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Jun 9, 2011 09:24 AM

Botched carbon steel seasoning

Hey guys,

Check out my new pan!

In your opinion, should I leave my pan as is, or scour the burnt portion and start the seasoning process over? From what I understand, it's all gonna be black in the end ... though I thought you were supposed to do it slowly.

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  1. Did you do that, or did you receive it that way? In either case, you should start over. Initial seasoning should be a dark brownish color. It'll be a while before it turns all black from use.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hardline_42

      No, the pan they sent was perfect and shiny with that beeswax coating stuff. How would you go about abrading the burnt stuff?

    2. How did you do that?

      Is that a DeBuyer mineral?

      4 Replies
      1. re: cajundave

        I boiled potato peels, dried, threw oil in there, and then stopped paying attention. It was olive oil, btw, which I guess you're not supposed to use for the 1st seasoning. Anyway, I jumped up from what I was doing when I smelled burning oil .. and there it was.

        It is De Buyer 'B' Mineral (bought from Amazon, which did not specify, but in the end I do not think it matters), which I think is Mineral + some sort of beeswax-ish coating, which is supposedly environmentally friendly ... or something. Kept it from rusting during shipping, anyway.

        1. re: create_faster

          Try steel wool and hot water. If that doesn't work, maybe oven cleaner or the self-clean cycle in your oven. A search will reveal plenty of methods for cleaning cast iron that will work for carbon as well.

          1. re: hardline_42

            Agree. Steel wool, hot water, and elbow grease down to shiny metal, then reseason. Actually, the chore isn't as much of a pain in the butt as it sounds.

          2. re: create_faster

            I did the same thing with one of my De Buyer carbon plus pans(but I had 2 ft flames shooting out of that sucker) had to douse it with half a box of kosher salt to put the flames out,that stuff made a sticky,gooey mess all over the inside of the pan. So I did the potato peel trick and it worked like a charm(boiled for 15 mins).

            The pan now has a weird patina,but nothing sticks to it,ever!

        2. Update - holy crap, my pan has rust all over it after a night of sitting out, even after oiling it. Wtf?

          6 Replies
          1. re: create_faster

            That sounds strange. Unless by "out" you mean "outside." Hit it with the hot water and steel wool until you see bright metal, towel it dry and then put it on the stove on low heat to evaporate any moisture and open the pores of the metal. At this point you can skip straight to the seasoning method of your choice (no need to boil potato peels). I've had good results with seasoning carbon steel in the oven just like cast iron as well as the recommended stove-top method.

            1. re: hardline_42

              I suggested the potato peel trick for cleaning the pan not for seasoning it.

              1. re: petek

                Yes, I understood that from your comment. The boiling of the potato peels is for cleaning only. It's interesting that the current seasoning instructions from DeBuyer no longer have the potato peel step.

                1. re: hardline_42

                  I wondered about that as well.Maybe hot water is enough to remove any protective coating added at the factory.I only tried the peel trick after I made a mess of my pan,and was surprised how well it worked.Who'd a thunk :-D

            2. re: create_faster

              Time to break out the S.O.S pads...

            3. Second update: scrubbed all the rust out with an off-brand green scrubby thing. Rust was pwnd, and then I tossed some oil in there and started the process again.
              Then I tossed a porkchop in, and now the bottom of the pan is a deep brownish black. Looks good. I just kinda removed the extra oil/fat with a paper towel, and now it's sitting in a cooling oven. I don't dare use water at this point ...

              1. Here's what it looks like now. Think I should toss some water in there and take out any superficial blackness, or just leave it?

                3 Replies
                1. re: create_faster

                  Na,just leave it.The more you use it the better the patina will get.Nothing wrong with a little soap and hot water every once in a while to remove any stuck on crud.
                  Just make sure you dry it really well and apply some veg oil after with a paper towel in between uses.

                  1. re: petek

                    Yeah, it's just chilling in the oven right now. Once the handle is cool enough to grasp, I'll drag it out and grease it down with peanut oil.

                    1. re: create_faster

                      The bottom of the pan looks fine, the state of the sides is a little harder to determine in the picture. Any sticky/gummy residue should be removed with kosher salt, a little oil, a paper towel and a warm pan. When seasoning, the amount of oil, lard etc. that I have found to work best is just enough that the pan shines. You shouldn't be able to tip the pan and have oil running from one side to the other. The temperature on the stove top should create little wisps of smoke not something that resembles the tornado scene in the Wizard of Oz.. After it's complete you can repeat the seasoning until happy or tired of doing it. Eventually with cooking it will get black all over.