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Old 02-13-2012, 01:39 AM   #1
beninan
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Default Tips on getting a good seasoned finish on a cheap cast iron skillet?

Unfortunately, when I moved out of my parents house, I left my 3 Griswold skillets behind, and haven't had the time to retrieve them

When I moved into this apartment, the old tenants left behind a less expensive Lodge brand skillet that was pretty much neglected. So after cleaning up all the rust and nasties, I seasoned it twice in the oven with olive oil at 400 degrees for 1 hour both times. The seasoning had darkened quite a bit, but still wasn't black, but I decided to try it anyway.

Today I cooked some steaks up on it. They did stick a bit but not too bad. After I was done there was a good amount of burnt on crap that I still can't get off. So I'm thinking I'm going to have to sand this thing down again and re-season it again

Unlike my Griswolds which all have smooth cooking surfaces, the cooking surface is rough on this skillet, and from what I'm reading about these Lodge skillets, the rough surface is the culprit of the sticking. I've heard sanding them smooth will help a lot, but I guess it risks cracking the pan or something.

Anyone have any suggestions on what I could do to this skillet to make it somewhat usable? Sand it and hope it doesn't crack? Recommendations on what to season it with? Get rid of it and steal my Griswolds back?

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Old 02-13-2012, 01:47 AM   #2
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They will be fine. They aren't seasoned enough is all. you could sand it smooth on the bottom...won't hurt anything, but you probably don't need to. Try a higher temp oil like canola or Crisco. Bake in the oven and get them totally dry before you season. Then use a liberal amount of the oil and put back in the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes.

With a steak, which has lower fat, you will likely get some sticking anyway, unless you put a bit of oil in.
I just finished pan-frying a coupla pork tenderloin medallions in my grandmother's old cast iron skillet tonight. I feel for you, losing those good Gridwolds, but Lodge isn't bad, with a bit of TLC.

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Old 02-13-2012, 01:50 AM   #3
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Do all your greasy cooking in it for awhile until you attempt to panfry your steak, chicken tits etc. My friend always swore by using any new cast-iron skillets for nothing but bacon, heh.

I royally ****ed my nice 12" last year on accident . After I was all done for the night I was going to put it on the burner for a few minutes to dry it. Well.... beer came calling and next thing I know it's an hour or two later and my finish is completely destroyed. Need to remove and completely redo it. Too lazy for that...

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Old 02-13-2012, 02:09 AM   #4
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This site is a great read: http://www.richsoil.com/cast-iron.jsp

I don't like using olive oil to season cast iron. It has a low smoke point and seems to gum up. I prefer plain old vegetable oil.

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Old 02-13-2012, 02:15 AM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions. I guess I sand it again, pick up some Crisco, season it, season it again, season it again, season it again, and use it for bacon for several months or so. It will give me an excuse to eat an excessive amount of swine skin.

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Old 02-13-2012, 02:21 AM   #6
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I have more than a dozen lodge cast iron skillets and dutch ovens. The cooking surface on all of them are slicker than goose s&%#. I second the motion to cook a lot of fatty stuff in them. As the pours in iron fill in, the surface will be good and non stick. Cooking without my cast iron would be like me having to cook on an electric stove.

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Old 02-13-2012, 03:05 AM   #7
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I haven't used this methods myself. It looks like a lot of effort but damn do the results look nice.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Best...-Oil/?ALLSTEPS

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Old 02-13-2012, 03:05 AM   #8
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The two best things to season cast iron with are #1 flax oil and #2 lard

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Old 02-13-2012, 01:46 PM   #9
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Double post from smart phone. Please delete

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Old 02-13-2012, 01:52 PM   #10
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I season with crisco. Not the best but it gets the job done. Also, everytime I use it, I rinse with water, dry with a paper towel then put a thin layer of crisco on the cooking surface and stick in the oven at lowest temp and leave it in there an hour or two.

I attempted for a time to simply cook and wipe off and bake the off the rest of the fat, but I think what I was cooking (burgers mostly) wasn't a good fat for curing the pan (too high a temp required to cure or need too much time in oven).

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