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Cast-iron cookware "break-in"

LinefinderLinefinder ModeratorPosts: 7,766 Senior Member
Bull. Like rifle break-in.....

They cook. You wash them normally. You wash them again.

As time goes on...they get right.

Opinions?

Mike
"Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
N454casull
«1

Replies

  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,161 Senior Member
    Clean said oil it heavy heat it up once then just use it
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Just get ready for lots of sticking until the pores of the iron seal up. Putting the new pan into an oven for a couple of hours at medium heat after rubbing a little paraffin or candle wax into the slightly warmed-up pan helps shorten the seasoning process a little. Wash cast iron with a woven plastic scrubber and water- - - -no soap or detergent. Air-dry, or place the utensil in a warm oven after rubbing a little oil on to prevent rusting. DO NOT WASH THE OUTSIDE OF THE PAN- - - - -EVER!
    Jerry
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    I used to watch an old chuck slinger that made everything in Dutch ovens. He said to oil em' and heat em up.

    I've never had any, but I tend to trust what old guys say. Maybe I'm gullable.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    I am with Clean and Teach on the oven heating almost ... we season with bacon grease! A couple of cycles with greasing it with bacon grease and an hour at 350° three or so cycles gets it started nicely. Washing it in dishwater water gets people yelled at ... won’t say what happened the one time someone ran mine through the dishwasher :angry: but that bacon grease and bake cycling brought it back even after the dishwasher wrecked it with a chalky white dry surface.
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,645 Senior Member
    In my experience, it takes a little time. The pores of the vessel fill up with grease, lard is best. Regardless of what they say, it ain't like Teflon. You can find articles on seasoning a cast-iron pot/pan on Google. Oil works fine, too. The cast iron takes on flavors of other things cooked in it. A finished, seasoned pot/pan will take on a shine inside when it's seasoned. (With a little oil.)
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    The first time, I try to cook something really fatty in it like bacon, burgers or pan frying some chicken. Anyway, whatever it is, make sure there are lots of grease and oil. When I am done cooking, I let it sit for a few days, wipe out with a paper towel, rinse in hot water, and dry on the range burner. Done.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 5,052 Senior Member
    I was always told to wipe a very thin coating of bacon grease on the outside, lots inside, cook until the grease is really smoking, turn the heat off , when cool wipe off the excess. this is what i have always done, never wash with soap, none have ever rusted.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 25,094 Senior Member
    I was taught to find some fatty, greasy, junk meat and cook it slowly for as long as you can stand it. Then clean it with SOS pads - ONLY. Never soap or detergent - the stuff in SOS pads doesn't cut oil/grease.

    Ditto on what Wambli said - we have a cast iron griddle thing we inherited from my Mother in law - newish and very rough casting. I hate that thing...
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,425 Senior Member
    I got some old Griswold stuff from family. When I got them, they were nasty. I built a wood fire in my grill and put them over a hot fire. Burned all the junk off of them and started over. I coated them inside and out with vegetable shortening and put them in the oven upside down with the bottom rack covered with foil. Heated them to smoking hot, then turned the oven off and let them cool in the oven. Took them out, wiped them down and they were pretty much ready to go. I think the key is to turn the fat into carbon. I've seen some cast iron get kinda rancid with animal fat. That's why I use vege to start with and fill the pores. Just my thoughts. Like barrel break in, everyone has their own ways.

    Btw, I am single. Smoking up the house seasoning cast iron in the oven might not work as well for others....
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 25,094 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    A properly seasoned and cared for iron skillet won't rust. If you have an iron skillet rust, it was not properly seasoned or it was improperly washed. Meaning washed with soap.

    :agree::that:
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    There's a Lodge factory outlet store on the way to Chattanooga where I stop occasionally to shop their "seconds"- - - -usually very slightly blemished items that don't really have anything seriously wrong with them- - - - -maybe a tiny rough spot somewhere on the cooking surface. I use a 3" "Roloc" sanding disc in a die grinder with a flexible rubber backing to give the surface a good going-over, followed by a Scotchbrite polishing pad, and the break-in period is dramatically reduced. That rough surface cleans up pretty easily with the right tools.
    Jerry
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    Lodge is the only American made cast iron cookware left and the Griswold stuff is high dollar collectibles around here and it's tuff to find "hidden treasures" around here anymore. Debbie collects cast iron stuff and has everything from a waffle iron to a bundt cake pan. She found a Griswold Bundt cake pan in Navarre at an antique shop and the guy wouldn't take less than $1000.00 for it.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    Here's what I did to a 10 inch skillet I bought a year or so back. I oiled it with corn oil or canola, can't remember which and put it in the oven for about two hours, then let cool. Repeated the process a couple of times. Then I proceeded to fry chicken and fish in it. In a week or two it was like Teflon.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 14,386 Senior Member
    I have nothing to add other than some Dawn dish soap and a green 3M pad does not seem to bother my seasoned skillets
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 14,386 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Inwas in utter shock and disbelief when I came home to find my mother in law washing my skillets with soap.
    Being from the country, I figured she had better sense. But while she IS from the country, she IS from Oklahoma.

    By washing, I mean a little soap on the pad and run some hot water while I scrape off the crud.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • KSU FirefighterKSU Firefighter Senior Member Posts: 3,249 Senior Member
    Fill it with water and set it on the stove boil until anything stuck comes loose. Oil it and heat in the oven until it is smoking.
    The fire service needs a "culture of extinguishment not safety" Ray McCormack FDNY
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    There's a Lodge factory outlet store on the way to Chattanooga where I stop occasionally to shop their "seconds"- - - -usually very slightly blemished items that don't really have anything seriously wrong with them- - - - -maybe a tiny rough spot somewhere on the cooking surface. I use a 3" "Roloc" sanding disc in a die grinder with a flexible rubber backing to give the surface a good going-over, followed by a Scotchbrite polishing pad, and the break-in period is dramatically reduced. That rough surface cleans up pretty easily with the right tools.
    Jerry

    That's where I get mine, and the seconds they sell are hard to find anything wrong with on some of them. Usually, the only thing I can find wrong is a rough cooking surface, and that's easy to fix like you described. I use a 1/4" drill motor and a rubber backed disc and stick-on sanding pads. Seasoning is done with unsalted lard inside and out at 375° for a couple of hours with aluminum foil on the bottom oven rack.

    After cooking with it, clean with a wet cloth and hot water after it's cooled and it is good to go. IF you get something stuck on the cooking surface there's a pretty easy way to get it to unstick. Put the pan on a top burner on the stove, put about a half inch of water in the pan and set the temperature just above simmer for around 30 minutes. Pour the remaining water out and the stuck on stuff should wipe out easily. Then put in the oven with some oil on it and reseason it. Stuff sticks to cast iron when enough oil is not used and the cast iron gets dry on the cooking surface.
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  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,813 Senior Member
    A few years ago, a friend made a redneck WOK for me from a 24" steel plow disk, by putting a steel patch over the center hole and welding handles onto it. Unsure about how to get it somewhat sterile, I used a grinder with a steel brush to clean it up and built a wood fire to 'cure' it. As it was heating up, I boiled water in it and added detergent, scrubbed it thoroughly and then rinsed it with clean water, until it all boiled away. After it got really hot, I started applying filtered peanut oil to it that was leftover from a couple years of turkey frying. I never let the oil boil or catch fire, by spreading it all around and letting it just cook itself off. When I took it off the fire, I re-coated it liberally and hung it up in a dry place.

    I used it often for several years afterward, for large quantities of fajitas, fish, french fries, and even cooked quite a few breakfasts on it. It worked great, usually over a wood fire, and although I couldn't control the heat, I learned to build a small fire and work the meat or whatever up and down the sides to keep it from burning. The kids loved it and felt like they were at a camp-out. It was easy to cook for 50 people, as long as I had a 'swamper' to do everything but the actual cooking.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    I got a set of three 6" 8" and 10" says "Pre-seasoned" Universal since 1850 on label. Brand new never used, don't know if I'll ever use them. Bought a few years ago.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    I have several sizes of the real Dutch ovens- - - -the ones with three short legs and a rim around the lid for shoveling coals on top. The oven itself never gets food cooked directly inside it- - - -for doing stuff like baking cornbread, a cake pan with the batter in it is put inside the cast iron, with a few smashed-flat aluminum coke cans to keep it from getting direct contact with the bottom and burning. A taller pan with the handle cut very short for side clearance comes in handy for simmering a pot of beans all day at a hunting camp, etc. Handling those inner pans with a pair of channel lock pliers or vise grips is a good idea!
    Jerry
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,645 Senior Member
    I've got one of those three-legged pot, not a dutch oven, though, along with a couple of other pots. They belonged to my mother, and probably her mother before. I got them from my sister's barn and they were rusted.

    I put charcoal in them and burned the rust off.

    The three legged ones are for cooking in a fireplace. I think the older ones, like my skillet, are smooth through seasoning.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • KMT2KMT2 Member Posts: 373 Member
    you guys realize that dont wash the cast iron was when we had lye soap.
    and other stuff from 50 years ago.
    the soap today will not I repeat will not screw up the season. Yes I do this all the time and have not lost a season yet.
    Heck Even Lodge tellya dont worry ,
    but they do say to wash then heat dry and then add a bit of oil and wipe it to coat.
    this will build up the season fast and reduce the sticking.
    and yup I have used high acid foods in mine and no issues.
    Yall need to move into the 21 century with how to use your cast iron cook ware.
    Ok now Im off my soap box back to our regularly scheduled shenanigans
    If you think OHSA is a little town in Wisconsin you may be in trouble!
    Peace is firing my guns or 60 feet below the surface of the water.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 25,094 Senior Member
    I don't buy it - "Dawn" and similar soaps are VERY good at stripping oils and grease, and I've had seasoning compromised by someone who didn't know better. Hi acid foods like tomatoes will degrade the seasoning as well. OTOH, SOS pads don't harm the seasoning at all.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    I just use regular stainless steel scrubbers and water. Do as you wish. I do like Teach's idea with the polishing though. I got a few that barely get used that could use some of that.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,645 Senior Member
    I don't use soap on mine because I don't have to. I clean it with warm water and a Scotchbrite pad when something sticks, which it won't usually, especially on the bottom. The sides sometimes get a little stick-ons, but nothing serious.

    My oven pot isn't nearly as well seasoned because I don't use it often. It won't rust, though; got enough grease in it to protect it.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    zorba wrote: »
    SOS pads don't harm the seasoning at all.

    That doesn't make good nonsense- - - - -they're loaded with some sort of soap. Now, regular steel wool, maybe, but the soap-impregnated ones?:uhm::uhm::uhm:
    Jerry
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,766 Senior Member
    KMT2 wrote: »
    you guys realize that dont wash the cast iron was when we had lye soap.
    and other stuff from 50 years ago.
    the soap today will not I repeat will not screw up the season. Yes I do this all the time and have not lost a season yet.
    Heck Even Lodge tellya dont worry ,
    but they do say to wash then heat dry and then add a bit of oil and wipe it to coat.
    this will build up the season fast and reduce the sticking.
    and yup I have used high acid foods in mine and no issues.
    Yall need to move into the 21 century with how to use your cast iron cook ware.
    Ok now Im off my soap box back to our regularly scheduled shenanigans

    I have more than a small collection from Griswolds, to modern Lodge woks & stuff, to a 125 ish yo unnamed chicken fryer.

    I strongly agree with the above quoted post.

    Some people agree with barrel breakin. I consider this about the same.

    I'd rather fry a chipmunk than dance with it.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 25,094 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    That doesn't make good nonsense- - - - -they're loaded with some sort of soap. Now, regular steel wool, maybe, but the soap-impregnated ones?:uhm::uhm::uhm:
    Jerry

    I can only go on what my dear ol' Ma told me - she said the soap/stuff/whatever in SOS pads doesn't strip the seasoning; from what I've seen over the years, it doesn't. It isn't regular soap anyway - it doesn't lather at all. Dunno what it is...
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Well, according to the company website FAQ page- - - - -

    https://www.sosclorox.com/faq/
    :roll:

    Jerry
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