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Old 02-25-2011, 08:22 PM   #1
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Gots me a new CI Skillet

My old, found at a Thrift Store SK 8 skillet has kind of been giving me little issues. First is that it has hot spots, or bottom metal is thin. Say when I cook eggs or bacon in it .. there is a visible hotter ring from the gas oven burners. Second is that I seem to have to reseason it after each use & cleaning. I cooked up some ground beef & then added eggs. After I cleaned the pan with tiny bit of Dawn & a plastic OXO brush .. there were loads of places where the eggs and/or beef were very stuck. I tried to gently clean those areas with a chore boy stainless steel scrubber .. but was proving to be a challenge.

I've been wanting to get a new Lodge for a while now .. and I got a email coupon from ACE Hardware for 20% off. They're normally $19.99 .. minus 20% .. I got it for 15.99! That's cheeper than Walmarts price

Pics attached are before and after proper Seasoning with Crisco ..

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Old 02-25-2011, 08:24 PM   #2
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Nice pan...

And admit it, you were just looking for an excuse to get new cast iron.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:25 PM   #3
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Pretty nice. Even a helper handle.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:36 PM   #4
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Great pan...sweet deal!!!
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:13 PM   #5
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Nice! Congratulations!!!
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:21 PM   #6
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I have one of those. 12" Lodge Logic. It's my "go to" skillet for a lot of things.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:03 AM   #7
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The old 10.25 in pan is 78.70 oz .. new 10 in pan is 85.15 oz .. so the new on can nest inside the older one.

I am going to keep the old .. clean it up and reseason it a lot.

Old ----- New
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:07 AM   #8
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Nice! I love CI. I've found it takes a lot of seasoning before eggs don't stick. When I have stuck on/burnt food I just put hot water in the pan and bring it to a boil. That will loosen the crud and it comes right off. Use only plastic scrubbies, no metal. Metal removes the seasoning you've worked so hard to develop. I also have hot spots from the flames so I bought several flame tamers/diffusers from Fantes. They are great at spreading the heat around. Warning.....CI is an addiction!
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:45 AM   #9
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Nice new skillet! Let us know how you like the rougher surface of the new Lodge. All my CI is hand-me-down from family members.

I've always heard that cast iron heats evenly, but the article at the following links explains why its low conductivity actually results in hot spots and why copper is so highly regarded for even heat and responsiveness.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/08/di...curi.html?_r=1
Testing Heat Distribution - Interactive Feature - NYTimes.com

I'm still not giving up my 3 CI skillets.
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:47 AM   #10
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I kinda like the ruffer surface .. I think it lets the cooking juices flow EZ'er .. and it cleans EZ'er. For S&Gs I seasoned it a 2nd time. I cooked chicken cubes with Trader Joes Indian Fare packets with Basmati Rice. Cleaned up very very EZ, just some hot water & light scrub with plastic OXO brush, towel dry, warm up dry on stove & smear a lil abit of canola oil around.

I thoroughly cleaned the old pan .. I simmered water in it to break up any stuck food bits, and towel dried it. After that I warmed it dry on the stove .. and in doing so I was starting to see lil bits raw iron! I didn't think the seasoning was that wore off. TBH - I got it from Goodwill and unsure of their cleaning procedure when they get donated items. They might have wrongly cleaned it too aggressively.

Anywho .. I smeared about a 1/2 tbsp of Crisco all over it with my bare hands & re-seasoned it .. two times .. I might go for a third tomorrow.
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:52 AM   #11
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I use table salt to clean my CI pans. Sometimes I rinse with hot water. I always heat a little oil in the pan (on low for about 10 minutes), drain it, wipe it out with a paper towel, and then I hang it back up. I've taken really scuzzy pans and reseasoned them so they looked like new (on the inside).
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:52 PM   #12
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I bought a preseasoned 8" Lodge Logic CI from Walmart. I noticed some sticking when cooking a salmon steak in crisco. I thought the preseasoning was a bit overly textured too.
It cleaned up ok tho, after boiling. It still reeked of salmon so i used a drop of Dawn detergent. I think it would take years of cooking to fill in the roughness to a flat surface.

So...I got out my 30 year old 8" CI and spent a lot of time removing residue. 3 times I sprayed it with Easy Off and waited a day, scoured out the junk and repeated until I was fed up. To tell you the truth, I could probably do this treatment another 3 times and there would still be a bit of residue left. I'm satisfied it's clean enough to season.

I'm seasoning the skillet now. I've messed this up before but I found a site that made sense to me.

Heat oven at 250F. Bake un-oiled for 10 minutes. Remove. Wipe all with Crisco and wipe it almost dry. Bake at 250F for 10 min. Remove and wipe any pooled oil.
Increase oven to 300F and bake for 10 min. Remove and wipe again with paper towel.
Increase oven to 450F and bake 1 hour. Let cool in oven 1 hour. All with pan side up.
REPEAT THIS STEP 4 - 5 TIMES. That's what I wasn't doing before. I was too impatient with other methods. I'm not going to do a test egg fry until all 5 seasonings are completed. Also, a lot of sites don't tell you to wipe off the droplets of oil that form. No wonder my previous attempts had shiny spots not fully carbonized. Placing skillet upside down, droplets will still form!

Also, I seriously question the many sites having the bake temp at 225F (4 hours?). I question whether the oil becomes truely carbonized doing it with that method.

The seasoning will probably take a few days to complete and I'll post back here after the egg fry test.
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:04 PM   #13
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I've had great success using this method with my CI. I clean the pan with hot, soapy water and a stainless steel scouring pad. I make sure to rinse it very well. I wipe it dry with a paper towel. I then put it on the stove top over a high flame (gas stove) and let it get hot. I then rub cooking oil into the pan with a paper towel, just to make a sheen or oil. I let it smoke and let the oil start to bead up and caramelize. I wipe it again with paper the same paper towel to even out the oil and repeat the heating process. I repeat this for about 4 to 5 times (with the window open to keep from smoking up the house) and then remove the pan from the heat. I wipe it with oil to get a light sheen, and hang it to cool. Whenever I cook with my CI, I let it get to the desired cooking temp, add about half-a tsp. of whatever cooking fat I'm using and the pans are virtually stick free.

Cast iron is a poor heat conductor, so that the heat absorbed where the flame or heating coils touch the pan get hot, and don't distribute the heat well. Stainless steel shares this characteristic. That's why most stainless steel cooking pots and plans are either clad, or have a heat distributing disk attached to the bottom. They are also fairly resistant to electrical current compared to copper and aluminum. That's why they work so well with inductive stoves. The magnetic lines of force from the stove move accross the metal, creating eddy currents in the metal. Since the iron and steel are not great electrical conductors, the currents create heat in the metal, and the pan gets hot. If the pan weren't over the "heating" element, which is really an electrical transformer or wire coil, you can place your hand on the heating element at full power and you will feel no heat.

Heat resistant materials, or insulators, are said to maintain even heat. A cool characteristic of insulating materials is that though the insulators are slow to heat up, they also don't readily give up the heat that they have absorbed. In other words, they resist temperature change. That means they cool more slowly, and heat more slowly, thereby providing a more constant heat in, say, an oven that cycles on and off to keep a constant temperature, or a slow cooker, or a fluctuating flame.

When it's stated that you get even heating from a CI pan, griddle, or dutch oven, it means that you get even temperature of the pan in spite of minor heat variations from the heat source, not that the material distributes the heat evenly across its surface.

And there you have a bit of extra info to play with.

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Old 03-04-2011, 11:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North View Post
I've had great success using this method with my CI. I clean the pan with hot, soapy water and a stainless steel scouring pad. I make sure to rinse it very well. I wipe it dry with a paper towel. I then put it on the stove top over a high flame (gas stove) and let it get hot. I then rub cooking oil into the pan with a paper towel, just to make a sheen or oil. I let it smoke and let the oil start to bead up and caramelize. I wipe it again with paper the same paper towel to even out the oil and repeat the heating process. I repeat this for about 4 to 5 times (with the window open to keep from smoking up the house) and then remove the pan from the heat. I wipe it with oil to get a light sheen, and hang it to cool. Whenever I cook with my CI, I let it get to the desired cooking temp, add about half-a tsp. of whatever cooking fat I'm using and the pans are virtually stick free.
Stove top seasoning. Never really thought of that. Quick simple and legit, as stated in your post about stove top seasoning and the properties of cast iron that allow that method.

About the method I'm using now. I'm wondering if it isn't too minimalistic. The second wipe down of the pan after 300F for 10 min. (before the final 1 hour bake) yielded no oil on the paper towel that I could see. The bottom of a 30 year old pan can be, lets say, a bit scuffed. I want to build up a carbonized layer to fill those in before I use the pan. The method I'm using now may take me weeks.
I know it will be seasoned, but I'm going for a smooth black baked on carbonized super duper slippery slidey surface.
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:15 AM   #15
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I have always had success using the method Lodge gives on their website. It's both simple and effective.
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:23 PM   #16
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Last night I cooked up some ground beef with taco seasoning .. and let it cool in the pan after I was done eating tacos. I cleaned it like normal, warm/hot water & plastic brush. I noticed areas of slight discoloration. SO I tried cleaning it with some table salt & paper towel & see what happens.

It cleaned it alright .. almost down to the raw iron!

I tried various methods to reseason it again. Doing the stove top method was very odd. The first few times led to the oil turning dark brown/red after reapplying it & wiping out the excess.

I thought this doesn't seem to be working .. cause the raw iron discoloration was still there. So I fired up the oven to 350 .. cleaned & wiped down the whole pan with Crisco (wiped up the excess) .. let this cook for about 45min .. take out & apply some Canola oil & heat oven to 450 .. let that cook for 45 mins .. and do again till you are happy with seasoning.

This turned out great! pan has a nice slick coating & jet black.

edit: do that method when no one is in the house & you have vents/fans going .. and maybe a window .. the place smelled of very hot baking crisco/oil
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:10 PM   #17
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I give up. I spent a lot of time and muscle cleaning out the skillet. I wiped on a little oil and wiped it dry. I even set the temp lower so whatever oil would pool and be wiped before the high temp was set for the seasoning. 1 to 1 1\2 hours at 450F. I take the skillet out and its got an even coating of little black spots. I thought to myself, OK, I'm going to repeat this a few times (after cool downs) and get an even black coating. What I ended up with was carbonized small dots with even some whiteness between them. So I tried frying an egg with some oil. The egg totally stuck to the surface. Not only that, after cleaning you could see where the egg was fried!
I'm done with seasoning skillets. The textured rough preseasoned Lodge Logic is what I will use. I tossed out the skillet I thought I could season.

Also, with temps like 450F, there's no way I can see that oil won't pool into droplet spots. Oil is oil, it's not a sheet of aluminum.
I've cleaned the heck outta the pan twice now. Tried high and not so high temps. Each time, the thoroughly wiped and dried oil still pooled into tiny carbonized droplets.
Repeated seasoning with a super thin coating of oil didn't fill in the voids, and egg stuck to the pan like super glue.
I'm now wondering if I should have coated with oil, not wiped it out and placed it upside down in the oven. I bet it would still turn out the same. Not an even layer of carbonization.
I'm thru with seasoning pans. Altho a labor of love, I spent more on cleaning and seasoning than a preseasoned skillet costs. I tried ppl, believe me, I tried.
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:11 PM   #18
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Sorry for the additional reply post, I used up all my edits. If I ever season a pan again, its going to be the lower temp of 225F for 4 hours. At least that way I figure the wiped dry coating of oil won't be forced to pool into carbonized droplets at high temps like 450F.

I didn't use this method as I thought the lower temp wouldn't fully carbonize the oil. But, after the high heat methods failed me, I'm thinking the oil won't tend to pool into droplets at the lower temp over many hours. Does that make any sense to anyone?
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:19 PM   #19
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upside down bake it
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