advice on asian griddle & seasoning?
I recently bought a giant griddle from LAX-C. Well, at least I think its a griddle. It was right next to the woks. No one at LAX-C could answer my questions so on a whim, I purchased it.
I assumed it was iron or cast iron and took it home and attempted to season it. I have a 30,000 BTU burner so I heated it up, cooled it down, used oil and kosher salt and have attempted to season it.
The problem is that even after TWO HOURS of doing this, the paper towels still come away BLACK and worse, in the middle of the griddle, it looks like there's some kind of COATING that is coming off???
I'm worried this is not food safe - what the heck is that coating? I am attaching a picture - sorry, its not very good - but maybe someone will recognize this and say "You idiot, this is no griddle! This is a part for an airplane"
What did I buy? Any advice what to do with this?
And BTW, I've gone back to LAX-C with it trying to get advice and still no help. HELP CHOWHOUNDS!
You really have to ask LAX-C to tell you if this is a cookware.
Assuming it is a cookware, I like to know what color is the pan when you first got it? Was it shiny sliver or light gray color like these carbon steel pans?
If so, it is likely to be carbon steel pan.
What is peeling off? It could be a lacquered pan. Today, many carbon steel pans are sold with a lacquered surface which need to be remove prior to proper cleaning. Here are some examples of lacquered cookware:
Thanks for your thoughts - in answer to your question, the griddle was black and sort of shiny. I too thought it was carbon steel, however, it is EXTREMELY heavy. So then I thought it might be cast iron.
I looked at the link to the lacquered wok you included - if it is a coating, its VERY thick - because where there's a chip in it, I can see how thick the layer is. I've also tried scrubbing it and it will barely come off.
UGH! I'm mad at myself for being so impulsive.
It sort of looks like a giant paella pan but its 10 times as heavy. Heavy sigh. I'll try to season it somemore to see if this lacquer or coating comes off. Thanks again for all your help!!!
re: Lynndsey Rigberg
Both carbon steel and cast iron have essentially the same density, so they have the same weight if they have the same thickness. The thing is that carbon steel pans are usually made thin, whereas cast iron pans are made thick. Another distinction is that carbon steel pans are usually smooth, whereas cast iron pans have rough surfaces.
Because you said the factory surface is black and that chipping is relatively thick, I am thinking about a preseasoned surface. A preseasoning surface can chip and it is probably like printer paper thick, but it shouldn't be like 1 mm thick.
Many modern cast iron cookware are shippied with a preseasoning surface. That is, the cast iron has already been seasoned (lightly) for you. Unfortunately, this factory coating often are poorly done and readily chipped off. Here I am quoting some complaint:
"But this is typical of what often happens eventually to a pre-seasoned cast iron pan. And if it doesn’t fade, the pre-seasoning chips off..."
"However, this black paint looking stuff on modern cast iron that is described as 'pre-seasoned' is nothing but another contaminant for our food. I have already seen too many of these in stores with the 'pre-seasoning' chipping and peeling off."
I have personally seen more than once or twice that preseasoning or seasoning surface chips off. I don't think it is an enameled surface which can also chip. I don't think it is enameled porcelain surface because you said it is black and black particles come off to your paper towels, so that sound like it is a preseasoning surface.
If it is indeed preseasoning surface chipping off, then I would remove it and you can read all sort of way to remove it. One method is to put the cookware into an oven and use the self-cleaning cycle to bake off the preseasoning surface. It will burn off and loosen most of the seasoning surface. After it is cooled down, you should able to wipe off the charcoal powder like residues.
That looks like a Thai-style (street vendor type) steel wok.
Season it as you would a steel wok, not the way you would season cast iron.