I recently had the pleasure of seeing three different vintage all-in-one cast iron skillets/separators within a time span of about 2 weeks.
Purpose of All-In-One Cast Iron Dinner Skillet
My understanding of the all-in-one cast iron dinner skillet is that the division in the pan enabled the homemaker to cook three different dishes at once – e.g. meat and two vegetables.
This is similar to other compartmentalized vintage pans such as old Breakfast Skillets and griddles which typically have 3 compartments: for egg, bacon, and an English muffin or sausages or potatoes.
The all-in-one skillet would also conserve energy. Only one burner or stove eye would be needed to cook an entire meal.
It is not common to run across the all-in-one pans, much less to see three in the span of a few weeks.
Feast your eyes!
Griswold All-In-One number 8 Cast Iron Dinner Skillet pattern no. 1008
At the February 23, 2019 auction in Indiana, a lovely Griswold All-In-One number 8 cast iron dinner skillet, pattern number 1008, brought $800.
This pan was made by the Griswold Mfg. Co. in Erie PA between 1932 – 1940.
Griswold Cast Iron All-In-One Dinner Skillet Separator, pattern no. 1018
Larry and Marg O’Neil have a rare Griswold cast iron separator, which can be placed in any Griswold no. 8 skillet (pattern no. 704), creating an all-in-one dinner skillet.
The difference between the first Griswold all-in-one skillet shown above and the photos you see below is that the separator can be lifted out. This enables the skillet to be used as a full-surface round skillet, or as a 3-section skillet when the separator is placed in the pan.
The separator was manufactured by Griswold in 1931. 1 According to Larry O’Neil, the separator was only manufactured for that one year because it was learned that liquid seeped beneath the “arms” of the separator into the other compartments. Griswold then began making the all-in-one with the separator attached to the skillet as shown in the first example.
Birmingham Stove & Range Three-Section Separator for Skillet no. 14
At their cast iron museum, Larry and Marg O’Neil have a vintage Birmingham Stove & Range no. 14 skillet with a three-section skillet separator.
Like its Griswold counterpart earlier pictured, this pan can serve both as a large round skillet (with the divider removed) and as a 3-part compartmentalized skillet.
Keep your eyes peeled for these when you’re out hunting for old cast iron cookware, and let me know when you find one!