Frugal Village Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I have followed every tip I found online about seasoning my cast iron skillet. I scrubbed and scrubbed to remove the factory finish. I have seasoned the living daylights out of the pan but I find that the pan turns more and more copperish with every single seasoning session. I don't know if it's supposed to be like that. Mind you, it's a new pan, only purchased last week. And it's not nonstick even though it's been seasoned at least three or four times.

What do I do?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,540 Posts
What brand is it? A lot of CI these days comes pre-seasoned.

Have you cooked with it? It will take many, many layers of seasoning for it to become non-stick. If you don't cook a lot of greasy food in it for many years, it might not ever be non-stick.

If your seasoning isn't very, very thin, it can turn brown and be sticky. Brown does not hurt anything. Go ahead and use it. You'll build up that nice black patina over time.

To help keep foods from sticking, be sure you have the pan good and hot before you put food into it. Especially meats. And grease the pan before putting the food in, too.

If you fry eggs after cooking bacon, they will stick to some degree.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I just bought it in Aldi to give it a try. I have never had a cast iron pan and didn't know if I'd like it. So I got a rather cheap one. I have put a very thin layer, but I was concerned that, for some reason, it rusted, even though I have been so carefully with it. I have tried to strip the pre-seasoning, as all the directions told me to do. I just rescrubbed (for the second time today) and am trying to season with canola oil now.

I didn't realize it would take so long to turn black and non-stick. All the websites I read kept mentioning it will be black and nonstick once I finished seasoning. Apparently I misunderstood.

Thank you so much for responding. I was this close to trashing it and buying an enamel covered cast iron skillet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,035 Posts
If you have any bacon, fry up a bunch in it. It will help season it. I cook up a 7.5 of bacon when I need a pan seasoned. I also feed three teen boys and 7.5 lbs isn't that much with bottomless pits around. Save the bacon grease to season the pans with. I prefer animal fats over vegetable oils to season pans.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,540 Posts
You don't have to scrub that hard to remove the wax from the factory. It's an edible wax so just a good washing with soap and hot water will do. If there's a bit left, it won't hurt anything.

Newly seasoned cast iron will have a brownish tint to it. It's not rust, it's just a funny patina. It takes a few coats of seasoning and some use to get a black patina. Don't worry about the brown tint and just go ahead and use the pan. I don't know why it's brown. That's sort of strange because 'nekkid' cast iron is gray. Refurbished, used CI is black after seasoning, so maybe it has something to do with the seasoning being cooked into the pores of the metal over time or something. As I said, I really don't know.

Don't try to wash the seasoning off. You shouldn't be able to, for starters. Adding more layers is the best way to get a good patina, and you need not remove the layers in between unless the pan is rusty or the seasoning is rancid or otherwise something you wouldn't want to eat from. If you need to remove old seasoning, you can do so by running the piece through the self-clean cycle in your stove oven. It will need to be re-seasoned almost immediately to prevent it rusting. If it's rusty, the rust will have to be removed. I like to use an electrolysis bath for that, but since you have a new pan you shouldn't need to worry about that.

If you use animal fats to season CI, then be sure you use the pan a lot so it does not get rancid. There is nothing wrong with using bacon grease though. I use Camp Chef's Cast Iron Conditioner which works great, but it's not necessary. I have a lot of camp Dutch ovens which are used seasonally so they sit for long periods of time, so I prefer vegetable-based seasoning, but again, there's nothing wrong with animal-based seasoning.

I fire my CI at 400 degrees for an hour, and try to do so only in summer when I can open the windows. Then I turn the oven off and let it cool overnight without opening the door.

Don't expect seasoning to be like Teflon. However, keep in mind CI will heat much more evenly and brown things way better than any non-stick coated pan. Also, the seasoning on a CI piece is infinitely renewable unlike non-stick coatings, and there are no health risks unlike questionable coatings. A cast iron pan will outlive you, your children, and your grandchildren if properly cared for.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,540 Posts
I dug around and found some pics of some of my CI adventures.

Here's a new CI Dutch oven with either factory seasoning or factory seasoning plus one coat of added seasoning. It's been a few years since I bought these and I forget. but it looks like it's just the factory seasoning. That's the top one. The bottom one is a new DO that came with the factory wax, which I washed off and then seasoned the DO. You can clearly see the contrast in color and the brown tint to the new, previously waxed DO. It's now black and shiny after several years of use, not shown.


Here's why I love buying vintage and neglected CI and refurbishing it. The top pic shows a group of Pie Irons and other clamshell cookers made by Rome Industries. I picked up the lot for $1 at a garage sale. As you can see, they were in pretty sad shape. Nobody would even consider cooking with them.


And here's the after pic. Anyone would want to use these now, and in fact I gave most of them away as door prizes at various RV rallies.


And here's one reason I love Dutch oven cooking, yet another tasty meal made over coals. Normally, I don't use foil but on that particular night, we had spent a day driving and we were tired, so I used the foil to minimize clean-up.


Try making deep-dish pizza in your CI frying pan. Yum! The crust gets a crispness to it you can't get any other way. You'll find the same with many other foods, too. Bisquick Impossibly Easy Pies make up wonderful in CI, too. For any recipe calling for a pizza stone, try using CI. The more you use it, the more you'll want to use it. It can be addicting, and before you know it, you might have a good case of castironitis.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,035 Posts
I have been scouring thrift stores for a few years now to find enough pieces to send all of my guys out into the world with at least two cast iron skillets. Shhhh...It really just gives me a reason to buy more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
541 Posts
I seasoned mine by repeatedly frying french fries in them and leaving the oil in the skillet & setting it inside the oven when it cooled down some. As long as it is cool weather the oil won't go rancid for a good while.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,540 Posts
I have been scouring thrift stores for a few years now to find enough pieces to send all of my guys out into the world with at least two cast iron skillets. Shhhh...It really just gives me a reason to buy more.
Haha! Castironitis!

I've picked up almost all my frying pans secondhand. Some are vintage, some are reproductions, some are contemporary. I got a 15" round griddle with wire handle for $1.50. It's over 100 years old and is our pizza pan. I don't want to discuss what I've spent on new camp ovens. I've picked up Griswold pieces for as little as a dollar.

For anyone looking for new cast iron cookware, check Amazon. They often have decent prices (check back if prices are too high, as they keep changing) and free shipping on heavy cast iron is not a small consideration.

It's getting harder to find used CI. It's cycled back into popularity again and being snapped up quickly and not donated as often. When the newest gee-whiz coated cookware hits the market and becomes a fad, then CI will be cheap and plentiful at garage sales again. The best deals are for CI that needs to be refurbished, like what I pictured above, so if you want to save money, learn to clean up rusty pieces. It's a lot of fun bringing rusted cookware back to life, too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
960 Posts
SD - is there any way to restore old cast iron that doesn't involve a self-cleaning oven? I have a skillet that needs to be reconditioned but I don't have a self-cleaning oven.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,540 Posts
If you have a battery charger that will charge a dead car battery (some will only charge a battery if it's not completely dead) then you can do electrolytic rust reduction. Very, very simple and almost no work. This is by far the easiest way to rehab rusty iron.

Stovebolt Tech Tip -- Antique Chevy / GMC Truck Restoration Help

Note the safety warning: DO NOT USE STAINLESS STEEL as your anode! Aside from that, it's not very dangerous but do keep kids and pets away. Just follow the instructions and you won't have any problems.

Keep in mind whatever plastic container you use is likely to stain a little, so don't use something you treasure. I usually use a cat litter pail.

You will need to re-season the CI almost immediately because it will start to rust right away.

I've done many, many pieces using this method and it's fun every time to see the rust going away and the iron coming back to life.

If you have a gas grill that will sear things nicely, you can also burn off old seasoning in the grill. That won't work as well for rust though.

You could also ask a friend with a self-cleaning oven if he or she would set your pan in their oven the next time it needs to be cleaned. But again, that doesn't do much for removing rust. It would strip off old seasoning nicely though.

It also needs to be said that while I've stripped dozens of pieces of cast iron of old seasoning using a self-cleaning oven with no dire consequences, I did have an antique griddle crack using that method. I'm not sure why, or even if the crack was there but hidden under the massive amount of crud on that piece. I've also stripped caked-on gunk off cast aluminum without any problems. Just be forewarned it can happen, so if the piece you want to strip has sentimental value, you may not want to take even a slight chance of damaging the piece.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
I love rehabbing cast iron pieces, and mine are always brown early in the seasoning process. It just takes time to turn them black.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top