Best Vintage Cast Iron Cookware

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If you are a true home cook and you enjoy dealing with high-quality kitchenware, you know that investing in a proper iron cast pan is a must. It is one of the most important kitchen utensils as it will allow you to put out many great meals without having to coat it with a lot of oil. Also, a cast iron pan is quite easy to maintain which makes it the perfect choice for anyone who loves to cook but doesn’t enjoy the cleanup part.

On top of all that, a proper cast iron pan is not expensive and it is going to be affordable for those on a tight budget as well. Bearing this in mind, if you understand all the benefits of owning a proper cast iron pan, you might be even more interested in getting a hold of a vintage piece. Luckily for you, there are a number of these offered on online selling services such as eBay, and it all comes down to which one is in better condition.

There are a few points that you need to consider, as while a cast iron pan can be kept in good shape for a really long time, it certainly does not mean that each and every offer is worth your money. So, in order to help you make the best decision, we have made a list of the best vintage cast iron cookware, as well as a buyer’s guide and answers to the most common questions, for you.

Best Vintage Cast Iron Cookware Reviews

Wagner Ware 1109B Round Griddle Cast Iron

This round griddle cookware item is a must-buy for anyone who is an enthusiast when it comes to antique pieces. Apart from being in good shape, it comes at an affordable price, and will as such, serve as a great addition to your kitchen equipment.

Product Highlights

The first and main thing that we want to address is the manufacturer that stands behind this product. The company is named Wagner Ware. They are a company that has had a successful history in making cookware of impeccable quality. They did that for decades, and this round griddle cast iron pan, which dates back to the 19th century, is further proof of their long-lasting quality. Looking at the design, the pan itself has a diameter of 10 inches while the handle measures 4.5 inches, which are quite common measurements found in modern cookware. The Sydney O design is what makes this item so unique, and a worthy investment.

Apart from the great design, we have to admit that this pan is in pretty good shape as well. There are no chips or visible cracks and while it hasn’t been seasoned, that is something that won’t take up much time at all, once you acquire it. There is some rust on it, but that should come as no surprise for a piece of antique cookware that’s over 100 years old! Overall, we consider this cast iron pan as one of the best investments you can make if you enjoy antique cookware and you want to have a Wagner Ware piece in your service.

Things I Like About Wagner Ware 1109B Round Griddle Cast Iron

The condition of this iron cast pan is excellent given the history that stands behind it, and the years that have passed since it was last used. Also, the 10-inch diameter is what most modern pans offer as well.

Things I Don't Like About Wagner Ware 1109B Round Griddle Cast Iron

On the other hand, this cast iron pan was not seasoned and there is a certain amount of rust, which can be a concern for those who expect shiny and untouched cast iron. However, if you’re used to seasoning cast iron pots, these issues shouldn’t be a problem for you. For the given price and looking at all the other specifics, it is a worthy investment that you will not regret.



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Wagner Ware Slone Vintage Cast Skillet

Another product from the renowned Wagner Ware brand, this skillet may be just what you are looking for, especially if you enjoy casserole dishes and you want a cookware piece that can be used both on the stove and in the oven. While somewhat more pricey and smaller than the previously mentioned item, it is in great shape and a lovely reminder of how kitchen equipment once looked.

Product Highlights

The retailer doesn’t specify from what period this piece comes from, sadly, yet, it is quite easy to say that this skillet is at least 100 years old. Bearing in mind that this skillet was probably used a lot back in the day, the condition it is in, is pretty amazing. The cast iron is almost completely damage-free, apart from slight chipping and rust at the bottom. That said, you can’t really expect kitchenware that is over 100 years old to be in perfect shape. Yes, the price is a bit higher but as the product is of great quality, it is worth it.

The handle is sturdy enough and with the skillet being 9 inches in diameter, you will be able to get great everyday use out of it. Apart from this product, the same retailer offers a number of other Wagner Ware items that can all serve as a great addition to your home cooking experience. Apart from slight rust and chipping, and the fact that the skillet has yet to be seasoned, the cast iron is in excellent shape which is all you really need. Those who know how to season a cast iron pan shouldn’t have a problem with the lack of seasoning and slight rust.

Things I Like About Wagner Ware Slone Vintage Cast Skillet​

You are looking at a skillet that is 9 inches in diameter which fits the requirements of modern-day kitchenware and therefore can happily be used on an everyday basis.  Whether you are an owner of a small restaurant or a home cook who enjoys working with antique cookware, this skillet would be a worthwhile purchase.

Things I Don't Like About Wagner Ware Slone Vintage Cast Skillet​

There is an amount of rust at the bottom which you might not be able to take off, however, a professional may be able to assist in this regard. Also, the handle has slight chips.



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Griswold Wagner Ware 5 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven

A Dutch oven is a common kitchen appliance that can be used for a number of different recipes. This Griswold piece that was made in the US, is in superb condition. It really serves as a true indication of the high-quality cookware that was manufactured back in the day. It has a capacity of 5 quarts.

Product Highlights

The Griswold brand is one of the most renowned American names in cookware and remains to this day a testimony of great quality. Basically, we are telling you that buying this product won’t be a mistake! And if you are looking to a piece of antique cookware at an affordable price, you are in the right place. This 5-quart Dutch oven has been both pre-cleaned and conditioned, which means that you will have nothing to do once it arrives, apart from putting it to great use in your kitchen. The cast iron is in phenomenal shape, as is the bail handle. However, one of the biggest concerns is that this product is missing a fitting lid. It shouldn’t be too much of a concern, as it is something you can buy separately either from the same retailer or looking at the other offers on the eBay platform.

The 5-quart capacity will work great whether you are preparing a good casserole dish or you are looking to boil a pot of pasta. It can be used both on the stove and in the oven and is, as such, a versatile cookware item that you will enjoy. With no rust, chips, or cracks, this Dutch oven is more than worth its price.

Things I Like About Griswold Wagner Ware 5 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven

This item is in an extraordinary condition given the fact that it is at least 100 years old and that it was probably heavily used back in the day.

Things I Don't Like About Griswold Wagner Ware 5 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven

It doesn’t feature a lid which is a big concern if you were looking to prepare a lot of slow cook dishes. Still, you can either improvise or search for similar offers from the same retailer.



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Antique Griswold Cast Iron Waffle Base Ring

As big fans of a good waffle, we can tell you that this product is something a true enthusiast will know to respect and absolutely adore. A base waffle ring, without which you couldn’t expect this great dessert to come true.

Product Highlights

One of the most searched for items on the vintage cookware market, this No.9 waffle base ring is in great condition. Under PATT 157, this rare and authentic kitchenware piece is something you need to own, especially if you are running a waffle shop. It would be a testament to your dedication towards the business and a great homage to the waffle concept in general.

The cast iron itself doesn’t have any chips or cracks, and while there is a bit of rust on the sides, it doesn’t pose too much of a concern. Overall, an item that any home cook would love to have, and is available at an affordable price and in amazing condition!

Things I Like About Antique Griswold Cast Iron Waffle Base Ring

The cast iron is in phenomenal shape considering that this item has decades of heavy use behind it.

Things I Don't Like About Antique Griswold Cast Iron Waffle Base Ring

It is not pre-conditioned, but that’s a non-issue for people experienced with seasoning cast iron cookware.



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Griswold No.6 Skillet Erie Cast Iron Vintage

Investing in a good skillet is never a bad decision and if it is a vintage one, even better. This item is manufactured by the superb Griswold brand and will serve as a great kitchen appliance for your everyday use.

Product Highlights

As  previously mentioned, Griswold is a brand in which you can put your complete trust, as the majority of the best vintage cast iron cookware comes from them.  A great design and high-quality cast iron are what make this skillet a worthy investment. Unlike the previous skillet, this one doesn’t have any chips and cracks on the handle, which is, by the way, pretty comfortable to hold. It is 9 inches in diameter, and apart from some rust and marks, it doesn’t feature any visible defects or damage.

While the cast iron is anti-bacterial itself, this item was preconditioned and precleaned so you will not have to worry about any health issues. Overall, you are looking at an unwarped vintage piece of cookware that can improve your everyday cooking experiences, in a number of ways.

Things I Like About Griswold No.6 Skillet Erie Cast Iron Vintage

It is going to be a pleasure working with this skillet as it features a sturdy and comfortable handle that was not a common thing to see back in the day.

Things I Don't Like About Griswold No.6 Skillet Erie Cast Iron Vintage

There are visible marks and rust on the sides and the bottom of this skillet.



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Griswold #9 Tite-Top Dutch Oven and Pat’d 1920 Cast Iron Lid

Unlike the previously mentioned offers, this one comes in a complete set and is as such, a unique piece of cookware that you will not be able to find elsewhere. Once again, the Griswold brand stands behind the great quality and ensures that the somewhat higher price being asked for, is justified.

Product Highlights

What you are looking at here is a set of kitchenware that dates back to 1920. Owning a proper Dutch oven was always important and this vintage piece features a great design. The Dutch oven has a capacity which will enable you to fit more demanding dishes, such as a casserole, with ease. One of the most important things is the fact that you are getting a properly fitting lid that is around 11 inches in diameter and an authentic part of this set. It seems to be in excellent condition, with no wobble whatsoever. The antique enthusiast will pay the most attention to whether the letterings are visible and clear and we can tell you that there is only minor wear to them.

The Dutch oven measures around 11 inches in diameter and just below 5 inches in depth, which seem to be the perfect dimensions when comparing them to modern-day cookware designs. It is preconditioned and precleaned which leaves it with an attractive patina and less work for you should you decide to purchase. Yes, there are a few marks and residue, but that is perfectly understandable given the fact that it is over 100 years old. Overall, a great investment for a true collector!

Things I Like About Griswold #9 Tite-Top Dutch Oven and Pat’d 1920 Cast Iron Lid

You are getting a fitting lid along with a sturdy Dutch oven that is in great condition.

Things I Don't Like About Griswold #9 Tite-Top Dutch Oven and Pat’d 1920 Cast Iron Lid

Marks, letters unclear at a certain point.



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Buyer's Guide

If you are a cooking enthusiast, you’re surely aware that kitchenware of old was mostly made out of cast iron. Cast iron is great for stove and oven cooking and easy to clean and maintain. So, buying a set of vintage cast iron skillets or a Dutch oven can go a long way towards your cooking experience, but it is not as easy as it seems. There are points you need to look into such as whether the marks and residue are going to disrupt effective use, or if they just affect the aesthetics, etc. Here are a few important features that you might want to consider when buying the best vintage cast iron cookware!


It is quite common that vintage cast iron suffers from warping. But what is warping? What you should be looking for in a vintage skillet is that it lies flat – more movement on an even surface will suggest that the skillet might not be in optimal condition. When the cast iron has warped, its surface becomes uneven, so the heating is uneven. The less warping the better.


While surface cracks can only affect the aesthetics, there are certain times when a deep crack can mean much more. In order to check for these deep cracks, you should tap the bottom and sides of the pan with your nails or knuckles and look for a dull sound. If it rings like a bell it is good to go. If it has a tin-sound, it is a no-go.


Unless you want to have a hard time seasoning and conditioning your cast iron cookware, you may want to skip on too much pitting, which is a type of erosion that affects the quality of your pan.


One of the most important things when buying cast iron cookware is the retailer you are getting it from. Unless you want to visit yard sales or go and look for a licensed dealer, your best bet is to use online selling services, but it is important to note that these do come with quite a risk. Thus, you should be looking into the history of the retailer and search for feedback related to the vintage cast iron cookware that they have previously sold.


Pricing depends on a number of factors including the age, design, brand, and of course the condition of a certain piece. Certain cast iron cookware pieces may cost less than $40, while a good-condition, in-shape Dutch oven with a lid can be as much as $300 or more.


What is vintage cast iron cookware?

Any cookware item that was made before 1957 and has cast iron as its base material is considered to be vintage.

How should optimal vintage cast iron cookware look?

This all depends on whether you are buying a skillet, a waffle ring, or a Dutch oven with a lid. Nevertheless, there are certain rules that apply for all cast iron cookware items. The fewer markings, rust, and residue on the surface of the cookware – the better. Also, you should be checking for pitting, warping, and cracks as the red flags when it comes to the condition of a certain piece.

Is vintage cast iron cookware worth it?

It all depends on what your cooking purposes are. If you are looking to use it on a daily basis and you have a small restaurant or food shop that is unique, a few vintage cast iron cookware items may be a great addition to your equipment.

Where to buy vintage cast iron cookware

Your best bet is to visit yard sales as those will probably offer vintage pieces at a much lower price than the official dealers. On the other hand, you can go and look these up through online selling services to make sure you get the best value for your money.

How to condition vintage cast iron cookware

It is as simple as coating the vintage piece in a nice layer of oil.

Final Verdict

Owning a piece of a vintage cast iron cookware is a great feeling and can be a good investment if you enjoy working with unique kitchenware. Our personal favorite is the Griswold Dutch Oven with Lid, as it is a sturdy and compact set that can be used on a daily basis. On the other hand, the cast iron cookware we mentioned first – the Wagner Ware skillet – certainly provides a great bang for your buck. Whichever you decide to buy, know that vintage cast iron cookware is something to respect and enjoy.

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