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  1. #11
    Ayla2010's Avatar
    Ayla2010 is offline Senior Member
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    I love my cast iron too, still getting the hang of seasoning it right.
    I use coconut oil currently, but id use bacon grease if I ever had any saved up. I always forget to save mine from the pan after I grill it.

  2. #12
    Sandman's Avatar
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    This thread is actually making me a bit hungry.

    Still getting used to seasoning mine, as well. I use olive oil, but the thought of bathing my senses in the comforting smell of bacon grease... sounds wonderful.
    My blog: Regular Guy Paleo and please feel free to "like" my Facebook page.

  3. #13
    MEversbergII's Avatar
    MEversbergII is online now Senior Member
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    I have been looking at cast iron a while now. I am assuming the pre-seasoned ones are a bad idea?

    M.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
    I have been looking at cast iron a while now. I am assuming the pre-seasoned ones are a bad idea?

    M.
    Yes, the newer pans like Lodge aren't smooth and don't hold a seasoning well. I highly recommend finding an old pan at a yard sale or thrift store and then restoring it yourself. Griswold or Wagner pans are really good (but collectable), I lucked out and found a small Wagner dutch oven at a yard sale in a barn covered in dirt for $5, it goes for $60 on eBay.

    This tutorial is pretty good: How To: Restoring & Seasoning Cast Iron Pans | Aftertaste by Lot18Aftertaste by Lot18 however I recommend lard or bacon grease over canola oil, and suggest doing the oven step on a BBQ grill outside, or you'll make the house smell horrible. Also, a guy helping me out with my groceries once spied a yard sale find in my trunk, turns out he's a cast iron collector and he gave me some great tips--he said that you can do the soap step in the dishwasher on the pots and pan setting, it worked great. He prefers to render pork cracklings to season his pans, but lard works if you don't have any pork fat around to render.

  5. #15
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    I've heard olive oil and coconut aren't not good oils to use for seasoning. would love to use bacon but have also heard that over time bacon grease isn't good to use (or is it only to cook with)??

    i've got a great cast iron pot but never quite sure what to grease it up with post rinse...

  6. #16
    JoanieL's Avatar
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    Yardsales are terrific, but you do have to luck out to find something. For preseasoned cast iron, you can scrub it really hard (not like Mr Universe hard, but elbow grease is required) and then follow directions online for seasoning. Use bacon fat (or your fat of choice) in the search because if you don't, you'll sift through a gazillion that recommend non-primal oils for seasoning. I was looking for cheap when I bought mine, and preseasoned was all I could find without spending more than I wanted.

    The reason I chose bacon fat/grease and do it on top of the stove is that after reading many conflicting ways to season - which really all boil down to "apply fat, put in oven for X hours," I finally just searched my mind for what Dad did. He used whatever oil was available (and bacon grease was almost always in a can at our house) and he did it on top of the stove except in the house we had with a Corning cook top.

    You can go with an oil/fat that has a higher smoking point and so the temp can be higher. But low and slow isn't bad either because what you're really doing is letting the fat absorb into the iron and build a nice surface.

    The other reason I like the bacon grease is that like Ayla, I used to dump it out of the pan into the garbage. Now that I save it, it feels like it's free.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

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  7. #17
    Him's Avatar
    Him
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    Question... why are y'all seasoning your pans so often? Or are you? I'm not talking about if you got a new muffin pan, but a pan you have been using awhile.

    The last time I "re-seasoned" anything was because a houseguest cooked breakfast and decided to fill the sink with hot water, add some dish soap, and soak all my pans. I was more than a bit surprised when I came home to find a sink full of rusting cast iron........ but that is life sometimes. I cleaned and dried everything, rubbed it all down with oil, and when it came to the stove-top pans I used them without re-seasoning. Within a few weeks they looked like they had been seasoned in an oven.

    I suspect, but cannot prove, that frequent re-seasoning is a sign you are using the wrong type of utensils.

    These rock: Dexter-Russell, Inc.

    MtEversbergII: It's a bunch of hype. I have old family heirloom cast iron. I have 21st century lodge. The old stuff is smother but it makes just about zero difference. I've even taken newer pans and sanded them smooth... it doesn't matter. What matters is using the right utensils (not the plastic junk sold because of teflon), frequent use to build up a layer of carbon and oil inside the pan, and starting out using a fair amount of oil (e.g. cooking bacon, then eggs, then draining the excess fat) until the carbon layer builds up at which point you can use very little if you want. Oh, and that you take care of the pans properly - usually just wipe down with paper towel, if necessary dry scrub with table salt, save soap for an absolute last resort, and never abandon them in a sink. You can scrub the pre-seasoning off a pan if you like but IMO it isn't worth the effort.
    Last edited by Him; 02-28-2013 at 01:31 PM.

  8. #18
    RichMahogany's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Him View Post
    Question... why are y'all seasoning your pans so often? Or are you? I'm not talking about if you got a new muffin pan, but a pan you have been using awhile.
    I consider it a mini-seasoning whenever I rinse mine out, put it back on the hot burner to dry, and wipe it with a little grease/oil. I use bacon fat, coconut oil, red palm oil, even *gasp* butter. Whichever's within reach. But a real "seasoning" I would only do if there was a catastrophe like your houseguest caused.

    I also have a Lodge that's finally acting non-stick after a lot of effort. Turns out the spatula thing was the issue. I was using a terrible, soft, nylon one. I read online that this was the wrong approach. The Lodges aren't milled, so they're not as smooth as the old Griswolds and Wagners. The soft spatula material can't scraping the imperfections out of interior of the pan and make it smooth and flat. Took the big flat-edged stainless steel one from my grill set and started using it a few months ago. Now it's like cooking on buttered glass. You can't make an egg stick if you try. Brilliant.

  9. #19
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    I'll hunt about. I've long been wary of teflon, and my roomate's cheap crap pans are beginning to flake...so it's time to move on.

    You know, all this sounds like seasoning a Yixing tea pot.

    M.

  10. #20
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    I do the mini-seasoning also since my pans are still new.

    If you are a one or two member family, this is a great way to start your cast iron adventure: Amazon.com: Lodge Logic LCC3 Pre-Seasoned Combo Cooker, 10.25-inch: Home & Kitchen though it's probably not big enough if you routinely cook for three or more people.

    Oh and thanks so much for the info on the metal spatulas/turners. While Azon seems to be getting a lot of my money these days, I'm loving all my cooking options.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

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