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Old 10-17-2005, 01:04 PM   #1
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Cast iron pot is smoking


I have a cast iron pot that I've seasoned and used several times. I always apply the "thin coating" of (Crisco vegetable) shortening after use and before storage.

My problem is that when I heat the pan for use (i.e., pre-heat before adding whatever fat I'm going to use), the pan smokes. White smoke and it's kind of a lot of smoke. I assume this is the shortening heating up and burning.

Am I doing something wrong? Too much shortening? Wrong kind of shortening? Is this what I should expect?

As usual, any advice is welcome!



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Old 10-17-2005, 02:12 PM   #2
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Crisco is the right thing to use. Are you using too much? Also - when you season it, you're supposed to smear a light coat on, put it in the oven and bake it at 350 degrees for an hour - placing a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom rack to catch any shortening drippings. This process is a bit smoky. When the hour is up, you just turn off the oven and let the cast iron cool down slowly. When it's cool, wipe off any excess oil with a paper towel. The more you use your cast iron, and if you don't wash with soap and water - the less you have to go through this "seasoning" process.

It sounds like if you're applying a light coat "after use and before storage" - and you're not doing the "bake in oven for an hour and wipe down after it's cool" part - then you have too much oil on it. This excess oil is what is burning off and smoking when you go to use it.

Make sense?

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Old 10-17-2005, 02:17 PM   #3
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My CI always smokes. It is the oil burning off. Perfectly normal. Just open a window and turn on your exhaust fan.
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Old 10-17-2005, 02:24 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply!

Yes, I already seasoned it using the process you mentioned. And yes it does get a bit smokey but this isn't what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about the smoke caused after application of the "thin coat," so I guess it's just an occupational hazard

Thanks again!
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Old 10-17-2005, 04:16 PM   #5
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Once you get that pot very well seasoned, you won't have to apply the thin layer of shortening at all. I have 2 skillets from my grandmother that are about 75 years old - they're so well seasoned, I've been known to throw them in the dishwasher - gasp! - on occasion!
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Old 10-18-2005, 04:15 PM   #6
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Seasoning Cast Iron Pot and Pans

I had the same problem that you did. I just got so frustrated I never used it again. I saw an article on CookingSpot.com and tried a different way to season it and never had the problem again.
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Old 12-20-2005, 03:39 PM   #7
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The oil just might not be working for you in this case. I usually use olive oil... I have even used Pam without any problem. A little smoke in the beginning is perfectly normal... should dissipate depending on what you are doing. I made some flat bread for instance and this just smoked... someone replied not to use soap and water (and the stress here is on the soap). Are you using water to clean it....? Its fine to do, just make sure you set it on the fire or in the oven to completly dry. If, for example, you were to use water to clean it and then put a layer of oil on it... well oil and water does get a bit smoky right:)
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Old 12-22-2005, 11:17 AM   #8
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NO matter what oil or shortening you use, it will smoke if hot enough. Olive oil tends to smoke at a relatively low temperature compared to the nut-derived oils. And if you're planning to get the pan hot enough to sear meat, or stir-fry effectively, it's just going to smoke until you add the food. The food absorbs much of the heat, lowering the pan and oil temperature. That's why the pans don't smoke as easily when food is cooking in them. But I can garuntee that if you get the food hot enough, the fat and foods both will smoke like crazy.

And, any pan type will cause oil to smoke if heated beyond the oil's smoking point. It's not jsut cast-iron that causes oil to smoke. But since most of us tend to wipe a light coating of oil onto the metal, it's more noticeable than with other cooking vessels.

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Old 12-22-2005, 11:51 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by RajunCajun
White smoke and it's kind of a lot of smoke.
that means that there's a new pope!
May your kilt be short enough to do a jig, but long enough to cover your Lucky Charms.
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Old 12-23-2005, 08:03 AM   #10
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