If you want to give cast iron cookware a try or to expand your collection, you can always head to the store or internet and purchase something brand-new. If you know what you are looking for, there’s no reason you should hesitate. You’ll get years and years of use out of any piece of cast iron cookware, so its comparatively modest price is a pretty fantastic long-term investment.
So, why not rush out and buy something new?
In addition to possessing a frugal streak, I also have had some positive experiences with obtaining cast iron cookware for FREE or at very reasonable prices. That makes cast iron cooking experience even more priceless. Before you purchase something new, you might explore these venues. The trick is to keep your eyes open to bargains:
* Yard sales. Some people don’t realize the worth of what they’ve got so they are willing to part with it for just a few dollars. Moving sales are an especially good place to look for cast iron because, well yes, they are heavy.
* Second-hand stores. Do some research beforehand so that you know that you are getting a good deal and not an expensive “antique”!
* Online lists like Craigslist or FreeCycle type lists. Ditto the above
* Grandparents or great-aunts. People who cook less than they used to might be ready to part with cook ware that requires some muscles to use. It doesn’t hurt to ask and find out. Keep your eye open in attics, basements, garages and the back of the cupboard to cast iron that’s not being used. Someone might be delighted to share if you express interest.
If old pieces of cast iron show some rust or discoloration, you might think that are not salvagable. And that would be wrong! Cast iron that has deep pock marks or extreme rust are probably lost causes for indoor cooking (although they may have outdoor uses that we’ll get around to), but surface rust on cast iron can be dealt with using pioneer resolve and a few techniques that we’ll get around to shortly.