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Old 02-19-2014, 09:13 AM   #1
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Cast Iron Seasoning Help

I have a skillet, which was slightly rusty and the seasoning wasn't optimal. So, I stripped it with electrolysis and a wire wheel.

Then I cleaned it with cold water, dish soap, and a paper towel. I heated it to 200º, and put flax seed oil on it, and wiped that off.
After that, I heated the oven to 400º or more, and left it in for an hour.



I've done this process (cool off, apply flax seed oil, heat to 400-500 for 1hr+) eight times, and yet my food still sticks very badly - much worse than the old seasoning.

For example, when I tried to cook an egg after the sixth or seventh time, I wondered if I would ever get it all off. So, I did what I could and put it back in @ 500 for 2hr.

Then, I tried to cook bacon and even some of that stuck to the pan.

What am I doing wrong?

Thanks!

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Old 02-19-2014, 09:20 AM   #2
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Check out this link and go to the section titled, "Refurbish Your Finish". Do what it says and you will be fine. Lodge - Seasoned Cast Iron

The key is to use the lightest coating possible. Excess oil will create stickiness.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:23 AM   #3
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The key is to use the lightest coating possible. Excess oil will create stickiness.
I did that, there aren't any run marks etc. I was practically scrubbing off the extra oil.
I'll look at that link in a moment, thanks.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:32 AM   #4
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I think Crisco works best.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:50 AM   #5
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When you cooked the egg, did you add some butter or oil to the pan first?
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:52 AM   #6
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Yes, I added olive oil.
Some of it was hot, too; I fried some onions first. Then, I added some more olive oil.

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When you cooked the egg, did you add some butter or oil to the pan first?
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:29 AM   #7
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The more you use it the better it will get.

Cast iron is not non-stick by any means. You need oil to cook things. You should not need anything to fry bacon though.
I would just continue to use the pan. Pans take time to get used to IMO.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:42 AM   #8
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Your oven is way too hot, lower the temp to 300 degrees, bake upside down for an hour,turn off the oven and let the pan cool. Flaxseed oil has a low smoking temp! Don't add oil to a cold pan, heat it on the stove top then add the oil. Whip out all the oil and repeat 4 or 5 times. I think your problem is that your burning the oil into the iron. Food will stick to cast iron or stainless steel until a certain temp is reached and the food is at the same temp. If you try to move it before, it will stick, even bacon!

If I were you, I would start over. Scrub out the pan with very hot soap and water,Not cold water! This will open up the pours in the metal, Always apply oil to a warm pan. Even after I clean my pans and they have cooled off I heat them on the stove top just to smoking point, about 200 degrees, the I use a oiled peice of burlap to coat the pan with a thin coat of oil before storing. Hope this will help you, let me know. Joe
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:24 PM   #9
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Great, detailed post. Thanks, I might get some lye and start over.
If I do, I think I'll grind or wheel the pan too, to make it smooth.

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Your oven is way too hot, lower the temp to 300 degrees, bake upside down for an hour,turn off the oven and let the pan cool. Flaxseed oil has a low smoking temp! Don't add oil to a cold pan, heat it on the stove top then add the oil. Whip out all the oil and repeat 4 or 5 times. I think your problem is that your burning the oil into the iron. Food will stick to cast iron or stainless steel until a certain temp is reached and the food is at the same temp. If you try to move it before, it will stick, even bacon!

If I were you, I would start over. Scrub out the pan with very hot soap and water,Not cold water! This will open up the pours in the metal, Always apply oil to a warm pan. Even after I clean my pans and they have cooled off I heat them on the stove top just to smoking point, about 200 degrees, the I use a oiled peice of burlap to coat the pan with a thin coat of oil before storing. Hope this will help you, let me know. Joe
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:36 PM   #10
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a D/A grinder with wet emery cloth will get the pan as smooth as you could possibly want it.

When I've messed up the seasoning in my pans, I wiped them with cooking oil, no special kind, and heated on top of the stove until they quit smoking. Then I rubbed in a little more oil, and repeated the process. I did this about 4 times. Then I turned of the stove, let them cool for 5 minutes or so, wiped them with a sheen of cooking oil and let them air dry and cool.

I believe that the initial coatings fill the pores with oil, that hardens into carbon, and coats all of the metal. The subsequent repetitions creates a hard coating that resists damage. The final coating creates a lubricated, slippery surface.

This method has always worked for me. It's not the way Lodge does it. but like I said, it works for me.

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Old 02-19-2014, 04:23 PM   #11
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This may be a stupid question, but was it ever a good pan or is it one you found and are attempting to clean. I have seen many inexpensive imported CI pans that have such a rough surface they will never be any good.

I would wash it, dry it, put about a half inch of oil in it, heat it, peel and slice a potato, cook up a batch of french fries, wipe it out when it cools.

Stay away from the lye unless you know what you are doing, it is very dangerous and it does not care what it eats!
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:03 PM   #12
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What do you suggest for stripping the old seasoning?
And yes, it used to be a decent pan.

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Stay away from the lye unless you know what you are doing, it is very dangerous and it does not care what it eats!
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:09 PM   #13
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Icor, wait. wait, wait! You don't need any lye. Just fill it with water and some vineagar, boil for a few minutes and start the seasoning process. NO LYE!
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:20 PM   #14
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Watch and see if this video helps.

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Old 02-19-2014, 07:26 PM   #15
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Just reseasoned an old dutch oven I found in my parent's shed. Skipped the electrolysis as it seemed to only have surface rust; my husband used a wire brush on a drill to get all the rust and old seasoning off.

Coated it with peanut oil and left it in a low oven (200) for about three hours. Sticky. Recoated with Crisco and left that sucker in there for a week on the bottom rack while I cooked as normal on the top rack. If I estimate, probably around 4-5 hours around 350 or so, with all the heating up and cooling down included.

It was still slightly sticky, gave it a good rinse with plain hot water, sauted onions and braised some pork chops in it. No sticking of the food, rinsed out easily and it's still coming along nicely. I'd like it to blacken up and get a bit smoother, but I'm happy with the progress.

At least from my experience with reseasoning old cast iron - and I've done it a lot, I have a pretty good collection - time and use just makes it better. I have tried all the oil combos you can think of, and the only thing I can really recommend is to use an oil that can take high heat and use at least two different types while seasoning, like peanut, lard, bacon or Crisco.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:26 PM   #16
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I think that high heat is turning the oil you're using into a sticky gummed-up mess. I've never heard of that method to season a cast iron skillet. I can't figure out the lye method either, or the grinding wheel for that matter.
Maybe it's time to try Salt and Pepper's method just for the fun of it.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:30 PM   #17
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Do not expect eggs to not stick after just a few rounds of seasoning. Eggs are one of the things that stick the most and seasoning does not work right away. You should season at least once before cooking anything and then after the initial seasoning start slowly by cooking foods with a high fat content (like bacon) a number of times. The more you cook foods like that the more it will reinforce your initial seasoning. Eventually, and you will know when, you will start to see and feel a chance in the pan and will be able to cook things with less fat.
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Old 02-20-2014, 04:22 PM   #18
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When you consider the repeated time and money you spent on electricity, doesn't it almost start to approach the price of a brand new Lodge preseasoned skillet?
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:40 PM   #19
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When you consider the repeated time and money you spent on electricity, doesn't it almost start to approach the price of a brand new Lodge preseasoned skillet?
That would depend on the pan. If I were to happen upon a neglected Griswold, or older Wagner CI pan, I would say that restoring it would be the thing to do, as those pans were so well made. The new, preseasoned Lodge pan is well made too, but is substantially heavier, and not finished nearly as well. The cooking surface is very grainy on Lodge pans, while very smooth on the Griswold and Wagner pans.

I have to admit though, that properly seasoned, each brand has it's high and low points. but isn't it that way with everything?

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Old 02-21-2014, 04:53 AM   #20
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That would depend on the pan. If I were to happen upon a neglected Griswold, or older Wagner CI pan, I would say that restoring it would be the thing to do, as those pans were so well made. The new, preseasoned Lodge pan is well made too, but is substantially heavier, and not finished nearly as well. The cooking surface is very grainy on Lodge pans, while very smooth on the Griswold and Wagner pans.

I have to admit though, that properly seasoned, each brand has it's high and low points. but isn't it that way with everything?

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I agree!

Some of my old CI pans are smooth as glass, virtually nonstick, others need a little more experience.
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