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Thread: Cast Iron Cookware - Seasoning Advice

  1. #16
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    I am pretty sure the lodge skillets are not completely smooth (in-laws have one)....I have a le creuset skillet, and it is completely smooth.

    My experience is, the only problem with sticking and cast iron is eggs; I can't think of anything else that has been a problem. And, at least for the le creuest pan, the solution is more in the heat of the pan and fat in it before the eggs. If I cook bacon in the pan first, and cook the eggs in some of the bacon fat (w/ some evoo too), they don't seem to stick.

    If something does stick, though, you can deglaze the pan when it's hot and use a wooden spoon to scape up the bits. (Or if you're making a pan sauce, the deglazing step is part of the sauce-making technique.) This actually goes for any pan; there should never be anything stuck to your pans when you wash them, just throw in some water at the end and scrape up the bits.

  2. #17
    Registered User flaneuse's Avatar
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    Cast Iron Cookware - Seasoning Advice

    I can cook eggs in my 6". I make omelettes for my kids almost every say. I let the skillet get warm, add a couple teaspoons ghee, then get the pan hot and make sure the ghee coats evenly.
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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janine View Post
    Oh sure, it claimed to be pre-seasoned. That was not exactly a true story. It's taken many pounds of bacon and hamburger to get to where we are now, and the pan isn't smooth inside. I'm not sure if it ever will be, which makes me wonder if I'm seasoning it incorrectly.
    Janine, the reason your Lodge pan isn't smooth isn't because it's not seasoned properly. The reason is because the pan was forged using a sand mold.

    It used to be, long ago, that cast iron pans were milled down until they were smooth. This is a very expensive process. Nowadays nearly all non-enameled cast iron is just forged and left as-is. No amount of seasoning will ever really compensate for this, nor should it.

    I recently read about seasoning cast iron with flaxseed oil and long times in the oven at high heat. Has anyone tried that method? Is it really all that and a bag of chips?
    Flaxseed is the new hotness in seasoning, and is based on a single blog entry at SimpleEats which has since been debunked. So I'd not worry about it.
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  4. #19
    Registered User bltkmt's Avatar
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    For those of you that have found vintage cast iron pans, that presumably are smooth because of milling - where are you finding them? EBay or the like?
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    I second the steel wool scrubers, which is what my gourmet cook family members, have been using forever, to clean their cast iron cooking implements.

    Those implements were created for slow and hearty rustic meals. usually prepared for large families gatherings.

    The cast iron implements were passed on from one generation to the other, they seasoned with use.


    The best way to find used ones are in estate sales, garage sales or antique fairs because it is essential to see the condition of the pan.

    A picture won't show if it has too much crud or, has been kept in a basement or attic with damp, or high variation of temperature.
    Dampness will bring on mold and all sort things one doesn't want near food.
    Temperature variation can create microscopic breaks which can widen overtime, rendering the pan unsafe.
    Last edited by backpack; 03-07-2014 at 12:04 PM.

  6. #21
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    Janine, the reason your Lodge pan isn't smooth isn't because it's not seasoned properly. The reason is because the pan was forged using a sand mold.

    It used to be, long ago, that cast iron pans were milled down until they were smooth. This is a very expensive process. Nowadays nearly all non-enameled cast iron is just forged and left as-is. No amount of seasoning will ever really compensate for this, nor should it.



    Flaxseed is the new hotness in seasoning, and is based on a single blog entry at SimpleEats which has since been debunked. So I'd not worry about it.
    I understand that my pan isn't milled. Why shouldn't seasoning compensate for the rough finish? And what do you mean, debunked? Cooks Illustrated verified the results.
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  7. #22
    Registered User bltkmt's Avatar
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    Has anyone purchased from The Pan Handler | Fine vintage cast iron cookware: Griswold, Wagner, Lodge & more.? Prices are a bit steep, but she seems to have a passion for cast iron.
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  8. #23
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bltkmt View Post
    Has anyone purchased from The Pan Handler | Fine vintage cast iron cookware: Griswold, Wagner, Lodge & more.? Prices are a bit steep, but she seems to have a passion for cast iron.
    Oooh, yes, they are steep. But it might be worth it if you get a pan that will last your lifetime and get passed on to your kids.

    I'm stalking Craigslist and eBay right now. Since I learned you can take cast iron down to bare metal with the self-clean cycle in your oven (I tried it - it works!) I have been a lot less picky about the condition of the pan and a lot more picky about the size and shape. I can clean anything but I can't change the geometry of the pan.
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  9. #24
    Registered User Moose's Avatar
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    There are some youtube videos showing how folks clean up some really nasty pans. Interesting to watch.
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  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    It used to be, long ago, that cast iron pans were milled down until they were smooth. This is a very expensive process. Nowadays nearly all non-enameled cast iron is just forged and left as-is. No amount of seasoning will ever really compensate for this, nor should it.
    this makes sense! this past weekend, i inherited one of my late great-grandmother's cast iron pans and i noticed that all of hers were exceptionally smooth compared to the new ones i've seen recently. i assumed it was due to use (they'd been used daily for at least as long as I can remember, and probably far longer), but it makes sense that the manufacturing processes have changed in the meantime.

  11. #26
    Registered User bltkmt's Avatar
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    I recently purchased a vintage pan off EBay - likely 70-80 years old unmarked Wagner 11 3/4" skillet. The milling is so smooth compared to my Lodge that I can't believe it. So much better to cook on.
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