Dutch Oven, Birmingham Stove & Range, Red Mountain Series, 1930s-1940s
Dutchman's Creek is all about good usable cast iron cookware.
Some of our cast iron might qualify as collectible, but the emphasis here is on restoration and practical use instead of collectibility.
As the proprietor of Dutchman's Creek, I love a collectible piece of cast iron as much as anyone, but that is not the focus of this business. While there may be some differences in manufacturing quality, weight, and design, one No. 8 skillet is about as good as the next when it comes to actual cooking. The piece that functions perfectly in your kitchen may not be the piece that is most sought after by collectors.
When collectors of cast iron cookware refer to a piece as a "good user" it can be a left-handed compliment. It means that the piece has one or more issues that exclude it from a serious collection. Anything made later than 1960 probably lacks rarity. Cookware manufactured in Asia is ignored by most U.S. collectors. Some manufacturers are sought after more than others. Some pieces have physical imperfections that do not affect functional cooking but leave the piece undesirable as a collectible.
One of the fantastic qualities of cast iron cookware is the sturdy nature of the iron. If a piece is physically intact, it can probably be restored to usable condition. This is true even if it is enveloped in crud and rust, made in another country, cast at an unidentifiable foundry, manufactured 2 years ago or 102 years ago.
Curating is at the heart of collecting. Collectors might pass over pieces that cook perfectly well in favor of pieces that both cook well and have financial value or rarity. Cast iron in pristine condition is especially collectible. Collectible iron may command a premium price. A piece can be collected for display rather than use. The knowledge, passion, and tenacity of serious collectors is truly a beautiful thing, but that mindset could lead you to think only certain brands are worthy of having in your home.
Each piece sold here has its own history. I experience a special joy from ushering a piece of unusable cast iron back to active duty. Some pieces are in better shape than others when I get them, but they are all cleaned to raw metal and seasoned for use.
I am selling good users at appropriate prices. The cookware offered here may show effects that come from poor storage and misuse, but every piece has been cleaned to raw iron and seasoned for a fresh start. Each is ready for immediate use.
Owner, Dutchmans Creek Cast Iron