Seasoning carbon steel didn't work?
Posted 09 November 2012 - 01:55 PM
I recently got a carbon steel De Buyer frypan. New, with the beeswax finish it came with + one quick seasoning pass on the stovetop, I got only a little sticking; eggs were not a problem, and omelettes came out pretty good. This past weekend I finally got around to doing a real seasoning job on it, though: 4 thin coats with flaxseed oil in a 500 degree oven for an hour + 2 hour cooldown for each coat (the method advocated here: http://sherylcanter....ning-cast-iron/). When it was done I was a little puzzled to note that the seasoning coat didn't look particularly even; rather than a hard seal coat there's a lot of variation in coloring across the pan.
The next morning when I made eggs, as soon as they went into the pan they stuck hard – so hard that I could not scrape them off the bottom of the pan. Note that I do use oil and do preheat the pan (I add my eggs just when olive oil starts to smoke). Later, as I tried to scrub the stuck egg bottoms out of my pan, I noticed that the seasoning comes off surprisingly easily with a little scrubbing.
What am I doing wrong? Why would I get _much more_ sticking after seasoning the pan than before? I really like this pan and I'd love to figure out how to make it nonstick enough for perfect eggs and omelettes. I thought I could treat carbon steel similarly to cast iron, but it doesn't seem to be working. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
The pan I'm using is this one: http://www.debuyer.c...p?id=778&cat=63
Posted 09 November 2012 - 02:09 PM
Posted 09 November 2012 - 02:12 PM
Posted 09 November 2012 - 04:19 PM
Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:39 PM
Typically you want to heat up the pan and reapply some fat every time you get ready to use the pan, effectively "reseasoning" the pan before using it.
Hmm. When I went to cook my eggs the morning after doing a full oven seasoning and put oil in the pan first, wasn't that "reapplying some fat"? Having the full seasoning layers actually caused more sticking, rather than less. What's the material difference between the quick reseasoning you suggest and the full seasoning I did?
You need to hot sear a few steak or the like in it until it builds up some actual carbon within the seasoning.
Interesting; do you have any info you can point me at for what it means to "build up some carbon" in the seasoning? I thought the seasoning was just polymerized oils; what does cooking a steak do to the pan beyond just adding its own fat which polymerizes from the heat?
Maybe it isn't compatible with whatever coating came from the factory. Try stripping it all with lye or abrasive and starting fresh.
Maybe that's worth a shot; according to the literature that came with the pan, the beeswax coating is actually supposed to aid the seasoning process, not impede it, but I guess that's what I'll try next.
I'd love to know more about what's going on chemically here and why layers of polymerized flaxseed oil would cause increased sticking.
Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:52 PM
Blacken a chicken breast, sear some salmon or do a steak at high heat to try it out. Looking at the pic you are almost there.
Edited by radtek, 09 November 2012 - 05:53 PM.
Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:27 PM
But I'm not sure that its worth all that effort. It looks "chefly", but it isn't practical. These things are heavy and require more maintenance than teflon.
Why do I bother?
Posted 10 November 2012 - 12:35 AM
Posted 10 November 2012 - 04:39 AM
In the end De Buyer Mineral B is just a thick steel pan made of recycled steel and covered in wax so it doesn't rust, you can go through the romantic cleaning process with potato skins and gentle, prolonged seasoning process they recommend if you want to. I clean well with a scouring pad, hot water and detergent, as long as the pan isn't too large ( and my burner large enough) to get the pan up to temp then wipe with a layer of veg oil, let it cool and repeat as necessary.
PS: You need to cook with some fat and eggs are the toughest test especially at low temperature.
Edited by antdad, 10 November 2012 - 05:26 AM.