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Imusa Victoria cast iron

c
Custardly Dec 20, 2012 08:28 AM

Hello, I just purchased two Wagner Ware skillets, the seller also has an Imusa fajita/comal, and a Victoria skillet; asking $20 for both. I'm unable to find any specific information online for either of these brands. There is an Imusa website with new cast iron without pricing, no website for Victoria, and Imusa Victoria only results in a tortilla press; nothing about their quality.

Are these worth the purchase, or should I hold out for something better. Surely even new these would sell for more than $10 each, but since I don't really need them is it best to hold out for a better brand?

Thanks!

  1. paulj Dec 21, 2012 05:36 PM

    I've seen a few Imusa items in places like CostPlusWorldMarket and Hispanic groceries. Many were cast aluminum dutch ovens or griddles, some with a nonstick coating. I believe it is a Columbian company. More recently I've seen other materials.

    1 Reply
    1. re: paulj
      EWSflash Dec 24, 2012 04:53 PM

      based on what paulj says, I'd hold out for something better. I've seen lots of cast aluminum cookware in supermercados in Mexico and being used by the folks that live there with good results, but I think it's pretty limited. Two things I have in the cast aluminum Mexican cookware line are a mortar and pestle with an interesting pattern on the bottom of the mortar, and a few citrus presses- the kind that turns the citrus inside-out. They work fine, but they're not technically cookware, and aside from looking pretty cool I'm not sure I'd expect a lot out of it. Hope that helps.

    2. Sid Post Dec 25, 2012 11:56 AM

      If you need them, buy them. I have seen some IMUSA cast iron at Macy's and it was okay quality. Not as heavy as Lodge but, not light either.

      Do you need the skillet? Is the comal what you really want? If so, a DeBuyer crepe pan is hard to beat. Paderno is a cheaper alternative.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Sid Post
        paulj Dec 25, 2012 12:07 PM

        Regarding a comal, I have several (various sizes) that I bought for $10 or less at Hispanic groceries. They are carbon steel, with a small loop handle, and rough around the edges. But for the task of baking tortillas they work fine. In fact, a 10" one is now my favorite baking sheet for biscuits (in a large toaster oven).

        A heavier Lodge cast iron comal (or round griddle) languishes at the bottom of a stack of pots. I also have a French carbon steel crepe pan that is my favorite for crepes, pancakes, and even quick omelets.

        1. re: paulj
          c
          Custardly Dec 26, 2012 08:04 PM

          Thanks for your responses paulj, EWSflash, and Sid Post. I passed on purchasing them even though I presume they are of acceptable quality from what y'all have said, and the seller who said she paid a lot for them, but who knows what she considers to be a lot. Besides, I don't need them, though if they were of higher quality I would have liked to have them. Since I rarely (never) part with my things I usually like to get the best quality I'm able to afford.

          In addition to the two pans I just bought, I do have a square cast iron Lodge skillet that I use frequently, which I bought about 11 years ago...probably pre-Chowhound. Yes, it's heavy, but I'm capable of handling it so it's not a big deal, still it would be nice to have something lighter or better balanced.

          I also have four Lodge round frying pans, and a short-walled dutch oven, that were given to me by a friend whose wife was unable to lift them anymore. These sit unused until I clean and reseason them, they've sat on my garage floor for about a year so surely they need more than just a wipe/wash. Sadly I didn't put them to use immediately since they were very well seasoned...his wife used them daily and I think added a 'fat-agent' to the pan with every use.

          I also have two other frying pans hidden away who-knows-where...one from my own childhood so it'll surely become my favorite once found.

          Really, aside from possibly upgrading to better balanced pans, I'm pretty set as far as cast iron goes. Last weekend I bought a 10x10 square unmarked 'believed vintage' griddle. That's really the only thing I've really wanted. I've been griddle-less (ungriddled, haha) since I declined to go 'faux-pro' when I bought a new stove a few years back, it was either get what I want, or get the best value for my actual needs. I do miss that old 36-incher with full-length griddle, should have looked into rebuilding it :(

          EWSflash, a citrus press like the style you mention has been on my want list for a while. I once saw a stunningly designed model that I regret not buying, $150 was just too much for such a simple tool, sadly I've been unable to find another as attractive since. Anything you can suggest function-wise as to what to look for?

          It's funny y'all mention crepes. I've been thinking about making them, and coincidentally America's Test Kitchen just aired their recipe last night. I'll check out the crepe pans mentioned, but once my 'new' griddle arrives I think it'll be perfect for that. It's going to be a workhorse...crepe, grilled-cheese, panini, tortillas, french-toast, and since I'm toasterless (untoastered, sorry) plain ol' buttered toast. Certainly I'll find many other uses for it as well.

          Again, thanks for your responses!

      2. BIGGUNDOCTOR Dec 27, 2012 11:22 AM

        some IMUSA items are made in the USA like the salsa bowls. I would look to see where the pans were made to gauge quality.

        1 Reply
        1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR
          c
          Custardly Dec 27, 2012 04:50 PM

          Thanks, I decided not to buy them since I didn't really need them, but I'll keep that in mind for future finds.

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