Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Jan 7, 2012 01:41 PM

CAST IRON....Seasoning results in spots! HELP!

On and off for two days now I have been working on seasoning a Griswold pan I bought on eBay. The pan had been cleaned when I received it and looked great.

I've done several applications of butter and one of duck fat, taking care to use thin layers and to wipe the pan before putting in the oven at 350F. Almost every 15 minutes or so I removed the pan to wipe it, as instructed by several "experts."

Somewhere early in the process, small shiny spots appeared on the bottom (cooking surface) of the pan.

I did one more hour-long application of peanut oil at about 375F. Now there are quite a few more tiny spots.

The spots are shinier than the rest of the pan surface. They are every-so-slightly raised.

Should I do yet another application of peanut oil at higher heat?

PLEASE do not tell me that I have to scrape out the seasoning and begin again! HELP!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. "On and off for two days now I have been working on seasoning a Griswold pan"

    "I've done several applications of butter and one of duck fat"

    It is interesting that Griswold seasoning is so different and so much more refine and time consuming than the rest of the standard cast iron seasoning methods.

    Seriously, I say just start cooking with it. I have never heard of seasoning every 15 minutes for a total of 2 days. This is just way too much and you are making this much more difficult than it has to be. You really shouldn't need to spend more than 2 seasoning applications, and many only do it once.

    1. Ditto that. Don't worry so much about it. Just use it and it will become nicely seasoned through use. The initial seasoning, by whatever method, is just a starter.

      4 Replies
      1. re: GH1618

        Thanks to you both! The process was getting to be laborious. But I still wonder about those spots on the surface of the pan (??)

        1. re: erica

          I have a bare griswold pan I bought off ebay. I've seasoned it once and rarely season it now. Sometimes if I think it needs a touch up, I'll fry up some green onions (or yellow, but prefer scallions) to the point of char with a tablespoon or two of oil (depending on how many onions). I wouldn't worry too much about those shiny spots. I've also had shiny spots (but didn't notice they were raised), and just kept cooking right through it. I do make a point to use the pan at least every few days.

          After cooking, I rinse it out with hot water and a scrubber. Then set it on a warm oven burner to evaporate the water. Wipe it out lightly with a paper towel. I use it frequently enough not to have to put a layer of oil in it for storage.

          1. re: ahack

            Thanks so much! An online ramble turned up such a welter of detailed information about which fats to use, for how long, how to place the pan, how to heat and cool down the pan, on and on and on and on.......I was beginning to regret the purchase due to the stress it was causing!

          2. re: erica

            Oil seasoning takes on different forms as time and temperature. Incomplete seasoning is sticky and gummy, then it turns harder and shiny, then it may finally dull and powder-like. During seasoning, some spots are thicker and therefore progress slower, and those are the thicker and shiner spots.

            If the spots are simply shiny, but not sticky, then it is ready to be used. If the spots are shiny and sticky, then there are a few things you can do. You can continue to bake it in the oven until it is not sticky, or you can scrap it off by using plastic scrapper and sand it with salt and oil as mentioned by SanityRemoved.

            As you start cooking, the entire surface will gradually look the same.

        2. Only gummy spots are an issue and can be removed with kosher salt and oil.

          If you are doing thin layers then think of how spray paint looks when properly applied. Thousands of small dots repeated over and over filling in the surface until it is solid in color. The same thing occurs with seasoning.

          Like others have said just cook on it and have fun. I prefer functional to pretty, laborious doesn't enter my cast iron lexicon.

          1. Well I own several Griswolds and all I've done for seasoning was a thin layer of lard and then on the hot BBQ upside down until they are cold again. That and the usual cast iron treatment of drying on the stove with a thin layer of lard after each cleaning.

            I make omelets in mine no problem.