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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 02-09-2018, 11:54 AM   #1
Deebo
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Default Let mix up things a lil bit with a little "cast iron pan" talk.....

Recently, I picked up a new Lodge cast iron pan. I know they come with the rough surface to help Lodge's seasoning adhere to it but what do you all do to really get these things seasoned well? I'm tossing around the idea of taking a sander to it and smoothing out the surface. Is it worth doing that? I'm looking forward to hearing what the experienced cast iron users have done.
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:11 PM   #2
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I have quite a bit of lodge stuff, and have never sanded any of it. Some people do, with varying results. I have read from some good sources, that if you sand new cast iron, too smooth, that seasoning will not stick properly. It isn't lodge's seasoning, that is the problem, it is the chemistry of the new metal. Personally, I coat it with lard, and bake in the oven. Hand wash when done using it, dry immediately, and coat with lard and bake in the oven each use. Eventually your pan will smooth out significantly, as the seasoning builds. I personally don't have any problems with it, after the initial seasoning, even when it isn't smooth.
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:14 PM   #3
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Use metal utensils without sharp edges. Over time the pieces will smooth out as you use them. As seasoning builds up and in due time it will have a smooth feel to it albeit still not as smooth as the older pieces.
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:23 PM   #4
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I use flax seed oil. Same oil they make lindseed oil out of. Do not put too much on very thin coat and wipe it with a towel. Then put it in the oven on top of a wood burning stove in your smoker when it is cooling down etc. just keep putting several light layers on, with heat. If you do not heat it up post putting oil on you will get a rancid smell. Then use it as much as you can. Bake bread, bisquets, fry etc. you will be very pleases with the results.
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:57 PM   #5
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i have several lodge pans, but I also have several I've inherited from grandmothers and from my folks. the old stuff is lighter and finished better and far easier to use. the lodge stuff will smooth out eventually, but I know many that have taken the palm sander to it and re-seasoned with great results. i was just never that ambitious
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:59 PM   #6
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Personally im not a fan of lodges pre seasoning. I say strip it and start from new. Ive had it flake. That being said pick an oil. Put the thinnest layer you can of it on the pan. Put it in the oven upside down at a temp above that oils smoke point(you can google a chart online). Take it out after 15 mins and re wipe then let it roll for an hour. Turn the oven off and let the pan cool down on its own. I use one coat then start cooking. Only cook fatty things for a little while. Bacon, burgers, ect. After a little bit youll be ready to roll!
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:19 PM   #7
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Ditto to all the above. I have one skillet i can flip eggs in.....but I NEVER pit soap on it. To clean once seasond use only warm or hot water. Table salt will help get stuck on stuff...I'll wipe down with vegatable oil after use. Good luck!
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshw View Post
I have quite a bit of lodge stuff, and have never sanded any of it. Some people do, with varying results. I have read from some good sources, that if you sand new cast iron, too smooth, that seasoning will not stick properly. It isn't lodge's seasoning, that is the problem, it is the chemistry of the new metal. Personally, I coat it with lard, and bake in the oven. Hand wash when done using it, dry immediately, and coat with lard and bake in the oven each use. Eventually your pan will smooth out significantly, as the seasoning builds. I personally don't have any problems with it, after the initial seasoning, even when it isn't smooth.
Same here except I use Crisco. Bake at 350 for an hour or so with the pan inverted to avoid pooling in the bottom.
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Old 02-10-2018, 03:21 AM   #9
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I do ab0out 6 designing cycles in the oven, letting it cool down and adding a thin layer of lard each time.

Then I cook a few handfuls of potatoes skins and salt in to, then it's ready to use for anything. I make sure I do bacon and fatty stuff a lot before I do anything involving simmering liquids, etc.

metal spatulas only, in a few months it gets quite smooth, if you don't mess top that seasoning it gets thicker and smoother.

If I really wanted a smooth pan I'd just buy vintage. You can also invest in a pan by a newer maker who grinds theirs smooth, but beware you'll have to be more careful at first building uo a seasoning, a smooth pan holds it less well at first.

No need for flax oil IMO, flax works well on a new carbon steel pan where getting that first layer to stick is crucial. Everything works on cast iron, olive or vegetable oil, shortening or lard, it makes little difference.
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Old 02-10-2018, 06:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronwig View Post
Ditto to all the above. I have one skillet i can flip eggs in.....but I NEVER pit soap on it. To clean once seasond use only warm or hot water. Table salt will help get stuck on stuff...I'll wipe down with vegatable oil after use. Good luck!


Soap can be used. That line of thinking came into play when they still put lye in soap. Lye will strip the seasoning. I actually have pics somewhere of a 60's Wagner piece with the label still on suggesting the use of soap to clean the pan.


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Old 02-10-2018, 06:54 AM   #11
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It’s interesting if you speak to the oldest generation you can find about cast iron cooking. Basically rinse it off, heat it- wipe it off and start cooking. Fried-baked-boiled or broiled the family skillet was used- a lot. The only conscious effort made was making sure it was dry and lightly oiled after use + before the next use. And don’t get it to hot on the stove. Mom told me ours was always out ready to go on the stove top- usually with bacon or sausage grease. About once a week she would use those leaving to make gravy. This was when she’d really scrub the skillet re-oil and good to go another week. They weren’t treated as prized posessions at the time but their durability was recognized. Only later after surviving a lot of use did they have sentimental value. She remembers 3 skillets a bean pot and a meat grinder.

There’s nothing wrong with current day cast iron. I’ve got some. Lodge I use the most are loaf pann and press. Nice- heavy easy to care for.

My favorite skillet users are vintage Griswold and Wagner.
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Old 02-10-2018, 07:30 AM   #12
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Lodge also has steel skillets. They cook very similar to cast iron, but are smoother from the start, and much easier to take care of. Plus they are lighter which helps. Cast iron gets so heavy.

Around Christmas there was a thread here in this forum, and someone did take a sander to his Lodge cast iron. He loved the results. It smoother things out quite a bit.

I really doubt you could sand and smooth out cast iron to the point of seasoning not sticking. Cast iron is naturally porous.
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:38 AM   #13
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I'm a little obsessed with my cast iron pans. I wasn't satisfied with the surface texture so I used a stripping disk attachment and a drill to resurface the pans just like this guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGLV7fd0-fQ The end result is literally a mirror like finish...whether it makes the pan more nonstick is debatable though I will say it is noticeable in my own experience.

To season, apply a layer of vegetable oil and then literally wipe off as much as you can. A very thin layer will remain. Place into a 450 degree (polymerizes the oil quickly so as not to leave tacky residue) oven upside down for 30 min and repeat anywhere from 3-5 more times depending on how thick an initial seasoning layer you want. After cooking, I clean my pans usually with just hot water and a nylon pad (sometimes chainmail if anything is particular stuck on). Dry the pan with a towel then again add a very thin layer of vegetable oil and into a 450 degree oven for 30 min. I've abandoned the process of maintaining the seasoning by oiling and heating on the stove. Takes more effort and provides inconsistent results when I do it. It's really easy and convenient to just toss it in the oven and set the oven-off timer for 30 min.
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:20 AM   #14
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I read once where it's the left over carbon that fills in all the nooks and crannies,
over time, by high heat seasoning and years of use that helps make CI non-stick.
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Old 02-10-2018, 12:04 PM   #15
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I don't worry near as much as some folks. Seasoning for me is a stove top job. I start with bare iron and whatever surface I have in the pan in question. Top of a range burner/hob & bring the temp up...not too fast...I have had one cast iron piece explode on me before. A couple minutes on medium heat & then start ramping it up. Once my hob is all the way up I let the pan get screaching hot & then toss in a big knob of bacon grease or lard. Swirl it around and then soak it up in paper towels. The pan is still screaming so I take a clean paper towel, wipe the bottom, and use that to coat the entire pan. After that...well, I'm done.

My great grandma didn't have flax seed oil & she (and her kind) is what made cast iron famous for most of us.
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