Cast Iron Chaos RecentChanges

LoginLogoutRegisterContact the WebmasterPayPal Me

Facebook Cast Iron Cooking Community Passes One Thousand Member Mark

September 27, 2012: Facebook is home to many communities, dedicated to every subject imaginable…including antique cast iron cooking pans from the 19th and 20th centuries. "Cast Iron Cooking," a Facebook "open group" focusing on this esoteric topic, has found a large following and just passed one thousand members. In celebration of this event, an antique cast iron skillet was awarded to the one thousandth member on September 26th.

Most of the participants on the Facebook group are amateur "foodies" – people who cook for family or as a hobby, not professional cooks and chefs. Topics on the group range from identifying the original manufacturers of antique pots and pans dating from 1950 all the way back to the 1860s, based upon identifying traits including manufacturer logos and signatures stamped on the bottom of a pan. The group's members also revel in cooking extravagant meals in cast iron dutch ovens and skillets. Dozens of mouth-watering pictures of delicious-looking food are posted to the group every day. Facebook's "commenting" utility encourages the group's members to encourage one another, provide praise and compliments to the cooks, and arrange meetings and get-togethers. These meetings are known as DOGs (Dutch Oven Gatherings) in the cooking community. Recipes are posted regularly with such names as "Better Than Sex Cake" and "Easy Skillet Apple Pie."

One typical message topic posted on September 25th stated, "I've learned more in here, in the short time I've been a member, than I did in the previous year I've been collecting cast iron. Everyone is friendly, helpful and knows their stuff. I get inspired by the pics too. Glad I joined." This posting received five Facebook "likes" within an hour. An informative response to an inquiry on how to identify a pan rusted from decades of neglect stated, "Surface rust can often be removed using a simple solution of one part white vinegar and one part water. Soak the piece for 30 minutes in a container large enough to treat the entire pan at once. If not completely submerged in the vinegar solution, the result will be an unevenness of color. Then scrub using a stainless steel scouring pad or steel wool, and rinse well. Additional half hour soaks/scrub sessions may be necessary and are OK, but don't leave the piece soaking for longer periods. Once free of rust, the piece should be thoroughly rinsed, dried, and seasoned to prevent its return."

"E.W. Modemac," the founder and administrator of the group, announced on September 1st, "A Griswold #8 10-inch cast iron skillet, manufactured between 1925 and 1940. This cast iron pan will be given as a free gift, shipped at no charge, to the 1,000th member of Facebook's Cast Iron Cooking group. Yes, I'm serious." Iron cookware manufactured by Griswold (the company folded in the 1950s) is a hot item on eBay and other sites, with cast iron pieces from this manufacturer often fetching prices of $100 or more. After the winner of the contest was announced, one member of the group commented, "I didn't know a Griswold was at stake! I would have unjoined & rejoined!! Dang it! LOL…"

As one regular commenter wrote, "It's just a well seasoned bunch of friends."