Last Updated on October 11, 2021 by Boniface Muriuki
Why is the Griswold cast iron skillet so expensive? Why is it among the most sought after royal skillets, yet the company closed more than 65 years ago?
If you’ve used a cast-iron skillet, you’ll opine that they are excellent in heat retention, and the best for searing.
However, you’ve unlikely experienced the goodness of cast iron cooking until you come across the Griswold cast iron skillet.
This skillet is special, but very expensive! A used one will set you back more than $600! But, it will be worth it. Here is a comprehensive Griswold cast iron skillet review. Is it better than modern cast iron skillets? Let’s find out.
Griswold Cast Iron Skillet Review Overview
- Guaranteed durability
- Very rare and top-notch value
- Quite smooth
- Classy construction
Griswold is a manufacturing company that was located in Pennsylvania. It was founded by Matthew Griswold in 1865.
Until 1957, the company was known to produce the best cast-iron products. Their skillets were hand-crafted and made with unmatched precision.
Besides skillets, Griswold also produced top-notch dutch ovens, waffle irons, and kettles. All their products were a favorite for many professional cooks due to their high efficacy and guaranteed durability?
Why is Griswold Cast Iron Skillet So Expensive?
It’s no secret that the Griswold cast iron skillet will cost an arm and a leg. You can spend anywhere between $200 to $1000 to get a used Griswold skillet. Here are several reasons that explain this phenomenon:
- Rarity. Griswold cast iron skillets are rare. Their production ceased more than 65 years ago, and you are only likely to get a used one.
- Value. Griswold cast iron skillets are of high-value. They are heavy and constructed using top-notch craft. You’re unlikely to get a package as complete as Griswold offers in their skillets. They are a perfect elegance, prestige, functionality, and durability.
- Last Forever. Yes, you read that right. Invest in Griswold cast iron, and you save your future generations from the hassles of shopping for a skillet. The Griswold skillet’s durable construction ensures that you get the best cooking experience for a longer period than you’d imagine.
If you value prestige and functionality, then you should not hesitate to invest in a used Griswold cast iron skillet. It will be worth every coin you spend on it.
Griswold Cast Iron Skillet Design
Griswold skillets are rounded and quite thick. They have a trademark stamp at the bottom (can either be bold or italicized). Besides the name, most of these skillets will include the phrase “Erie PA, U.S.A.” and two unique numbers, one above and another below the words.
Initially, the trademark’s font was italics but was changed to bold fonts in 1920. In 1924, they started making Griswold cast iron skillets 13 inches with a heat ring. In 1939, the trademark reverted to italics.
The Griswold cast iron skillet design changed several times. The design depends on the time of manufacturing, but the functionality remained top-notch with all the evolutions.
Griswold Cast Iron Skillet Sizes
Griswold made skillets of different sizes ranging from 0-20. The block logo skillets are some of the largest and were possibly manufactured between 1920-1930.
Some of the rarest Griswold cast iron skillets are “Erie” and “Erie Spider” versions. Also, size 20 and size 13 are largely sought after by collectors. However, these skillets are super expensive, and they will set you back hundreds of dollars – or even more than $1000, depending on the skillet’s condition.
Features of Griswold Cast Iron Skillet
- Shape. The skillets are rounded and have tall sidewalls with two pouring spouts on both sides. They are best for shallow frying and braising food. If you want one that can allow you to flip your food with a spatula easily, Lodge cast iron skillet will fit the bill. It has lower sidewalls and rounded corners.
- Handles. Griswold cast iron skillets to have a sturdy but short handle. Overall, the handles are smooth and durable! They’ll not just break anyhow.
- Texture. Interestingly, Griswold skillets are smoother than most modern-day skillets. It will ensure that you cook seamlessly without the food sticking to the pan. However, the smooth surface requires more frequent seasoning for the best results.
- Non-Stick Performance. Griswold develops a seasoning layer after several uses. This layer occurs as a result of fat polymerization on the pan. It protects it from rusting and improves durability.
Griswold Cast Iron Skillet Weight and Thickness
If you’re a fan of cast iron skillet, you’ll opine that they are quite heavy. However, Griswold cast iron skillet is an exception. This skillet is amazingly lightweight! It weighs approximately 3.8 lb., which is almost half of what the Lodge cast iron skillet will weigh.
Additionally, the Griswold cast iron skillet is thinner than most modern skillets. Its thickness is a mere 0.12 inches, while that of Lodge is approximately 0.15 inches.
Griswold vs. Lodge Cast Iron Skillet: Which is Better?
Griswold cast iron skillets were completed to perfection. They have fewer rough surfaces and edges, making them the best to use.
However, cast iron is generally a poor conductor of heat. As such, thicker cast iron skillets will retain heat and enhance your cooking experience.
If I’m to compare Lodge and Griswold skillets’ performance, I will go with the Lodge. It is thicker than the Griswold skillet, thus improving heat retention and reducing hot spots.
Investing in Griswold is still an excellent idea since it has a sense of nobility due to its rarity. Before you splash the thousands of dollars into the skillet, make sure that you understand the benefits and the disadvantages (as detailed herein).
Griswold Cast Iron Skillet – Wrap Up
If you’ve been wondering why the Griswold cast iron is so expensive, then this article offers you the answer. Their rarity and nobility make the collectors price it highly. On average, you will spend approximately $500 on the skillets.
But why are the Griswold cast iron skillets so rare? Well, these skillets are no longer in production. The last skillet was produced more than 65 years ago! Back then, Griswold was the household cookware name in the U.S.- it was akin to today’s Lodge Cast Iron skillet.
This guide offers a comprehensive analysis of Griswold cast iron skillets. Are they still worth the investment? Are they any better than the Lodge skillet? Read through this article to decipher all these.
Chef Boniface is a graduate in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education, New York. He has worked in several restaurants and is currently the Head Chef at Cavali Restaurant.
He has excelled in developing unique recipes and influencing the menu at the restaurant. He prides himself in sharing his knowledge at thekitchenpot.com where he writes about the best cookware for various recipes.