HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >


What would you offer on these Cast Iron frying pans?

At a garage sale tomorrow.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: girloftheworld

      Buying. I don't want to offer something ridiculously low but it looks like some need some real cleanup. That is the only picture and info I have, looks like 7 pans.

    2. If they're all as rusty as the top and third pans, they'll need elbow grease. What are the diameters of the smallest and largest, and do you have to buy them as an entire lot? You do not need 6 pans, I assure you. I have an 8" and a 10". Most people like a 12" but as I do not cook more than 2-3 portions of most cast iron foods, I have not felt the need.

      I would not pay more than $5 for a rusty pan. I think I paid $20 total for an old but not rusty 4qt dutch oven, with a lid, and 10" lidded frying pan, also without rust, but that was 45 yrs ago. At a flea market. Check what the range is on eBay.

      If the manufacturer is Griswold, Wagner, etc., you are in vintage collectible category and that's big bucks. But chances are, they are Lodge or unlabeled.

      2 Replies
      1. re: greygarious

        I already own a 10". I was hoping for a 12" and maybe a smaller one. But I have no idea what the sizes are until tomorrow when I go there. No idea on the brands either. I just don't want to insult the people. I can buy all or individually.

        1. re: Jerseygirl111

          If you're doing any serious bread making, you might want that smallest pan to use for steam (tossing ice into the hot pan). As others have said, I wouldn't pay a lot for a rusty pan. Not more than a third of what you would pay for new - much less if they'll take it.

      2. If the others are in the shape of the top one, I'd probably offer $1 to $5 per. But I'm no pro.

        1. I'd start @ $20 for the lot & haggle it out from there.

          1. if they are unmarked they have value to re-enacters if you want to take the time to resell them if you get them at a good enough price.. .. you can grind them out pretty easy then reseason them. dont go more than 60 for the lot

            1. The rust on the first pan seems superficial from here. I don't think a little superficial rust is a reason to mark down a pan much. The third pan may be in worse shape. The main thing is to get the size you want in reasonably good shape. I like the second one and would probable pay $10 for it if it has a nice smooth cooking surface.

              1. Given how cheap new cast iron is, and how much less work, i wouldn't bother with them... But that's just me.

                1. Hi, Jerseygirl:

                  At a garage sale, pretty much anything goes. If they're not marked Wagner, Griswold or Piquaware, $1-5 each is realistic. If they're any of those marks and in decent shape, $5-10 is not an insult. If any is a rare model/size in those brands, then it would be unkind to offer something close to FMV if you *know* they're rare/collectible. Not all pans with those marks are collector-valuable

                  If they're warped or badly pitted, they're not worth a warm bucket of spit.


                  1. I have no idea from just that picture I'd want to see the makers marks.

                    1. Very few skillets fall into the collector category, so assuming they are users and the rust is surface with no pitting, I would pay around $40 for the lot.

                      Judging from the photo, the smallest is an 8", the largest a 12" possibly 13" Wagner. I like Wags as they are much lighter and the handle is more comfortable.

                      Any old American made CI skillet is preferable to a new Lodge as they were machined smooth from the factory. Cleaned up and well seasoned, they make nice gifts.

                      1. At NJ ard sales I've been to, cast iron is generally CHEAP!

                        I'd check to see if they have a "name"... like Griswold, Wagner, or Lodge. If over-all condition seems good (IGNORE rust or other crud!).. not warped or cracked.. I'd offer $10 MAX for the lot.

                        Got reunited with CI several years ago when I picked up 3 different size skillet (with 3 names from above) for $1 each. Were relatively cruddy with who know what. Self-cleaning cycle on oven will reduce crud to ashy powder with no elbow grease required. Since it was dead of summer... I went quick & dirty and used SEVERAL applications of spray oven cleaner. Just reseason WELL after cleaned up.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: kseiverd

                          Lodge is NOT an added-value brand. Spray-on oven cleaner is recommended by some, but others, like America's Test Kitchen,
                          warn against it on the grounds that the harsh chemicals permeate the pores of the CI as the heat opens them, and will remain there despite reaseasoning. I would not risk that.

                        2. Looks to be 6 pans? I would offer $15-$20 for the lot if you want/need them all. Individually I wouldn't pay more than a couple bucks each. If there is one particular size I *really* wanted I might go as high as $5.

                          You can buy a brand new lodge 12 inch "pre seasoned" CI skilled for less than $20 bucks these days.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: foodieX2

                            wow--- I need to hit eastern garage sales.. down here cast iron goes much higher.. probably because of the amount of historical re-enactors we have...If I grabbed that set for 20 I could easily sell it for 75.00

                            1. re: girloftheworld

                              girloftheworld, I've got a beautiful dutch oven with cover that was my grandmother's. There's a stamp on the bottom I can't quite make out. It's got to be a minimum of 80 years old. How do I get something like this looked at, and what is your opinion? Not wanting to sell, I use it too much, just curious.

                              1. re: James Cristinian

                                if I remember right you are down in Huston? there use to be a guy named JerryTubbs in those parts that did old west history he would be a good place to start..

                                1. re: James Cristinian

                                  Try Wagner and Griswold Society. (WAGS)

                                2. re: girloftheworld

                                  I live in PA and cast iron pans are sold in box lots at auctions for basically scrap value, a couple bucks at best. There are piles of discarded CI in every farmhouse basement, barn and garage. By the piece they go for $2-$5.

                                  There has been interest recently in Griswold pans with collectors actively seeking those out, especially the larger sizes.

                              2. It depends on the brand. Griswolds can get very pricy. I would not worry about the rust. When I get a pan that is in poor shape, too much fat build up etc. I run them through my self cleaning cycle in my oven. When they come out they will have appears to be rust. I wash that off and then reseason with lard or vegetable shortening. Do not use oil. It will leave a sticky residue. In my great grandmothers day it was common practice to put a cast iron pan into a hot fire to clean them up.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Candy

                                  throw some sand in it and into the hot fire

                                2. Bought 5 of the 7. Paid $15. Left behind 1 Griswold and 1 Piquaware, one was iffy and the other was really bad and should have been tossed. She also had a teeny Griswold, like a kid size. I didn't buy it because I had no clue what you'd do with it.

                                  #5 no name smooth as butter
                                  #6 Griswold, the iffiest of the bunch I bought
                                  10-1/2" Wagner Ware
                                  A crepe pan? Marked E H
                                  A Wagner 1891 100th Anniv Ed. Breakfast pan.

                                  Pics to follow

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                    Picked up a mini Lodge pan for $1-2 at a yard sale. It's diamond shaped and says something like "1 egg" on bottom. Perfect for a fried egg sandwich... fits bread great with nothing hanging out sides.

                                    1. re: kseiverd

                                      This was tiny. You could, of course cook an egg but I don't think a slice of bread would fit.

                                    1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                      I have almost the same pan. Never made crepes in it but it's great for French toast, grilled cheese and toad-in-the-holes. Also good for steaks and burgers.

                                        1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                          It is very well loved! I posted elsewhere that I find CI to be like pearls. If you don't use them they pine and then eventually lose their gorgeous black/shiny patina. That particular pans gets used multiple times a week! as does my mini which is just the right size for two fried or scrambled eggs.

                                          My pearls on the other hand suffer in the summer as they just don't go with bathing suits! <grin>

                                          1. re: foodieX2

                                            Of course they do! Pearls go with everything!

                                        2. re: foodieX2

                                          My go-to pan for fried eggs is an 8" crepe pan. I have another, larger crepe pan that I use for those other things. And yeah, it's good for crepes, too. Warming tortillas also.

                                          I love my crepe pans. They're much more versatile than you'd think.

                                            1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                              also great for eggs, as said, and for bacon, pancakes, fried potatoes, latkes, french toast, etc.

                                              1. re: DebinIndiana

                                                Restraint should be exercised when flipping potatoes and other multi-piece items. One should try to avoid flinging hash browns about one's cooktop. Not that I've ever done that.

                                        3. re: Jerseygirl111

                                          I'd say a one burner griddle. I have a found piece that is slick as glass for things like eggs. Since it's so flat, pretty easy to get spatula under things.

                                          1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                            That's a small logo, which is from their later years around the 1940s-1950s.

                                            1. re: rasputina

                                              Thanks! That's interesting. It's pretty smooth inside, but the cast seems lumpy where the edges dip out.

                                                1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                  Love that pan. I have had my eye out for one. congrats!

                                                  1. re: foodieX2

                                                    Really? I have at least 2 of these and have never known what to use them for. Suggestions? [Heck, Didn't even know what they were called.]

                                                    1. re: smtucker

                                                      Ooh I will buy one! I have always thought they were cool looking, not sure how often I would use it but what a fun way to make bacon, eggs and fried potatoes.

                                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                                        My sister "stole" the nicely seasoned one. The one remaining pan is a Griswold, but it will need some fresh seasoning. It isn't pitted or damaged; just suffering from underuse. My email contact information is in my profile if you are serious. I would prefer that the pan live with someone who would actually use it.

                                                        1. re: smtucker

                                                          Wow!!! Totally serious!!! On my phone and can't figure out how to view contact info. Will get on my laptop and contact you in the AM! Thank you!!!!

                                                  2. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                    I have two breakfast pans, a Wag and a Gris. I use them along with my hammered CI chicken fryer, as serving pieces for fajitas. Never did figure out what you could cook in the breakfast skillets.

                                                    1. re: Bigjim68

                                                      Bacon in the big area, an egg in each of the smalls?

                                                  3. They should pay you to haul them away!

                                                    10 Replies
                                                      1. re: zackly

                                                        I am surprised to read such a comment from someone who has professional kitchen experience. The OP got a good deal on equipment that will perform well and outlive her.

                                                        It's also shocking that some posters would rather have a new CI pan than one that has been used. Even if the seasoning has to be redone, the used pans are smoother and will perform better than even the "preseasoned" new ones.

                                                        1. re: greygarious

                                                          That's a lot of rust to remove! Unless you have power tools and the know how to remove the rust easily, I'd buy new ones.

                                                          1. re: zackly

                                                            Seriously?? Nothing but a little bit of elbow grease and some good fats will turn those pans into *better* than new.

                                                            It's such a shame we have become a society of "just buy new" when something needs a little a work. Its also a shame, albeit good for companies, to make things that are intended to break down so you have to buy new.

                                                            1. re: zackly

                                                              Do not use power tools to clean up CI. Vinegar, and steel wool will clean up your pans. I see a couple of pans a year that have had the power tool treatment. None have been repairable.

                                                              1. re: Bigjim68

                                                                I had a cast iron frying pan that got rusty in my basement. To me anyway it was a huge laborious job and took quite awhile to re-season.

                                                              2. re: zackly

                                                                You don't want to remove the rust with power tools. It is easy to clean up chemically with minimal damage to the pan.

                                                              3. re: greygarious

                                                                I agree. I would have bought them at that price. Nothing beats old iron. I buy a dozen or so each year, clean them up, reseason with flax, and give most of them away.

                                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                                  Thank you Grey. I always look for your advice.

                                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                                    Id rather have a new one because all my new lodge performs perfectly well, nothing sticks, so there is zero incentive for me to go through the trouble finding a good condition used pan, and stripping it and all that.

                                                                2. Thank you everyone for your advice and opinions. As always, I can count on CHers for their expertise!

                                                                  1. Looks like fun.

                                                                    Its the same with a lot of things though. If you use them a lot you got a tremendous deal. If you never use them, not so much.

                                                                    In Canada the named cast iron is ridiculously expensive but even the lodge stuff is pretty rare.

                                                                    1. $15 for all that is quite a steal. Used cast iron sells for far less than it's worth.

                                                                      I picked up my cast iron skillet at a flea market. I asked how much. "$4", the guy said. I gave him a five. He got this guilty look on his face, like he's ripping me off or something, and he gave me $2 back. I went home, scoured out the rust and reseasoned it, and it's been giving great service ever since.

                                                                      1. Not a penny. The problem with used cast-iron pans is you never know what's been cooked in them. I've had scuba-diving friends who saved money by melting scrap lead in cast-iron skillets to make the weights they wear to achieve neutral bouyancy while submerged ... dive shops sell the mold you need for that. Some firearms enthusiasts who like producing their own ammo melt lead in cast-iron pans also. I wouldn't want used cast iron unless it used to be Mom's.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: emu48

                                                                          I remember my uncle using cast iron Dutch ovens to soak machine parts in gasoline.

                                                                          1. re: emu48

                                                                            "The problem with used cast-iron pans is you never know what's been cooked in them."

                                                                            I hadn't thought about this.. this puts a whole creepy factor to it and unsolved mystery....of how did they die of poisoning...