HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Home & Family » Cooking & Baking (Group) » New (to me) old cast iron...

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 05:19 PM

New (to me) old cast iron skillet

I've been in the market for a used cast iron 12" skillet. In particular I've been looking or a Birmingham Stove and Range (BSR) size 10. There's a lot of them out there and you will typically pay far more for one in good shape than you will for a brand new Lodge, so it's really a matter of preference. The one I got was free from rust and warping and was completely free of seasoning, so someone must have either dipped it or did something else to clean it up. I paid $60 for it which included shipping.

Mine is from BSR's Century Series, made around 1960 give or take a few years. There's a lot of these pans out there so they aren't particularly valuable, but if you are looking for one that is going to cook well, these are the ones to get IMO.

The first order of business was to give it a good washing and seasoning. For seasoning, I applied 8 coats of food grade linseed oil. There's a lot out there about the merits of using linseed oil and once I tried it, I have never used anything else. If you want to know how to do this, it's quite simple once the pan has been stripped. The secret is applying the lightest coat possible and more of them rather than trying to apply one or two heavy coats. After wiping down the pan with the oil I go over it with a dry towel until the pan has a matte appearance. Then I bake at 500F (or the highest your oven will go) for an hour and allow the pan to cool in the oven for 2 hours between coats. The first two coats I applied to the entire pan, mainly for rust resistance. After that just the interior only.

This is the pan after a good washing with soap and water, before any seasoning:


This is the pan after 8 coats of linseed oil:


29 replies, 3003 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply New (to me) old cast iron skillet (Original post)
Major Nikon Jan 2019 OP
PJMcK Jan 2019 #1
Major Nikon Jan 2019 #5
Siwsan Jan 2019 #2
rampartc Jan 2019 #26
4TheArts Jan 2019 #3
sellitman Jan 2019 #4
Ohiogal Jan 2019 #6
akraven Jan 2019 #7
redstatebluegirl Jan 2019 #8
murielm99 Jan 2019 #9
Wellstone ruled Jan 2019 #10
demgrrrll Jan 2019 #11
Major Nikon Jan 2019 #14
Luciferous Jan 2019 #12
mitch96 Jan 2019 #13
MontanaMama Jan 2019 #23
sprinkleeninow Jan 2019 #15
Major Nikon Jan 2019 #19
sprinkleeninow Jan 2019 #20
Major Nikon Jan 2019 #21
sprinkleeninow Jan 2019 #22
Gottabuy1 Jan 2019 #16
Major Nikon Jan 2019 #17
mitch96 Jan 2019 #24
Phentex Jan 2019 #18
Laura PourMeADrink Jan 2019 #25
Major Nikon Jan 2019 #27
Trailrider1951 Jan 2019 #28
Major Nikon Jan 2019 #29

Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 05:23 PM

1. That's a beauty!

We have two: one is the same size as yours and we also have a smaller one, 8-1/2", I think.

They were given to my fiancee by her grandfather so they must be over a hundred years old! We never wash them with soap, just water. Then we put them on the stove over a flame to dry them out prior to storage.

Good luck with your new goody!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PJMcK (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 05:42 PM

5. I try to wash my cast iron when it's still hot, so it's not very hard to clean

Anything that's hard to remove can be cleaned with kosher salt and a sponge, so soap isn't really necessary anyway.

I dry them out on the stove and apply a light coat of cooking oil for storage.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 05:28 PM

2. I do most of my cooking on/in cast iron

I've got 4 different sized skillets, one griddle and a 'Dutch Oven'.

Family lore says that my great-great grandmother killed a bear with her cast iron skillet. It was after her prize pig, so she grabbed the heaviest thing, at hand.

I'm lucky - no prize pigs, on my property, and no bears in the vicinity. However, I like to think that kind of problem solving is in my blood.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Siwsan (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 29, 2019, 08:26 AM

26. ex wife almost killed me with hers

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 05:29 PM

3. Love cast iron too.

Three in this household. The big and little one always on the range top. Not so historic a brand as yours but I keep them well seasoned. Middle size one (known as Momma Bear) goes camping with us.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 05:32 PM

4. I bought a trio of Black Cast Iron pans years ago

Best move I ever made. Love them. Mine are Cheap knock offs that came pre-seasoned and by now they are perfect. I oil them down after every cleaning and they are a pleasure to use and simple to clean.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 05:57 PM

6. I cannot make decent corn bread or a grilled cheese sammich

in anything but my cast iron skillet

And it’s the best thing for sautéed chicken breast!

Hope you enjoy yours for many years!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 06:06 PM

7. We have 3, perfectly seasoned and we hand them on a wall.

No better frying pans ever made!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 06:45 PM

8. I love mine!

I had 3 different types of expensive pans that were crap. I went back to Grandma with cast iron skillets and pans, plus a huge dutch oven. I LOVE THEM!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 06:47 PM

9. I have one just like that that I inherited,

and a Dutch oven. They are indispensable.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 06:50 PM

10. If you looking for more of the

pre seventy Cast Skillets,go to the Thrift Stores or Antique Stores in small towns. You can not beat a buck and half to five dollar deals. BTW,many of these stores have online shopping.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 06:59 PM

11. Is there a mark that identifies the pan as a BSR? What would I look for? Thanks in advance.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to demgrrrll (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 12:15 AM

14. BSR cast iron pans are unmarked

There's a few defining features, most notably is a handle that does not flatten out on the underside as it connects to the side of the pan.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 08:03 PM

12. Beautiful! I love my cast iron skillets.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2019, 08:24 PM

13. I love my cast iron pans.

A 1938 Griswold #10 and a Wagner griddle... Sure you could by a new Lodge made in China for 25$ but it would not preform the same..
The old cast iron pans were sanded smooth on the cooking surface and the new ones are bumpy. Smooth cast iron with a good seasoning is the original non stick!
I, too am a believer in the linseed oil treatment.. Takes a bit of time but well worth it. Lots of youtube vids on how to strip and season with linseed oil/flax seed oil..
m

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mitch96 (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 08:38 PM

23. You said the magic word!

Griswold. They are fantastic and worth every penny. The interior is smooth as glass.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 02:40 AM

15. Would you consider coming here to do mine? 😁

Nice job you did there.
Patience and diligence is required.
I yam short on them presently. 😉

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sprinkleeninow (Reply #15)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 10:53 AM

19. It's actually pretty easy, but it just takes a while

Wipe on a coat of oil and buff it off, then bake at 500F or your highest oven temp for an hour and let it cool in the oven. Repeat as many times as you want.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Reply #19)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 03:28 PM

20. Thank you, Major.

I was being funny when I asked for help. 😊

At the stage of the game when I want/need instant push-button results.

I know they are the best ol' fashion way to get esp. proper crispy results in cooking.

I had one a long long while ago.

You were methodical and got fabulous results.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sprinkleeninow (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 03:36 PM

21. It kinda-sorta gives you instant results

Cast iron will eventually season itself provided you are cooking with oil or other fats, but it takes a few dozen or hundred uses before you start to develop a well seasoned pan. That's how people did it back in the day and one of the reasons why you always wanted granny's cast iron. Lodge pans come pre-seasoned for truly instant results, which is why the company survived when so many went out of business.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Reply #21)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 03:48 PM

22. 💙

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 08:57 AM

16. FYI on Lodge

Yes the old iron is fantastic , nothing like it.... but give credit where credit is due...in response to
Mitch96..LODGE IS NOT MADE IN CHINA.. it's still a good ol USA product made in Tennessee by a great company that still cares for it's employees and knows each employee as though they are family.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Gottabuy1 (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 10:37 AM

17. I have several Lodge pieces

I have a couple of Dutch ovens, some griddles, and one other skillet made by Lodge. They tend to be heavy, although so are BSR. I rather like heavy cast iron although some don't. The big difference is they come with a factory applied seasoning, and because of this they have a textured cooking surface vs a smooth one you'll find on older cast iron.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Gottabuy1 (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 09:16 PM

24. "LODGE IS NOT MADE IN CHINA"

I stand corrected. The cast iron pans are made in good old Tenn USA... The enameled cast iron ones are made in china..
BTW get one of those silicone pan holders. It will save your hands. As soon as I heat up the pan I stick it on just to remind me it's HOT!!!
If cast iron is too heavy for you try a good quality carbon steel pan. It's like the ones they use in commercial kitchens.. Almost as good for less money and less weight..
m

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2019, 10:44 AM

18. Use them all the time now that I'm family cooking again...

and I KNOW I had a small one, really small like for one egg or something, but nobody seems to know what happened to it. I have my suspicions.

Downside is the weight. I'm not as young as I used to be and it takes two hands for some things. Upside is the cooking and the easy clean up.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2019, 08:00 AM

25. Thanks MN! When you say strip, you mean wash?

I have three pans that I thought were a newer version of cast iron. Same surface feel, same performance as cast iron, but lighter weight. SKK brand - German. I love them.

BUT just looked up. They are actually aluminum with titanium surface. I bet I was supposed to season them because they rust easily. May be same method as you describe for all I know

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Laura PourMeADrink (Reply #25)

Tue Jan 29, 2019, 12:10 PM

27. This pan came to me stripped

When you find these old pans at the flea market they often have decades of crap on them and sometimes rust. The rust usually comes off fairly easily with some steel wool and a scouring detergent. I suspect the one I got was chemically stripped because it was completely free of all seasoning. Any cookware regardless of age or condition I get will get a good washing just because you never know what's on them.

From what you describe, it sounds as if the pans you have are anodized aluminum, but I'm not sure since you say they rust. Probably best to check with the manufacturer and see what they recommend for care. The problem with aluminum is it tends to warp and heating it to 500F for a long period of time is definitely going to invite warping. So I wouldn't use this method on anything you know or suspect is aluminum.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Major Nikon (Reply #27)

Wed Jan 30, 2019, 06:02 PM

28. I'll bet your old pan was stripped by someone with a self-cleaning oven

To strip the old seasoning, just put your cast iron in a self-cleaning oven and put it on the clean cycle. It will turn the old seasoning to ash. Wash and dry it, and then it's ready for re-seasoning.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Trailrider1951 (Reply #28)

Wed Jan 30, 2019, 06:19 PM

29. That's one way to do it

Personally I would not do it that way as the self-cleaning function is pretty hard on an oven. A chemical soak will do the same thing. All you need is a 2.5% acedic acid solution which is no more than a 50/50 mix of household vinegar and water soaked for 24 hours.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread