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A discovery and need some preliminary advise

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    A discovery and need some preliminary advise

    I "found" this Griswold at our family cottage. I would like to clean it up and re-season for future use. I'm a CI novice with my experience limited to seasoning and not restoring. This Griswold appears to be in need of a good cleaning and then seasoning. There is no pitting anywhere that I can find so I am assuming I can do this with some degree of success.

    I would like to know from the CI experts out there what the Do's and Don'ts are. Do I deep clean the outside and lid with a degreaser and then season the inside as I would my existing CI? Does the "chrome" exterior present seasoning challenges? Any and all advise is appreciated. I know this is good find and I want to treat it with the respect it deserves.

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    Spinaker I’ll bet this man can help you out, I understand he has….1 or 2 pieces of CI.


      Wow, that's a treasure! As PJ mentioned Spinaker is a good source of info. Look around in the Channels, I'm pretty sure there's a thread or 2 about caring for CI. There's also a ton of info on the webs. I'd share what I do with mine, but I run fast and loose with my CI and wouldn't want to impart my bad habits on you. Just keep in mind it's not fine China. Well, mine isn't.


        Pending Spinaker responding, here is a short info piece on plated CI products: Plated Finish Ware - The Cast Iron Collector: Information for The Vintage Cookware Enthusiast

        One of the things to keep in mind is that the plating is a thin layer, so any mechanical "clean up" should be done carefully so as to not break through the plating. Personally I would more likely use chemical cleaning (if at all) to minimize abrasion to the plating.


          Wow - that is a cool find. I never knew there was such a thing as chrome or nickel plated cast iron cookware until now. Good luck in restoring it.


            Don't pee off the wife with that thing within arms reach.


              Wow! That is a great find. I always try to avoid using a degreaser like oven cleaner on the any coated pan. The caustic can tarnish the coating.

              You can, however use light or medium duty oven cleaner. Look on the label before you buy and you can get the right one. I would clean the surface as well as you can with soapy water and corse kosher salt. This forms kind of like a slurry that will be abrasive, but not scratch the coating.

              You may be able to remove all of the rust with just this. If not, apply the oven cleaner and allow it to work on the surface over night. Then rinse with warm water and soap. When you are done rising, hit it with cold water, so the hot water does not form surface, flash rust.

              Heat your oven or grill to 425 F and place the pan in the oven and let it heat soak. Once the pan is hot, apply Flax or any animal fat to the pan. It will smoke like crazy but this is just fine. Wipe the pan almost clean, leaving thin micro layer of oil on the surface of the pan. Then place the pan back in the oven, upside down. Allow it to bake for at least two hours, then shut the oven or grill off and allow it to cool naturally. DO NOT open the oven or grill. The slower it cools, the better. So give it time. Repeat this process or go ahead and start cooking. If the pan is stick y when it comes out, you either used too much oil or there was not enough time in the oven. Simply place the pan back in the oven, and repeat the process with out adding any more oil.

              Jsut remember to use plenty of oil and watch your heat on those first few cooks. A majority of sticking with cast iron is caused by too much heat, or not enough oil. Or both. Once cast iron is heat up and ready for cooking, it does not take much heat from the stove or grill to keep it hot, so always keep that in mind.


                I checked my book. It looks like your skillet was made between 1930 and 1939. I could be wrong, but it looks just like yours. That’s a great find.


                • IFindZeroBadCooks
                  IFindZeroBadCooks commented
                  Editing a comment
                  What is this book? It sounds cool

                • Oak Smoke
                  Oak Smoke commented
                  Editing a comment
                  It’s The Book of Griswold & Wagner by David G Smith and Chuck Wafford. At the bottom it says A Schiffer Book for Collectors. I use it to determine when something was made and how rare it is. Mine is 20 years old so the prices quoted are way off. To get an idea of value i try to find one on ebay and look at what they are asking for it and then what it actually sells for.

                Yeah to what Spin said. When I first saw it I thought it looked pretty good myself & not in need of a major clean & the inside of the skillet looked decently seasoned. A good seasoning should last who knows how long. I would be careful & “take baby steps” in the aggressiveness department as far as cleaning. A real nice piece you have there.
                I might even try vinegar & water bath for openers & see what happens.
                Last edited by FireMan; July 19, 2021, 11:43 AM.


                  That actually doesn't look like it needs to be stripped and reseasoned to me.


                    Thank you all for your guidance. I searched through some Spinaker posts and feel much better educated on CI. Thanks much Spinaker for your expertise.
                    I'll get this gently cleaned up, seasoned a bit, and hope we get another 80 years of service out of it.

                    Thanks again.


                    • Spinaker
                      Spinaker commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Yes! My pleasure. Cast iron collecting is addicting, so beware!


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