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Old 08-21-2011, 04:20 AM   #1
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Cast iron seasoning

I bought a Lodge cast iron skillet last week. I've been using it, and really like it. I will say that I've seasoned it 3 times now. The initial Lodge-provided seasoning was a little light. I've cooked a steak, some hamburgers, eggs, and bacon in the skillet. I've had some sticking with my eggs, so I just seasoned it again this morning. Hopefully, the skillet will now remain non-stick.

I was just curious if this was a fairly typical experience for a new pan. I haven't used any soap, though I did have to brush fairly hard after the steak, as some of the meat stuck to the pan.

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Old 08-21-2011, 08:12 AM   #2
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I would say, a Typical Experience..

when I use my cast iron to clean, I just put some water in the pan, then lite stove to make water hot.

then run cool water from the sink, and scrub a bit with a plastic squeejy thing.. then it goes into the cabinet till next time...

after years, mine is jet black, but nothing sticks!

Eric, Austin, Tx.
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:03 AM   #3
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It takes a while for the seasoning to build up and become more non-stick. The pre-seasoned skillet is a great way to start but it's an ongoing process.

You really don't have to re-season it in the oven as if it was new every time. Just cook in it with fat and you're getting the job done. I cooked a lot of bacon in my skillet when I first got it.
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:45 AM   #4
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Just as Andy said, all your pan needs is lots and lots of use. I'd recommend using it as often as you can to aid in the build-up of a good seasoning.

I have a 100-year-old deep skillet I use to fry chicken I wouldn't trade for the world. It's almost like the best Teflon skillet in the world.
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:54 PM   #5
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give the CI a even thin coat of shortening all over, place it in an over upside down @ 350*f for 1 hour. after 1 hour turn the oven off and leave the CI in the oven till it cools down to room temperature.

cook with wooden or plastic/silicone utensils (metal ones can scrape it). to clean it, just warm~hot water & blue scruby sponge or plastic bristle scrubber. wipe it dry with cloth/paper towel & then apply a thin coat of oil inside the pan, and store it.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:17 PM   #6
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After every use I scrub brush it clean and then heat it up on the stove. When it starts to smoke I apply vegetable oil and take it off the burner. It keeps it in good shape.

Cook bacon or chicken thighs on it a few times and you're good to go for a new one.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:04 AM   #7
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Seasoning is an ongoing process. The pre-seasoning Lodge does is a perfect first step. They do it exactly as they recommend you do it at home if the CI came raw. This first seasoning will not make the pan non sitck, but it will put it on the path to becoming so. For the first bunch of times you use the pan try to cook fatty things as this will only help reinforce the seasoning. Each time you cook with fat the fat will help continue the seasoning process making your pan more and more slick each time. Eggs sticking in a newly seasoned CI pan is to be expected. Once the seasoning builds up more then eggs will not be an issue at all.

The first thing I cook in CI after I do the first seaoning is a pound of bacon. All that great bacon fat is perfect for CI seasoning.
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:05 AM   #8
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Might interest some - from U of Mich NPR site:

Dirty Ovens: Built-In Seasoning Or Grimy Mess?
By: Jordan Calmes // November 19, 2011

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With some types of cookware, the more you use it, the better flavor it lends to food.

Instructions for cast iron skillets, clay dishes, or woks often include elaborate instructions on how to create a seasoning with oils or fats. To avoid damaging that protective seasoning, the typical advice is to "never use soap or an abrasive cleaner."

So that got some Yelp users wondering: might this apply to ovens, especially dirty ones awaiting a Thanksgiving turkey? Could those bits of char be the source of tasty smoke for the bird?

The Salt did a little homework on this, and determined: probably not.

First off, we're not talking about infusing the bird with a fine applewood undertone here. There's a difference between smoked cedar planks and smoked frozen pizza remains.

As cookbook author and culinary teacher Rick Rodgers tells The Salt, the metal inside an oven is much thinner than a pot or pan, which affects the way it reacts. "Food on oven walls just burns and the burned food will make smoke that will flavor your food and not in a good way," he says.

Karen Blakeslee, coordinator for Kansas State's food hotline, agrees. She says that food buildup can damage the inside of the appliance and reduce its heating efficiency.

Carol Miller, who has been answering calls at Butterball's Turkey Talk-Line for the past 27 years, admits that oven cleaning is not at the top of her Thankgiving prep list. "I personally wouldn't clean my oven unless it was really, really dirty," she says.

It's a common sentiment. Informal polling on the cooking blog circuit suggests that scrubbing the oven is a task most renters take on only when they want their cleaning deposit back, and homeowners probably even less frequently.

So that strange patina in the oven has to be attributed to laziness rather than quirky cooking strategy. But the good news is the self-cleaning cycle on most ovens is an easy way to burn off the grease. And a dirty oven probably isn't a a huge health hazard unless it's creating enough smoke to affect the air quality at your dinner party.

"Your oven should not be so dirty that it's smoking," says Rick Rodgers, a cookbook author who also teaches classes on American cuisine. But it also doesn't need to be squeaky clean. "Frankly, I would plan on cleaning the oven after Thanksgiving," he says.
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