Vintage vs. modern cast iron, not much of a bigger debate exists in leading cast iron groups.
Vintage pans have a number of advantages:
- Smoother surface
- Handmade elements
- Heirloom quality, or passed down from generation to generation
- Certain pieces, such as Bundt Pans are no longer manufactured
Variety of pieces available
Disadvantages of Vintage Pieces:
- Availability: you may not have time to search the flea market, garage sales, etc.
- Restoration: you may not have the ability or space to restore old cast iron finds.
- Quality: Some thinner pans may be “spinners” or don’t sit flat or aren’t suitable for a modern flat-top stove.
- Price: Depending on where you buy, prices may be prohibitive.
Advantages of Modern Pieces:
- Wide availability, although not as many pieces available as the vintage category, such as saucepans
- Price point: Many modern pans are within the normal family budget, and will outlast other types of pans
- Pre-seasoned black iron, or enameled pieces: the consumer does not have to be knowledgeable on seasoning processes.
- Lifetime warranty: pieces I recommend in the modern category all have lifetime warranties
- Restoring modern pieces may be easier, as modern manufacturing processes reduce flash rust
Disadvantages of Modern Pieces:
- Surface is not as smooth, although plenty of use will even out the surface somewhat.
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