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Ltryptophan's avatar

How unique is my grandmothers cast iron skillet that she's used for 27 years?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10196points) May 22nd, 2010

My grandmother is a great southern cook. She fries stuff in this skillet that is incredible. The flavor really is in that skillet. So, is that flavor something that makes her skillet one of a kind? There is a bit of a family feud about who will get the thing should she pass away. If such a feud could be foregone, that would be nice!

Is this thing a precious heirloom without which my grandmother’s recipes will never taste the same? Or is this just a skillet pretty much like any other, once it is seasoned and used a bit?

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16 Answers

jazmina88's avatar

i got some of my aunts pots and pans. She loved to cook. But a seasoned skillet!!!!

now some people are into furniture and knick knacks, and not many were lookin for the pots and pans.
it would awesome to have a nice cast iron skillet, seasoned by Granma.

talljasperman's avatar

I love the food from Cast Iron Skillets… They still make them….try buying a few for your family now to soften the blow…Also GE stainless steel toasters and potato bowls are classic good eats…and I know a family that keeps fryer oil to make french fries…and even some that keep BBQ ashes for flavor.

augustlan's avatar

We have a great cast iron skillet. It’s nowhere near as old as your grandmother’s, but it’s probably over 7 years old and gets used frequently. The more it’s used, the better the seasoning gets, and the better the flavor of all foods cooked in it. I’m guessing that your contested pan is that big a deal!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Properly seasoned cast iron skillets are extremely valuable. I have one that’s almost 150 years old, I’ll clobber anyone who fools with it (likewise for my wok and beanpot).

YARNLADY's avatar

Cast iron skillets have been around for 100’s of years. The person who inherits one is a lucky person indeed.

tinyfaery's avatar

My grandmother’s cast iron skillet is from the 60’s. But, considering all the gross shit she cooked in there, I certainly would not want it.

perspicacious's avatar

You can season a new cast iron skillet and get the same results as gramma gets.

LuckyGuy's avatar

We have grandma’s seasoned skillet and dutch oven from the 50’s. I know you can buy a new one, season it and theoretically get the same result. But, I think you would be better off picking up a used one at Goodwill or the Salvation Army or even at a garage sale and having Grandma cook something in it so it would be seasoned with her special recipe.
Like fine wine and good cheese, older is better.

perspicacious's avatar

I have old ones and new ones and find no difference. I’ve been cooking with cast iron my whole life.

The one thing I will say is that if you make cornbread, it’s best to have one skillet that you use only for that. After making the bread, just wipe out the skillet and oil it. BEFORE making the bread, wash the skillet and put fresh oil in it.

Ltryptophan's avatar

So far mixed results some say it’s priceless, others go buy a new one…

Maybe someone has a scientific answer?

Buttonstc's avatar

It’s unique in the sense that if your Grandma used it so much, it’s well seasoned because she knew how to properly care for it so that layer of seasoning is not destroyed.

Unfortunately, it only takes one dimwit who doesn’t have your Gran’s knowledge to completely undo all that. Burn something badly enough or wash it out with dish detergent or don’t dry it enough to allow rust to accumulate and all that carefully built up layer is down the drain ( literally).

Then it’s just like any other cast iron skillet in the world.

You could go to any hardware store or Target and purchase one for around $7–10.

I guess you’ll all have to pick straws or something. Or maybe it should go to whomever is least likely to have any members of their family who could accidentally ruin it.

Many modern husbands or kids just can’t imagine NOT scrubbing any pots and pans thoroughly due to the influence of our germophobic culture nowadays :)

What do you mean only use salt to scrub it with? That’s not enough to get it really clean.

So, whoever has the least chance of harboring someone with that kind of viewpoint should perhaps get it.

Wouldn’t it just kill you to have anybody (no matter how well intentioned) undo all those years of Grandma’s care (and knowledge)

One go-round in a diswasher and…..

Need I say more ?


Buttonstc's avatar


The wok and cast iron I understand completely, but aren’t most beanpots made of non-porous ceramic?

Aside from breaking it, what other possible harm could be done. Washing it (as long as it’s rinsed really thoroughly) isn’t going to do any harm, is it?

I’m just curious.

marinelife's avatar

It is really more about the memories of your grandmother’s cooking than something special about the skillet. You can recreate the skillet.

jaytkay's avatar

You could buy one more new or used skillets, and cook with grandma a few times to learn how she cares for it. Then your generation can have more than one “touched-by-grandma” skillet.

Used skillets, even lightly rusty ones, can be scoured and re-seasoned if need be.

dpworkin's avatar

It’s always worth while to have a well-seasoned cast iron pan. I look for them in flea-markets. They have no sentimental value, but I prefer them for cooking.

buster's avatar

I bet the cornbread cooked in that skillet is the bomb!

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