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    skink531's Avatar
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    Help with a cast iron skillet

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    So I noticed things were starting to stick a little more so I decided to re-season it. I wiped it clean, gave it a coat of lard, and put it in the oven at 350 for an hour or so. Now it feels gummy. What did I do wrong, and what do I need to do to fix it? I have grown to love this thing, please help.

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    dragonmamma's Avatar
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    There is no help. At least a dozen people will post comments claiming that there is a way to fix it, but your hopes will be dashed to pieces against the rocks. I speak from bitter experience.

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    I'm not an expert, but the one time mine came out gummy like that was when I'd used way too much oil and didn't have my oven temperature high enough. Start from scratch and make sure you scrub all of the old coating off with soapy water and steel wool first. Rinse and wipe the pan well so it is completely dry, and then apply a very thin coating of oil. Wipe off the excess, you actually only want a thin sheen. I use spray oil myself, set the oven to 500, then let it bake for at least an hour or until my smoke alarm goes off. At a lower temperature you will want to leave it in longer to get the same result.
    Last edited by JEL62; 10-13-2010 at 04:58 PM.

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    if you have access to a fire pit, or fireplace, you need to " burn it out". toss it right into a fire and let it glow red. remove, allow to cool, rinse ( no soap) use steel wool, and re-coat with bacon grease, lard, or coconut oil . You have accumulated build up on it, that will come off with the high heat.

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    I agree with all the above. You probably tried to apply too thick of a coat and didn't let it get hot enough for long enough. Strip and try to re-season. Here's the link I keep spamming on all the cast-iron threads: Chemistry of Cast Iron Seasoning: A Science-Based How-To.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yodiewan View Post
    I agree with all the above. You probably tried to apply too thick of a coat and didn't let it get hot enough for long enough. Strip and try to re-season. Here's the link I keep spamming on all the cast-iron threads: Chemistry of Cast Iron Seasoning: A Science-Based How-To.
    The first time I tried and failed to season my cast-iron skillet I called my mom for advice. She asked me if my kitchen filled up with smoke when I did it and when I replied no she said: 'Well then you didn't do it right! Get those windows open, crank the heat up, and burn that coating onto the metal.' And she was right. I now keep a spray can of canola oil in my kitchen for the sole purpose of keeping my cast-iron well seasoned. Since the idea is to heat it well past the smoke point anyway, it seems to work well.

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    Katt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonmamma View Post
    There is no help. At least a dozen people will post comments claiming that there is a way to fix it, but your hopes will be dashed to pieces against the rocks. I speak from bitter experience.
    ROFL Dragonmamma! I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything at the time!

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    Mainer's Avatar
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    I agree with some comments here and would caution regarding others. Have several pieces I have saved that are worth some money that I use everyday. My experience and research (griswold society) has yielded the following advice that has worked for me: Spray the piece with oven cleaner and stick in plastic bag for a day, take it out and scrub the hell out of it, do this several times until you get down to bare metal. Once this is complete, wash with soap and water and dry. Then, preheat in 500 degree oven, take it out and let it cool until you can just handle it with oven gloves, wipe it down with bacon grease and wipe off excess, you want a thin coat, in the oven at 500 for 1 hr, take it out, let it cool again until you can just handle it with oven gloves and wipe with bacon grease again, wipe of excess, you want a thin coat, and back in the oven for 1 hour. This should do it, you could repeat but not necessary. Your problem was as others explained, your coat was too thick. Soap and water alone will not remove the seasoning, this is why you will need the oven cleaner. Don't use brass scour pads on the piece as it will discolor, use steel wool. If your concerned about a collectable piece I would not throw it in a fire, could damage it. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Mainer; 10-13-2010 at 07:17 PM.
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    Never get it red hot or throw it into a fire! You would only warp or crack it.

    Yes, get it to bare metal, with or without oven cleaner, then use a very thin coating of oil and put it into a medium-hot oven. I've read that the best for making the stick-free "seasoning" varnish is flax seed oil. Wipe it on, then wipe off the excess, then put it into the oven for awhile, and let it cool in there.

    After that, use it. Put in plenty of fat and let it sit on low heat for several minutes before adding the food. If some places stick, you can scrape them more or less clean with a metal spatula, or scrub it under the faucet after wiping out the excess grease (which you don't want to clog the drain.) Use it carefully, clean it with a little restraint, never leave it wet, and it will just get better and better. You want to end up with a smooth velvety even black with just a little sheen to it.

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    On the Contrary Piano..... Have done MANY heirloom pans this way, without ever Warping anything..... I have pans that are 80+ years old that were handed down in the family and they have all been burned out that way. If you do it right and handle with care, they will develop a smooth as glass finish and never ever stick. It's the same concept as a 500 degree oven, only it doesn't set the smoke detectors off.

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