So much 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 quality 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 both cooks and cast iron enthusiasts. This cookware has the Wagner, Wagner Sidney O, and Stylized Wagner Ware with Sidney O logo.
If you want to learn about the logos of pre-1960s, Wagner cast iron. Just click the link.
Table Of Contents
- Smooth cooking surfaces
- Reputation for quality
- Choices available
- Is Wagner cast iron any good?
Reasons Why Wagner Cast Iron Is Top-Notch Cast Iron
Do you want a cast to a lightweight skillet or Dutch oven because you find modern cast iron too heavy? You’re in luck because Wanger iron cookware is a lot more manageable to lift and use than today’s iron cookware. The lighter weight comes in handy if you want a larger skillet or a family-sized Dutch oven.
The lighter weight is not due to any unique iron used in Wagner ironware. But due to the cookware being thinner than modern cast iron. Lighter, vintage iron cookware is ideal for the 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. And recommend pre-heating a Wagner pan at a lower temperature first 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, common on vintage cookware. And 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 to, the cookware has to 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 over 100 years old and still usable today. It’s safe to say Wagner is a quality brand of vintage cast iron cookware.
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 made 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 sell 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 make sure you read how to inspect a Wagner cast iron skillet for condition before making an offer.
Many people enjoy their vintage cast iron cookware for two reasons one, the benefits of cookware with iron pans, and second 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.
One of the reasons to choose Wagner cast iron over other brands is the number of choices and type of cookware available.
If you want one or two pans, this is not particularly important. But there is numerous Wagner pot on pans in the marketplace. And this allows you to take your time, and this has three benefits:
- You can wait and select cast iron cookware with your preferred size.
- Waiting for a piece of Wagner ironware to come into your budget.
- You can wait for ironware in good or restored condition.
If you decide to get into the world of collecting vintage cast iron, Wagner is a brilliant choice. There are many different types of cookware for you to use. And this includes some unusual pieces such as:
- breakfast skillets
- shallow skillets
- cake molds
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 their ironware to a standard that few companies could ever hope to match. And it’s made to be used, so have fun using it and start cooking on your vintage Wagner iron.
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 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.