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Seared Scallops in New Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

I bought a new cast iron skillet and seared scallops in it tonight. I usually use a stainless steel skillet and my scallops never stick. Tonight, the scallops stuck like crazy.

I've had a lodge cast iron grill pan for a few years and nothing ever sticks to it, which leads me to beleive that the new skillet just needs time and many more uses to become non-stick. But the lodge cookware comes pre-seasoned, so I just want to confirm that it wasn't my lousy cooking technique :-) I got the pan rip-roaring hot, but in a bit of bacon fat and some clarified butter, put them in, and didn't move them so that they would carmelize.

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  1. even though lodge says they're preseasoned, I still think you need to go through the seasoning routine and cook fatty foods in them for awhile

    1 Reply
    1. re: chuckl

      Yeah, ATK made the same comment when they tested cast iron. The preseason is just a head start.

    2. Pre-seasoned, but not actually pre-seasoned... You still need to work in the pan, before it builds up that non-stick coating.

      I am so glad that I inherited a stack of my grandmothers cast iron, it has about 60 years of 'pre-seasoning'.

      1. When we got ours I used it to cook bacon, fry chicken and fish, make some burgers. All were fairly greasy and the skillet has been perfect ever since. They may be "pre-seasoned" but they can use just a little bit of help to become perfect.

        1. preaseasoned =/= seasoned.

          It's just like preseason football games are not the same as regular season games.

          8 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            Thanks for the responses. After making the scallops last night, I brushed the pan with peanut oil and put it in a 300 degree oven for 3 hours. Maybe that wasn't the best because the peanut oil got sticky and brown instead of black and carbonized. However, I fried an egg with butter in the pan this morning, which in my mind is the true test of non-stick, and after a tiny bit of proding, the egg slid around the pan like teflon.

            I think that the pan is getting there and after several more times cooking with fat, it should be seasoned enough to be truly non-stick.

            Now I have to figure out the best way to clean it. On my grill pan, I usually put a bit of water in it, heat it up, scrape off the stuck on bits, dry it with a paper towel, put some salt in the pan and scrub it a bit more and it is usually very clean that way. My wife doesn't love the idea of not using soap, but I asked her if she has ever been sick from my cooking and after thinking about it for a minute, she didn't have more to say about the soap thing.

            By the way, paper towel is not the best thing to dry out the pan with. I always get bits of lint from the towel all over the pan.

            1. re: acd123

              300 for peanut oil is too low. if it gets sticky, you need a higher temperature.

              1. re: acd123

                Your method of cleaning your grill pan is exactly the same way I clean my cast iron skillet. Sometimes instead of a paper towel I use a light touch with a scotchbrite scouring pad with the salt if it's very dirty. Then wipe until the white paper towel comes away clean. I have not had problems with lint from the paper towels. Try high quality towels like Bounty.

                1. re: taos

                  Thanks for the tips. The paper towel comes away clean? When I wipe my pan, the paper towel always comes away with a little bit brown. I thought that was just a bit of the seasoning. Should I be scrubbing it harder until the paper towel is perfectly white?

                  1. re: acd123

                    you want it to be clean but it doesn't have to be perfectly white.

              2. re: ipsedixit

                Good analogy with pre-season football :-)

                1. re: acd123

                  disagree. That's a great analogy

                  1. re: chuckl

                    Yeah, that was right on. Pithy and accurate; doesn't get better than that. I'm stealing it directly.

              3. Just needs time and more general cooking seasoning. Pre seasoned pans I stay away from. My pans a generic, run of the mill, but I cook some greasy food first for a month or so ... and the longer the better. Never had a problem
                I still don't use for pancakes, etc. But I wouldn't trade mine for anything. Patience

                1 Reply
                1. re: kchurchill5

                  That sounds like great advice. Thanks.