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Old 02-26-2014, 10:22 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Speaking from personal experience, there is no need to do any smoothing to Lodge pans. I have two Lodge Logic pans I use regularly and they both cook eggs without sticking. I can slide the eggs onto a plate with no issue.

If you feel you must make the pan smoother, you will have to re-season. And if that's the case, don't buy pre-seasoned CI. You should have some skill with power tools so you don't mess up the surface.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:04 AM   #42
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Lets see if this helps. As far as smoothness goes. Some of the cheaper pans have a smoother finish then the thicker, heaver pans, like Wagner or Lodge.
The reason I like to use flaxseed oil is that it becomes hard after the pan is seasoned. Still leaving a course finish in the pan. But when you add 4 or 5 layers of seasoning the layers of oil raise above the grain of the iron, thus becoming a smooth surface.
So in essence, you really don't cook directly on the cast iron, you cook on the hard oil finish. So if you want a smooth finish to your pan, don't sand or grind it, just season it. The only resaon to sand or grind a pan is to remove the rust.
If I buy a new pre-seasoned pan, the frist thing I do is wash it a hot soapy water then re-season with a few layers of oil untill it becomes slick and smooth.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:07 AM   #43
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The reason I like to use flaxseed oil is that it becomes hard after the pan is seasoned. Still leaving a course finish in the pan. But when you add 4 or 5 layers of seasoning the layers of oil raise above the grain of the iron, thus becoming a smooth surface.
If seasoned properly, this is true of any fat you use, not just flaxseed oil.
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:14 PM   #44
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Ok, so now you've heard it from S&P, GB, Andy, and Myself. There is no need to sand the pan. Just season it, and cook in it. When my Lodge pan was new, I seasoned it (there were no pre-seasoned pans at that time). I cooked in it. It's not grainy inside at all any more. The only reason I prefer my Griswold to my lodge for most of my cooking chores is that it's made with thinner metal. So, it heats faster. But then again, if I need to sear a substantial chunk of meat, or pan-fry in a couple inches of oil, O use the lodge, as it's thcker metal means that it has more stored heat capacity, and won't fluctuate in temperature as food is added so much.

Understanding the basic nature, or physical properties of the pan will really help you use the right pans for the right cooking technique.

If used properly, I can get great results from my SS pans, my aluminum pans, and my CI pans. My Atlas Wok is carbon steel, and is seasoned like my other pans. It to is nearly stick free. Eggs slide around in it just as they do in every other pan in my house. The only pans I really don't care for are ceramic coated pans. I do have problems with food sticking in those.

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Old 02-26-2014, 02:08 PM   #45
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Way to many worries about Cast Iron.

Use it. Abuse it.

Decide if it's for you or not.

I have Cast that's over 70 years old and it works for me.

My Grandmother used to throw it into the fireplace to "Clean the crap off".

There is no magic formula to make it work for you.

Yes it needs to be "seasoned" before it becomes "nonstick" but there are way too many theories as to how to do this to pick one and declare it as "the way" to do it.

The basics are use oil/fat + heat to get a surface to cook on and then care for that surface as it fits your cooking needs and habits.
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:21 PM   #46
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I'm working on building up the carbon and it is slowly getting smoother. One thing I've noticed on some really really well seasoned pans is that they have almost a slight sheen. Mine is still dead flat looking.

Also, out of curiosity, how does cooking bacon season a pan??? When I cook bacon, I don't use high heat, therefore how can a carbon layer build up?
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:28 PM   #47
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Also, out of curiosity, how does cooking bacon season a pan??? When I cook bacon, I don't use high heat, therefore how can a carbon layer build up?
You do not need high heat to season the pan. Heat opens the pores of the metal, the fat gets in, the pan cools and the pores close. That is the seasoning process. Cooking bacon is a great way to continue the seasoning process as it is so high in fat.
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:06 PM   #48
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You do not need high heat to season the pan. Heat opens the pores of the metal, the fat gets in, the pan cools and the pores close. That is the seasoning process. Cooking bacon is a great way to continue the seasoning process as it is so high in fat.
I sometimes cook bacon over relatively high heat.

And sometimes I've received some good burns from spattering grease.

I try to give myself time to cook bacon over lower heat settings now. It spares me pain, sometimes.

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Old 02-27-2014, 07:25 PM   #49
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Just don't cook it while in your birthday suit.
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:31 AM   #50
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A friend of mine just posted, in her blog, about Lodge cast iron. It's on special: Lodge 5-Piece Cast Iron Set is $65 again! Hurry! | Being fRoogal
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