how they are processed is something we have no way of knowing.     
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline Mannlicher

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Re: American made cast iron with...... ahem........ a price.
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2018, 07:15:33 AM »
young folks starting out have little knowledge of the antique market,  or about cast iron in general.  They read about cast iron in some magazine or see a TV show,  and have to have some.  These boutique makers are designed to tap into that market.
I'm still using my old stuff

Offline madmax

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Re: American made cast iron with...... ahem........ a price.
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2018, 07:33:30 AM »
Not only young people but older ones who just don't know any better.  A lot of garage sale and flea market iron look   like it's unredeemable.  When there are several techniques to bring it back to usable life.
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
Hunter S, Thompson

Offline Moe M.

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Re: American made cast iron with...... ahem........ a price.
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2018, 06:15:32 PM »
  While I agree that yard and garage sales and flee markets are a good source to look for vintage cast iron cookware,  you have to get to them quick or you're out of luck,  with the market driving prices through the roof dealers are getting to sale sites before the sellers are even set up, they buy up all the good stuff before the general public even shows up then mark up the item ridiculously high or sell them to antique shops at a handsome profit,  I understand that it's just business,  but it sucks.
  That said, there are still opportunities out there,  over the last ten years I've been able to improve my collection at such sources,  this past weekend I scored a like new La Crusette Dutch Oven for $25.00 at one of our fall bushcraft meets, the group member that I bought it from also had a Lodge 12" camp Dutch Oven still in the original box for $25.00, a 12" Grizwold skillet in nice shape for $10.00, and two unmarked vintage skillets I believe were Wagner Sidney economy run skillets,  an 8" and a 10", both for $15.00,  all were in nice condition with no rust or carbon build up.
  You just have to be in the right place at the right time.         
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline wsdstan

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Re: American made cast iron with...... ahem........ a price.
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2018, 07:00:49 PM »
I am fortunate to have the Griswold and Wagner cast iron that we have.  Got almost all of it at yard sales and auctions over the years.  The one piece of Lodge I have is a DO and unused at this point although that will change if the weather holds. 

Around these parts there is still a fair bit of CI that shows up at auctions and, for the most part, the dealers don't get much of it or run the prices up.  I don't see buys like Moe saw at the Bushcraft event but I can usually get a Griswold pan for around $40 or less depending on size and condition.  A lot of the cast iron at local auctions looks pretty beat up, some of it might have cooked sausage and eggs just before they threw it on the auction trailer.
 
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Offline madmax

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Re: American made cast iron with...... ahem........ a price.
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2018, 04:41:41 AM »
I got a few killer deals at the Lodge Outlet in Sevier TN last summer.  Brand new and less than I got quotes on some other iron on the other side of the mountains.
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
Hunter S, Thompson

Offline Moe M.

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Re: American made cast iron with...... ahem........ a price.
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2018, 05:52:39 AM »
I am fortunate to have the Griswold and Wagner cast iron that we have.  Got almost all of it at yard sales and auctions over the years.  The one piece of Lodge I have is a DO and unused at this point although that will change if the weather holds. 

Around these parts there is still a fair bit of CI that shows up at auctions and, for the most part, the dealers don't get much of it or run the prices up.  I don't see buys like Moe saw at the Bushcraft event but I can usually get a Griswold pan for around $40 or less depending on size and condition.  A lot of the cast iron at local auctions looks pretty beat up, some of it might have cooked sausage and eggs just before they threw it on the auction trailer.
 

 Same here Stan,  most of my cast Iron is vintage Griswold or Wagner Sidney,  I do have a few unmarked pieces (economy pieces) made by the above, and an early (1920s) MIAMI branded skillet that I use more than the rest
 Cast Iron cookware is making a come back in popularity,  there's lots of inexpensive foreign stuff on the market, mostly from China, Walmart has it's own brand, so does Cabela's and a few celebrity chefs, this may be either good or bad,  having more inexpensive cast iron on the market might drive the prices of vintage stuff down,  not everyone (especially young people) today knows or cares much where stuff comes from,  they're so used to seeing "Made in China" on everything they buy it's become a non issue.
 I have a few Lodge Dutch ovens and Camp Ovens that are ok, but they are harder to clean and harder to keep clean especially when making stews or pot roasts in,  I should try the liners some day,  I have four coated Dutch Ovens that I can cook just about anything in including acidic foods that are a breeze to clean.
 There aren't any auctions around my area any more,  but lots of antique shops,  I've seen vintage Griswold and Wagner cookware going for $75.00 and up into the hundreds for some rare pieces,  Junk shops and consignment stores are also making a come back in my area so that may be a good source to explore,  Sally's and charity based thrift stores have become a magnet for resale dealers as well so they aren't worth the trouble. 
 Thankfully I'm pretty well set on cookware that I can pass up most deals when I run across them,  when I came home with my coated cast iron pot on Sunday my wife noted that if I bring home anymore she may have to move me out of the house to make room for my new stuff, I'm pretty sure there was a message in there somewhere. 
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.