Seasoning not sticking/burning off?

Anthony_A

New member
I've been re seasoning all my pans with flaxseed oil. Very thin coats at 500 degrees for an hour each.

One of the first things I cooked was I oven fried potatoes and it looked like the seasoning was coming off on my skillet (saw bare iron spots all over skillet). I thought cooking such an oily food would help the seasoning.

Second concerning thing was when I brought my lodge cast iron skillet to around 550-600 degrees on my stovetop. It looks like the seasoning burned right off in the middle (didn't even cook on it yet).

Anyone know whats going on here?


It looks oily because i wiped it down right before cooking. otherwise it looks like a nice hard finish.
7cCSPpi.jpg
 

Doug D.

Administrator
Staff member
The primary complaint heard again and again about flaxseed oil is that, despite its supposed "scientific" superiority, it has been shown to quite often tend to flake off in use.

As to the other pan, I'm guessing 550-600F far exceeds the temps typically used on a stovetop, and that the concentration of such heat in a small area to achieve that temp is going to burn off just about any seasoning.
 

Doug D.

Administrator
Staff member
I think there's a difference between baking a pan at 500F or higher (totally unnecessary, IMO) to season it and subjecting a portion to the direct flame of a high intensity burner.
 

RLMuse

Member
I think there's a difference between baking a pan at 500F or higher (totally unnecessary, IMO) to season it and subjecting a portion to the direct flame of a high intensity burner.

One thing I know about my oven it the air flow is a major factor. When seasoning, I get the temp up to the smoke point of the oil, and leave it for about an hour. It doesn't put out a lot of smoke, but if I open the oven door, it immediately starts smoking like crazy. So in the oven, the oil doesn't "burn" (oxidize) as easily.

On the stove top, it has all the oxygen it needs to totally burn off the oil once you exceed the smoke point.

It is kind of the same principle as making charcoal.

If you heat wood up past the combustion point in a container with very little air, it carbonizes and turns into charcoal. If you feed it air, you end up with ashes instead.

If you heat oil up past its smoke point in an oven with very little air, it polymerizes into "season". If you feed it lots of air, you end up with the oil burning off.

When cooking most foods, you heat the oil, but not until it starts smoking, so most cooking adds to the season. If you cook at too high a temp, it will burn off the season.
 

RickC

Member
People post links to the Flaxseed method all over the internet when asked about seasoning.. Again and again I see people coming back days/weeks later having issues with it.

Lard, Crisco, bacon, sunflower oil, olive oil, etc.. No complaints that I've seen. The end all, be all of seasoning, based on "Science" is the one I constantly see people having issues with.

Go with what your great, great, great grandmother would have used.... Fat, grease, lard, possibly Crisco, you will not go wrong.
 

Anthony_A

New member
Yeah, I will NEVER recommend flaxseed going forward. It may make a nice hard nonstick coating but it doesn't stick when you actually cook with it!

Pretty frustrated because I spent a lot of time stripping and cleaning 3 pans which all now have flaxseed oil seasoning on them.

I really don't want to go through the mess of using oven cleaner to re strip...ugh.

Seasoning over with something else will probably just lead to flaking soon enough. Right?
 

DougH

Member
Yeah, I will NEVER recommend flaxseed going forward. It may make a nice hard nonstick coating but it doesn't stick when you actually cook with it!

Pretty frustrated because I spent a lot of time stripping and cleaning 3 pans which all now have flaxseed oil seasoning on them.

I really don't want to go through the mess of using oven cleaner to re strip...ugh.

Seasoning over with something else will probably just lead to flaking soon enough. Right?

Yeah, I would think starting over is the only way to go. If your foundation is bad, any seasoning you put on top of that will also be bad. It's possible that some of your flaxseed seasoning may be good, and you could season on top of the stuff that isn't flaking and be ok, but I think you'd be best served by stripping and starting over.

If you're mad about having to do it twice, why set yourself up for a potential third time?
 

RandyR

Member
Yeah, I will NEVER recommend flaxseed going forward. It may make a nice hard nonstick coating but it doesn't stick when you actually cook with it!

Pretty frustrated because I spent a lot of time stripping and cleaning 3 pans which all now have flaxseed oil seasoning on them.

I really don't want to go through the mess of using oven cleaner to re strip...ugh.

Seasoning over with something else will probably just lead to flaking soon enough. Right?

I did flax on 2 pans, same problems as everyone else. That was just before I found this forum. I didn't restrip. I've just continued to use the pans and the bottom inside and outside where the flax came off is seasoning just fine using grannies O'l timey method, just cook in it with good O'l fats and oils.

The sides have never flaked and honestly, I'm not worried about it. All mine are users and not lookers.
 

Anthony_A

New member
Good to know that regular use makes everything turn out alright. I was worried that everything would flake off.

I'll still probably strip them down due to the mental factor that the first attempt didn't work out too well.
 

RandyR

Member
Just thought I'd drop a picture. You can see the darker edge around the rim. That was where the flax didn't burn off. The lighter inside is where it all came off.

This pan isn't the "purtiest", but like I said, I'm not in it for looks, I'm in it to use. My morning eggs slide right out of this puppy.

Now, as too some of the discoloring. about 3 weeks ago, I cooked some Brats for the kids and me in that pan. That evening I was sick, of course not the kids. Flu hit me by 10pm.

The pan sat with the lid on for the weekend uncleaned....I know, I know, cast Iron abuse, never the less, once I recovered and washed it, it looked as the seasoning came off from the time sitting with condensation in the pan. There was a spot of rust even.

I was pissed at myself. I scoured it with steel wool till the rust was gone and just kept using it. Surprisingly, nothing stuck to it. It was like it was seasoned.

Go figure.
 

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RandyR

Member
Good to know that regular use makes everything turn out alright. I was worried that everything would flake off.

I'll still probably strip them down due to the mental factor that the first attempt didn't work out too well.

Anything I buy, I strip and season before I use 'em. It's just not knowing what's been in them before I use 'em that get's to me.

believe me, I've gotten some beautifully old crusty seasoned for decades pans that I didn't want to strip.....but dang it, I wanted to use them!! So i had to strip and start fresh.

This guy I didn't bother, well, because I know what I've had in it. Like I said in the earlier post, mine are all users. I pray my children will continue using them through there lifetimes. Maybe someone in the year 2115 will be re-stripping my pans to use for themselves, wouldn't that be a hoot!
 
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