JUST A LITTLE CAST IRON FACT

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JUST A LITTLE CAST IRON FACT

Postby bobhenry » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:01 am

Regardless of what other markings or logos the major foundries incised into their products, common among nearly all vintage pieces-- whether they be skillets, dutch ovens, waffle irons, or griddles-- are size numbers.

Often, the assumption is erroneously made that the large numeral, found normally either on the top of the handle or on the bottom of a piece, indicates its diameter in inches. A measurement of both the top and the bottom rim of a pan, however, will quickly confirm that the number has nothing to do with either dimension.

With the advent of wood-burning stoves, pans were produced to conform to the sizes of the openings in their tops known as "stove eyes". Think of a stove eye as a burner on a modern stove. (Some people still call them that.) A heavy cover piece was left in place when an eye was not directly in use, and removed-- using a special, heat-resistant lifter handle-- when maximum heat from the eye was required.

Heat rings, the rims protruding from the bottom circumference of most early cast iron pans, served multiple functions: as a "seal" of sorts between the pan and stove eye, as added stablility for less-than-perfectly flat pan bottoms, and as a device to help reduce hot spots.

Depending on the brand of stove, and the sizes of its various eyes, appropriately-sized pans would need to be purchased for use with it. Or, in some cases, the stove maker also produced pans, which they supplied for use with their units.

So that's what that number is :thinking:
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Re: JUST A LITTLE CAST IRON FACT

Postby Mike B » Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:16 am

Which is exactly why the 8" Wagner skillet I use to cook breakfast every morning has a big "6" on the handle.
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Re: JUST A LITTLE CAST IRON FACT

Postby rebapuck » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:46 pm

Was there an standardization of the numbers among manufacturers?
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Re: JUST A LITTLE CAST IRON FACT

Postby wtcreaux » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:39 am

I wonder if the size number is actually 2" smaller than the diameter, thereby leaving a 1" support lip on the the DO to keep it from falling into the stove........
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