Friday, October 15, 2010

It’s cast iron skillet weather. Do you have one?

Posted by Lyndi

Fall is so much more than a season.  It is the warm hug from the sun on your cheekbones as you walk outside on a blustery day.  It is the ever-changing colors of leaves evolving on the tree until they can no longer hang on.  And then.. almost in super-slow motion.. only then do they drop to the ground.

Fellow foodies, you know what Fall means to us.  It is the glorious baking and cooking season!   At last we can turn our ovens back on from its summer sabbatical.  Welcome back my dutch ovens, my baking sheets, my roasting pans, and my trusty time-worn cast iron skillets.

Do you have a time-worn cast iron skillet?

Me?  I wasn’t lucky enough to have inherited a cast iron beauty from a family member.  Some of you may have acquired yours in that usual manner.  But for the rest of us who weren’t so lucky, have no fear, we can easily acquire our own heirloom and at economical prices, too!

A found a location in Northwest Arkansas that has plenty of old, dirty, dusty, and oh-so-magnificent cast iron beauties for sale!

Where?  The Tontitown Flea Market & Antique Mall on Highway 412 (Henri De Tonti Blvd).  Check out booth #35 and you will be overwhelmed by all the choices.  But don’t stop there.  Be sure to browse the rest of the store because these beauties are scattered throughout.

This is where I purchased my Griswold #8 trusty cast iron skillet.  It was well worth the $35 and Dennis and I use that baby at least once every day.

Here are a few helpful tips before you head out and purchase your first cast iron skillet (or add to your collection):

1.     Take a few minutes to research. 
a.     I went online and googled “old cast iron skillets” and read advice. 

2.     Write down the identifying marks that appeal to you to help you narrow your search.
a.     Me, I knew that I wanted a Griswold with the stamp of Eerie.

3.     Log on to an auction site like eBay and browse the current bid prices. 
a.     This will give you a pricing guide.
b.     It may also spur you to start a collection or find a specific hard to find piece.

4.     Ask you shop, don’t worry about rust, dust, or grime
a.     It will clean right up!

I hope that you will consider adding a cast iron skillet to your kitchenware collection.  There is something soul-satisfying about reaching for a skillet and feeling the heavy tug of the weight as you lift it to the stovetop.  Maybe it is part of knowing you are a foodie.  You want each part of the food experience to enhance the feeling of comfort, delight, warmth, and soul embracing.  A cast iron skillet delivers just that.

If you are a fellow cast iron skillet fan, I would love to hear from you.  Does your skillet have a story?

Happy Fall!


  1. Skillet seem to be a uniquely American thing. What is the difference between it and a frying pan?

  2. Hi Silja, it's pretty much the same thing!

    Here is an explanation from

    I'm a North Carolina-born girl so hence, skillet is word preference! :)

    "The terms frying pan and skillet are now virtually interchangeable, but there was a time when they were so regional as to be distinct dialect markers. Frying pan and the shortened version fry pan were once New England terms; frying pan is now in general use, as is the less common fry pan, now heard in the Atlantic states, the South, and the West, as well as New England. Skillet seems to have been confined to the Midland section of the country, including the Upper South. Its use is still concentrated there, but it is no longer used in that area alone, probably because of the national marketing of skillet dinner mixes."

  3. Cast iron skillets brings back memories of mom cooking bellybusters in the morning and smothered chicken in the afternoon.

  4. I come from a large family and we all have put in dibs for the cast iron, which is funny, we end up in some good heated arguments about the pieces that the family has and has had for ever.

  5. Hi cmricha2,

    What is a bellybuster? And smothered chicken sounds absolutely delish! You should make Lisa cook that for you (and extra, for me!)

  6. Medifast Codes, that IS funny but completely understandable. There is something enchanting about cast iron. You completely know it has history! I think the world needs more good heated arguments over family treasures. It's sweet, ya know?

    Thanks for the comment. :)

  7. I need one for camping. Thanks for the good tips on finding a used skillet - I'm on the hunt!

  8. Hey Meigan! Girrrrlll... you absolutely must have one for camping! A dutch oven would be perfect (deep sides with a lid)! Let me know when you've found one and tried it out! Happy camping! :)

  9. Bellybuster - flour, sugar and water. Spread thin and cook like a tortilla. You fill with peanut butter and syrup. Yummy!

  10. cmricha, whoa - that sounds interesting! It must be a Louisiana thing, no?

  11. I'm a brand new cast iron convert! After picking up an old Wagner dutch oven, I got out all my cast iron and re-seasoned it so I can start right! I was pretty much doing everything wrong so I never wanted to use my cast iron. Now I know...maybe I will be a foodie yet! Thanks Lyndi!

    1. I love it! Let's keep sharing our tips & tricks!


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