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I bought a pre-seasoned Logic 12" cast iron pan a few months ago -- and while it work decent for most things, I wanted the slick non-stick surface I heard others talk about in regards to their cast iron pans, plus my pan started sticking more and more it seemed, so I decided to try the Flaxseed seasoning method.

Since my pan wasn't at all in bad shape, I figured it would be better to NOT strip it down at all, and to just add the seasoning over top of my old seasoning. I'm still not sure if that is ok or not.

The procedure I used was to put a thin (or so I thought, maybe that is the problem) coat of flaxseed oil on the pan, turn the oven on 500, and then placed it facing up in the oven for an hour past when the oven finished pre-heating... I did this about 6 times.

So today I wanted to make some eggs and figured it would be a GREAT time to try out my newly seasoned pan.... and what a disaster!! The sticking was so bad that the egg whites didn't even move or spread once I broke them into the pan, and I now have a crunchy awful mess of eggs to clean up when I get home because I was so discouraged with how bad the pan was...

So what should I do, and what did I do wrong? Did I need to strip it down before re-seasoning it, or does it sound like i put too thick a layer of flaxseed oil on it from my descriptions of what happened when I tried to cook with it? Or is flaxseed oil a bad idea all together, because I've seen some mixed opinions on that...

Please help! I want to love my cast iron pan so badly!!!
Any advice would be MUCH appreciated!!!
 

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Welcome! I hope I can help.

You're on the right track.

Does the seasoning you put on seem sticky to the touch? If so, you might be best off to run the pan through the self-cleaning cycle on your stove oven, if you have that cycle. That would strip off the old seasoning down to bare metal. Then you would need to re-season again immediately.

I have never used flax seed oil for seasoning, so I don't know if that's the problem or not. You can use Crisco or vegetable oil or my favorite, Camp Chef Cast Iron Conditioner. Regardless of what you use, it has to be applied as thin as you possibly can get it. A little oil goes a very long way. I have a silicone basting brush that I cut off so the bristles are about a quarter inch long, and use that to smear the oil around. The metal should look wet but nothing should be dripping or running. A very, very, very thin, barely-there coat is what you want.

Then place the pan upside down in the oven. This will allow any excess you might have in the bottom of the pan to drip out. I've fired cast iron at 500 degrees and that's fine if you want to, but I've concluded it's a waste of stove fuel. I usually bake it at 400 and have had good luck with that. I bake it about an hour or so, sometimes a little longer. You will know when the oil has carbonized because the smoke will stop pouring out of the oven, the smoke detector will stop going off, and the cats will quit yowling because they're scared of the smoke alarm.

Allow the iron to cool in the oven without opening the door. This will take a few hours.

You can add multiple layers as you wish. The more layers, the better.

It's okay to use dish soap to wash the pan after cooking, but don't use soap that will cut grease.

As for what went wrong this time, if you had burned food on the bottom of the pan and didn't get that all out, that could be why the eggs stuck. Also, if you cook bacon or sausage before the eggs, that will make most anything stick.

You will need to use some sort of oil or fat or spray when cooking non-greasy foods. You should also be pre-heating the pan. When I cook with my CI (almost every day) I add the oil and spread it around, and when it starts making designs in the bottom of the pan, it's the right temp. Pre-heating will help keep things from sticking.

Once you get the hang of it, you will love cooking with cast iron. Don't forget, you can bake in it too. Cast iron makes a great casserole dish and pizza pan, for example, or a cornbread pan.
 

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Even on a 'pre seasoned' pan the surface is going to be pretty rough, and building up a good 'seasoning' takes time. So just keep cooking in it. And like SD said, you still need to use some oil in it. Just spritz it, or put in a spoonful and wipe it around with a paper towel each time. Eggs and proteins are particularly bad about sticking, too.

Growing up we scrubbed out the pans with a Brillo pad and put clean oil in them every time. This smoothed out the pan over time, and still allowed the oil to cook into the crevices of the cast iron. This was how we got that beautiful old fashioned 'nonstick' surface.
 
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I just use a spatula to shove the oil/Crisco/butter/whatever around in the pan. I'm too cheap to use a paper towel! :D

That's another thing that makes me laugh, the idea you can't use metal utensils in a CI pan. I always have, and my mom and both grandmothers before did, too.

I've found it more difficult to maintain a good seasoning on my pans since I quit using so much fat and quit cooking so much fatty foods over the years. I cook more now with water, which makes steam and is very hard on seasoning.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've tried posting and reposting my response about 5 times since I received all your helpful responses, but it never shows up here -- are you not allowed to post links to external websites, or why would the moderator not be letting my response through? Kinda just testing to see if this message gets through, so I can figure out how to get my original response through as well...
 

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Enthused, the link to an exerternal website might be the problem. The site has had a lot of spammers lately and in order to make it harder for them exerternal links might be blocked. Please correct me if I am wrong though.
 

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New members are not allowed to post external links until they reach a certain # of posts in the forum. That's probably what is preventing your post from being seen.
 
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Ok then -- here is the post I've been TRYING to post, lol, without the link

I DID cook slices of ham before I did the eggs -- maybe that was majorly to blame! I also NEVER had any pooling or dripping of the oil in the pan when I seasoned it -- just didn't maybe wipe as much off as I possibly could have....

The pan surface itself isn't sticky, it is shiny and slickish in spots, but other spots seem rough and sorta like they are dry... so it is splotchy in general and uneven

Has ANYONE heard of using Flaxseed Oil? I read the article here which talks in depth about it, and the type of surface it gives cast iron.... since i haven't used cast iron that long, I'm not sure about how correct any of this is, but the website I read a lot of interesting information on can be found by searching for shery'l blog on the Chemistry of Cast Iron Seasoning -- shouldn't be hard to find if anyone is interested in reading it...

Sounds non-traditional, but possibly more effective than the traditional method...? I'm really not sure, and if I should be switching back to vegetable or olive oil....

If I do want to season the pan again, just like for a round or two in the oven, do I have to strip the pan? I am pretty sure I can scrape all the gunk off the bottom, like with a plastic dish scraper, so then could I just season it a few more times as is? does it matter if you change oils for different rounds of seasoning? or does any/all seasoning just make it better and better, no matter what? I can't see needing to strip it, being that it isn't old or used barely so far....
 

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Age doesn't really have anything to do with whether something needs to be stripped. But you can certainly try scraping any gunk out of the bottom and re-seasoning without stripping it. You can also just season the areas that need it, after removing the gunk. The only thing I would be concerned about is if the flaxseed oil is somehow the problem. I don't know anything about using that, so can't help you there. However, if it does turn out the flaxseed oil is the problem and the pan won't take seasoning or the seasoning flakes off or whatever, no real harm will be done and the pan can be stripped then. If that's not the problem, then you've saved a step. Yes, you can add layers of different oils/fats on top of other layers. You would do that naturally anyway, by cooking bacon which makes a layer, then maybe frying chicken with Crisco, frying potatoes with canola oil, etc. Even using margarine or cooking spray, which you would not use alone to season a pan, does add a layer of seasoning.

I seem to recall reading somewhere that olive oil isn't a good choice for seasoning, but I could be wrong and I can't remember why or if the source was reliable. I think it might have something to do with the smoke point, but I can't recall clearly. If you have vegetable oil, just stick with that. Canola or shortening would work fine, too. Flaxseed oil has not given you the results you're looking for, so try something else and see if that works better for you. It doesn't matter what works for someone else, only what works for you.

Feel free to use steel wool to get the gunk out of the bottom of the pan, or a single-edge razor blade. You won't hurt the pan any, and you'll be re-seasoning anyway.

Cooking ham would make the eggs stick. I usually spray the pan again or add some oil or butter, then break the eggs into the pan and let them cook till the edges look dry before trying to flip them or remove them. The spatula you use makes a big difference, too. I use the thinnest metal spatula I can find, and it has to be flexible, too. A thick spatula doesn't allow you to get it between the egg and pan, it just shoves the edge of the egg onto the rest of the egg and messes it all up.
 

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Excellent thread for caring for you CI. Thanks all!
 

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So glad to find this thread! I used the same page for reference and seasoned my 2 pans with the flax oil. I was happy with the end result, it was slick and not sticky, but I cooked bacon in one and then followed it with a fritatta which stuck horribly. The other I cooked sausage and then fried eggs which stuck badly. Now I see those were the wrong things to do! Also, I've seen differing opinions on boiling a little water in the pan to help clean stuck on foods, I'd be curious of this groups opinion? And if you don't use that method, how do you get the stuck on food off? (which hopefully I won't encounter much more going forward!) Thanks!!!
 

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You can use a little steam to loosen foods up, but it can cause minor damage to seasoning.

Use a thin, flexible plastic scraper to get out any stuck-on food. You can soak the pan in hot water for a few minutes or an hour first. I also use one of those green Scotch scrubbing sheets sometimes.

Good luck.
 

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I usually use a tab off bread or hamburger buns on mine when something sticks...I have some old and come newer ones..Seems to me the older ones holds seasoning better..on the newer ones I have to season them everytime I used them for a long time before I got them where I wanted them..I will in I am in a hurry dry them on the stove burner and spray with cooking spray..Tomato seems to be hard on them to..One of my newer ones I had a build up on and had to start over..
 

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Logic makes little plastic scrapers that fit the curves of the skillets perfectly, good for scraping the stuck gunk off.

I'm not a big fan of the new skillets or the pre-seasoning for that matter. New skillets are rough in the bottom, old ones were generally machined after casting and have a glass-like surface. Much better IMO. Look around at swap meets and garage sales for the good old cast iron. I like the unmarked skillets made by Wagner for department stores back in the day. They'll say something like "10 INCH SKILLET" on the bottom but are otherwise unmarked. No collector value but good solid cookware.
 
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