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Old 12-20-2011, 01:51 AM   #1
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Basic Question about Seasoning cast iron

Hello,

I am very new to cast iron and I could use a lot of advice. I purchased a small Le Cruset enameled cast iron skillet and filled it up with lots of corn oil and put it in the oven at 450 degrees for about 4 hours. When I opened the oven, I noticed the grease had splattered all over the beautiful enamel and on the inside sides of the pan and the only way to get it off was to use oven cleaner. I tried this again but I used a lot less corn oil and lower heat and put it in the oven and got great results maybe 1 or 2 times when I cooked afterwards. But around the 3rd time, the potatoes stuck and basically coated the bottom surface of the pan, and did not get fried. I read an article Chemistry of Cast Iron Seasoning: A Science-Based How-To and will now do the 6 coats with flaxseed oil because I really want to get this seasoning business nailed down correctly. But my question is how long is this seasoning supposed to last? Will it last the lifetime of the pan (forever), or will I need to season it again sometime in the future? If so, is there a way to tell if there is not enough seasoning in the pan before I start cooking so I dont waste ingredients and get terrible results?

Thank you,
Igor

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Old 12-20-2011, 06:18 AM   #2
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Isn't one of the rules of seasoned pans that you must never wash them? I think I read you are supposed to only wipe them out but no soap and water.

In this day and age of hygiene paranoia I like to wash all my pans. Having said that cooking at high heat is also going to kill germs.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:21 AM   #3
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Just MHO, but I dont think you need to season enameled. Sal.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:36 AM   #4
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Just MHO, but I dont think you need to season enameled. Sal.
I have to agree with you on that one. And I was stunned to read that she filled the skillet with corn oil? Whenever I have seasoned a black cast iron skillet, I have always used a paper towel dipped in oil and spread all over the inside of the item. Then placed in a low (200F) temp oven for about eight hours or until it became a solid part of the skillet. For the price of Le Creuset, I hope she hasn't damaged the skillet beyond repair. I can't help wonder, did it come with instructions to season it? Or was this her own idea?
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:37 AM   #5
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Yikes! Stop!

Don't try to season ENAMELED cast iron!!! There's no need to do it. You only need to season bare uncoated cast iron.

You are likely ruining a very $ piece of LeCreuset cookware by deliberately baking on a layer of grease.

Clean it as best you can and carry on. If food sticks it's about technique and not the pan.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:38 AM   #6
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Isn't one of the rules of seasoned pans that you must never wash them? I think I read you are supposed to only wipe them out but no soap and water.

In this day and age of hygiene paranoia I like to wash all my pans. Having said that cooking at high heat is also going to kill germs.
No. That's not a rule for a well seasoned pan. Hot water and soap are fine.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:45 AM   #7
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Yikes! Stop!

Don't try to season ENAMELED cast iron!!! There's no need to do it. You only need to season bare uncoated cast iron.
You are likely ruining a very $ piece of LeCreuset cookware by deliberately baking on a layer of grease.
Clean it as best you can and carry on. If food sticks it's about technique and not the pan.
Sounds like we definitely have a newbie to the world of cooking here and needs some guidance.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:51 AM   #8
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No. That's not a rule for a well seasoned pan. Hot water and soap are fine.
Anytime I used my cast iron skillet for frying fish, I always filled it with water and a tiny dash of dish liquid, bring to a boil, rinse and wipe dry immediately. Never any harm done to the original seasoning of the pan. The secret to using water on them is to dry the skillet thoroughly and immediately after rinsing. Do not let water sit in it to air dry. Rust can and will set in.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:58 AM   #9
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Does anyone else have enamelware pans? A number of years ago, they were the rage. So easy to wash. But then even the smallest amount of abuse, the enamel started to show chips and dings. For the price of Le Cruset, I wonder if it too develops dings and chipping.
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:18 AM   #10
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I have some Lodge enamelware. I only use it for braising and no sharp utensils.
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