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Thread: Cast Iron Pan Problem...I think. page

  1. #1
    JennaRose's Avatar
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    Cast Iron Pan Problem...I think.

    You may remember a few months ago I was bragging that I scored some pig fat to render and was going to use that fat to season my new cast iron pan. Turns out, I had to leave for a family emergency out of town before I could do that. Then, life got in the way and I never ended up seasoning it. I wanted the pan out of the way so I made the mistake of putting the pan in the cupboard, knowing that I wouldn't use it until it was seasoned. which I would do eventually lol

    Fast-forward to last week when my wonderful honey was making dinner for us. He told me to keep out of the kitchen, dinner was a surprise. Ok, fantastic! He made sausages with bacon and peppers cooked in tequila (looove my man), and it was delicious.

    The next morning, as I looked at the mess of dishes on the stove that hadn't been washed yet lol...I noticed....MY CAST IRON PAN. SITTING ON THE BURNER. FULL OF SAUSAGE GREASE.

    So.......did my honey just season my pan for me? lol! I didn't think he would have used that pan, but it was my mistake in the first place to put it away before seasoning it (but really had no where else to keep it--small kitchen)

    I've tried googling, but every link is about seasoning it. What do I do? Wash then season for reals?

    :

    TL;DR: My cast iron pan got used before it was seasoned. Do what now??

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    cori93437's Avatar
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    Unless there is something stuck there is no reason to ever really wash a cast iron pan...
    And even then washing should be minimal.

    Simply scrape (plastic scrapers only please) and pour out the grease that is in there... and wipe it out very thoroughly.
    A little sausage grease won't kill it.

    While you are at it rub the whole pan inside and out with that lard you have... then remove all but the thinnest layer possible with a paper towel... pop in the oven to season.
    Let cool, repeat.
    Many layers of very very thin seasoning are what makes a great pan.
    If you have any fat at all able to pool it goes badly.
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    What cori said. If you need to loosen the grease, just heat the pan gently to warm, and then wipe it.

    And I'd emphasize that about half a dozen seasoning sessions are optimal: use a very small amount of fat or oil, wipe it out (without washing), and repeat. Some places even recommend seasoning the pan upside down with a tray underneath to catch excess, but I never bothered and my cast iron is practically non-stick now. It stands up to light amounts of detergent if needed without losing its seasoning.

  4. #4
    JennaRose's Avatar
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    awesome! thank you guys very much

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    ditto on what cori said. except i'd add that you can use metal spatulas, etc on the cast iron. we always do and always have. and so did my parents and grandparents and great grandparents. in fact, my favorite cast iron pan was my great-grandmothers pan and its seen its fair share of metal utensils. you really can't hurt the pan. i suggest a fish spatula/turner as my favorite tool of choice for cast iron pans

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    I only use metal flippers on the cast iron because the plastic always melts on anything else =\
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    Here is a good guide for seasoning:
    Chemistry of Cast Iron Seasoning: A Science-Based How-To

    She recommends flax oil in the post, but in the comments, someone else recommends soybean oil. One of the few good uses for the nasty product! I don't think it matters what type of oil you use as far as health properties since the whole point is to completely oxidize it into a polymer.

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    This is sort of unrelated, but lard is a poor fat to use to season a pan. It's too heat stable. The "seasoning" effect is actually caused by the oil breaking down and oxidizing, so the more fragile the oil the better. Soybean oil is a fantastic oil to season a pan with for this reason and pre-seasoned pans use vegetable oil. The BEST oil, however, is flaxseed oil because it's THE premier unstable oil. It's extremely prone to oxidation, so you're going to get the best seasoning effect with flaxseed.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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    Quote Originally Posted by namelesswonder View Post
    I only use metal flippers on the cast iron because the plastic always melts on anything else =\
    Sorry... metal spatulas are fine...

    I meant that one should use one of those flat plastic kitchen scrapers or a plastic scrubbie for occasional washing.

    I should have been more clear.
    “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
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    And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
    This is sort of unrelated, but lard is a poor fat to use to season a pan. It's too heat stable. The "seasoning" effect is actually caused by the oil breaking down and oxidizing, so the more fragile the oil the better. Soybean oil is a fantastic oil to season a pan with for this reason and pre-seasoned pans use vegetable oil. The BEST oil, however, is flaxseed oil because it's THE premier unstable oil. It's extremely prone to oxidation, so you're going to get the best seasoning effect with flaxseed.
    ooooooo I didn't realize. Thank you!

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