I've been cooking on cast iron for as long as I can remember. I learned at my Momma's knee, who learned at her Momma's knee. It's versatile, holds heat well, and is basically non-stick. There is a lot to love about cast iron.
I've never owned a Griswold or Wagner, although when Belle and I married she did bring some old Birmingham Stove skillets into the collection. I used to have a pretty good selection of Lodge skillets and other cast iron goods, but between moving, a divorce, helping launch kids and the travails of life, I don't have nearly the collection I used to have. Still, I have enough.
Belle and I started out with a collection of smallish skillets, but as the grandkid population grew, we needed a bigger skillet, so we bough a new Lodge 12" skillet. It was "pre-seasoned" and felt like pickup truck liner. But over the course of several years we managed to get the surface to a point where we could actually cook in it. (Yes, I know the sand-it-down trick, but never got that motivated.)
Last year, Belle asked me what I wanted for Christmas, ad I told her that I wanted a really nice cast iron skillet, so she bought me a 12" Stargazer
. She ordered it, and the company had hell scaling-up. I finally took delivery in May
. Yet it has become one of my go-to skillets, the other being that bi Lodge. We used both of them today.
Belle wanted to cook chicken fried steak with cream gravy, so I used the Stargazer while she used the Lodge.
|Belle dropping steaks in the Lodge, my cream gray in the Stargazer on the right|
At this stage of the game the difference between the two is the difference between eenie and meenie. At this point, we've had the Lodge a decade longer, but the Stargazer is holding up its end of the bargain. The question becomes; s the new skillet worth the additional money? Well, I have pride of ownership and that's one thing, but they cook exactly alike and cooking in each of them is a joy.
|Lodge, left - Stargazer, right|
I have it on good authority that the Field skillet
very closely approximates the weight and handiness of the old Wagner skillets, but at $125, I don't know if I'll be buying any more high-end skillets.
However, there is a large cast iron chicken-fryer at the flea market I've had my eye on.