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Old 06-02-2009, 04:08 PM   #1
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Is my cast iron rusting?

I'm totally new to cooking with cast iron. When I got my first pan I seasoned it properly in the oven at about 350 with lard. However, I've been cooking hamburgers on it recently. I usually cook the burgers in the middle of the pan. After cooking they leave brown looking residue on the pan in the spot they were cooking and I usually scrape it off and sometimes scrub with a sponge or paper towel. Even after all that scrubbing (even scrubbing with salt and oil) you can still tell something was cooked right there because it seems to be a little brown. Well, I ignored it and just re-seasoned it in the oven a couple times. Now that spot and some area surrounding it is a dark reddish brown. Is this rust? It feels normal compared to other parts of the pan

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Old 06-02-2009, 07:10 PM   #2
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It's food residue from the burgers. After you cook the burgers, put a little hot tap water in the pan while it's hot and still on the burner. Use a wood spatula or similar to scrape the bottom as the water boils in the pan. That will lift off any cooking residue. Then empty the pan, dry it on the burner and wipe it with a small amount of cooking oil and a paper towel and leave it to cool.

Since you have cooked and re-seasoned the pan several times since the residue was deposited, you should now strip off all the seasoning and start over.

The simplest and easiest way is to put the pan into a super hot gas or charcoal grill going full blast and let the seasoning burn off. The wipe it clean with a clean towel, apply vegetable shortening and bake at 350 for an hour. leave it in the oven to cool.
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:07 AM   #3
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Is it absolutely necessary to remove the seasoning and clean off the residue or is it possible that the residue will deteriorate itself? Also, is there any other way to remove seasoning as I do not have a coal or gas grill at the moment.

Thank you.
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:55 AM   #4
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I am one who has had problems with both cast iron and woks. I've been told that mine rust because I'm cleaning them too much. Does this make sense? Even if I dry them carefully, when I go to use them, they are rusty. I gave up.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:10 AM   #5
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Is it absolutely necessary to remove the seasoning and clean off the residue or is it possible that the residue will deteriorate itself? Also, is there any other way to remove seasoning as I do not have a coal or gas grill at the moment.

Thank you.

The residue has survived several re-seasonings already.

You can use sandpaper to remove the seasoning.
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:39 PM   #6
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Okay, so my father just came over and washed it with soap while I wasn't there. Is the cast iron ruined? I heard about cast iron being porous and taking on the taste of soap if its used. Will my food taste like soap now?
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:53 PM   #7
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Rinse well.....Simmer a little water in it for a few minutes...It's not ruined!!!!

Did the brown looking residue come off after your daddy washed it?????
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:05 PM   #8
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It is almost impossible to ruin cast iron. Worst comes to worst just get it down to bare metal and re-season. Pretty much the only way to ruin cast iron permanently is to crack it, which is very hard to do.
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:05 AM   #9
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Okay well I took some sandpaper to it. (BTW it's a Lodge Logic pre-seasoned cast iron) I think I pretty much sanded it down as much as it could go. Think I even sanded off the original pre-seasoning. So I just re-season and I should be good to go? No soap taste or anything should come about?

Another question, what would be the best seasoning agent to use? I have heard don't use liquid shortening, i've heard lard goes rancid, etc. I just want to know which would be best to use
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Old 06-04-2009, 05:24 AM   #10
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I recommend you use vegetable shortening - Crisco is one brand.
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Old 06-05-2009, 02:32 AM   #11
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Okay so I covered the whole pan in crisco shortening and baked for 450 for an hour, now the pan has like an orange or copper color to it. Looks similar to the color the burger residue had. Is this copper color normal?
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:38 AM   #12
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After sanding you should'a thoroughly brillo'd the interior, thoroughly rinsed with hot water & a stiff brush. Wipe dry while pot is still hot from the hot rinse water. Prior to oiling you should warm pot on stovetop to complete drying. After pot is thoroughly dried and still on stovetop spread or melt shortening or oil. When oil has been heated, use paper towels to:
assist in spreading seasoning
remove excess seasoning
assess cleanliness / readiness of pan to be seasoned
this wiping of hot shortening with paper towels is sort of like a final rinse
the above should be repeated with fresh towels until the paper towels cease to blacken
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:39 AM   #13
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What is the purpose behind seasoning, anyway? I will assume that it has nothing to do with the traditional meaning of "flavoring", so does it act as a non-stick surface? Prevent absorption of food into the iron? Make it easier to clean?
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:46 AM   #14
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What is the purpose behind seasoning, anyway? I will assume that it has nothing to do with the traditional meaning of "flavoring", so does it act as a non-stick surface? Prevent absorption of food into the iron? Make it easier to clean?
Somewhat like the blueing / browning done on firearms.
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:16 AM   #15
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so does it act as a non-stick surface? Prevent absorption of food into the iron? Make it easier to clean?
Yes, yes, and yes.
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:37 AM   #16
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What is the purpose behind seasoning, anyway? I will assume that it has nothing to do with the traditional meaning of "flavoring", so does it act as a non-stick surface? Prevent absorption of food into the iron? Make it easier to clean?

...and keeps it from rusting.
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:46 AM   #17
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Seasoning on Cast iron is pure and simple carbon...Carbonized fats and oils....The build up of carbon (seasoning) comes from years, and years of use. The more it’s used, the better “seasoned” it becomes. With proper care, over time it will become virtually non-stick cookware. The initial seasoning process, now done by some manufacturers, is to prevent the iron from rusting, and giving foods cooked in it a metallic taste. The consumer can add an additional layer(s) of carbonize fat (seasoning) to the surface, by following the manufacturer’s directions. Additionally, each time the pan is used for frying, making cornbread etc. you are adding to the seasoning process --- You are carbonizing oils and fats that are deposited as a thin layer on the cooking surface. It is the build up of these layers over years, that qualifies the pan to one day be referred to as ...”a well seasoned cast iron pan”


Enjoy!
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:47 AM   #18
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It also, eventually once it is built up enough, acts as a barrier against acidic foods eating away at the metal.
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:48 AM   #19
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Awesome answers, everyone...thanks!
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:50 AM   #20
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Awesome answers, everyone...thanks!
DC is an awesome place Erik....

Have Fun!!
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