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Jun 2, 2009 08:25 AM

pre-seasoned lodge cast iron skillet

hi chowhounders,

okay - finally bit the bullet and bought a pre-seasoned lodge cast iron skillet.

my head is spinning now having read a bunch of threads about seasoning cast iron skillets.

i have some specific questions:

1. the instructions say the skillet is ready for use. can anyone with the same product please comment on whether they seasoned their already-seasoned pan?

2. and if so, how do i season a pre-seasoned skillet? oil? lard? crisco? oven? bbq? etc.?????? a big bacon fry-up this weekend??

i can't seem to find anything definitive regarding these pre-seasoned skillets. also, i KNOW there's a lot of love out there for the griswolds et. al. but i've got a lodge and want to know what to do with it.

thank you!!!

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  1. i ahve one. i just started using it w/ no problems

    1 Reply
    1. re: thew

      hi thew,

      what have you cooked in it?

      i've been reading that eggs are the devil in an improperly seasoned pan so i want to start out with something safer!

    2. Ask Acey: post August 23, 2007, 2:30 pm, by acmorris,
      (and follow-up posts in that thread).

      7 Replies
      1. re: Politeness

        hi politeness,

        thanks for posting ... very helpful. i will give that a shot.

        do you know if i can do this in my BBQ? i'd rather not stink up the house ...

        1. re: lilaki

          Many people have reported success throwing cast iron into a campfire or atop a barbecue. We have not tried it ourselves, but (as long as you do not ttry to cool he cast iron down too fast when it is hot), cast iron is all but indestructible, so it cannot hurt to try.

          1. re: lilaki

            Is your grill gas or coal? If you can regulate the temp you will be all right. If you get too hot you will burn off any seasoning that exists. I would recommend an oven thermometer as a basic or an electronic transmitter/ receiver thermometer with an alarm if heat gets too high. Suggest keeping it around 350 F. Then save bacon grease for application after each use.

            1. re: lilaki

              perfect ... we have a propane bbq and can regulate the heat ... we've also got a thermometer. i'll follow acmorris' instructions from the above posted thread and use the bbq instead of the oven ... thanks!!!

              1. re: lilaki

                If the thermometer is built into the lid it can give you some wrong info. If you have a regular oven thermometer it will be more accurate if you set it on the grate next to the pan,or on the pan. Good luck.

                1. re: phantomdoc


                  okay - got it. i'll pop my oven thermometer into the BBQ ...


                  1. re: lilaki

                    update ... i swiped on some olive oil and popped the skillet in the bbq for about 2 hours (temp was just under 400). it came out shiny ... but sticky. i freaked out a little but then went online and read that several other folks had this 'sticky' problem with the lodge pre-seasoned product. i let the pan cool down completely and then rinsed it out. heated it back up on the stove to thoroughly dry. the next day, i popped a package of bacon into it and put it back in the bbq to cook off. the bacon turned out great! poured out the grease and rinsed the pan. the stickiness in the pan disappeared (yay!). HOWEVER, the cooking surface of the pan seemed to turn BROWN. so, dried the pan again and lightly oiled it. the pan seems to be okay now. i won't be cooking eggs on it any time soon! however, i'll try another package of bacon again this coming weekend.

          2. You're good to go; start using it. I wouldn't start with eggs, though. Try a stir fry; I made one with green beans and bamboo shoots in chili oil last night in my lodge skillet. I use it all the time for quesadillas; no oil needed for that.

            After you clean the pan (warm water, no soap), heat on the stove to dry thoroughly, then lightly oil it before storing.

            1. Here is what I do, I put on the cooktop and heat it up, I use a infrared thermeter (or you just wait until it smokes), when it reach about 450F I wipe on some lard and turn it off, turn off and let it cool. Then I do it again. It is ready to use. There isn't alot of smoke, you don't have to burn the thing like some seem to describe.

              I sear quite a few steaks, some bacon will season the pan very well.
              Actually fish that releases oil like salmon, mackerel, sea bass also is great. (I noticed a diffference after making these foods) They don't stick and release with a metal turner easily.

              After you wash with with hot water and brush, dry it on the cooktop and apply lard, after a some use you will not need to do the lard thing, just dry it. I apply lard again if it starts to look a little too dull.

              1. I've bought a couple of the Lodge pre-seasoned pans. They are "pre-seasoned" but that really doesn't mean much. Just a bit of a running start but not anything like what you'll get after a period of sustained proper use and care.
                You could go to a lot of trouble with the BBQ grill or oven, some fat of your choice, and a ritual, but that's only going to add a little bit more to that "pre-seasoning" that the pan came with. You'll still have only a partially seasoned pan.

                The ONLY things that truly seasons cast iron are use, patience and time.
                Oh, and bacon.
                Just start using the pan.
                Cook a lot of bacon. And start using it for things that are on the fatty side like steaks and foods that are sauteed in oils. Don't try delicate things like eggs for quite a while because they are guaranteed to stick unless you use a good bit of oil. Don't make cornbread until the pan is really well seasoned because it will dry the pan out and the cornbread will stick.
                You want to build up the seasoning slowly over time. Then it will be durable and trouble-free.
                Don't ever expect your pan to reach the non-stick equivalent of teflon. Won't happen. You'll always have to add a little fat to cook eggs.

                Time and use are what seasons cast iron. Relax and fix some BLTs. Lots of them.
                It took me a few months to get my "pre-seasoned" pans really comfortably seasoned like the ones I inherited from my mother and grandmother.
                There are some things that you can NOT rush.

                7 Replies
                1. re: MakingSense

                  hi makingsense,

                  thanks for the tips. bought a pkg of bacon already and am planning to cook it up over the weekend! we're not big bacon eaters so this will be an interesting journey!!

                  1. re: lilaki

                    You may want to save the bacon fat. I keep it in a container in the fridge. After cleaning my pan I put it back on the heat with about a quarter teaspoon of bacon fat and smear it around with paper napkin.

                  2. re: MakingSense

                    MakingSense: "Oh, and bacon.
                    Don't ever expect your pan to reach the non-stick equivalent of teflon."

                    Our cast iron skillet skated right past the Teflon benchmark on the road to super slipperiness; slip happens. ;-)

                    MS: "You'll always have to add a little fat to cook eggs."

                    It's worth it; see this:
                    See? Fried eggs are GOOD for you!

                    1. re: Politeness

                      <said very quietly> I actually agree with you, but it raises what may be unrealistic expectations in many cast iron newbies. I have a dedicated "egg pan" that my family knows that they do not use for any other purpose under pain of severe chewing out. Eggs slide right out.
                      The new Lodge pans don't have the same smooth surface as the old Griswolds or other ancient cast iron. They're a tiny bit rough so they may never get totally slick.

                      The main cast iron pans are such work horses in our house that I simply refuse to worry about them. They've reached the indestructible stage.
                      I always add some fat to those when I cook eggs because I never know/remember what's been cooked recently. Makes life easier - and the eggs tastier.

                      1. re: MakingSense

                        I remember as a child of the fifties that a family moved to our neighborhood in Queens, NY from France. They had a way to cook in their cast iron. They kept an amount of oil in the pan at all times. When they needed to they would add more oil. Never dumped out after cooking and nothing ever came close to sticking, eggs and French toast included.

                        1. re: phantomdoc

                          I'd hate to cook French Toast the morning after I'd pan fried some oysters!

                      2. re: Politeness

                        Dr. Mercola, for what it's worth, is also the same man who says every brand of cookware is deadly. Oh, besides the ones he sells and the ones "just" like it that cost 10 times as much -- so buy his!

                        I love eggs, and think they aren't bad for you (unless smothered in hollandaise, although if you're using butter for your hollandaise you're getting some vitamins!) and eat them multiple times a week...