Originally Posted by Wart
I'm all for seasoned pans, I have plenty of them.
Seasoning a smooth iron is seasoning, these rough finishes on newer pans promote the buildup of crud.
Only real purpose I can see with these newer rough finishes is to make it easier for the beginner.
I don't think there's anything easier for the beginner about the rough surface. In my initial seasoning process I would try to brush lard onto the hot pan with a paper towel and the stupid texturing would tear up my paper towel. And don't even think about trying to cook eggs in one of those pans until it's had at least a few months of use to fill in some of those crevices. I hadn't really thought about it much before now, but I'm leaning towards agreeing with you on your crud theory of new cast iron. My wok doesn't require any buildup, neither does my Griswold.
I have one of the new Lodges, a 12" skillet, have had it for about 6 years. While it is smoother now, it isn't anywhere near as smooth as my Griswold 10" and it never will be. It also doesn't distribute heat as well, despite being a bit thicker.
As far as how I clean mine, I'm another from the bamboo wok brush/hot water/no soap/dry it on the stove burner school. I used to keep my two skillets upside down on the top rack in the oven, and I believe that is the happiest place for them if you can do it, but since I got a baking stone, there isn't really room.
As I posted in another thread, my Lodge pan is probably going to be replaced soon with a carbon steel (black steel? blue steel? I'm really not clear on the naming of these things) one.