Another Matfer seasoning question
I acquired two Matfer carbon steel fry pans a few months ago, and since then, I've been trying to produce a durable seasoned surface with increasing frustration.
When I first bought them, I washed with soap and water, dried on the stove, and then used the procedure recommended on the instructions (oil with potato peelings). I was really happy with the initial results. An egg fried later that evening slipped around without sticking at all. Since the coating was not yet an opaque black (more of an amber brown), I did a few more rounds of a thin oil coating over medium-high/high heat for 10-20 minutes. However, the coating just didn't hold up. It started coming off in flakes and just spraying it with my sink sprayer would take off more and more flakes of black coating. I tried adding a few more layers, but still had the same problems.
I decided to try starting over. I filled both pans with water and vinegar and simmered them for awhile until the coating started coming loose. I scrubbed it off as best as I could with steel wool and hot water until the surface felt smooth again (although somewhat discolored). Based on the recommendation of another website, I used bacon fat this time. Concentrating on keeping the oil film as thin as possible, I seasoned the pans again 3-4 times, wiping with a paper towel whenever the pan seemed to get "dry." The coating looked fantastic after the first couple of times, but then I started to notice bubbling again. And yesterday, when I used the smaller one for the first time (to fry an egg), the egg actually pulled up bits of black when I flipped it, even though I used a non-stick type spatula to be sure I wasn't scraping too hard. I also seared a roast in the larger one and had the same problem.
What am I doing wrong? Is my heat during seasoning too hot? Not hot enough? Is oven seasoning the way to go? Am I using the wrong oil? Should I try to take off the coating again and start over, or should I keep trying to correct what's currently on there, even though it continues to bubble and flake?
I'd appreciate any help you can give me. I love the pans, and the initial results were so promising.