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Old 09-09-2016, 01:29 AM
W. Hilditch W. Hilditch is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Talking Rock, GA
Posts: 1,784
Default The light went on...

With new seasoning most of us bake at the smoking point or above and discredit those instructions that say to bake multiple layers and times at 350 F. Going above the smoking point polymerizes the oil and makes some carbon creating a layer between the cast iron and the food.

However, heating or baking at 350 F will polymerize the oil creating a coating on the cast iron or enameled surface. The coating will be almost clear. This coating is fragile without the carbon and wont absorb oil like the carbon but will allow another coat of polymerized oil to stick to it. It does not provide that BLACK look but cooking in the piece will take its temp up to 450 and above to develop the carbon, and turn black.

Polymerized oil washes off easily with dish soap thus makes enameled pans easy to clean. Once higher heat creates some carbon molecules the coating gets stronger and sticks to any surface better.

The moral? Polymerized oil will keep a thin and fragile barrier between the surface and the food and then adding carbon creates a stronger barrier.

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