Home PageAsk The Pan HandlerAsk The Pan Handler: Grinding Marks and Surface Texture on Griswold no. 10 Cast Iron Skillet

Ask The Pan Handler: Grinding Marks and Surface Texture on Griswold no. 10 Cast Iron Skillet

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Mark C from Michigan sent a note to Ask The Pan Handler and said:

“I’ve recently acquired a Griswold Block EPU smooth-bottom No. 10 skillet that “has never been used” (according to the seller). The pan appears to be in amazing condition and probably never used, as they said. Overall, the pan is appropriately weighted, shows nice consistent casting thickness, and the markings on the bottom of the pan seem 100% correct. However, a couple minor things are causing me slight concern.

I have several other Griswolds (#3-6 & #8 block EPU, #10 slant EPU Erie, and #10 pre-Griswold Erie) and I was surprised by the significantly less-polished interior surface of this skillet. My other Griswolds are extremely smooth inside, and you can usually see (what I think are) the polishing marks going in a ring around the circumference of the walls. That’s not evident on this skillet–could it be because of the thin rusty build-up, or are they not always super smooth?

Additionally, I have seen on many pans some “grinding” done around the edges to smooth things out, however this one shows a significant of saw-tooth type grinding left around the handle; all my other handles are molded quite nicely here. Have you ever seen this on the #10 skillets?”

Mark attached three photos of his skillet.

Mark's Griswold number 10 large block logo EPU cast iron skillet, photo 1.

Mark’s Griswold number 10 large block logo EPU cast iron skillet, photo 1.

Mark's Griswold skillet, photo 2. Close-up showing texture of pan.

Mark’s Griswold skillet, photo 2. Close-up showing texture of pan.

Mark's Griswold skillet, photo 3. Close up of grinding marks on outer edge of rim.

Mark’s Griswold skillet, photo 3. Close up of grinding marks on outer edge of rim.

Hi, Mark. It looks like you have a very nice Griswold skillet that just requires some rust removal and re-seasoning prior to use.

As to your question about the grinding marks: Photograph 3 shows a close up of the grinding on the outer rim. To me, it does not look unusual. As you can see in the Lodge video which is embedded in a previous “Ask The Pan Handler” post, the outer rim of the skillet is ground in the finishing process to remove any sharp edges or excess iron left in the casting process. Sometimes the grinding marks appear smoother than what you see in your photo; sometimes they do not. I would not be concerned.

As to your question about the texture of the iron on the pan: It is difficult for me to tell from photograph 2 what the texture and appearance of the pan will actually be once the rust is removed. How did the seller know that the pan had never been used? Was the seller the original owner? You often – in my experience usually – do see spiral grinding marks on the cooking surface and inner side walls of new old pans, but I suppose it is possible that they would not be present. I have seen pans that have been sand or bead-blasted, however, and they can sometimes have a texture similar to that which appears in your photo. Once the rust is removed, the coloration of the pan might indicate whether the pan had been blasted – a lighter grey lightly pebbled surface can be a giveaway of a blasted pan. I would have to see it after cleaning to be able to give you a more conclusive opinion.

In any event, it looks like a nice pan and one that will be a great user after you get that rust removed. Do send an after photo so we can admire your handiwork.

Thanks for your question!