View Full Version : Cast iron help

05-23-2012, 07:29 AM
I was given an old/cheap cast iron fry pan. It was pretty nasty. I had it sand blasted at work and coated it with oil. It is still coated with a nasty black film no matter how often I coat it. Is that harmful? Do I just have to keep cooking/coating until it goes away? Would like to use this thing but not sure what to do next. Thanks all.

05-23-2012, 07:31 AM
When you say "nasty film" are you refering to one that comes off when you wipe it with a paper towel? Also, did you scrub it with hot soapy water after it was blasted?

BBQ Bacon
05-23-2012, 07:54 AM
Your cast iron pots and pans should get almost black with good seasoning and use. Clean up should be a breeze with hot water and a cloth. Use lard to rub on your pans and then bake in the oven or on your grill around 350 for about an hour to season.

05-23-2012, 08:22 AM
If you sand blasted the pan then there shouldn't be any old baked on crud left. Everyone has their own secret method of seasoning cast iron. I scrub the interior with kosher salt mixed with the oil and then put it in the over set around 250.

05-23-2012, 08:24 AM
I grew up with these pans and watching my dad cleaning and treating them so you would think I would have a clue. Guess not. The black is what's coming off when I wipe it down. I have wiped it down, baked it, wiped it down, baked it about three times now. Not sure why I'm still getting a black film. Also did wash it after blasting really well. Frustrating.:doh: Thanks guys.

05-23-2012, 08:28 AM
The black film sounds like your seasoning grease. It's pretty normal to have a little of that come off. If it's thick and a lot of it is coming off, you're not seasoning properly. That stuff will turn rancid and make your food taste terrible. If that is the case, I usually build a fire and throw the pan in the middle of it, build it up real big and hot for about 20 mins. That gets all of the old crud off of the pan. Bring it in, wash with soap and water, then re-season.

05-23-2012, 08:34 AM
Are you seasoning right side up or upside down?
I did some seasoning right side up and the oil pooled in the skillet and caused a gunky mess.
If the skillet is upside down, excess drains off and I get a nice seasoning coat.

Good Luck.


05-23-2012, 09:31 AM
^^^yep^^^ What The Kapn said! The cooking oil turns to a tarry residue if it puddles and gets to hot. Try using bacon grease or lard instead of corn oil if thats what your using...

05-23-2012, 09:35 AM
If in doubt--try this--http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/02/black-rust-and-cast-iron-seasoning/ (http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/02/black-rust-and-cast-iron-seasoning/) I have never been able to wipe a cast iron pan with a paper towel or anything else , and NOT gett a black residue. I think it has something to do with iron. If you really feel what you are getting is suspect--scrub it with an SOS pad. wash it with soap to clean it well , and try the above link. She claims it's virtually non-stick. Worth a try?:clap2:

05-23-2012, 09:36 AM
I think it's a combo of oil being used and temperature of the oven for seasoning. I think that your oven temp is to high for the oil you are using and it's leaving a residue from it burning.

I'd wash it with hot, soapy water, dry with a towel and place in a 450* oven for 10 to 15 m inutes. Take it out and carefully put a light coat of crisco all over it and put it on top of a piece of foil for an hour. Keep your exhaust fan on high and open windws if necessary...it's going to get smoky.

After and hour, turn the oven off and let the pans sit in there until completely cool. I usually leave them over night, but if you do this during the day, leave them in there for 4 to 6 hours.

Take it out and wipe down any residual grease with a paper towel. Reseason if necessary.

The problem I've always ran into with doing them upside down is that when the grease drips from the bottom of the pan, it leaves little spots and makes the surface bumpy. Maybe I'm doing that process incorrectly?

05-23-2012, 09:38 AM
Or look into building an electrolysis tank, if you have more than one pan. They're cheap, easy, and no stress to the cast iron from cracking due to high heat.

05-23-2012, 09:47 AM
Or look into building an electrolysis tank, if you have more than one pan. They're cheap, easy, and no stress to the cast iron from cracking due to high heat.

If the pan has a weak point or crack in it, even a moderate heat will cause it to give. I use my cast iron exclusively for high heat cooks and have been known to put them right on the coals to get it rocket hot for many dishes. IMO, cast iron is the best thing to use for high heat cooks.

I do agree that an electolyisis tank is great for taking the pan down to bare metal if you have several to reseason for sure.

05-23-2012, 09:51 AM
I have used Tim's (CarolinaQue) method several times and it works best for me. I also use kosher salt and a bit of hot water to rinse the skillets out after each use, then be sure and dry with a paper towel or kitchen towel. A drop of oil every now and then doesn't hurt in between uses.

05-23-2012, 10:17 AM
A coat of Crisco, and upside down on the gasser. The best way to season a pan.

05-23-2012, 02:08 PM
I second Maxwell7 - try that link.
If Cook's Illustrated published something they didn't come up with, then it is the best they have seen by far.

05-23-2012, 11:40 PM
For what it is worth, 5-6 treatments with fresh flax seed oil works pretty well if you are looking to reseason. Keep in mind it is a rather expensive oil and goes rancid quickly but you dont really need very much.

05-24-2012, 12:04 AM
I'd go with CarolinaQue's advise...it's spot on. CI takes seasoning best when you apply multiple thin layers of seasoning, it's why seasoning gets better over time. Apply your thin layer of oil, then wipe it off with a clean rag. Then season in the oven. You won't actually wipe off all of the oil, only the excess that didn't seep into the porous surface of the pan. Then repeat as many times as you want. I usually season all my pans three times-ish before use. Cooking a batch of cornbread also helps. I don't know the science behind it, but cooking cornbread always gives my pans a great seasoning.

05-24-2012, 06:01 AM
A coat of Crisco, and upside down on the gasser. The best way to season a pan.

This is what I do and I love the easy cleanup when camping.