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Reseasoning cast iron, flaxseed v. grapeseed oil


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#1 Derek J

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:48 AM

I'm planning to reseason a couple cast iron pans. Cooks Illustrated had a note a year or so ago about how to do this by applying repeated coats of flaxseed oil and baking at high temperatures. I am having trouble finding flaxseed oil, but I can get grapeseed oil. Does anyone know if substituting grapeseed oil for flaxseed oil in this process is viable?

#2 Joe Blowe

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:41 AM

If you have a decent health food store in your area, they're sure to have flax seed oil. Whole Foods might also have it...
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#3 Derek J

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:55 AM

We don't have a Whole Foods, but we do have a nice hippie place with lots of grains and granolas and whatnot. I hadn't thought of checking there. Thanks for the kick in the right direction!

#4 pbear

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:28 AM

FYI, it won't be with the other cooking oils. It's be with supplements, in a refrigerator case. Probably simplest to ask.

#5 Mjx

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:15 AM

I've used grape seed oil with no problem at all, find it less gummy than the available flax seed oil (and more reasonably priced). In a pinch I've used all sorts of things (rather than leave the bare iron vulnerable and exposed; an oil that gums is a drag, but can be removed, unlike the pits caused by rusting).

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#6 rotuts

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:37 AM

as Mjx says. go with grape seed flax has all sorts of bits in it that will probably burn and cause the gummyness.

#7 Kerry Beal

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:17 PM

Actually flax seed oil is felt to be one of the best because of it's tendency to oxidize more easily than other oils. You want to put as thin a layer down as you can before each heating - but I've used it to get fabulous results on cast iron and steel.

#8 rotuts

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:26 PM

interesting. guess oxidizing in this case is good. generally its bad!

#9 Kerry Beal

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:33 PM

Here is the article that explains it nicely.

#10 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:40 PM

Flax seed oil is a 'drying oil', meaning it can polymerize into a tough solid and resilient form.
That's what makes it best for seasoning cast iron.
Poppy seed oil and walnut oil are a couple other 'drying oils'.



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Edited by DiggingDogFarm, 29 December 2012 - 12:42 PM.

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#11 scubadoo97

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:58 PM

FYI, it won't be with the other cooking oils. It's be with supplements, in a refrigerator case. Probably simplest to ask.


Exactly. I found an organic variety at Walmart supermarket in the supplement section. A little goes a long way. It's been the best seasoning I've done on my pans. I used a method outlined by Sheryl Canter

#12 Kerry Beal

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 01:07 PM

Here is another component of the process to consider as well - prevents later flaking off of the seasoning.

#13 rotuts

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 02:09 PM

if one were to get one of those newer Lodge 'pre-seasoned' pans: would the next layers of flax stick to what's there?

its probably better to get a non-seasoned one and go from there.

thanks

#14 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 02:45 PM

Yes, it'll stick to what's there, but as you said, it's best to get an unseasoned pan and start from there.
In my experience, whatever Lodge is using for seasoning doesn't hold-up well.



~Martin

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#15 scubadoo97

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 03:54 PM

I got a Lodge pre seasoned, removed the seasoning via a self cleaning oven and then re-seasoned. Better to take it down to the bare iron then try to season over a less than stellar seasoning

#16 Derek J

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 11:43 AM

FYI, it won't be with the other cooking oils. It's be with supplements, in a refrigerator case. Probably simplest to ask.

I wish I'd read your post before going to the hippie store. I was filled with despair when I found every kind of oil imaginable except for flax seed. They had macadamia oil, walnut oil, almond oil, safflower oil, apricot kernel oil, rice bran oil, avocado oil, and even (I kid you not) something called "olive oil for children." Fortunately, the friendly lady at the checkout register pointed me toward the refrigerated foods section and I got my flax seed oil.

#17 Derek J

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 11:45 AM

I got a Lodge pre seasoned, removed the seasoning via a self cleaning oven and then re-seasoned. Better to take it down to the bare iron then try to season over a less than stellar seasoning

That's where I'm at. I bought 2 Lodge cast iron pans and the seasoning failed fairly epicly with both. I cooked a hamburger in a brand new one and it stuck to the pan so badly that scrubbing off the meat residue took off the seasoning. My project this week is stripping off the remaining seasoning from both pans and reseasoning with flax seed oil. I baked the first coat this morning. I should be able to do 2 coats per day until I'm done.

#18 rotuts

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 02:52 PM

Id love to see a pic of your final pans!

#19 scubadoo97

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 06:08 PM

Here are a couple of mine. The skillet is a Lodge which was taken to bare iron and reseasoned. The comal was an old one that didn't have a good seasoning. It was also taken down to bare metal and reseasoned at the same timeImageUploadedByTapatalk1356916048.844292.jpg

#20 nibor

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:09 AM

I bought a large Lodge pre-seasoned frying pan some years ago, and all has gone well. So I thought I knew what I was doing. But I recently bought a little cephalon cast iron pan and am having trouble - black stuff keeps coming off the interior. When I wipe it with a paper towel the towel turns black. There seems to be no end of black stuff, like I could wipe forever and still get black. Is this the "preseasoning" coming off? Should I just nuke it in the oven?

#21 rotuts

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:08 AM

I think the black is iron, but others will know more. try several layers of new seasoning and see it that changes.

#22 nibor

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:33 PM

I think the black is iron, but others will know more. try several layers of new seasoning and see it that changes.

You were right. Thanks!

#23 Smithy

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:53 AM

Here is the article that explains it nicely.


Thanks for that link, Kerry. It's an excellent article and fascinating reading! I learned a lot from it.

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#24 maggiethecat

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 06:54 PM

I don't wish to present myself as a no-brain Luddite though I might be. The magic seasoning ingredient is bacon fat, really. Cast iron, preseasoned or raw , can be stick free if you cook two batches of bacon and clean it gently -- no steel wool.

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#25 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:28 PM

The magic seasoning ingredient is bacon fat, really.


I used to think the same thing, until I tried the drying oils.
Bacon fat will certainly work, but it doesn't produce the very tough resilient seasoning of a drying oil.


~Martin

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#26 ScottyBoy

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:44 PM

Whoa, that article... Maybe over thinking seasoning a pan?

Every place I've worked including a few michelin starred spots have seasoned with grapeseed oil. Maybe because it was what was readily on hand but it works like a charm in my opinion.
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#27 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:57 PM

The higher the iodine value of an oil, the better seasoning it'll produce.
The iodine value of grapeseed oil is fairly high, but not as high as flaxseed oil.


~Martin

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#28 gfweb

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:34 PM

Fry some chicken in the pan...seasoned!

#29 ScottyBoy

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:48 PM

SCIENCE!
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#30 Syzygies

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:14 PM

wok.jpg

Whoa, that article... Maybe over thinking seasoning a pan?

This is egullet. It isn't a crime to over think something here! And I'm so glad I found this thread, I really learned something from it.

I'm reminded of wood working. They know what drying oils are, and elaborate discussions of esoteric wood finishes are routine. Along the same lines, one uses the same stones and skills to sharpen Japanese cooking knifes as Japanese woodworking tools, but the kitchen is considered the less critical application.

I used to think the same thing, until I tried the drying oils.

Thank you! Anyone can say their favorite method works well, and it probably does. One can only make a comparison if one has tried both ways.

Pictured is a brand new 14" flat-bottomed wok from the Wok Shop:

http://wokshop.store...casthaw2me.html

It arrived silver as shown in the link. I stripped any possible residue, then applied twelve coats of flaxseed oil. If one attempts to remove all oil from such a smooth surface, one leaves very little oil. Twelve coats (twice what the blog post recommends) seemed about right. I'm now deep-frying in it, the second phase to seasoning a wok.

I have tried many approaches over the years. My Thai teacher swears by lard, which had been my favorite. I've never seen a finish like I obtained by this blog method. It got me excited enough to remember that my French teacher swore by carbon steel fry pans, and I have some on order:

http://www.cooksdire...-steel-fry-pans

(I'm aware that cast iron can be cheaper than the best carbon steel; it's a more primitive technology. I wanted the best carbon steel, and it came down to these pans or de Buyer.)
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