Cast Iron Problem
I just bought a cast iron pan from Lodge. It says it's pre-seasoned. Problem number one, Everything sticks to it and number two, anything light-colored I cook in it comes out black. I tried making Swiss Rosti in it and I had to scrape it off the bottom of the pan and the potatoes turned black. I also cooked asparagus in olive oil w/ garlic and the garlic and oil turned out black also. Any suggestions?
The same thing happened to me (the horrible sticking, in spite of it being "pre-seasoned"--hah! What a load! I don't recall things turning black, though).Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cast_iro... for cleaning and seasoning how-tos, or do a google search for cast iron seasoning. It takes a little work, but in time you can create a marvelously non stick pan. Or you can do what I did, and buy Le Creuset.
I have two Lodge skillets and they are my go-to pans, even for sticky things like fish and eggs. I've found, however, that the pre-seasoned pans do work better if you season them yourself anyway. Think of the pre-seasoning as a 'starter' seasoning; you still need to build up your seasoning before it's really slick. I use technique #2 cited in the article linked above. You may also need to wipe on a thin coat of oil the first few times you use it, and every so often after that, to build up and maintain the seasoning. And depending on what you cook you may need to reseason every so often.
Also, a couple of notes for cooking with your pan: First, make sure you preheat the pan well enough as this will help make the surface less sticky; second, keep in mind that cast iron holds heat really well, so when you add food the temperature won't drop as much as with, say, a clad stainless pan. You may need to play with the heat settings some to figure out what works best.
One of the rules I live by - the first ten times you use your new cast iron, cook only animal fats. You'll have terrible luck with starches or eggs until you get a really black, slick patina on there. Just stick to bacon, burgers, steak, lard, etc for ten uses.
I have four pieces of cast iron and wouldn't replace them with anything.