There is a permanent spot on the Chilebrown stove for a cast iron skillet. The cast iron skillet has seen hundreds of slices of bacon. It has shared and participated on countless meat adventures. If it could only talk! The Mad Meat Genius kitchen has several dozen different cast iron vessels. Skillets, fryers, dutch ovens, and even muffin pans. Once you have seasoned a skillet, it becomes virtually non-stick. It literally becomes your friend. Huh?
The majority of my cast iron collection is 20 years old or younger. After reading Black Iron Dude, I realized there is a whole community of people that collect and use these utensils. He mentioned the virtues of a vintage pan. The older pans will heat up faster and remain hotter. They are made of a different quality of iron before 1960. They are a little lighter and have a smoother cooking surface. I was already hooked on cast iron, so I needed to find one of these vintage pans.
It was not hard to find. E-bay came to the rescue. There was a pan that was rusted and just looked lonely. It just needed a good bath and a loving home. It was purchased for the grand total of 10 dollars. A soaking in a water/vinegar solution and a good scrubbing rinsed away years of neglect. The next step was to re-season. Bacon is the perfect food to aid in the seasoning of the pan. I now have a vintage cast iron skillet. With the markings on the bottom of the pan, we were able to determine that this pan was made sometime between 1910-1920. This pan will be put into service for another 100 years. Yeah!