I've read the forums, I've checked on line... I can't seem to find an answer to some of my questions...
1. Do you rinse the pan after each use? For example, I rendered bacon fat the other day in one of my pans. I figured I didn't want to rinse that fat off, so I scraped it with a metal spatula and used a cloth napkin to get the black bits out as best I could. I made eggs in it a day or so later and they were black on the bottom from the grit left in the pan.
2. The center of my pan will NOT get nonstick. I don't know if the pan is ever so slightly convex and so the fat drains towards the edges but without fail things will stick in the middle. Not anywhere else, just the middle. This is even when I put in enough fat that I honestly think there is a layer covering the whole pan. I've tried seasoning it in the oven, I cook with it usually every other day with either rendered bacon fat or coconut oil... it just doesn't seem to get as nonstick as other people describe their cast iron cookware.
3. Are there any brands of cast iron that are really smooth? I made eggs in a 100ish year old pan the other day at my in-laws and the cooking surface was completely smooth - unlike my Lodge skillets which have tiny little bumps like sandpaper. It seems like this kind of surface would help with the nonstick issue...?
4. How much oil/fat do you need to use? I have one of the small skillets (6.5") and even 1 tbsp doesn't seem to be enough. My eggs stick with that. Without getting into the CICO argument, I'd prefer not to have an extra 200 calories of oil with each meal that I cook with the pan.