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Old 02-20-2007, 03:26 PM   #1
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What am I doing wrong with my cast iron?

i just purchased a preseasoned 10 1/4 skillet from lodge logic as i couldn't get the original finish. the firt time i used it on my glass top was for fillet steak and it came out perfect no sticking or whatever. i rinse the skillet with hot water and gave a gentle scrub with a plastic brush to clean it then dried it over a low heat. i was ecstatic over the ease of use and taste of the fillet.
the next time i used it was for frying up bacon and that's when stuff stuck to the pan! when i first put the bacon in, it was fine. i was able to move it around freely. this is on medium heat (number 3 on my glass top, 6 is max.) then as it cook more brown bits began forming on the bottom of the pan and stuck to it. this is not meant to happen right? it didn't happen with the fillet. what am i doing wrong?

am i not heating the pan up enough before putting the bacon in? or am i meant to wait longer for bacon to set before moving it around? have i scrubbed off the seasoning with my plastic scrubber; i don't think i have as it was only a gentle scrub. or it is that my bacon has too much water content? it's cheap bacon from the supermarket not prime stuff.


and now my pan seems to have a dark ring around the edges as well. what's with the dark ring? is it uneven seasoning from the glass top itself as most time it's on number 3 and only the outer ring work not the inner ones. would that correpond to the dark edge?

then some people say when heating or drying to let the pan smoke a little before adding oil but then some other people say than if you let it smoke this would take off the seasoning as well. which is which? i don't know anymore!

any help from anybody is most appreciated as i can't seem to find the answers and tearing my hair out in frustration. thank you in advance.

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Old 02-20-2007, 03:29 PM   #2
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am i not heating the pan up enough before putting the bacon in? or am i meant to wait longer for bacon to set before moving it around?
You need to let it heat a bit more, and yes, leave the bacon a bit longer, it will release a bit easier that way. Bacon is tricky though, sometimes I will put a little oil on a paper towel and just wipe it over the pan before I put the bacon in.

Sorry, thats it for me. I'm sure you will get lots more answers shortly.
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:00 PM   #3
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You're doing nothing wrong. I think its how Lodge preseasons their cast iron cookware.

I've purchased a preseasoned cast skillet pan from Lodge, as well as purchasing unseasoned ("raw") cast iron. *Both of these have required additional seasoning.* In addition, simply using them for cooking has developed their seasoning.

In addition, I own other cast iron cookware that has either been seasoned (by me) with just ordinary cooking over time, plus I have purchased older cast iron cookware which had, through use, developed that "glass like" finish which is so prized.

IMHO, "new" cast iron cookware does best if specifically seasoned with a *solid fat* (such as Crisco or any animal fat). Our fore-mothers most likely did not bother with what we now call pre-seasoning but just used their cast iron cookware for cooking. If you look at recipes from 150 years ago, there was a lot of use of animal fat (rather than oils) and (of course) Crisco didn't exist.

Again, IMHO, a really smooth finish in cast iron cookware is developed through use. Don't be disturbed about temporary changes to your cast iron skillet. Continue to use it. This is what gives cast iron cookware its legendary cooking qualities.
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:10 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by subfuscpersona
You're doing nothing wrong. I think its how Lodge preseasons their cast iron cookware.

I've purchased a preseasoned cast skillet pan from Lodge, as well as purchasing unseasoned ("raw") cast iron. *Both of these have required additional seasoning.* In addition, simply using them for cooking has developed their seasoning.

In addition, I own other cast iron cookware that has either been seasoned (by me) with just ordinary cooking over time, plus I have purchased older cast iron cookware which had, through use, developed that "glass like" finish which is so prized.

IMHO, "new" cast iron cookware does best if specifically seasoned with a *solid fat* (such as Crisco or any animal fat). Our fore-mothers most likely did not bother with what we now call pre-seasoning but just used their cast iron cookware for cooking. If you look at recipes from 150 years ago, there was a lot of use of animal fat (rather than oils) and (of course) Crisco didn't exist.

Again, IMHO, a really smooth finish in cast iron cookware is developed through use. Don't be disturbed about temporary changes to your cast iron skillet. Continue to use it. This is what gives cast iron cookware its legendary cooking qualities.
subfuscpersona,

i do use vegetable shortening (solid) for seasoning pan but don't understand why my bacon is sticking on my pan and not my fillet? i fried bacon 3 times now and 3 times there's always fond at the bottom. maybe alix is right maybe i'm not letting the pan heat enough.
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:25 PM   #5
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I've cooked bacon in a cast iron skillet for about 100,000 years now and there is always some "fond" in the pan.

With steaks, too.

Fond is good. Without it you wouldn't have yummy pan sauces.

Eventually (and I mean years from now) you may be lucky to own a well-seasoned/used CI skillet that performs like nonstick. But you can't expect that from your relatively unseasoned piece.
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g23
subfuscpersona,
i do use vegetable shortening (solid) for seasoning pan but don't understand why my bacon is sticking on my pan and not my fillet? i fried bacon 3 times now and 3 times there's always fond at the bottom. maybe alix is right maybe i'm not letting the pan heat enough.
When you cooked your fillet, did you add any kind of oil or fat?

When you cook your bacon, do you add any kind of oil or fat? (usually, with bacon, one does not)

=====================
PS - what do you mean by fond?
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema

Eventually (and I mean years from now) you may be lucky to own a well-seasoned/used CI skillet that performs like nonstick. But you can't expect that from your relatively unseasoned piece.
Amen to that! I'm lucky to have a cast-iron skillet that is probably 100-years-old that was used and used often before I got it. That baby is seasoned beautifully and, if I didn't know any better, I would swear it was Teflon-coated it's so slick. Love it! Love it! Love it!

Be patient with yours and continue to use it and re-season it as you go. That's what I've done with some of my newer pieces. They're getting better already. It will become your favorite piece of cookware in time.
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:41 PM   #8
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Fond is the fancy french word for the stuff that stuck to the pan, when cooking meat. Adds wonderfulness to the gravy or stock.
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema
I've cooked bacon in a cast iron skillet for about 100,000 years now and there is always some "fond" in the pan.

With steaks, too.

Fond is good. Without it you wouldn't have yummy pan sauces.

Eventually (and I mean years from now) you may be lucky to own a well-seasoned/used CI skillet that performs like nonstick. But you can't expect that from your relatively unseasoned piece.

oh that fond is meant to be there is it? i didn't realize that as everybody keeps saying a well seasoned pan is totally non stick so i assume there shouldn'y be any sticky brown bits and after cooking all you have to do is wipe up the oil. as of now i have to put a bit of water to get the fond off. i will continue seasoning. thanks for your input.
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subfuscpersona
When you cooked your fillet, did you add any kind of oil or fat?

When you cook your bacon, do you add any kind of oil or fat? (usually, with bacon, one does not)

=====================
PS - what do you mean by fond?
yes to both

put butter for fillet and just vegetable oil for bacon. that fond thingy is the brown bits that get stuck to bottom of pan. someone said there's always some of that when cooking but i didn't get any for my fillet. maybe because i seared it at a higher heat than the bacon. i will continue experimenting with my pan i suppose.
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Old 02-20-2007, 05:07 PM   #11
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I've got a well seasoned Griswold (sp?) CI pan.
If there's anything sticking to the bottom, which isn't often, but then I don't use it that often... yet, I sprinkle salt in the bottom and wipe it with a paper towel. I heard this is how you were supposed to clean them. After I rinse with hot water and set on the stove to dry I wipe it down with a little bit of cooking oil before I put it away. It still shines like a mirror.
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Old 02-20-2007, 05:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subfuscpersona
I think its how Lodge preseasons their cast iron cookware.
Lodge does not use some crazy weird way to pe-season their pans. They actually do it exactly as they tell the public to do it (heat up pan, coat in a thin film of veggie fat, bake in oven, let cool) just on a larger scale.

Quote:
Originally Posted by g23
everybody keeps saying a well seasoned pan is totally non stick
This is true, but there is a difference between well seasoned and pre-seasoned. A pre-seasoned pan has just had an initial treatment. It is a good start, but it is just a start. As the pan is used more and more (with fat) it will eventually become well seasoned. That just takes time. Once you get to that point though it will be very non stick.
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Old 02-20-2007, 05:33 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by GB
.

This is true, but there is a difference between well seasoned and pre-seasoned. A pre-seasoned pan has just had an initial treatment. It is a good start, but it is just a start. As the pan is used more and more (with fat) it will eventually become well seasoned. That just takes time. Once you get to that point though it will be very non stick.
thanks gb i will continue to season but can you help me with answering this question nobody is able to answer yet. when i cooked my fillet i didn't get any fond but when i cook my bacon i got plenty of fond stuck to the bottom of the pan. what is the difference. is it the heat? i may have used higher heat on fillet but can't be sure. i thought i cooked both on same temperature.
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Old 02-20-2007, 05:39 PM   #14
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Honestly, I am not sure of the answer. My guess (and it is just a guess) would be the things you already mentioned. Try heating the pan more before adding the bacon. Also let it sit in the pan a little longer before trying to move it. Of those two things, the heat would be the one I concentrate on most. Try higher heat and making sure the pan is nice and hot before adding the bacon and see if that helps. The benefit is that the more times you try cooking bacon the better your seasoning will get so the less chance it will stick.
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Old 02-20-2007, 05:50 PM   #15
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Honestly, I am not sure of the answer. My guess (and it is just a guess) would be the things you already mentioned. Try heating the pan more before adding the bacon. Also let it sit in the pan a little longer before trying to move it. Of those two things, the heat would be the one I concentrate on most. Try higher heat and making sure the pan is nice and hot before adding the bacon and see if that helps. The benefit is that the more times you try cooking bacon the better your seasoning will get so the less chance it will stick.
thanks again gb. i guess it's all trial and error at the moment but i'm still liking my cast iron pan though.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:22 PM   #16
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Keep at it. You will like it more and more I have no doubt.
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Old 03-22-2007, 02:16 AM   #17
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ya think this is overkill?

When ever I get a new cast pan I scrub off any preseasonings and reseason in my oven with crisco 5 times before using. After that eggs or whatever are no problem.
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:24 PM   #18
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When ever I get a new cast pan I scrub off any preseasonings and reseason in my oven with crisco 5 times before using. After that eggs or whatever are no problem.
Everybody seems to season CI pans with Crisco but will mineral oil work just as well? I use that to treat my wood and bamboo chopping boards and utensils. How about just plain butter for the CI pan? I've never cooked with Crisco so I don't have any.
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:27 PM   #19
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Butter will not work. It burns too easily and contains milks solids. I don't know about mineral oil.

Buy a small container of Crisco and use it for seasoning. You don't have to cook with it.
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Old 07-04-2007, 06:01 AM   #20
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I have an old #9 Griswold that I use for bacon etc. I don't run it at medium heat to do the cooking. Given the bacon was sticking I think of turning down the heat and let it cook slower. Anyway thats what works for me.
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