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What am I doing wrong with my cast iron????

Posted by gg2327 (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 20, 07 at 13:05

before i got my ci pan i spent days trawling the net and the forums looking up info on it and now after i got my pan i'm still spending hours trying to find out what am i not doing right.

i just purchased a preseasoned 10 1/4 skillet from lodge logic as i couldn't get the original finish. the firt time i used it on my glass top was for fillet steak and it came out perfect no sticking or whatever. i rinse the skillet with hot water and gave a gentle scrub with a plastic brush to clean it then dried it over a low heat. i was ecstatic over the ease of use and taste of the fillet.

the next time i used it was for frying up bacon and that's when stuff stuck to the pan! when i first put the bacon in it was fine. i was able to move it around freely. this is on medium heat (number 3 on my glass top, 6 is max.) then as it cook more brown bits began forming on the bottom of the pan. this is not meant to happen right? it didn't happen with the fillet.

what am i doing wrong?
am i not heating the pan up enough before putting the bacon in? or am i meant to wait longer for bacon to set before moving it around? have i scrubbed off the seasoning with my plastic scrubber; i don't think i have as it was only a gentle scrub. or it is that my bacon has too much water content? it's cheap bacon from the supermarket not prime stuff.

and now my pan seems to have a dark ring around the edges as well. what's with the dark ring? is it uneven seasoning from the glass top itself as most time it's on number 3 as only the outer ring work not the inner ones. some people say when heating or drying to let the pan smoke a little before adding oil but then some people say than if you let it smoke this would take off the seasoning as well. which is which? i don't know anymore!

any help from anybody is most appreciated as i can't seem to find the answers and tearing my hair out in frustration. thank you in advance

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What am I doing wrong with my cast iron????

My guess cooked your bacon in a dirty skillet. A dirty skillet will cause food to stick to it. Put some water in your skillet and boil it for 10 minutes.....this WILL NOT remove the pre-seasoning. The boiling water should help remove any food particles that are trapped in the rough grain particles on the bottom surface of your skillet. Pre-seasoning is tough and not easily not be overly concerned about removing it. You need very high temperatures (greater than 500 F) or oven cleaner to remove it.

Keep in mind that your skillet is only "pre" is not cured and non-stick by a long shot. Keep using it, especially frying bacon in it, and it will get better with use.

When Lodge made your skillet they sprayed it with a proprietary oil formulation and heated it above the smoking point of that oil to get the pre-seasoning coating that is on your skillet. IMO it is much better than the wax coating they used to use.

Do not be concerned about the dark ring that you now see on you skillet. It is caused by the thermal cracking of the polymers in the pre-seasoning coating. In time your entire skillet will darken as it develops a true cure or patina.


RE: What am I doing wrong with my cast iron????

Brown bits on the bottom of the pan when cooking bacon? Sorry for asking a stupid question, but were they not little bacon bits? That yummy "food debris" that you find in bacon grease and makes your eggs taste yummy when you cook them next?

The only thing I can think of that you might have done differently is rub it down with shortening or oil after it was clean and dry. I don't do this every time, but I did it regularly when my cast iron was newly seasoned and I still do it on occasion.

I don't think color variations in the seasoning are anything to worry about and will go away eventually as it becomes more seasoned.

Oh, and while I know that there are *very* strong opinions about this, I use soapy water on my cast iron to clean it and scrub with a nylon bun scrubbie. I don't put full strength soap on it, but I can't bear the idea of just rinsing it off (even though that's what my mom and g-mom did). Would my cast iron be even more well seasoned if I didn't do it? Maybe so, but it's darn near non-stick now, so I'll just live with it.

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