Originally Posted by otc I know that the surfaces are a bit more rough on the new ones than on the vintage pieces,
but mine has still worked well and over time it seems to be smoothing out.
You could try for a vintage griswold or lodge on ebay or something....but the prices are ridiculous and if you keep it for years, it should break itself in just as well. Maybe some fine sandpaper + a reseasoning might accelerate the process too.
edit: it looks like only the buy it now prices on old griswold are in the ridiculous category (and the ones for rare pieces)....but for skillets they seem fine. Really though, I'd just grab the lodge--if you have amazon prime, you could be making corn bread in no time
if you're not looking to spend much lodge is an excellent deal, but the bolded is one reason why someone would want to look elsewhere. the surface is too pebbly as they dont machine finish it and it smoothes out over time, but not fully. pebbly surface means not as efficient heat transfer. no amount of seasoning is going to make the surface perfectly smooth.
vintage wagner or griswald on ebay is also a good idea.
iwachu is fantastic. forged cast iron unlike lodge. handmade by artisans. more attention to detail. better finishing. will last you several generations.