Griswold No.12 Dutch Oven

danab_z9_laFebruary 21, 2008

Anyone have a Griswold No. 12 Dutch Oven they want to sell? Check out what they are going for on ebay.

Here is a link that might be useful: Griswold Dutch Oven Auction

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Dan, there's 3 days left. Still time for you to go in there & win that thing :)

Wonder how much a #12 with a lid weighs?

Who do you think is bidding on it, collectors? Rich cooks?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 5:02PM
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Did you see the #13 dutch oven going for $2325?

Here is a link that might be useful: #13 Griswold Dutch Oven

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 6:17PM
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Wow, I didn't see that number thirteen. It's unbelievable what people are willing to pay for these old pots. I'm an avid cook and have bid $450 for a number 12 on a couple of auctions. I was the second highest bidder; but, I had no idea the top end bid could be so high. I'm not sure what they weight. My number 10,however, weights 12 lbs (8 lb pot with 4 lb lid) and is a breeze for me to handle. These pots cook so well it's really ashamed that Griswold went out of business.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 7:00PM
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No kidding, I grew up in Erie, Pa. and even worked summers in an iron foundry. About a year ago,(living in California), I found out about Griswold cast iron pans, made in my home town, and thought I'd find a couple to cook with. But I was sort of scared off by the prices, and my lack of knowledge of which ones were the better for cooking... fire ring, no fire ring, large insignia, slanted insignia, I was totally confused.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 12:12AM
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That's interesting, alexr. Did you know anything about the Griswold factory there in Erie? They were a mighty company in their day. Amazing how these old giants are dead & gone. I drove by Bethlehem Steel once in their hey day; had never seen a factory that big in my life, & I remember feeling humbled by it all. Hard to believe it's a rusting, weed infested hulk now.

Perhaps it depends on the kind of cooking you do as to what kind of pans to get. I need smooth bottomed pans for my ceramic smoothtop. Induction cooktops also need smooth bottomed pans. Gas stoves allow for the heat rings. Cooks Illustrated magazine preferred thicker contemporary cookware (Lodge) over a 100 year old Wagner because they felt the thicker metal was better for searing meats. Danab's an experienced cook & cast iron collector, however, and he disagrees. He says he gets a better fond on his Griswolds, which are prized for their thinness & smooth interiors.

I just bought a newer Wagner pan, which is thicker than my Griswolds, & I kinda like it better for meats, but am not sure yet. Could be the size of the pan is better for what I was cooking.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 10:20AM
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Fire rings, or smoke rings, or heat rings on cast iron pans meant something years ago; but, this feature is not needed in any cooking application today. If fact, as awmo3 discuss above, these rings can pose a problem on some modern day stoves.

You can't go wrong with any smooth bottom (i.e. no heat ring)Griswold pan as you can use it on any stove. Just make sure that the seller says "it sits flat with no wobble on a flat surface." The cross mark designs and sizes have something to do with the dates of manufacture. The small logo Griswolds are usually cheaper and they are an excellent choice. I prefer the large logo product and those items with the bold raised lettering......a guy thing I guess.

Any tite top Griswold dutch oven is also an excellent first choice. They are lighter in weight than modern day pieces and cook much better. Tite top's usually have lids that are clear enameled on the underside of the lid which is a nice feature. Also, the lid fits extremely tight as the name implies....excellent for long braising.


IMO Cooks Illustrated made a mistake in asking a "put-it-on-the-wall type" collector for a vintage cast iron skillet. What they should have done is ask a "cook" type collector for a vintage cast iron skillet. This might have made a difference in the outcome of their testing.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 2:36PM
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I'm sorry I don't know more about Griswold Iron Works. I think they were possibly still going when I was a small child, but what would I have known about pots and pans then?

In the early 1970's I worked summers at Erie Malleable Iron. And they made what was called 'black sand castings' which I think is the same process as Griswold pans. The sand castings were these big blocks of black sand, probably mixed with a binder that served as a mold, and had to be broken apart with a sledge hammer,(the sand was reused), the iron had fins that had to be broken off and cleaned up and inspected before going on to finishing. Everyday I would go in white skinned and by evening I was as black as a coal miner (or more so). They had huge shower rooms to wash off and change clothes before heading home. And the huge ladles of molted iron that pored red-hot metal practically over your head was terrifying.

Erie had a lot of Iron foundries and forges. Everything was Union where I worked-United Steelworkers. I remember Zurn, Urick, and I think Ridge Tools and General Electric (locomotive) and I believe they are still around. And a big paper mill-Hammermill; which was started at an old wrought iron forge in Erie in 1899. But I haven't been back for decades and I think most of those iron foundries are long gone. I worked two summers at Malleable Iron, and though the work was hard, I was young and could handle it. I memorized poetry in my head while working.

Whole sections of town smelled like the Iron foundries. You could see it in the air on those still Winter days. Lots of Italian, Polish and Russian immigrants and Black folks worked side by side, but still maintained their neighborhood bars and eating places. I remember wanting to go to a Polish bar (Club) to go Polka dancing with some Penn State coeds- this is during the hippie period, ... but it was restricted and private, I had to find a friend of a friend who practically had to sponsor me with his blood to get me a membership card. Unbelievable- it was like stepping back in time by 20 years. We ate it up.

I did not know about Erie and Griswold until I had to buy a new gas range (I bought a small Bluestar for my Berkeley apartment..also made in Pa.)

I have since seen them at other people's homes.. and seeing the word Erie,Pa. just always sends me back. Maybe someday I'll buy a skillet or 5qt. dutch oven... not all the memories were good, but they were mine and they shaped who I became.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 11:23PM
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You've painted a vivid picture of some of your memories with your well crafted words. Thanks for sharing.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 6:17AM
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Yes, thanks very much for telling, alex, that's a great story.

That #13 dutch oven went for $3943.50. Don't let that scare you, alexr, I bought a #8 frying pan for $10 last week (+$10 shipping).

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 10:40AM
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You can pick up a nice #8 pretty cheap and it is a easy manageable size abou 10.5"...Griswolds are really sweet pans I love mine even though they are not collector quality. They are great for the kitchen and great for camping. I also have a Lodge high sided grill pan which feels clunkier and rougher but is a fun pan to cook with when you can grill out in the winter.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 3:35PM
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I have vintage griswold dutch oven and vintage skillets of all sizes that were left to me by family......Since I have my own griswold items due to the fact that is all my family ever cook in as long as i can remember, I am looking to sell these...So if you live in the pennslyvania counties or erie, crawford, bulter, or allegheny, get in touch.....thanks

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 10:22PM
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