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Old 01-01-2007, 07:18 PM   #1
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Sticky cast iron skillet

Just wanted to introduce myself as I am new to this forum. I LOVE TO COOK and can't wait to start reading and researching all the tips and recipes. I do have a question.....I have a new cast iron skillet (Lodge) and I seasoned it by putting shortening in it and baking at 350 for 1 1/2 hours. I then turned off the oven and let it cool in the oven. I haven't washed it or even cooked in it yet and there is a sticky film covering the bottom of it (inside). What happened?? and how do I "fix" it?
thanks
marla

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Old 01-01-2007, 07:24 PM   #2
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Welcome to the site. Did you wash it first before seasoning it or not even then? They ship with wax on them so that really needs to be washed off first before you do anything else. Use hot water and soap to do that.

Your seasoning process sounds correct. My only question is how much shortening did you use? My guess is that they sticky film is the result of using too much. You just want to put on a thin film.

If you are not happy with the way the seasoning came out then just wash well with soap and hot water and start over again. Good luck!
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Old 01-01-2007, 11:35 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum!
  • If the wax wasn't washed out I'd start over per GB's instructions making sure to bake the pan upside down.
  • If the pan is evenly sticky across the bottom, I'd fry some stuff in it. You could bake the pan longer if you wanted to first.
  • If there seems to be a puddle of sticky stuff in a corner I'd use a spoon to dig out the puddle, then re season up side down, or just begin to fry, either way, reconciling myself to the appearance being uneven for a while.
There are tons of information and lots of opinions under the search button.
In any case good luck and good to have you in th community.
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Old 01-02-2007, 02:37 AM   #4
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Welcome to DC!

Sounds like al the info you need has already been addressed, good luck.
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Old 01-02-2007, 06:50 PM   #5
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Excellent advice in previous post....

I have a question however;...When seasoning your skillet did you put it in the oven right side up (like it would sit on your stove) or upside down..(with the inside facing down..? If you seasoned "right side up" that might explain the heavy coat(stickyness) in the bottom of the skillet...You might try in addtion to advice above...just put it back in the oven for another round at 350* for 1 hour with NO addtional shorting...What ever you decide...mostly just start using the skillet for frying only for a while...it will be perfect in the end!
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Old 01-02-2007, 07:06 PM   #6
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try to fry some onions in it, see what happens
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Old 01-02-2007, 08:38 PM   #7
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I did turn it upside down and put a cookie sheet lined in foil on the rack under the skillet to catch drips......It's possible ( ) that I used too much shortening. I will be frying chicken in it tomorrow evening so I'll see how it turns out.....
thanks for the help!!
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:26 PM   #8
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Make some fries in it if it still seems sticky.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:05 AM   #9
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Marla....

Did you say fried chicken??? Yum! Please fry two..I am on my way!
Your new skillet will turn out just fine!!!
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:24 AM   #10
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I follow a few different methods in combination to get an ebony black pan/wok in an hour or so. I picked these methods up in "Breath of a Wok", an essential book for people cooking with Cast Iron or Carbon Steel (in my humble opinion that is).

1. Scrub the heck out of it with mild soap, steel pad, and hot water.
2. Place over screaming high heat and let it open up for a good 10min or so. It may smoke some too as anything remaining burns off.
3. Add a couple cups of salt to the pan and scrub the pan with it over high heat until the salt turns dark and the pan begins to change in appearance.
4. Let the pan cool off & discard the salt.
5. Wipe the inside of the pan with canola oil and heat over high heat until it smokes and blackens.
6. Wash the pan out with water and a brush (no soap!). Wipe dry and wipe the inside with a papertowel dampened with canola oil.
7. Repeat steps 5 & 6 until you have a slick black coating on the pan surface.
8. Fry some minced green onions in the oil and from hence forth clean the pan as described in step 6.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:34 AM   #11
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Nicholas, I have two questions.

1. What is the purpose of rubbing it with salt?
2. What is the reason for frying some green onions?
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:59 AM   #12
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I experimented with various seasoning methods on my carbon-stel woks when I first started getting into Sichuan cuisine.

Salt is a fairly tough abrasive that withstands heat well, and it seems to me that a smoking hot wok gives up even more crap than it does when it's room temperature. It's actually the way that Ming Tsai seasons his woks.

As far as the green onions go, new woks tend to have a metallic and burnt taste to them after seasoning. I find that strong aromatics like green onions and ginger help cleanse those off-flavors and actually impart some of their own flavors to the seasoning. One thing I have noticed with my woks/Lodge gear is that they often impart a slight aroma of the last thing cooked in them to the next dish. Some say along with high heat-toasting of the food, that this is what imparts "Wok Hay" to great eastern foods.
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Old 01-03-2007, 10:01 AM   #13
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You may want to consider seasoning at a higher temperature. I've found I get the best results when I season my cast iron skillets and Dutch ovens at 450°F.
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Old 01-03-2007, 10:06 AM   #14
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Thanks Nick. That seems to make sense.
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:12 PM   #15
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Have not seen anyone mention scouring the pan bottom with a spatula...

I occasionally find old rusty cast iron frypans at garage sales and clean them up by sandblasting. When done, the pan is a nice gunmetal grey and usually looks brand new but needs seasoning. I heat on top of the stove, add some olive oil and scrape the inside using a flat steel spatula and a spoon to get into the radius where the walls join the bottom. The oil will turn grey from the metal particles because the scraping smooths the pan bottom by scouring off the rough spots. Wipe out the oil with a rag and repeat. A couple of treatments will really slick up the inside of the pan and help prevent food from sticking. After use, I rinse with plain water and reoil with olive or vegetable oil - plain PAM also works well.
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:18 PM   #16
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Now I do understand and know how to season a new cast iron cooking ware.
My question: I recently inherited a cast iron RUSTY pot. My husband has a sand blaster and says he will sand blast it. Is this the best way? I do not want to season a rusty pot. Please Help.
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:27 PM   #17
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Thanks HWooldridge....sandblasting and then oil and I will follow your neat direections. Thanks again. Need this pan to try the BREAD baked at 450 degree oven.
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:31 PM   #18
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Sure - clean the pot as I described for the frying pan. Sandblast and season like you would brand new cookware.
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Old 01-06-2007, 09:49 PM   #19
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The only thing you may want to consider is not using olive oil. It can go rancid. You would be better off with something like Crisco.
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:05 PM   #20
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Aria, another option is to run your rusty cast iron through the self-cleaning cycle of your kitchen oven. This process will burn off all of the seasoning leaving you with bare metal. After the pot's completely cool, wash it really well with hot water, dry thoroughly, then season immediately.
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