HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

i think i might have messed up seasoning my first cast iron pan

shirlotta Jul 30, 2006 03:56 AM

i just purchased a lodge grill griddle - being new to the cast iron thing, i wasn't quite sure how to season it, and for some reason decided to go against the packaged instructions and try a method i saw in a cookbook. this method called for putting the pan on top of the range, high heat, covering the pan with 1/8" oil. (i used canola.) then i allowed it to smoke for 7 min. during this smoking two large black patches formed on the pan, which concerned me. after this i mopped up the excess oil with a towel and then popped it in the oven for 30 min at 500 degrees. it has turned nice and dark, but the two spots remain. is this a problem? should i start over again? i'm confused - I read through all the old threads and saw that someone had posted with concerns about black specks on a newly seasoned cast iron pan. the replies said that the specks would even out with use. is that the case with big spots - 5" diameter each, approximately? i want to get this cast iron started properly, as i understand that it is a very long process. help? thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. g
    grubn RE: shirlotta Jul 30, 2006 05:03 AM

    I doubt that the discoloration will be much of a problem,although, if you didn't wash and scrub your new griddle first, that might be a problem -- there is a waxy finish on new cast iron that needs to be removed before seasoning. At any rate, I might think about starting over with the seasoning process (just wash and scrub and you are ready to re-season). I hadn't heard of the short time-high heat method before -- generally, I think lower heat for a longer period of time is recommended. Also, maybe try an oil like peanut, which has a higher smoking point? An easy way to season: coat both sides with oil, bake in a 350 degree oven for 1-2 hours. Let cool thoroughly. Wipe off any excess oil. Repeat for better non-stick finish. Even easier, you can now buy pre-seasoned cast iron.

    1 Reply
    1. re: grubn
      steinpilz RE: grubn Jul 30, 2006 06:39 AM

      This is exactly what I would have said, just scrub it and do it again - it's hard to damage cast iron! Also agree about using a high smoking point oil (canola would be my choice) and baking as grbn describes.

    2. Non Cognomina RE: shirlotta Jul 30, 2006 06:14 AM

      Just curious what the instructions on the Lodge package were. My sister recently registered for "pre-seasoned" cast ironware from Lodge. I think it's a new thing, but I could be wrong. Still, I'm curious what instructions from the manufacturer were....

      1 Reply
      1. re: Non Cognomina
        bookgirl234 RE: Non Cognomina Jul 30, 2006 03:04 PM

        I bought the pre-seasoned griddle pan a few weeks ago and the only instructions were to wash it with soap and a stiff brush and it was ready to go (but, of course, dont' use soap ever again). I used it that night with no problem.

      2. shirlotta RE: shirlotta Jul 31, 2006 04:41 AM

        okay, thanks. the directions said to coat with vegetable oil or shortening and to bake at 350 degrees for one hour, then to let cool. but then i read some threads that said high heat was better - and then i got lazy and just decided to follow the cookbook instructions, which combined both the high heat and lower amount of time. maybe i'll start over then... i had washed it with soap after purchasing and pre-seasoning.

        4 Replies
        1. re: shirlotta
          yayadave RE: shirlotta Jul 31, 2006 03:30 PM

          Do the instructions also mention to put the pan in the oven upside down to keep the oil from pooling and turning into tar?

          1. re: shirlotta
            Hungry Celeste RE: shirlotta Jul 31, 2006 04:48 PM

            It's the canola that's wrong, not your technique. Get some solid shortening (crisco or such) and grease that pan lightly, turn upside down and place on the oven rack & put a large pan beneath to catch any drips. Liquid vegetable oils can leave a sticky residue on the pan (unsightly and unsanitary, too). You can also use lard, should you have some handy.

            1. re: Hungry Celeste
              zorkd RE: Hungry Celeste Jul 7, 2008 05:45 AM

              if you already have a buildup of that gummy sticky thing vegetable oil leaves as a residue how do you get it out? i think it is bad for searing.

              1. re: zorkd
                lexpatti RE: zorkd Jul 7, 2008 05:53 AM

                I used the wrong oil too, I had to wash wash wash to get that gummy sticky off. I did it again with crisco and was very pleased.

          Show Hidden Posts