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Polished Cast Iron--The Way It's Supposed to Be

Hi:

I was surfing eBay tonight and saw a vintage Griswold Scotch bowl, highly machined and polished. It occurred to me that many folks have not seen bare cast iron ground and polished to this degree of smoothness. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Griswold-ERIE...

Is there anyone who really thinks the crude sand-finished new production is better?

Aloha,
Kaleo

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  1. I looked at it and I don't know if it is 'ground and polished" Never heard of that. However it looks to be beautifully seasoned. My cast iron, which I inherited from my mother, has the feel of satin. It's Wagner Ware, and I admire it every time I use it. I have seen the Lodge pans that are mentioned so frequently on Chowhound, and I don't understand the roughness. But, I guess I'm just lucky to have what I have. I have to imagine, that, in this case, older is better.

    1. I used to use cast iron fry pans as sauté pans.
      I've switched to carbon steel pans as sauté pans recently; because the cast iron pans have a rough textured surface that is not as silky as the steel and because the carbon steel pans have the rounded rim of a sauté pan rather than the angled rim of a fry pan. The weight is similar.
      I know I could smooth the cooking surface of the cast Iron with steel wool, but that is a lot of work.
      For real frying I also like my cast iron dutch oven, because the taller sides limit splatters somewhat.
      Does anyone else have opinions on carbon steel as contrasted with cast iron?
      Phood

      3 Replies
      1. re: Phood

        "Does anyone else have opinions on carbon steel as contrasted with cast iron?"

        since getting a carbon steel skillet, i've stopped using my cast iron one. It seems that the best I might eventually be able to do with "the crude sand-finished new production" is to get it as smooth as the carbon steel pan already is.

        I use my bare cast iron dutch oven for no-knead bread.

        1. re: seamunky

          "since getting a carbon steel skillet, i've stopped using my cast iron one. It seems that the best I might eventually be able to do with "the crude sand-finished new production" is to get it as smooth as the carbon steel pan already is."

          Definitely not my experience. I have a smooth carbon steel frying pan and a rough surface cast iron skillet., They both have their usages and I definitely would not say the cast iron is worse.

        2. re: Phood

          I have a Debuyer carbon steel skillet and a cast iron skillet, brand unknown. Both have a smooth finish and an even black seasoning.

          I like the cast iron skillet a lot better. The seasoning is much more durable and it is more nonstick. Eggs and pot stickers are no problem in the cast iron but they are tricky in the Debuyer. The only advantage to the carbon steel is lighter weight and quicker heat response.

        3. What a unique bowl. I have never seen one before.

          >Is there anyone who really thinks the crude sand-finished new production is better?<

          Well, I don't know if it is better, but I can say that it is just as good. Because I use the newer lodge pans all the time. It seems to me that the seasoning sticks and holds up better on the rougher pans. I find that I need to reseason my old smooth vintage skillet more often. And things cook in them exactly the same. I can fry or scramble an egg with the same results in either pan. For me, I really don't care either way, for my cooking is no different with either type pan.

          1. No, I really dislike the rough finish. Fortunately, I only have a couple of pans like that, that I don't need very often, the others I managed to buy before Lodge changed their process. I really don't understand the theory behind it either, I've just been assuming that it was a cost-cutting move.

            1. I must have the old stuff. Looks like regular, seasoned cast iron to me.

              4 Replies
              1. re: wyogal

                The "old" stuff need not be that old, the new finish is still only about 10 years old, I think. For a while they were leaving the pans rough without pre-seasoning - I have a couple of those - and they are a supreme PITA imo. Have not tried the newest pre-seasoned versions so I don't know what they're like.

                1. re: MikeG

                  >Have not tried the newest pre-seasoned versions so I don't know what they're like<.

                  The cast iron is the same as my older ones, but that pre season is sorry. After using the pan a while it comes off and takes the seasoning on top with it. I don't know why. It is supposedly just vegetable oil seasoning. But so far, all of mine have been a problem. But if you get that factory seasoning off, your fine from then on. Lodge pans are still fine and dandy for me.

                  1. re: MikeG

                    Believe me, mine are more than 10 years old. The newest one is probably over 30 years old.