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  1. #1
    Veteran Member General Lee's Avatar
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    Default Seasoning a cast iron skillet....Tips please

    Nothing I'm doing seems to be working very well. I have a few cast iron pieces but mainly use the skillet and recently have been trying to use it exclusively when a skillet is called for.

    Its the "Lodge" pre-seasoned brand and I am aware it is not considered as good as "Griswold" or "Wagner". I also took the "pre-season" with a grain of salt. Its has not seen dish soap since I've had it. Hot water cleaning with a brush only. It is wiped down with oil after each use. Recently I also did the seasoning procedure in the oven like all instructions call for (did it twice) but things are still sticking. Sometimes it seems I'm making progress with it then it seems I get to much stuff stuck on the bottom and aggressive scraping while cleaning takes away and seasoned progress I've made.

    I know some folks on here know how cast iron cooking is done, please share some tips
    Kubota L4400 - Land pride rear scraper blade, 6 foot landscape rake, 72'' Frontier Box Blade, Land Pride 60'' finish mower, Land Pride Q/A pallet forks, County Line Carryall built to haul and loaded R-1's
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Seasoning a cast iron skillet....Tips please

    There have been several threads in the past regarding this issue. I use cast iron for most everything I cook. I received a set of 8 pieces of cast iron with lids over 40 years ago for a wedding present from my Aunt. The cast iron was 80 years old when I received them. All I ever do with them is season them with Crisco - the kind in a can - in the oven at 350 degrees. Once they are seasoned over the years, there is hardly any need for any other seasoning. Some people use old bacon grease. I don't use brushes when cleaning the pieces, only a sponge with hot water at times. Usually only a paper towel. Some will suggest olive oil, but do a little research on its use. Best wishes. BTW, after 120 years, there is not one Pit on any of the pieces. Best wishes. Research Cast iron cooking here on TBN. You might find some of the old threads. Best wishes.
    The PUPIL who does not surpass his Master, fails his Master.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Seasoning a cast iron skillet....Tips please

    This will be heresy to some, but I agree with most of the info here:
    How To: Cast Iron Skillet Non-Stick and Lasts a Lifetime

  4. #4
    Veteran Member AchingBack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seasoning a cast iron skillet....Tips please

    What are you cooking in your skillet? Acidic foods, especially tomatoes will instantly remove the seasoning. Don't use real high temperatures, and don't use soap, or detergent for cleaning. Cast iron works best at a moderate heat level. Too high of a heat causes the seasoning to be cooked out. After cooking, allow your pan to cool, and lightly scrape any burned on food. Rinse with cool water, and allow to dry.

    Occasionally I fry some sausage or other meats with high fat content. This helps to keep the pan seasoned, as well. Remember, acids, and soaps are the enemies of cast iron. Also, cooking with cast iron contributes to your MDR of iron.
    I thank God for these gifts: 2005 Mahindra 2615 HST w/loader, (485 hours), and 3710 backhoe. Markham tooth bar, Bush Hog SQ60 rotary cutter, Bush Hog 3507 angle blade, Bush Hog LLR84 landscape rake w/gauge wheels, Rankin loader mounted forks, Paumco Quick Spade, Agri-Ease 3 point log splitter.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member General Lee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seasoning a cast iron skillet....Tips please

    Quote Originally Posted by creekbend View Post
    I don't use brushes when cleaning the pieces, only a sponge with hot water at times. Usually only a paper towel.
    I wouldn't use a brush if I didn't have too. Dang food is sticking, lol.
    Kubota L4400 - Land pride rear scraper blade, 6 foot landscape rake, 72'' Frontier Box Blade, Land Pride 60'' finish mower, Land Pride Q/A pallet forks, County Line Carryall built to haul and loaded R-1's
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    Previous Tractors: 1978 B7100, 2009 B3200

  6. #6
    Veteran Member General Lee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seasoning a cast iron skillet....Tips please

    Quote Originally Posted by AchingBack View Post
    What are you cooking in your skillet? Acidic foods, especially tomatoes will instantly remove the seasoning. Don't use real high temperatures, and don't use soap, or detergent for cleaning. Cast iron works best at a moderate heat level. Too high of a heat causes the seasoning to be cooked out. After cooking, allow your pan to cool, and lightly scrape any burned on food. Rinse with cool water, and allow to dry.

    Occasionally I fry some sausage or other meats with high fat content. This helps to keep the pan seasoned, as well. Remember, acids, and soaps are the enemies of cast iron. Also, cooking with cast iron contributes to your MDR of iron.
    No tomatoes or soap have been in the skillet. I have noticed an improvement when I cook at lower temps, so you are right on with that tip. I think a big problem is the "Lodge" brand. The bottom of the skillet (inside) is kinda rough and it takes more seasoning to fill the voids. I read of the issue in other reviews.

    Oh, mainly I'm cooking meats and breakfast foods in the skillet. Eggs, bacon, sausage, chicken , pork etc. Eggs are the toughest
    Kubota L4400 - Land pride rear scraper blade, 6 foot landscape rake, 72'' Frontier Box Blade, Land Pride 60'' finish mower, Land Pride Q/A pallet forks, County Line Carryall built to haul and loaded R-1's
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    Previous Tractors: 1978 B7100, 2009 B3200

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Seasoning a cast iron skillet....Tips please

    Everyone has different opinions about cast iron, some of them wildly conflicting. Here's mine.

    First thing, is that I have never had a cast iron pan be as non-stick as Teflon, no matter what the old ladies at the sewing circle say. I always need some oil to cook on the pan. If I cook fried potatoes, for example, there is always some brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. If the pan is well seasoned, the brown bits will come off easily. But they're always there. Maybe I'm just doing it wrong, but I've been cooking with cast iron for, say, about ten years now, and I've tried near everything.

    Initial seasoning: my belief is that the initial seasoning requires carbonization of the fat, which requires that the fat be brought to its smoke temperature. Therefore, I do initial seasoning by putting the pan in a grill until it is about 500-600 degrees, coating it with a light coating of oil, shortening, or lard, then letting it smoke until it's done smoking. Repeat as many times as you care to. I have an infrared thermometer, which is what I use to get the pan's temperature. If I didn't have one of those, I would coat the pan in fat and raise the heat until it just began to smoke. If you do this indoors in the oven, the smoke will be a bit much, so outside on the grill is really the right way to do it.

    Bear in mind that if the pan gets too hot, (say, 800-900 degrees), all of the seasoning will burn off and you'll be left worse than you started. This is a good method of "resetting" a pan that has become unrecoverable through other means, but it's not what you're going for when doing initial seasoning.

    Once the pan has its initial seasoning, the normal cooking process will begin to wear it off. I try to season my pans "naturally"--in other words, I try to cook up a mess of sausage or bacon or other fatty food regularly.

    I try to clean my pans in such a way that it preserves the seasoning. If I can, I simply wipe out the pan and wipe it down with a light coat of fat. If I need to scrape off stuck-on stuff, I use a wooden spatula. For scouring, I use kosher salt and a sacrifical washcloth (it will be very greasy/dirty at the end) or paper towels. I never, ever use soap. If the pan needs to be rinsed, I try to rinse it using cold water, to leave as much of the fatty coating behind as possible.

    If the pan has stuck on food and can't be cleaned any other way (e.g. somebody made a bunch of scrambled eggs and didn't use enough butter), my "secret" way of cleaning the pan is to get some old bacon grease (but fresh oil would do) and heat it up in the pan. Once the pan gets hot and greasy, whatever is stuck to it will usually cook right off. A little scraping with the wooden spatula may be required. This allows cleaning even the worst messes out of the pan without ever having to use soap, aggressive scrubbing, or other things that would hurt the seasoning.

    I have three cast iron pans, and without question, the more I use them, the better their seasoning is. So the best advice would be to use your pan regularly, cook fatty food every now and then, clean in such a way as to preserve the seasoning, and don't expect space-age (Teflon) results from iron-age technology.

  8. #8
    Elite Member TomSeller's Avatar
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    Default

    What are you cooking in it? I have mostly Griswold from the early 1900s and a few Wagners from the same era. I have a few items from the 1800s but the best is the Griswold from the early 1900s. I consider the skillets to be "light stick" with meats and "non stick" with eggs, veggies, etc. Pancakes can stick a little as well. Anything acidic need to be cooked in stainless, since it will remove the seasoning real quick on cast iron. I use a flat spatula and plastic scrubber pad to get back down to the pan after every use. I don't use soap but lightly heat sanitize after every use. Then apply coconut oil while still warm (turns to solid at room temp). Coconut oil is antibacterial, anti fungal and antiviral. Since the pans sit at room temp with oil on them you should consider it. I use my cast iron daily and have nearly every size pan there is. Including skillets, dutch ovens, servers, griddles, the whole 9 yards. I am kind of old school when it comes to cooking.

    Seasoning in the oven is a must, two maybe even three or four times. Then use the snot out of it. It should be black, not brown when it is seasoned.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member General Lee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seasoning a cast iron skillet....Tips please

    Good post Joshua, appreciate the info.
    Kubota L4400 - Land pride rear scraper blade, 6 foot landscape rake, 72'' Frontier Box Blade, Land Pride 60'' finish mower, Land Pride Q/A pallet forks, County Line Carryall built to haul and loaded R-1's
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  10. #10
    Veteran Member General Lee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seasoning a cast iron skillet....Tips please

    Quote Originally Posted by TomSeller View Post
    What are you cooking in it?
    I'm cooking meats and breakfast foods in the skillet. Eggs, bacon, sausage, chicken , pork etc. Eggs are the toughest
    Kubota L4400 - Land pride rear scraper blade, 6 foot landscape rake, 72'' Frontier Box Blade, Land Pride 60'' finish mower, Land Pride Q/A pallet forks, County Line Carryall built to haul and loaded R-1's
    Kubota RTV500
    Kubota BX1870

    Previous Tractors: 1978 B7100, 2009 B3200

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