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Vintage Le Creuset Skillets are different both in shape and design from modern version. Instead of a more refined rounded corners, the corners are sharp and can trap food. Comparing them side by side, the modern day version are clearly better in design. However, its also quite a bit more expensive. Performance wise, they are very similar, in my test, I found that there is virtually little to no difference. So which one should you get? This review will take a closer look at the design and features of Le Creuset Wooden Handle Skillet.
Vintage Le Creuset Skillet Quick Summary
|Categories||Le Creuset Skillet Wooden Handle|
|Colors||Wide Range of Color|
|Brand Awareness||World Famous|
|Country of Manufacturer||France|
|Thoughts||A great cast iron skillet. It performs the same as today Modern Equivalent. It is recommended to get the newer version due to the wood durability issue though. However you can source the vintage one through ebay.|
|Modern Version||Le Creuset 24cm Skillet|
Le Creuset Skillet Wooden Handle Handle Benefit and Disadvantage
There are two main models of Le Creuset Skillet. One with a wooden handle and an all metal one. The main advantage of a wooden handle is that it prevents heats from traveling. As a result, it stays cool to the touch and you can cook without a glove.
The downside to this is durability and oven safe temperature. Because of how fragile it is, its not recommended to put the wooden handle skillet in a oven temperature of over 300 degree Fahrenheit. The constant heat cycle will dry out the wood.
Not only that, the constant drying and washing the handle will deteriorate it over time. As you can see, the wood handle has already started rotting at the base.
How the Handle Mechanism Work
How the handle works is that on the pan itself, there is a line where a metal rod can hook on.
The metal rod goes through the opening of the wooden handle and screws on with a metal loop that increases tensions on the wood handle to create a stable handle. This design is better and more durable than the design you will get from the Dansk Pans.
The issue with this type of design is that rust will eventually develop on the metal rod and if it snaps, there goes your pan.
You might be able to make your own, but I doubt it will be as fitted as the one that is made by Le Creuset. Luckily, it seems like Le Creuset has kept on using this design on their modern wooden pan so you might be able to source one from them.
I will say this, the wooden handle model is much better looking than the metal one. Even with the durability issue, I would choose the wooden handle model anytime of the day.
Vintage Le Creuset Skillet Shape
The most interesting thing about these vintage skillet is the shape. The rim on the top is wide and tapers downward like a windsor pan. In fact if this pan was taller, it would be windsor pan.
The newer version of this skillet uses a more rounded corner. This allows for a spatula to scrape the edges a lot more easily. The sharp corners on the vintage pan can trap food and get it stuck in the corners. Eggs and sauces will cause issues especially when you are trying to clean it.
Another issue with this type of pan is the reduced amount of cooking surface. This pan tapers a lot more than a regular skillet. The upper rim is 9.5 inch and the base area is 7 inch. That is a 2.5 inch reduction in size! Cooking on this pan will generally be more suited for a party of one or two.
There also seems to be a lack of any pouring lip or rounded lip. Modern pan will have pouring spots on either side.
Vintage Le Creuset Skillet Enamel Coating
Yellow is coated throughout the pan with a dark black interior. On the bottom of the pan, there is crazing or cracking in the Enamel coating. I am not sure if this is due to the enamel deteriorating or misuse.
On the bottom the number 24 is stamped on it to denote the size of the rim. Sometime down the line, Le Creuset started to manufacturer skillet with a bare cast iron bottom. Then they switched it again to a enamel coated bottom. Nevertheless, the enamel coating makes the lettering difficult to read.
On a side note, I read online that some of the color has cadmium in their paint. When heated, it releases to the air. Whether this is true or cause health issues is unknown to me.
Fit and Finish
Fit and Finish on this pan is excellent. Even though this pan should be over 50 year old, it still hold its luster and beauty. The enamel finish on the side of the pan is excellent with no orange peel. I would argue that this finish is better than the modern day version. However, the bottom does still have the orange peel issue.
Note:These measurement are done by me with the tools that I have on hand. The manufacturers have their own measurement guidelines and that should be assumed to be accurate. What I find on this review can vary widely due to several factors, such as ambient temperature, location, water, tool calibration, stove btu, etc..and should only be considered as my opinion.
Weight: 1593 g
Rim Width:Around 9.6 inch
Flat Cooking Surface Width:Around 7.2 inch
Sidewall Thickness:Around 3.76 mm
Vintage Le Creuset Skillet Performance vs Modern
To test the how well it distribute heat and how well it heats up, I perform a toast test where I place a piece of toast in the center than weight it down with a meat pounder. I heat up the pan for a total of 3 min then see the color of the toast. The picture below illustrates how this test was done.
The result of this test is what you can expect from a cast iron pan. There is a definite heat spot in the center of the pan. One side seems to be scorching while the other looks perfectly browned.
If you compare this with a modern Le Creuset Skillet the result is a little better but quite similar. The Vintage model heats up faster because its almost one lb lighter than the all metal version. But the heat pattern are the same. The center of the pan did not get enough heat while the top portion got too hot. If you heat up the metal Le Creuset Skillet a little longer, you will get almost the same result.
This Vintage wooden handle Le Creuset Skillet performs almost the same as a modern one. There are pros and cons to the wooden handle. The major benefit is that the wooden handle will not get hot on the stove. The issue is durability and oven safe temperature. However, it sure is pretty to look at. Much better than the all metal one.
If you are looking to buy this pan, I recommend that you get the Modern Version, it has a more useful rounded shape and you get a wooden handle that will last longer.
I hope you like this Vintage Le Creuset Skillet Review, If you would like to see more, please visit our Pots and Pans Review page.