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I have an old Wagner Ware cast iron skillet (marked as model 1056T; measures about 7 inches inside bottom). This was given to me by my grandmother.

Where the handle meets the pan, you can see a marked difference in material. It looks like the pan used to have some sort of coating that has now come off.

I have another one (bought at a thrift shop) that has no markings except "No. 10 12 7/16" on the bottom. It also looks like it had a black coating and a more silver color is showing through on the round ridge on the bottom outside and on the rim edge of the pan.

I keep these seasoned, but neither behaves as well as the Lodge pan I bought new a few years ago.

So I'm wondering if they originally would have had some sort of coating. I thought not, but they just look so odd.

Front of Pan

Back of Pan, under handle

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

It depends. Traditionally cast-iron did not come pre-seasoned.

Lodge, as you know, specializes in pre-seasoned and enameled cast-iron pans. Lodge pans work great, but there isn't anything exceedingly special about their seasoning; it's simply vegetable oil (soy) baked onto the pan. You should be able to achieve a similar seasoning quality at home using the methods described here:

Wagner skillets do not come pre-seasoned from the manufacturer. However, they did typically come with some coating in place to prevent rusting. This coating, while safe, is not intended to be a "seasoning". It wears off over time, and it's role is subsequently filled by proper seasoning.


Based on your photos, that looks to be the coating I described above.

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