6 Reasons Why Wagner Is Excellent Cast Iron

Is Wagner cast Iron good?

So much of the spotlight on vintage cast iron goes to Griswold ironware. Probably deservedly so. Griswold is undoubtedly some of the best ironware you can use. However, there is another big name in vintage cast iron, and that’s Wagner. Wagner cookware is arguably just as good, and there are excellent pans for you to use and collect. Here are some reasons Wagner cast iron is some of the best vintage iron cookware.

I will focus on Wagner cast iron cookware made before the 1960s. Iron cookware made before the 1960s is considered collectible and an excellent choice for cooks and vintage cast iron enthusiasts. This cookware has the Wagner, Wagner Sidney O, and Stylized Wagner Ware with the Sidney O logo.

If you want to learn about the logos of the pre-1960s, Wagner cast iron. Just click the link. 

 Table Of Contents 

  • Lightweight
  • Smooth cooking surfaces
  • Reputation for quality
  • Collectibility
  • Appearance 
  • Choices available
  • Is Wagner cast iron any good?

Reasons Why Wagner Cast Iron Is Top-Notch Cast Iron

Wagner Cast Iron Qualities
The famous stylized logo looks fantastic on this skillet.

Lightweight Skillets

Do you want a cast to a lightweight skillet or Dutch oven, but modern cast iron is so heavy? You’re lucky because Wanger iron cookware is much more manageable to lift and use than today’s iron cookware. The lighter weight is handy for a larger skillet or a family-sized Dutch oven.

The lighter weight is not due to any unique iron used in Wagner ironware. Instead, it is due to the cookware being thinner than modern cast iron. Lighter, vintage iron cookware is ideal for older cooks and those wanting to change from thin steel pans to cast iron. 

Thinner Cast Iron On Wagner Cookware Can Warp

I am a proponent of vintage Wager Ware. And I think Wagner makes excellent iron cookware. But the thinner bases on the cookware can warp easily. I recommend pre-heating a Wagner pan at a lower temperature to prevent warping.

Smooth Cooking Surfaces 

Yes, I rate the cooking surface on Wagner highly. As with any vintage iron cookware, you’ll likely find utensil scratches from years of use. But otherwise, the cooking surface doesn’t get much better than a Wagner.

My vintage Wanger pans are free from casting flaws and bubbles, which are common on vintage cookware. If you opt for a later pan with a Stylized logo, it will be less likely to have sulfur pitting or pinholes on the cooking surface. These pinhole marks are also known as fleabites among cast iron enthusiasts.

Pride In High Standards

Another reason to cook with Wagner cast iron is reputation. Wagner took great pride in making cast iron with the highest quality. And the founders emphasized making the best quality cookware possible instead of cheaper cookware. As the founder once alluded, the cookware must be good enough to have the family name on every piece of Wagner cookware. 

Wagner maintained this level of quality control until the family sold its states in the foundry. And the quality did drop post-1960 under the new owners.

Are you wondering if vintage Wagner cast iron is good? Just look at the antique pans that are over 100 years old and still usable today. It’s safe to say Wagner is a quality vintage cast iron cookware brand.

So it’s probably no surprise that Wanger is considered one of the best vintage brands to make cast iron cookware. Click the link to read about other brands that make high-grade ironware. 


The older Wagner pans, and the Wagner Ware with Sidney O marking are very collectible. And many enthusiasts enjoy collecting Wagner as they do Griswold ironware. 

Although, I think Wagner cast iron sells at a fair price. There are some rare sizes and logos that are hard to find. Subsequently, these pieces can be valuable if you find them in good condition. And this makes collecting Wagner cast iron fun.

Luckily, there is a lot of Wagner cast iron available. And there are often excellent pans for sale in thrift stores and flea markets. But when buying vintage cast iron, it’s a good idea to check the pan carefully for condition and possible faults in the iron. But if you’re new to cast iron, read how to inspect a Wagner cast iron skillet for the state of condition before making an offer.


Many people enjoy their vintage cast iron cookware for two reasons: the benefits of cookware with iron pans and the look of vintage Wagner Ware.

Vintage Wagner pans look great. So not only will your Wagner pan have a smooth cooking surface and be lightweight, but it will also have that primitive pioneer look. Using a vintage pan such as a Wagner adds to the cooking experience. 

Choices Available

One of the reasons to choose Wagner cast iron over other brands is the number of choices and types of cookware available. 

If you want one or two pans, this is not particularly important. But there are numerous Wagner pots on pans in the marketplace. So, please don’t rush; enjoy the search. Taking your time has three benefits: 

  1. You can wait and select cast iron cookware with your preferred size.
  2.  Waiting for a piece of Wagner ironware to come into your budget. 
  3. You can wait for ironware that is in good or restored condition.

Wagner is a brilliant choice if you decide to collect vintage cast iron. There are many different types of cookware for you to use. You can also collect unusual pieces such as:

  • breakfast skillets
  • shallow skillets
  • cake molds 
  • kettles

Is Wagner Cast Iron Any Good?

If you decide to have or want to purchase a piece of vintage ironware, you’ll be happy if you choose Wagner. Yes, Wagner made excellent cast iron cookware that has stood the test of time. And much of the Wagner ironware is now over 100 years old.

You have to be selective if you’re buying a piece of Wagner cookware, as some ironware is collectible, but the post-1960s ironware is not. However, you can pick up some noncollectable pieces at a great price. And I’m happy with a lot of my 1960s-era Wagner Ware.

Will you be happy with a piece of Wagner cast iron? Definitely, yes, Wagner ironware to a standard that few companies could ever hope to match. The cookware remains some of the best you can buy, and I’m sure you’ll have fun using any piece of vintage Wagner ironware.




  1. I found an old rusty Wagner Ware Sidney -O- skillet, It has an 8 on the handle, two pour spouts and the number 1058I on the bottom. It took a while to clean up and season but looks great. Can you tell what date this could have been made?

    • Hi Daniel

      You’ll be able to compare the logo on your skillet with others on a Boonie Hicks article titled Wagner dates and logos.
      Happy searching

  2. Hi Boonie,

    I have a vintage skillet, I purchased at an estate sale. It is marked 12 on the top of the handle, A on the bottom of the handle. It has a triangle wedge on the handle base, two large spouts, a tab opposite the handle and is marked 14 inch skillet on the base.

    There is no makers name and no place of origin. From my different searches, I think it’s a Wagner pre-1960. Any suggestions how I confirm who made it and when? Any other info you might need?

    Thanks Ellen

    • Hi Ellen

      Thanks for getting in touch and for your detailed description.

      From your description, it sounds like you have a vintage Wagner. A letter on the back of the handle, and the wording on the base is a strong indication of age and manufacturer. It sounds like you have a 1960s era Wagner.

      Size 14, you’re very lucky.

      Trust this helps.

      Brett (Boonie)


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