If you are looking for an antique skillet, you will come across one name time after time. And that name is Griswold. Griswold is a preferred name among cast-iron collectors and vintage cast iron cooks. But if you are new to antique ironware, you will not know what to look for when purchasing your first Griswold skillet. So, this article is for those that want to buy their first Griswold skillet and have a few questions before purchasing.
The article is the first in a series to help noncollectors buy, use, and enjoy their Griswold skillets. Click the link below for more articles.
- Where can you find vintage Griswold skillets?
- How to identify faults in the pan before buying your first skillet?
- Is my skillet worth anything?
This article will cover the following questions.
- Should I buy a Griswold skillet?
- Are Griswold skillets better than other vintage skillets?
- Buying restored cast iron vs. unrestored ironware.
- How much should I pay for a Griswold skillet?
- Heat ring vs. a flat bottom skillet.
- Choosing your favorite logo
- Should I buy online?
- Why you should take your time.
- Should you buy a Griswold skillet? Final thoughts
Should I buy a Griswold skillet?
Are Griswold skillets any good?
Buying your first vintage skillet is fun and exciting, and many look to Griswold because they hear it is the best name to collect. Griswold Manufacturing manufactured high-quality ironware. The ironware is lighter than large-scale manufacturers, and the cooking surface is smoother.
Many of the pans are over one hundred years old. And are still usable today. If you buy a Griswold, you can expect a quality pan that will last another hundred years with proper care.
Griswold started as a small company but became a manufacturing powerhouse. Click the link to learn more about the history of Griswold.
Why buy a Griswold skillet?
Unlike collectors and enthusiasts, you may want a single pan. So choosing a Griswold is a fantastic option. You know Griswold is a respected brand to collect and fun to use. And if you want to pass down your skillet to the next generation. Then Griswold skillets make great talking points and heirloom ironware.
Are Griswold skillets worth it?
If you can pick up a skillet within your budget, it makes a lot of sense. And because Griswold made high-quality ironware, it is a safe choice. The cooking surface will be smooth, and food tends to release easier on vintage pans.
But prices have risen dramatically over the past few years. And out of reach for many buyers. Sellers have also caught on that Griswold is the name to collect and are asking astronomical prices. In many cases, they are asking above and beyond market value. And you have to ask yourself how much do you want to pay for a frying pan?
And there are other brands available if you prefer buying a vintage without paying for the Griswold name.
To become familiar with other vintage ironware, click the link.
Are Griswold skillets better than other vintage skillets?
Griswold has the best reputation when it comes to antique cast iron. And you really can’t go wrong with one of their pans. However, I would not pass up a skillet from another foundry if the opportunity presented itself.
Wagner Ware is an obvious alternative to Griswold. There cast iron is equally impressive. And you can expect the Wagner Ware to be just as light and the cooking surface just as smooth.
And you do not need a Griswold to have a great piece of vintage ironware. Many of the manufacturers of the mid-20th-century manufactured excellent quality cast iron cookware.
Buying restored cast iron vs. unrestored ironware.
When you are shopping for vintage cast iron, you are likely to see restored and unrestored skillets. And I recommend taking a look at restored skillets. Undoubtedly, restorers make money from onselling cast iron they clean and reseason. But they will remove the built-up crud on the pan, and they are proficient at seasoning cast iron.
Many restorers will set up an electrolysis tank. It is the safest way to restore antique ironware, and it also takes the skillet back to bare metal. It is a time-consuming process most of us are unwilling to do.
But it also comes down to your budget and the asking price of the seller. And if you want to find a bargain, it is likely going to come in as-is condition.
Vintage cast iron is highly sought-after, and there are many places to buy a Griswold skillet. Click the link to find out where you need to start your search.
How much to should I pay for a Griswold skillet?
There is no definitive selling or buying price for any antique. And prices could fluctuate depending on the number of buyers and other pans available.
And I recommend clicking on the eBay sold listing for current Griswold selling prices. Just keep in mind that these are online prices that often run higher than flea markets or garage sales.
Smooth bottom pan or a skillet with a heat ring?
It is really up to you. A skillet with a smooth bottom is just like a modern pan. However, skillets with a heat ring were for use coal or wood ranges. Both choices are great and will not affect the results of your meals. However, if deciding which to buy, ask yourself two questions.
- Do you want to collect Griswold cast iron?
- Do you pan need a skillet to cook great meals?
Griswold skillets with heat rings are more sought-after by collectors, and they command a higher price than skillets without a heat ring. If you want a collectible Griswold, then go for a skillet with a heat ring. But if you want a pan for cooking, then a smooth bottom pan is a great choice.
What would I do? If your budget allows, go for a Griswold skillet with a heat ring. It is just my personal preference. I think skillets with heat rings have more character and that old-world charm.
Choosing your favorite logo
If you rush into purchasing the first Griswold, you see you risk buying one with a logo you do not like. Griswold skillets are not cheap pans. And I recommend you familiarize yourself with the markings and logos Griswold used over the years. Pans with the Large Block and Slant logos will also sell for higher prices and are more collectible. And skillets with a small logo tend to sell for a lower price.
But both large and small logo pans will cook food equally as well. And I have seen skillets with a small logo that have a beautiful cooking surface.
To learn about the Griswold markings and logos, click the link.
Should I buy online?
Purchasing a Griswold online is an excellent option. There is usually a wide selection of skillets available. And you can get an idea of the asking prices. But remember to check the description carefully before purchasing, and do not be afraid to ask questions. After all, a Griswold skillet is a big purchase, and it’s both in the buyer’s and seller’s interest to make sure you are happy with your purchase.
One of the most important questions to ask is if the skillet sits flat? Some movement is fine, but you don’t want a pan that spins on your stovetop.
Another consideration is buying from a seller that specializes in cast iron. Not only is the description likely to be accurate, but the seller will know the importance of securely wrapping the skillet for shipment.
Take your time and enjoy the search.
Searching for your first Griswold pan is half the fun. Now you could be lucky enough to find one in a Goodwill store at a bargain-basement price on your first day of cast iron hunting. And in this case, I recommend jumping at the chance if the pan is in good shape.
However, if you are going to buy online or from a reputable restorer, I recommend taking your time. You will be surprised how many pans are available. And I think one of the biggest mistakes to make is rushing your purchase. I understand the excitement and thrill you will have when you purchase your first Griswold piece of ironware.
But, I think many collectors would agree, taking your time is the number one tip we can give new vintage cast iron buyers. And this is especially important if you want to buy yourself a Griswold pan.
You have to remember vintage skillets will have flaws and faults in the iron. And this will, of course, affect the value of the pan.
Should you buy a Griswold skillet?
Hopefully, you now have to confidence to buy your first vintage skillet. Griswold skillets are good pans, and you should feel proud to cook with one. Buying a Griswold skillet preserves these old skillets for the next generation. But I recommend you take your time and enjoy the process of learning about these old pans. And by taking your time, you are more likely to find a pan you like and less likely to overpay.
Any I hope this helps and enjoy the search.