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Old 09-19-2021, 07:22 PM
Doug D. Doug D. is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 6,335
Default Re: Newbie Seasoning Question

I'm still to this day amazed that a blog post by someone who had only ever seasoned one piece of cookware before has in some circles come to be touted as the be-all to end-all of cast iron seasoning. I was especially disappointed in Cooks Illustrated's endorsement of it, as it appeared their main test was passing it through a dishwasher cycle; nothing at all regarding performance or durability under real world cooking use. Their seasoning method prior to "discovering" the flaxseed oil post was to merely wipe a pan heated over a medium burner with vegetable oil several times, no baking involved; a process they say they repeated "when a pan starts to look patchy". Not an apples to apples comparison, IMO. More disturbing, a recent post elsewhere stated flaxseed oil must be used because it is "the only oil that actually polymerizes". Uh-huh...

Cooks (and collectors) managed just fine for decades, centuries in fact, using animal fats or readily available cooking oils. Prior to the flaxseed oil craze, the only folks who seemed to have a problem with adhesion were those who rushed the process and applied too much oil in a single pass. Folks who knew how to do it right and used Crisco, grapeseed, canola? Nary a complaint. Now, more often than not when the subject of seasoning turns to flakes, the common element is flax. Yes, I know there are those who have used it and report being satisfied with it, but I would be interested in knowing what percentage of those satisfied users are actually high heat cooking in the pans vs. just creating cosmetically attractive wallhangers.

I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around the finger oils thing. I wonder how, as I'm slathering then wiping oil off a hot 350-400F pan, that my fingerprints are surviving unscathed to then go on to undermine the adhesion of the multiple coats I'm going to be applying. I'm not sure, either how paint prep correlates, as I'm guessing the motorcycle tanks aren't being heated in the oven prior to the application of primer and paint.
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