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Jan 18, 2011 11:25 PM

New Lodge cast iron dutch oven has brown-ish spots and is peeling

Hello all,

I bought a pre-seasoned Lodge cast iron dutch oven from Walmart a couple of months ago. I was advised by a few people to go ahead and do my own seasoning but prior to that I noticed that right from the box it had a couple of brownish areas on it, but decided not to worry as I was going to wash and re-season it. Well, after I did that, I noticed that the edges on the lid started peeling off (black stuff) and its seems like most of the dutch oven is more brownish than black. I obviously can't return to Walmart so I am hoping you guys can help me.

I'm a newbie and this was my 1st purchase to get my feet wet. Feeling very discouraged.

Did I season it wrong (washed with soap, dried it thoroughly and use canola oil to season at 350 degrees for over an hour)?

Should it be a mixture of black and brown-ish?

Did I just happen to buy a unit that was already rusted? Should I just start from scratch, scrub and re-season again? Or just call Lodge and return it?


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  1. picghaw, try this:
    You can reach the Lodge website at that address. "Peeling" just doen't sound right.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BangorDin

      Thanks BangorDin. I'll give them a call, given comments below, I wonder if I should just ask for my money back.

    2. As far as teh black stuff peeling off, it can be (a) the preseasoned surface, (b) over-thick seasoning material from the seasoning you did (i.e.: too thick), or (c) burned on foods. I have no way knowing based on the information thus far. If I have to guess. I guess either (a) or (b).

      The preseasoned surfaces from my Lodge cookware never seem to be stable. I have reseasoned all my cast iron cookware. I think scrubbing the entire seasoning will be too laborsome for most people. The most convenient way to do it is to (a) burn off all the seasoning like using the self-cleaning mode in your oven or (b) use chemical to eat through the seasoning. I have always burned off the seasoning.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Thanks Chemicalkinetics. I have never used it before, so it can't be (c). It could be (b) as I noticed yellowish build-up near the top, but on further inspection today... it went from being black to looking more brownish all over. The 2-3 spots that were suspect (rust) look even more so. I'm not sure if I want to keep it at this point, but just in case could u give me an example of (b). (a) is not an option for me (old oven). Do amy of you have experience with another brand OR Lodge's enamel cast iron? Thanks.

        1. re: picghaw

          First, if it is rust, it may look reddish-brown when you wipe the spot with a paper towel. If there is signficant amount of rust, then you cannot build seasoning on top of it because it is unstable. Just like paint a wall. You cannot paint on a surface that is already chipping and flaking. You have to remove the old paint.

          As for (b), when too much oil is wiped on the cookware for seasoning, the seasoning does not form well. It is almost like too much paint on a wall, it just does not dry right. The edge already the lid is actually a tougher place for seasoning because it is constantly in contact.

          If the problem seems minor, then you can just use scrap the surface with some oil and salt and a paper towell. Pretty much use the salt as an abrasive to scrub off the rust, and then season it. If the problem seem major, then you can put the cookware in the self-clean mode oven and burn off all the seasoning and start all over.

          I have a Calphalon cast iron skillet, which I don't think they sell anymore. I have two Lodge bare cast iron Dutch Oven and I have a Lodge Color enameled cast iron oven. Some people like enameled cast iron cookware and found them easier to use. I personally think the bare cast iron cookware are easier to use.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Hey Chemicalkinetics,

            I finally remembered to get it out and rubbing a dry paper towel on it doesn't produce any brownish/reddish residue on the paper, so I guess it could be too much oil.

            I don't have a self-cleaning oven (its an old oven, from the look of it probably dates back 20 years), so what chemical would you suggest? Its just odd that it was black in color and even if I did add too much oil, it doesn't quite make sense that its brownish all over. and I mean all over.

            Are there any "non-seasoned" cast iron ovens out there? I really want to get into using them, my 1st experience with them is not promising, but I'm not going to give up just yet.

            Does anyone know if I voided the warranty by "re-seasoning" it?

            Thanks a lot.

            1. re: picghaw

              picghaw: No self-cleaner? Use Easy-Off oven cleaner or Naval Jelly with a stiff wire brush. Wash REALLY well afterward and dry completely. Then re-season. Folks have reported that the Cooks' Illustrated method is working well for them.

              My guess is you used too much oil. Avoid doing so next time. You do this by completely wiping out the pan--to the point of not seeing any shine left after the paper towel. Several very thin coats, one each time you bake it.

              Don't be discouraged, you'll get it right.

              1. re: kaleokahu

                thanks kaleokahu, I'm trying not to be discouraged......too many great recipes to try that use the cast iron.

              2. re: picghaw


                I have not done this, but several people here suggested oven cleaners like Easy-Off. They suggest spray cast iron cookware with it and seal it in a plastic bag for a day. You can also do it by old fashsion sandpaper and elbrow grease, but that will take a lot of work.

                I don't think there are any non-seasoned cast iron Dutch Oven anymore, not in typical stores anyway.

                I have not read the fine print, but I seriously doubt you void the warranty by re-seasoning a cast iron cookware.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  I actually went ahead and called Lodge and they are sending me a new one. The lady that helped me said that I left it in the oven for too long (over 1 hour), so I burned off the pre-seasoning. She advised to scrub it down until it turns grayish and re-season. I will still try to schedule a weekend to work on this and report back to your guys cos clearly, I need help with this.

                  I intend to check in when I get the new one as well just to make sure I don't make anymore mistakes.

                  Thanks again.

                  1. re: picghaw

                    :) They are sending you a new one without you sending the old one back. That is very nice of Lodge.

                    "The lady that helped me said that I left it in the oven for too long (over 1 hour), so I burned off the pre-seasoning."

                    If you had set the oven at 500F or above and left the cookware in there for over an hour, then I may able believe that the pre-seasoning is burned off, but that was not the case. You only left it at 350oF and with oil applied.

                    "She advised to scrub it down until it turns grayish and re-season."

                    If we are to do a complete re-seasoning by completely removing the existing seasoning layer, then I suggest putting the cookware in the oven at the self-cleaning cycle for an hour or more. This will burn off most of the seasoning layer and you will get a grayish cookware at the end. This is the true color of the cookware. I have done this several time and I did one just a month ago. Yes, you can scrub it down, but that will take a lot of works.

                    1. re: picghaw

                      One thing I do with mine after I'm done using them I clean them and put them back on the stove on high heat first to make sure they are dry and once the water is gone then I turn the heat off and coat with oil getting the entire pan covered then wipe off the excess with a paper towal let cool.