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Old 05-19-2016, 02:03 PM   #1
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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.

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Old 05-19-2016, 02:41 PM   #2
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Just a guess but you may be making too thick of a coating and it is burning when you use the pan. I would try only seasoning it once, maybe twice with the oil layer as thin as you can get it.


If the resultant coating is orange, it may not have been on the heat long enough.....


With my carbon steel WOK, I seasoned with a light coat of oil when I got it. With each use, I wiped a light film of oil on it before I heated it. Then used it as a WOK. Never had an issue....


Hope it helps.


Mark
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:46 PM   #3
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Im not familiar with your pans but have easily re-seasoned cast iron from scratch several times.

Since you are having flaking issues, I think it's important to completely remove any old finish before re-seasoning.

If the pans are oven safe, you could put them in your gas grill on full blast and burn off the finish. Then apply the lightest coating possible to the entire pan, inside and out, handle and all (then wipe it down with a paper towel). Bake it upside down in a 350F-400F oven for an hour or so then turn off the oven and let it cool in the oven. Repeat a couple of more times before cooking in it.
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Old 05-19-2016, 03:34 PM   #4
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Thanks! I'll try burning it off and starting over. Any thoughts on the type of oil? I'd love to keep using my bacon grease, since I have so much of it sitting in my fridge, but I'll go with whatever will give me the best results.
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Old 05-19-2016, 04:30 PM   #5
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I've never used bacon grease. I'd go with a high smoke point oil like corn or peanut.
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