New member here, though I've enjoyed your posts for years... thought this may be a good place to get information about a vintage skillet I recently came across. While perusing my stepfather's old someplace in the NC mountains, I found this skillet that he was happy to give me. Initially, I thought it was cast iron, but after using steel wool to remove the rust, it appears to be steel rather than iron. However, I'm somewhat confused because everything I find online says steel (even "black steel") pans would be a lot lighter and thinner than cast iron. This one is just as heavy (or maybe heavier) than my cast iron pan, and it's really thick. Any ideas on what it is made of? I see what looks like an inscribed 'T' and "3" in the underside of the handle. And should I season it and care for it as I do for my cast iron?
Another note, my husband thinks it looks like it had a coating of some type and that "it could be anything" and may not be safe to cook on. I think it looks super old and handmade, and therefore would not have any synthetic coating.
It may also be noteworthy that once I scrubbed it clean of rust and heating it to a super high temp, some thick black oil substance came to the surface.
Thanks for your help!