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Old 04-28-2010, 09:50 AM   #21
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Brush it with grapeseed oil. Heat it on the stovetop until the oil just begins to smoke and turn the heat off. Set the pan outside to cool if it's smoking too much.

Do this four or five times before using, letting the pan completely cool before going through the process again. Obviously, you can do this over a succession of days.

Cooking a lot of bacon in cast iron is an old standby method of seasoning but this does impart a bacon smell for quite a while unless you blanch the bacon first.
It's already seasoned. Any cooking will just add to the seasoning.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:31 AM   #22
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It's seasoned at the factory. I'm suggesting that this is not sufficient. Because it's not.

Grilling lean proteins does not "add to the seasoning." At all. It's a grill pan, remember?

Four or five sessions of skinless supremes will have the pan dryer than the Sahara desert with the factory seasoning but a distant memory.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:48 AM   #23
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Four or five sessions of skinless supremes will have the pan dryer than the Sahara desert with the factory seasoning but a distant memory.
I am not sure I agree with that. When cooking chicken is a CI pan you are not doing it sans fat (if you are doing it correctly). There will be enough fat in the pan to cook the chicken without sticking and also contribute to the seasoning if you have done it right.
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:11 AM   #24
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It's seasoned at the factory. I'm suggesting that this is not sufficient. Because it's not.

Grilling lean proteins does not "add to the seasoning." At all. It's a grill pan, remember?

Four or five sessions of skinless supremes will have the pan dryer than the Sahara desert with the factory seasoning but a distant memory.
I disagree as well. I have factory seasoned CI from Lodge and it started out fine and got better with use. I did not have to do any added seasoning to use it successfully the first time.

I do remember it's a grill pan.

I agree with GB that cooking any protein is done with fat and that fat will contribute to added seasoning for the pan.
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:44 PM   #25
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I am not sure I agree with that. When cooking chicken is a CI pan you are not doing it sans fat (if you are doing it correctly). There will be enough fat in the pan to cook the chicken without sticking and also contribute to the seasoning if you have done it right.
IT'S A GRILL PAN, with ridges, you'd have to put a quarter inch of fat in the pan to have it actually come into play while you're cooking. Spraying with oil or brushing with oil doesn't help much either - what doesn't trickle down into the valleys between the ridges gets sucked right off by the lean protein as soon as you slap it in the hot pan. The result is a pan that won't release quickly enough - it burns grill marks too deeply resulting in a bitter, burned flavor, instead of the striped Maillard reaction you're looking for.
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:46 PM   #26
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Good point. I forgot we were talking about a grill pan and not a skillet.
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:12 PM   #27
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what doesn't trickle down into the valleys between the ridges gets sucked right off by the lean protein as soon as you slap it in the hot pan.
So what is your suggestion for seasoning the ridges??
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:41 PM   #28
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So what is your suggestion for seasoning the ridges??
You can cook fatty foods on it the first five or ten uses. That's always an option, but the least effective IMO.

Otherwise you can brush on a high smoke point oil and heat it until it is barely smoking, stop, let cool and repeat the process several times over a series of days. Since you're not cooking food during this kind of seasoning enough of the brushed on oil stays on the ridges to season it. I like this method - I think the high heat seasons the pan at real world heat - especially a grill pan.

You could melt bacon grease until it covers the ridges and heat in a 200 degree or so oven for several hours. That said, I still like the high heat/high smoke point oil method.

This will work but a better solution is a carbon steel pan like something from Matfer Bourgeat or de Buyer. Way, way better performance than cast iron IMO. Season them pretty much the same way though.
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:00 PM   #29
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Thanks! ~~~ I just use the old fashion method of a very light coat of shortening/lard and into a 350* oven for an hour or so...turn the oven off and go to bed. Two or three trips like this has always given me a good start to building up the carbon layers (seasoning) After that, repetitive use adds to the layers nicely

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Old 04-28-2010, 04:24 PM   #30
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Gee - I've had a Lodge cast-iron grill pan for about 15 years now, & use it primarily for boneless skinless chicken breasts. The seasoning is terrific (it was a regular Lodge that I seasoned myself, not the factory-seasoned); the pan certainly isn't "dry" or compromised in any way; it turns out lovely moist chicken, fish steaks, beef, & lamb - grill marks & all; & is no problem to clean. All I do is allow it to cool down & then use hot water, a plastic scrub pad, & sometimes just a dab of dishsoap.

Go figure.
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:52 PM   #31
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Well, nothing speaks more truly than experience.

I'm curious about the cooling down before cleaning, though. I've had better results when I chean it still still hot.

Also, I've just been using the marinade to lubricate the pan while cooking the chicken breasts. Is that the best way to do it?
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:50 PM   #32
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I don't normally let it cool down completely - just enough so I can handle it without burning myself. If it does have to wait until later, when I'm ready to wash it I just fill it with hot water & let it sit for 15-20 minutes or so before cleaning it.

Oh, & you do know that you should never put a mad-hot cast-iron pan into cold water, don't you? I understand that it can warp or actually crack.
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:22 PM   #33
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I don't normally let it cool down completely - just enough so I can handle it without burning myself. If it does have to wait until later, when I'm ready to wash it I just fill it with hot water & let it sit for 15-20 minutes or so before cleaning it.

Oh, & you do know that you should never put a mad-hot cast-iron pan into cold water, don't you? I understand that it can warp or actually crack.
Yes, same as car engines with cast iron blocks. I'm not much of a cook, but I'm a solid motorhead
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Old 05-02-2010, 04:59 AM   #34
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OK, clearly I'm doing something wrong here

So, when I bought my grillpan, I also bought a Lodge Logic 10" cast iron frying pan. I decided to try it to grill some chicken breasts. I figured the cleanup would be easier without having to get down between those ribs in the grillpan.

I marinated the chicken breasts overnight in Italian dressing, pre-heated the pan on medium + a nudge, then seared the chicken breasts on both sides before finishing them in the oven. They tasted great.

Then there's the pan cleanup. What a nightmare! There was crud stuck to the bottom of the pan, and it was hell to get off! I scrubbed and scrubbed with both the copper things I was talking about earlier, and with those Scotch Brite scrub/sponges with the green scrubbing pad on one side. It took a ton of work, but I finally got it off, although scrub as I might, there are still stains on the bottom of the pan; sort of outlines of where the crud was stuck on.

This is one of the main reasons I hate cooking so much (#2 behind just about everything I cook tasting like crap). The cleanup took longer and was A LOT harder work than the cooking itself. It's just not worth it.

Today, I watched an episode of Emiril Live I'd TiVO'd. In it, he took a pan, poured in a little olive oil, and seared some chicken breasts before finishing them in the oven, just as I'm trying to do. As he was taking those beautifully caramelized chicken breasts out of the pan, I couldn't help but notice how clean the pan was. I just don't get it.

I am soooo disgusted
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:38 AM   #35
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I marinated the chicken breasts overnight in Italian dressing,
I hope you washed/wiped/dried this goop off before trying to cook the chicken....
From what you describe in your last post you did not at all...or did not completely.
The Italian Dressing is the culprit...You burned it on to the surface of the pan.
Never present wet meat to the fire, pan etc. The meat steams, boils, etc. and does not properly sear.

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there are still stains on the bottom of the pan; sort of outlines of where the crud was stuck on.
Probably not "stains" but rather where the acid in the Italian dressing compromised the seasoning....

Based on what you have said IMO your options are two...You can completely strip the skillet back down to it's bare metal and start over by properly/correctly seasoning the pan....Or you can give the pan a good cleaning/scrubbing/scrapping to make sure it's very clean, and re-season from there...The "outlines" of where the crud was stuck will remain visible until such time you have used the pan enough for enough carbon layers (seasoning) to build up to cover it up ~~ Over time (lots of use) it will gradually fade away. Your pan is not "ruined" ~~~ HTH

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Old 05-02-2010, 08:20 AM   #36
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I don't know UB - I cook marinated poultry & fish all the time in my cast-iron pans & have never had a problem - even with Italian-dressing-type marinades (which are primarily oil). Have never heard of "washing/wiping/drying" marinade off the meat & then cooking them dry in the pan. And I don't have any stuck-on crud or stains on my cast-iron pans. Now if I cooked them dry in the pan, THEN I might have some brutal sticking. Don't plan on trying it - lol!

I think the problem is that Sean's pans simply aren't well-seasoned yet. If you don't use them frequently Sean & are depending solely on the pre-seasoning from the factory, that may be part of the problem. It may just be a matter of time & cooking in them enough to build up that non-stick patina that cast-iron is famous for.

But regardless - just like with the grill pan, if I've cooked something messy in my cast-iron pans, I simply fill the pan with plain hot water - sometimes with just a tiny drop of dish soap - & leave it to soak for a little while. Then just a light scrubbing with a plastic (I use the "Dobie" brand) scrub pad, a rinse, & I'm done.

Another method that I've heard of but have never had to use myself is to fill the pan with an inch or so of water, bring it to a boil, then turn off the heat. Clean when cool enough to handle.

This really doesn't have to be the nightmare you describe. Don't get discouraged. A huge part of cooking boils down trial & error - and patience. Keep trying.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:36 AM   #37
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Did you put oil in the pan and heat it up before adding the meat? That's a necessity.

Patting the meat dry with a paper towel helps a great deal with the searing process.

When you're done with the hot pan, put about a half inch of water in it and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer gently while you do the dishes. If you have stubborn crud in the pan, use a wood spatula or a BLUE scrubber sponge to get it off.

When all the food residue is gone, rinse it out and heat the pan to smoking to dry it thoroughly. Drop in a teaspoon or two of canola oil and spread it evenly around the inside of the pan with a wadded up paper towel. Let that heat on burner until it smokes for a minute or two. Turn off the burner and let the pan cool. It's ready to cook again.
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:08 AM   #38
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I think the problem is that Sean's pans simply aren't well-seasoned yet.
Exactly...It's a brand, spanking new Lodge logic pan....And yours are well seasoned!
Also the marinade did burn onto the surface..If not...What then???

Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
Have never heard of "washing/wiping/drying" marinade off the meat.
..

That's strange...It's very basic knowledge to me and most people I know....Wet meat does not sear properly..It steams, boils, simmers etc on the surface...Eventually is will brown after the moisture evaporates off and the surface has cooked...The end result (sear) not being as good had the meat been dry...Think about it...the meat being wet just doesn't make sense when quickly browning/searing the surface is your intention!

...No one has suggested that the meat or the pan surface be "dry" to sear properly...Free of moisture as in water/marinades etc ..Yes ~~ A little coating of oil on the pan (and/or) the meats surface as Andy stated...Absolutely Yes! .~~ HTH

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Old 05-02-2010, 12:54 PM   #39
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I guess then it must depend on how much oil - if any - is in the marinade. Pretty much all of the marinades I make always contain a decent amount of extra-virgin olive oil. If anything, it contributes to the sear/browning I end up with. In fact, rarely do I have to add extra oil to the pan.
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Old 05-02-2010, 02:09 PM   #40
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Rarely do I find a need for using a marinade...
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