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Old 05-26-2017, 09:13 PM   #1
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Help With Cast Iron Pan!

I marinated a flatiron steak in Korean Beef Marinade that I made. The marinade called for brown sugar, soysauce, etc. I cooked the beef in my cast iron frying pan. The steak turned out great -- tender and delicious! BUT ... my poor pan suffered. I think the brown sugar in the marinade carmelized and now my pan has areas of thick burnt sugar. I have soaked the pan in hot water and mild dishwashing soap, scrubbed it with a white Mr. Clean eraser sponge, but no luck. I hate using an SOS soap pad on cast iron, but I don't know what else to do. Any suggestions? The pan has been passed down from my grandmother so it has been well used. I need help!! Thanks for any ideas!!!

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Old 05-26-2017, 09:23 PM   #2
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Cover the bottom with water and bring it to a boil. Simmer for a while to loosen the gunk. Make sure the pan doesn't go dry.
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Old 05-26-2017, 09:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Cover the bottom with water and bring it to a boil. Simmer for a while to loosen the gunk. Make sure the pan doesn't go dry.
I agree, plus I would add that you might not want to let some residue freak you out. My 80-year-old Griswold has taken a few hits, but eventually recovers. It doesn't always look perfect, but cooks great.

BTW, I don't think using some Scotchbrite or even steel wool is a problem, as long as you lube them with oil, not soap and water. Others may disagree, and if so, they will say so.

No soap!

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Old 05-26-2017, 09:34 PM   #4
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I know there are many here who believe a cast iron pan is good for everything, but I'm not one of them. There are good and valid reasons why we have other options that our ancestors didn't have, and here's just one example.
Andy's response sounds like a good one. Good luck.
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Old 05-26-2017, 09:45 PM   #5
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Thanks to all of you for your prompt answers! Wow! I'm going to try boiling water in the pan. Hopefully, that will help to loosen the burnt sugar. I'll let you know what happens. Thanks, again!
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:28 PM   #6
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Shelly, I also agree with the boiling water. it will start to loosen the sticky stuff and then scrape the bottom and sides will a steel spatula with rounded corners while the water Is in it should do the trick. Just cover the pan a 1/4 " or so with water or a tad more.

I try to avoid cooking anything that has a sugar base in cast iron as it will glue it's self to the bottom of the pan. I also agree there are other pans little better suited for some of those sauces other than cast.

I have one I've been using lately and getting it seasoned the last 8or9 months and tonight I did a tender loin with onion and mushrooms on the sides. When finished I pull it out to rest with the mushrooms and onions made a rue and deglaze with stock for a light gravy sauce for the tatters and loin. When done it cleaned up with some running hot water and a dish cloth and nothing more. It's seldom I have to use water to clean it up. Then just dry it good on a low burner and wipe with a touch of oil and it ready to roll for the next time.
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Old 05-27-2017, 05:11 AM   #7
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Start off by seasoning a CI pan. That's easy. A few drops of oil, and heat it till the pan smokes. It's seasoned. What's necessary is not over cleaning the pan after each cooking, to build up a good carbon coating. I soak the pan in water after frying, and most of the junk that looks like it's sticking comes right off.

Advice: Let it soak. No soap and keep hot water to a minimum (while trying to build up a good carbon layer). Do not use boiling water to get the pan cleaned pronto. Just soak the pan in water for 20 minutes.

I'm just advising about getting a CI carbon buildup going. After many years of carbon build up, you can probably use all the soap and hot water you want. For me that's a few years away.
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Old 05-27-2017, 09:10 AM   #8
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Start off by seasoning a CI pan. That's easy. A few drops of oil, and heat it till the pan smokes. It's seasoned. What's necessary is not over cleaning the pan after each cooking, to build up a good carbon coating. I soak the pan in water after frying, and most of the junk that looks like it's sticking comes right off.

Advice: Let it soak. No soap and keep hot water to a minimum (while trying to build up a good carbon layer). Do not use boiling water to get the pan cleaned pronto. Just soak the pan in water for 20 minutes.

I'm just advising about getting a CI carbon buildup going. After many years of carbon build up, you can probably use all the soap and hot water you want. For me that's a few years away.

This doesn't help the OP, though
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Old 05-27-2017, 09:31 AM   #9
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When something like that happens and soaking and scrubbing with coarse salt don't work I use a ScothBrite pad on the affected areas and re-season the pan. I do try to avoid cooking anything with a sugary sauce, such as BBQ sauce, in cast iron, though. I usually use an enameled pan for that sort of thing.
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Old 05-27-2017, 12:15 PM   #10
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I also try to avoid using CI when grilling anything sugary.
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