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    bobbitt81's Avatar
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    Flax oil for cast iron seasoning...

    I've been reading a ton of stuff lately about how great flax oil is for seasoning cast iron.

    I also know that heating that stuff is bad news, because of the oxidation. Do you run the same risk when using it for seasoning purposes? Anyone have any experience/thoughts?

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    yodiewan's Avatar
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    I've heard that it works well (Sheryl Canter post: Chemistry of Cast Iron Seasoning: A Science-Based How-To). I also read the comments on that post and one reader argues for soybean oil since it has a higher iodine value. I really don't think it matters what kind of oil use as far as health reasons because the whole point it that you're completely oxidizing the fat/oil to create a polymer layer.

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    ^^^ Yep, the whole point is to oxidize the fat and burn a good coating on that pan.

    Technically speaking, the more fragile the oil the better which is why flax works so well.

    I always just use canola though because it's cheaper.

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    Word. I have some flax oil in my fridge, so that's perfect.

    I just don't know the science well enough to know when oxidation is beneficial, and when it messes us up, but it makes sense why flax would work so well when oxidation is the desired effect!

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    Not sure about the health benefits part but I'm using linseed oil (non-food grade but the same type oil) to season some pieces of iron (non-cooking) and it's doing a brilliant job so far. Need to give one piece another go in the oven today but it started out filthy rusty and is now mostly black.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yodiewan View Post
    I also read the comments on that post and one reader argues for soybean oil since it has a higher iodine value. I really don't think it matters what kind of oil use as far as health reasons because the whole point it that you're completely oxidizing the fat/oil to create a polymer layer.
    Vegetable oil yields, characteristics: Journey to Forever Flax oil is the edible version of linseed oil, it is better than soybean oil for this purpose.

    If you want to take it one compulsive step further, soak the pan in black tea first so that the tannic acid will turn any underlying rust to that blue black iron tannate that will hold the seasoning better.
    Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IvyBlue View Post
    If you want to take it one compulsive step further, soak the pan in black tea first so that the tannic acid will turn any underlying rust to that blue black iron tannate that will hold the seasoning better.
    That's interesting, I may have to give it a try with some things I'm working on. I'm currently removing rust with salt and vinegar but there's no way to remove it all this way, and I don't really want to as I like the aged look, but if this will turn what's left black that would be perfect.

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    I seasoned my cast-iron cookware with flaxseed oil and it worked out great. One thing though: leave your windows open during the process. The oxidation releases fumes that can be irritating to the eyes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbitt81 View Post
    Word. I have some flax oil in my fridge, so that's perfect.

    I just don't know the science well enough to know when oxidation is beneficial, and when it messes us up, but it makes sense why flax would work so well when oxidation is the desired effect!
    When you're eating it, oxidized fat is bad. The polymer layer that forms on your cast iron pan should be bound to the iron so you aren't ingesting it. Even if you were, the amount of oil used is so small that it wouldn't harm you too much.

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    I find good old fashioned pork fat works just fine. Eggs don't stick, omelettes flip out fine, chicken joints fry and crisp beautifully. I can't see my granny / great granny using anything other than the fat they had to hand...

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