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OT: Seasoning Cast Iron Cookware

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  • OT: Seasoning Cast Iron Cookware

    OT but it is metal related at least.
    I have used a lot of cast iron cookware over the years and have always liked using cast iron and have never had any issues, until now that is.

    Just acquired a new skillet that although it came pre-seasoned left a horrible taste on the food and smell in the kitchen. I have since tried everything that worked in the past to no avail.
    I have tried to season it while cooking various goodies like bacon, garlic, hash browns, onions, etc. and still it, and the food cooked in it, stinks. A scrub with melted butter and salt makes no difference.
    I'm just about ready to retire it because at this point I don't think I want to waste any more good food on it.

    Oh yes, before anyone asks, it is Chinese. Could there be something in the metal that would affect the taste? I'm open to suggestions.
    Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
    Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

    Location: British Columbia

  • #2
    I had a similar fry pan problem. To complicate things it has a wooden handle. I removed the handle and put the pan in my self-cleaning oven and ran the cycle. That burned off all of what ever was on it. I then warmed it over the cook top with a thin layer of peanut oil in it. I brought the temperature up to produce a lot of smoke then dumped the oil and put the pan under a stream of hot water. Repeated 3 times, dried it off and let it cool. It's been perfect since and that's lasted over 25 years.

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    • #3
      Those pre-seasoned pans are not to be used with food. Its more to keep them from rusting on the slow boat ride... If you have a BBQ throw it in there for a while till she turns white and all that coating is burnt off. Then start over and season it like you normally would. I love my cast iron pans. JR
      My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

      https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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      • #4
        I, too, love my cast iron.

        My standard procedure is similar to dp's: I put new pans (pre-seasoned or not) in the oven and run the self clean cycle. I let the pan cool in the oven after the cycle is complete, then wash with soap and warm water. Next, I coat the pan, inside and out, with solid shortening and cook it in a 500 degree oven for 1 hour. I'll repeat the coat and cook until I like the color of the seasoning, then use.
        Kevin

        More tools than sense.

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        • #5
          I too love my CI pans. I never scour them or use detergent, just rinse and scrape clean. They will eventually become seasoned just from every day use.

          JL..............

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          • #6
            I just throw mine in the woodstove, cook them clean and then season them by cooking with them. Beef fat seems to seal the best.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JRouche View Post
              Those pre-seasoned pans are not to be used with food. Its more to keep them from rusting on the slow boat ride... If you have a BBQ throw it in there for a while till she turns white and all that coating is burnt off. Then start over and season it like you normally would. I love my cast iron pans. JR
              I'm thinking this is where I may have gone wrong. I have always started with unseasoned cast iron and seasoned them myself and have had no issues until now. This being my first pre-seasoned one all I did is wipe it clean and then filled it with water, bring to a boil, drain and repeat a few times.
              I also gave it my usual butter and salt scrub, (the salt works as a good abrasive) several times after trying to overwhelm the taste with bacon, garlic, and onions numerous times. I should have realized that once the original seasoning cocktail was in the pores of the cast iron the only positive way to clean the skillet would have been heat, lots of it.


              I'm thinking they used the same stuff to pre-season as they use on their tooling, it smells about the same.
              Sounds like it's time to burn off the smelly "flavor" and start with a clean slate.
              Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
              Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

              Location: British Columbia

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              • #8
                Agree with the other posters - I pick up CI cookware all the time from yard sales and have only had one small frying pan that I left alone because the seasoning looked OK as-is. The rest all get put into the kitchen oven and run through the self-cleaning cycle. I then re-season and use to my heart's content...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by HWooldridge View Post
                  Agree with the other posters - I pick up CI cookware all the time from yard sales and have only had one small frying pan that I left alone because the seasoning looked OK as-is. The rest all get put into the kitchen oven and run through the self-cleaning cycle. I then re-season and use to my heart's content...
                  But then there's this type of thing

                  Maybe used isn't such a great idea for cookware.

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                  • #10
                    Right here Willy-
                    https://www.lodgemfg.com/use-and-car...e-and-care.asp

                    This is how I do mine after blackened fish (which burns all the old oils off).

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                    • #11
                      "Maybe used isn't such a great idea for cookware."

                      Umm, I cook with cast iron as well. However, I also have a small skillet that I use on a hotplate to melt scrap lead. I then make "ingots" by pouring it into a mini muffin tin.

                      I don't really cook with either of those pans.

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                      • #12
                        To fix and re-season cast iron...
                        1) Burn it out. Set it in an oven on self-clean, heat it up on a grill, stick it in a forge, etc.
                        2) Let it cool then clean it. Blow out any dust/ash, then using insanely hot water and a stiff bristle brush (not metal!) scrub it inside and out.
                        3) Dry it off. If the cast iron and water were hot enough, you won't have any rust spots. Dabbing/blotting large water concentrations with a towel can't hurt.
                        4) Coat it in food grade flax seed oil. Go as thin as possible, you don't want it gummy. Rub it in with a paper towel. If the paper towel turns brown, you're rubbing rust off so keep adding oil, changing paper towels, and rubbing until it isn't giving up any more rust.
                        5) Heat it up and let it smoke out. 400F in an oven works or on the grill, just keep an eye on it and don't let it burn out (you'll have to start over).
                        6) Repeat steps 4-5 several times until any new flax seed oil beads up and will not coat uniformly.

                        Congratulations, you've now got a seasoned piece of cast iron that will stand up to a great deal of abuse so long as you don't burn it out again or attempt to boil vinegar in it. To clean, add hot water and scrub with a stiff bristle brush (not metal) while the metal is still hot. Touch up with flax seed oil and smoke out as needed.

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                        • #13
                          Oh yes, before anyone asks, it is Chinese
                          Return it for a refund. NOW

                          Go to your local ACE hardware store and get a "Lodge" brand skillet. Follow package directions for seasoning.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by smalltime View Post
                            Go to your local ACE hardware store and get a "Lodge" brand skillet. Follow package directions for seasoning.
                            Believe it or not, you can get US made Lodge stuff from Walmart, as well. I have one of their big griddles, which came pre-seasoned.... and was a delight to use even from the beginning. No need to burn off anything and re-season.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 2ManyHobbies View Post
                              To fix and re-season cast iron...
                              1) Burn it out. Set it in an oven on self-clean, heat it up on a grill, stick it in a forge, etc.
                              Absolutely terrible idea(s). Excessive heat can ruin, pit or warp and otherwise a good skillet. If you have acquired an extremely filthy used pan, electrolytic will lift off all the old seasoning without any damage.

                              http://www.castironcollector.com/cleaning.php

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