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

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  #1  
Old 08-24-2021, 01:45 PM
Greg Gardner Greg Gardner is offline
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Default Evaporust

I've used this on a few pieces to good effect. Works quickly and I already had a gallon sitting around from my espresso machine restoration projects. Here's the weird thing: I'm working on a Wagner #7 DO and it seems to be retaining the odor of the Evaporust. None of the other pieces I used it on did this. In the videos the company has on their website, they just rinse it off without soap and then season the CI piece. I've been washing it off with Dawn just as I would post-lye bath. But this DO still has the odor of the Evaporust after washing several times. Has anyone else encountered this issue? According to the tech sheet, it has a flash point of 290F. I really don't want to create a fire hazard while seasoning these pieces, if in fact there's still some on there.

I've considered the possibility that the DO itself just has a funky smell, but not only does Evaporust have a pretty distinctive odor, but it seems very unlikely that the CI would still smell after a decent soak in the lye bath.
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2021, 04:53 PM
Greg Gardner Greg Gardner is offline
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Default Re: Evaporust

So I called their customer service line - they picked up immediately and were extremely friendly and helpful. Basically they think I'm smelling the migration of iron into the solution as the Evaporust has no real odor to speak of. He also said that despite the tech sheet info on the flash point at 290F, there was practically no chance of it igniting in the oven.

I'm going to season this DO tomorrow and will report back as to if I blew up my oven or just got a nice first layer baked on.
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  #3  
Old 08-25-2021, 12:23 AM
D_Madden D_Madden is offline
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Default Re: Evaporust

I'm with you... I think evaporust has a pretty distinctive odor. (smells similar to that CLR cleaner).
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2021, 08:34 AM
SeanD SeanD is offline
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Default Re: Evaporust

I was gonna say try Borax. Its for cleaning almost anything....its worth a shot.
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2021, 01:59 PM
Greg Gardner Greg Gardner is offline
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Default Re: Evaporust

Well, I had a go at seasoning the DO in question today. I also had a couple of Erie skillets in the same seasoning batch that I had also used Evaporust on, although they didn't smell of it.

Short version is the DO itself - but not the lid - started smoking like crazy at 400F and never really stopped until I got the heat down. But it basically just smelled like Crisco always does when seasoning.

But there's an X factor that renders this inconclusive. I had wiped both Erie pans and the DO (and lid) with MTC (refined coconut oil) last night because I had them completely cleaned up from the lye and Evaporust baths and wanted to minimize flash rusting. I read up on it a little and it sounds like some people use it for seasoning CI and carbon steel, so I wiped it off to dry appearance but didn't bother washing it off this morning. Got everything to 200, applied Crisco. Went up to 300, wiped everything again, then up to 400. That's when the DO started smoking like crazy. I went down to 350 and it stopped smoking after ten minutes or so.

Because I mixed coconut oil and Crisco, it's hard to say why it smoked so much. It is odd that the DO lid and both Erie skillets didn't smoke at all. I'll do another round of seasoning tomorrow with all of these pieces and see what happens. At some point I need to completely burn off whatever is smoking, to make the DO usable...I've always been leery of seasoning on a grill because I worry it is more prone to warp items, but I may have no choice due to the smoke factor. I guess if I put it on a rack away from direct flame I should be ok.
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2021, 02:18 PM
Doug D. Doug D. is offline
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Default Re: Evaporust

Refined coconut oil has a smoke point of 400F; Crisco's is much higher. Not sure what the attraction out there to coconut oil is, there are several less-exotic oils that should in theory be better-suited for this purpose.
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2021, 02:31 PM
Greg Gardner Greg Gardner is offline
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Default Re: Evaporust

Yeah, I wasn't intending to use it for seasoning, just short term rust prevention. Then when I saw that it was usable for seasoning, I just left it on out of expediency. I suspect that my oven may run slightly hotter and maybe I was above 400 and hence the smoking. Hoping I can get it 'smoked out' tomorrow and return to purely using my old reliable, Crisco.
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2021, 04:55 PM
D_Madden D_Madden is offline
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Default Re: Evaporust

I suspect all of the pieces produced some smoke... since that's kind of what polymerizing fats/oils is... breaking down of the oil.. its just that you didn't happen to catch the other pieces 'in the act'. and I'm one of the 'weird' people who don't think the oven temp needs to actually 'exceed' the stated smoke point of the oil for the oil to break down and polymerize completely. There are a lot of variables in different types and even different batches of oil and the true smoke point could be 30-40 deg F in either direction of the one single number listed in a chart on the internet... if the piece produces smoke, then you've reached the 'smoke point' of the oil in that particular situation. I also don't think the 'cleveland open cup' method used to determine the smoke point of an oil is a good measurement of the smoke point of the oil when placed in a microscopically thin layer on something with a lot of surface area (like cast iron cookware)... its a fairly good guideline for comparison of different oils.. but it isn't carved in stone.

there isn't any chance that there was mineral oil on the dutch oven that smoked like crazy is there?
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  #9  
Old 08-25-2021, 06:42 PM
Greg Gardner Greg Gardner is offline
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Default Re: Evaporust

Don't think there could be mineral oil, unless the person who gave me the MCT oil inadvertently gave me mineral oil.

I thought about other pieces smoking too, but upon opening the oven when my smoke alarm went off, you could see smoke pouring off of the DO quite clearly. I've only seasoned a couple of dozen pieces, so I don't have a great depth of experience, but I've used the same process on all of them (200 degrees, Crisco, wipe off, 300 degrees, wipe again, 400 degrees for two hours and then leave to cool in oven) and never had this happen. Maybe I got this piece REALLY clean and it just absorbed a good deal of the MCT oil, or I didn't do as thorough a job of removing it as I had thought. Or perhaps it was Evaporust burning off! Too many variables.

[SIZE=1]---------- Post added at 04:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:39 PM ----------[/SIZE]

Also, I did consider doing this tomorrow at 350, but my instinct is to burn off whatever this is, since I use my DOs to bake bread at 500. So it's either gonna have to get 'de-smoked' or not be a user.

Now that I think about it, it's odd that ones that I've seasoned purely with Crisco have been fine at 500. I thought Crisco's smoke point was around 400 too...
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2021, 07:36 PM
Doug D. Doug D. is offline
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Default Re: Evaporust

There's not anything in the way of absorption possible with cast iron. The smoke point of currently produced Crisco shortening is 490F.
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