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Cast Iron Cleaning and Seasoning Help With and Tips & Techniques For Cast Iron Cookware Restoration

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  #11  
Old 04-11-2017, 06:49 PM
Lloyd B Lloyd B is offline
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Default Re: Seasoning Question/problem

I've completed a few dozen pieces now with Crisco at 500 degrees for 45 minutes. They've survived baking, frying, boiling, and more. I'll never be able to believe that you caused the surface to be "too smooth" for seasoning by sanding it. I don't think there is any magic to seasoning, I use whatever oil / grease I have on hand, bake at 500 because that's over the "smoke point" of any of it, keep it at that temp for 45 mins, when it's cool enough for me to handle I put on another layer and do it again. Even my sportsman is non-stick using this simple method. I think you may have this issue because you truly removed all of the seasoning by sanding and now you're having to get it to adhere to plain iron. In my opinion my lye and scrubbing never gets to a fresh layer of iron and may be easier for the first layer to adhere to. All statements above are my opinion and simply based on my limited experience.
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  #12  
Old 04-11-2017, 08:35 PM
JMoss JMoss is offline
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Default Re: Seasoning Question/problem

Lloyd B
I have bitten my tongue for much too long. I agree with you 100%.

This thought that your skillet can be too smooth to take seasoning is absolutely ridiculous. How many 100 year old Wagners, Griswolds and Lodges have you seen that have a mirror like finish that take a seasoning quite well? My answer is quite a few. I believe that while Lodge will tell you they currently sell the pebble surface skillets so the seasoning will adhere, the truth is that they have eliminated an expensive part of manufacturing good skillets. Grinding and polishing the cooking surfaces is an additional step in manufacturing. Eliminating that step saves money and helps them compete with Asian manufacturers. I do not fault them, they must be competitive and given enough use, the cooking surfaces will become very smooth.

I do not believe that sanding and polishing the cooking surface will render your pans unable to accept seasoning. Stop worrying about it and cook. Stop scrubbing it. A quick rinse, with or without soap, and a soft pad is all it takes to clean your CI (OK, unless you burn something onto the surface. Then boil some water in it).

Hope I haven't offended too many people. I cook in CI every day and I have never seen a pan that is too smooth to take seasoning.

Some folks may be over thinking this issue. Relax. I promise you that if you cook in that pan (intelligently) it will eventually become "seasoned".

Happy hunting.

Jack

Last edited by JMoss; 04-11-2017 at 08:36 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #13  
Old 04-12-2017, 09:57 AM
Sandy W Sandy W is offline
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Default Re: Seasoning Question/problem

I started reasoning it, I am not going to scrub it at least til its been used a few years...lol

I have an old pan from the 50s or so and it is smooth so I don't think being too smooth should be a problem for seasoning either but that is just me.
I only sanded the Lodge for a "project". Just wanted to see if it would work.

I used grapeseed oil this time just because, I like the uniform look it gives so far.

So does anyone have an explanation on why this website says 350 for 30 minutes and my post I am told to do higher heat and longer bake time. What is the benefit?
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  #14  
Old 04-12-2017, 10:55 AM
Doug D. Doug D. is offline
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Default Re: Seasoning Question/problem

The website article goes on to explain:
You may have read elsewhere about exceeding the smoke point of the oil being used as a necessary step. This comes from the desire of collectors for a pan that has been stripped and will probably not be used to look like it has been. More on this below under Seasoning Fats and Smoke Points.
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  #15  
Old 04-12-2017, 11:22 AM
Sandy W Sandy W is offline
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Default Re: Seasoning Question/problem

Yeah, I guess I should read the whole article...haha.
So far my pan looks awesome after 2 seasonings with the grapeseed oil.

Sometimes I wonder if the beeswax in the Larbee is too soft of a seasoning but that may well be my personal opinion. Might just need to cook with my pan and build it up from there. Either way it has been fun experimenting and learning about cast iron. I have a couple more pans to do as well. I even got one of the new Stargazer pans.
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  #16  
Old 04-12-2017, 11:30 AM
Lloyd B Lloyd B is offline
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Default Re: Seasoning Question/problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMoss View Post
Lloyd B
I have bitten my tongue for much too long. I agree with you 100%.

This thought that your skillet can be too smooth to take seasoning is absolutely ridiculous. How many 100 year old Wagners, Griswolds and Lodges have you seen that have a mirror like finish that take a seasoning quite well? My answer is quite a few. I believe that while Lodge will tell you they currently sell the pebble surface skillets so the seasoning will adhere, the truth is that they have eliminated an expensive part of manufacturing good skillets. Grinding and polishing the cooking surfaces is an additional step in manufacturing. Eliminating that step saves money and helps them compete with Asian manufacturers. I do not fault them, they must be competitive and given enough use, the cooking surfaces will become very smooth.

I do not believe that sanding and polishing the cooking surface will render your pans unable to accept seasoning. Stop worrying about it and cook. Stop scrubbing it. A quick rinse, with or without soap, and a soft pad is all it takes to clean your CI (OK, unless you burn something onto the surface. Then boil some water in it).

Hope I haven't offended too many people. I cook in CI every day and I have never seen a pan that is too smooth to take seasoning.

Some folks may be over thinking this issue. Relax. I promise you that if you cook in that pan (intelligently) it will eventually become "seasoned".

Happy hunting.

Jack
This is how simple my mind works. I stripped a DO and upon trying to season it noticed many quarter sized spots that just didn't seem to "take" the oil. After three rounds, hot or cold, the oil looked like it just disappeared from these spots. My solution? Deep fry pork chops in it! Problem solved as I wiped it down, ran one seasoning round and it now looks perfect. I'm a simple man.
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  #17  
Old 05-11-2017, 09:53 AM
NateN NateN is offline
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Location: Sterling, VA
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Default Re: Seasoning Question/problem

Wondering if it is a cleaning issue pre-seasoning not a sanding issue?

I just posted this in another thread regarding invisible rust clinging to a freshly cleaned skillet that I had

Quote:
I agree, season and use.

I don't know how you removed the rust; I used an electrolytic tank on my skillets. I had one BSR with some very fine pitting on the cooking surface; I seasoned it and just left it upside down in the oven to cool. The next day I warmed up the oven again (gas) and found that when it got warm and I pulled the skillet out to wipe on some more lard that it had flash rusted. So I had to start over.

Here is what I found. Even though I'd e-tanked the skillet, scrubbed with steel wool and vinegar, rinsed repeatedly, and even wiped down with oil before attempting to season, apparently there was still some loose rust and dirt in the pits. Here's what actually worked. Using Jeff Rogers' seasoning method but with lard instead of Crisco, after initial heating and wiping on/off the lard, my wipe off rag was coming away brown. So the hot lard was pulling stuff off the iron that soap/water, cold oil etc. wasn't getting. So if my rag came away dark, I'd wipe on more lard, stick it back in the oven for 10 min. or so @ 200 degrees, rewipe. If it came off dark, do it again. It took 4 rounds of this to get a clean rag. That skillet is now one of my best users, and I restored it only a month or so ago.

Just thought I would pass this on in case it helps anyone else with a similar rusty skillet issue.
When you wipe on/wipe off your Crisco, does the rag you use to wipe off come away grey colored? I'm wondering if you have fine iron dust on the surface that isn't coming off and that is why your seasoning is failing. I'd try a couple rounds of wiping on/off Crisco or oil with the skillet at 200F or thereabouts, then try again. Just a thought...
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  #18  
Old 05-11-2017, 11:01 AM
Doug D. Doug D. is offline
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Default Re: Seasoning Question/problem

The rag may (read: will probably) become brown or gray as you wipe off the excess seasoning oil before baking. Each color is a residual oxide, either ferric (flash rust) or ferrous (black oxide), both artifacts of bare and cleaned iron. Enough will come off while wiping that excess oil that any small amount left will not matter, as it will be bound up in the matrix of the first layers of polymerized oil. No need for additional steps to try to completely eliminate it. It is not a cause of seasoning failure.
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  #19  
Old 05-11-2017, 12:26 PM
NateN NateN is offline
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Sterling, VA
Posts: 27
Default Re: Seasoning Question/problem

All I can say is that the one skillet I've done that had a decent amount of rust pre-cleaning I had a failure of the first round of seasoning, but when I repeatedly wiped off the hot lard until my wipe off rag came away clean, I got a great finish on it.

This really is one of those things, however, that if you find something that works for you, you stick with it. What I wrote above is what's worked for me, and I just thought I would share.
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  #20  
Old 05-11-2017, 12:36 PM
Doug D. Doug D. is offline
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Default Re: Seasoning Question/problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by NateN View Post
... I seasoned it and just left it upside down in the oven to cool. The next day I warmed up the oven again (gas) and found that when it got warm and I pulled the skillet out to wipe on some more lard that it had flash rusted.
This is the part that doesn't make sense. A pan coated in oil or fat, baked on and polymerized (or not) shouldn't be flash rusting. Something else was afoot.
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