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Kim Shook

Cast iron: seasoning, care, and restoration

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I use an electric cooktop with cast iron.  What is the problem with it?

 

She explained it but I didn't listen well.I believe they have a flat ceramic(?) cooktop. It also may be that her husband has told her that cast iron won't work. If so, I'm not getting in the middle of that discussion.


Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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The glass tops work fine with cast iron that has a FLAT bottom.  If there is a "heat ring" around the perimeter, it will not work and also won't work on an induction burner.

 

My best friend has had two glass top electric ranges over the past 20 years and uses her old cast iron skillets all the time.  Previously she had an electric range with the flat metal "coils" that also worked fine with the cast iron. 


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I have a flat electric (call it glass, call it ceramic) stovetop at home. The user's manual says not to drag or shake heavy cookware across it, for fear of scratching the surface. As I recall the manual is especially alarming about shaking/scraping heavy and abrasive items like cast iron across the cooktop. I'm sure that a rough surface of sufficient hardness could score that cooktop and make it more subject to breakage. I pick up my pans before shaking them when I'm flipping or sauteeing things. If your daughter or son-in-law are willing to take the same precautions they should have no problem.

All that said...if they think it's too much trouble, then you should peddle the excess and keep your lip zipped. :-)

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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RE the pan I found Tuesday: As far as I can tell it is a BSR Red Mountain Size 5.

 

Before:

 

BSR 5 Before Cleaning.jpg

 

After:

 

BSR 5 Bottom After Seasoning.jpg

 

BSR 5 Inside After Seasoning.jpg

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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I'm finally seasoning my Griswold, and I'm using Sheryl Canter's flaxseed oil method. I put the oil on and wiped it off, then after baking the first time I noticed the seasoning was spotty - not even. I'm wondering if I wiped it off sufficiently - she says the pan should look dry, and only after 6 or so rounds will it start to take on a sheen. I just put it in for its 4th round of baking, and this time I made sure I wiped it out as much as I possibly could, but I'm wondering if I shouldn't strip the seasoning and start all over?

 

Can post pics later, pan is in the oven right now...

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it should not only look dry but feel dry all over

 

best to let it cool a bit for part 2 above

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it should not only look dry but feel dry all over

 

best to let it cool a bit for part 2 above

 

Hm, in the first couple rounds it didn't feel dry. What are you referring to by part 2? Should I strip it and redo it? I really want a gorgeous even seasoning.

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cool the pan off pre touch

 

if the final several coats are dry to the touch you should be fine

 

that's where the action will be

 

the inner ones will get there eventually.

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Sorry, what do you mean by pre touch?

 

So I just found this video: 

 

He bakes the seasoning on at fairly low temp. for 15 mins, then wipes it out again to get a more perfectly even coating before baking at higher temp for 2 more hours. Does anybody else do this?

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...Does anybody else do this?

 

no.  and you have discovered the reason why.

everybody has a different "method" and a different "oil" and every "method" is the one and only way.

 

if you're scratching your head about why on earth none of these methods work and everyone has so much trouble with following "the one and only true way to season cast iron" - you are not alone.

 

the "reason" for seasoning is to make the cast iron 'non-stick' - just cook fatty stuff in the pan until it gets there.

 

no exotic oils, no magic pixie dust, just use the pan - wipe it out - use again - and repeat.

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He bakes the seasoning on at fairly low temp. for 15 mins, then wipes it out again to get a more perfectly even coating before baking at higher temp for 2 more hours. Does anybody else do this?

 

I use his method and I choose do it with Crisco. I have been pleased with the results of his system.  I have a BSR #8 skillet waiting for me to get feeling a bit better (been under the weather) to finish prepping and then season. I've used this method on Lodge, Griswold, BSR and on both a no-name griddle and a no-name dutch over.


Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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Porthos: Fantastic job cleaning up those pans... they look brand new when you're done! I searched (to no avail) to find your technique for getting the big glunky rocks of black stuff off the exterior of the pan. What's your process there?

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 I searched (to no avail) to find your technique for getting the big glunky rocks of black stuff off the exterior of the pan. What's your process there?

 

Upthread a few posts Hassouni posted the video that I follow. Jeffery Rogers made this most informative video.

 

ETA: If the pan is especially gunky I use my BBQ with the burners turned up enough to reach 550 F. Gunky pans can really stink up the house.


Edited by Porthos (log)
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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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Porthos have you tried flax oil?

No. Since I don't own any and I've been very happy with my results I doubt I will. Nothing against others doing it.


Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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well  there is a lot of truth here in this thread  :

 

1)  just use it with your day to day fat

 

my mother had three wagner pans.  I have two.  purchased in Ohio just before WWII.

 

she just used them , as suggested above

 

the ones I have are still a bit fantastic.

 

I cant tell you what the first 5 - 10 years were like, I was not there.

 

however, starting from 'bare metal scratch'

 

you can easily get 10 - 20 years head start by using

 

an oil that polymerizes.

 

its that simple.

 

either way, the most important thing to know is what do you do with the pan after using it.

 

but Ill tell you this know :

 

20 years carefully earned now

 

is priceless.

 

unless you havent been born just quite yet.

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Pics of what's going on

image.jpg

image.jpg

 

ETA: it's not sticky or noticeably thick, so I'm wondering what caused all that...

 

Also, I've seasoned cast iron before (though not w UBER THIN method) as well as carbon steel, and I've never seen that speckled appearance.


Edited by Hassouni (log)
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I bought a Lodge cleaning brush  few months back, $7! It does a wonderful job cleaning cast iron. Mine have never looked so well. Wipe them down with a very small amount of oil after use. It came with a small hard plastic ridged scraper that I use on by ribbed grill plate. Try one one those, they are way cheap and work pretty darn well. 

 

Mark

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Resurrecting this thread to show something I noticed when I cleaned my large cast iron skillet the other day.

DSCN0284.JPG.9d8f0b5b517d1d4e7d4d78b92f87656f.JPG

 

DSCN0285.JPG.dd28e2472d15aeff6a2de36aa0f86280.JPG

 

This is the cooking surface.  It almost looks like something you could scrub off, but you can't.  It's fairly smooth, too.  

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