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Sep 10, 2010 12:28 PM

New cast iron causes food to taste metalic

I just bought a Lodge Logic pre-seasoned 12'' skillet. I tried cooking in it and my food had a strong metallic taste. I guess it was probably the taste of iron. So, I rubbed it with oil and stuck it in the oven for an hour or so, then turned off the oven and left it there until I went to use it again today. My attempt at further seasoning the skillet did nothing to help the situation. My food still had a strong metal/irony taste to it. What should I do about this? Am I just overly sensitive to the level of iron that seeps into the food? Whenever I cook at my grandma's with her cast iron this never happens. But, she has the advantage of having had the same cookware for decades.

I've seen recommendations to season the skillet with bacon fat or some other type of animal fat. I can't use this method, though. I was using olive oil because that is what I had on hand. Would a different type of oil work better?


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  1. Hi Greenenvy,

    At first I wanted to say you are more sensitive than some people. However, you said you don't notice this when using your grandma's cookware, so this is probably not it. Another thing to think about is that certain foods (especially acidic foods) dissolve iron more efficient.

    Having years of seasoning surface does decrease the level of iron dissolving into the food, but it will never be zero. I think I read something that the difference may 5 fold between a newly seasoned cookware vs a decades old seasoned cookare, so we are not talking about 100 fold difference.

    I don't like using olive oil for seasoning. Extra virgin olive oil is especially poor for seasoning cookware because of the low smoke point.


    6 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      Well, that explains why the skillet started smoking crazily when I heated it today. Didn't know olive oil had a low smoke point. Is there a type of oil that you would recommend trying? At this point I think I'm just going to try seasoning it over and over before I attempt to use it again for food.

      Thanks for the reply!

      1. re: greenenvy

        What were you cooking? That alone may explain it.

        Peanut oil has a high smoke point but I recall reading that animal fats are better for seasoning cast iron than plant oils are.

        1. re: greygarious

          I was cooking onions at the time. But I've done that in older cast iron skillets without trouble. I don't know if it's because mine is new. Thanks for the information.

        2. re: greenenvy

          Greygarious is correct. Most peanut oil you buy from the stores have high smoke oil. Corn oil as well.

          I won't say all olive oil has really low smoke point, but extra virgin olive oil does.

          Here is a good website if you are interested in smoke point for oils.

          There is a lot of people argue that animal fats like lard is best for seasoning because of the high saturated fat. If you are to season using lard or coconut oil, please do so at a lower temperature for longer time. The reason is that lard does not have the highest smoke point (still higher than extra viring olive oil)

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Thanks for the reply and additional information. I had some corn oil on hand, so I tried using that. I'm going try to season it with corn oil a couple more times before I try to cook in the skillet again.

            1. re: greenenvy

              I've had good results seasoning my cast iron using both Crisco and using coconut oil. With both, I stick it in the oven at about 400 degrees for at least an hour and then turn the oven off and let it stay there until it's completely cool. If the pan has sticky spots, turn the oven back on and let it bake longer.

              In my experience the so-called pre-seasoned cast iron from Lodge is not sufficient.

      2. I'm guessing you are a vegetarian since since you don't want to use any animal fats to season your cast iron. The good news is that Lodge uses vegetable oil (corn oil I think) to season their pans at the factory so you can do the same. What you are noticing is the mild acid in the onions dissolving iron from the "new" pan. If you are going to cook acidic things in the pan, it will need a lot more seasoning first.

        Take the vegetable oil you already have and coat the pan all over, not to the point of big drips but pretty "wet". Put it on a cookie sheet in your oven set to 200 degrees for a couple of hours and then let it cool slowly for another couple hours. Then lightly wash it in warm soapy water and cook in it some more, preferably things that are no acidic the first few times. This will "season" your pan much better and will allow you to cook your onions without the heavy iron taste.

        I seasoned my new Lodge skillet with beef a few times when new to build up the seasoning. Now I sweat onions easily in it without the iron taste you noticed. Onions and bell peppers with scrambled eggs turn out really nice now.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Sid Post

          I really doubt that onions are acid enough to make the iron leachenough to notice. There's a slight acidic component to most vegetables and meat. I was watching ATK today. In the segment on making a quick tomato sauce, it was explained that the onion was sauteed (though not in cast iron) in butter because one of onion's volatile components is gentled quickly by saturated fats but takes long cooking to break down in unsaturated fats. I am thinking that possibly what the OP describes as "metallic" is at least partially the sharp component in the onion, especially if the ones she used happened to be particularly potent.

          1. re: greygarious

            "ne of onion's volatile components is gentled quickly by saturated fats but takes long cooking to break down in unsaturated fats"

            Interesting. I will have to look into that. On the other hand, the OP has no problem with his/her mom cast iron pan skillet.

        2. "I've seen recommendations to season the skillet with bacon fat or some other type of animal fat. I can't use this method, though. I was using olive oil because that is what I had on hand. Would a different type of oil work better?"

          You can't or you won't?

          Are you vegetarian? If so, you can still season it with bacon fat or lard, which is the best way to break in a new cast iron skillet. You won't be "consuming' the lard by seasoning your skillet with the animal fat b/c it will either bake into the pores in your skillet or bake off during the process.

          Now, if you won't use animal fats (because of your personal beliefs), I would suggest coconut oil, or Crisco, in that order of preference.

          Good luck.

          Once you have your skillet properly seasoned and calibrated, you'll never go back ...

          7 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            "Once you have your skillet properly seasoned and calibrated"

            I must have missed the calibration part.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              By calibrated, I guess I mean knowing how long it will take to heat up, the different hot spots on the skillet surface, etc. Because each skillet is so "individualized" you have to become one with your skillet in order to maximize its benefits. That's what I mean by "calibrated" ...

              Capiche? :-)

              1. re: ipsedixit

                No capiche. What is "become one with your skillet "?


                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  In the words of one Yoda ...

                  Try not. Do or do not, there is no try.

                  Help you I can, yes.

                  1. re: ipsedixit


                    Believe it or not, I was thinking about the whole "become one with the Force" thing.

            2. re: ipsedixit

              Thanks for the replies and suggestions everyone! I appreciate them.


              I can't use it because of my boyfriend. He will not eat anything cooked in that skillet if I season it with a type of animal fat, whether it cooks off or seeps into the skillet. We live together and cook together, so my life will be simpler if I just don't go that route. I will look for coconut oil when I go to the store. Thanks for the suggestion and information!

              1. re: greenenvy

                I was using extra virgin olive oil w/seasoning the cast iron skillet because that was all I was using @ the time & it worked 4 me. Then I starting using organic extra virgin coconut oil 2 season my newer cast iron skillet & so far so good! & no I not vegan or vegetarian. :-)