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Help Seasoning De Buyer Mineral Fry Pans

So I just received a set of De Buyer Mineral frying pans in the mail today and set out to season them. I followed the instructions in the attached booklet: clean with hot water, heat a cm of oil for 5 minutes, pour off oil, and wipe with a paper towel. Heating the oil produced a ring of yellowish-brown oil-laquer all the way around the pan at the oil line. i.e. where the top of the oil met the pan I got a thick coating of solidified, almost sticky, oil. It reminds me of those yellow-brown goopy oil stains that are so hard to remove from stainless steel. Should this have happened? Should I scour it off and start over, or should I just cook away?

Incidentally, the seasoning and care instructions provided by de buyer differ between the little booklet attached to the handle of the pan and those printed on the inside of the pan sleeve. I followed the booklet, but after I started, I realized that the sleeve called for a potato peel pre-season. Oh well!

Thanks!

Jeremy

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  1. Do the potato peel thing to clean the pan.

    1. The same thing happened to me after I did the potato peels. I have tried the method by de buyer and gotten the same result as you.

      I have tried rubbing oil and placing it in a hot oven upside down, I got streaks of the same sort of sticky gold oil. After a few steaks it seemed to work, but tonight I poured some red wine in the pan with my steak and the seasoning scraped off with just a wooden spoon.

      My friend told me when she worked in a professional kitchen, they would oil their iron pans, place them in an oven at 500 for hours until they remembered about them. I think I'm going to try this since at this point I've cooked enough that the edges of my pan are black, solidified and nonstick.

      As for cleaning, I have been using fine grit wet-dry sandpaper and a little water.

      But yeah, I haven't been able to season this pan yet either. I've tried grape seed oil, coconut oil and ghee. Ghee seems to work the best and I'll try that the next time I place it in the oven, this time right side up until it turns black.

      1. Check YouTube for de Buyer seasoning instructions. They work. The best seasoning will come through frequent use.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Rigmaster

          I've watched the video, I guess I can try it on low heat. On med-high the oil smokes and I get a ring of sticky brown oil on the sides of my pan with the bottom being perfectly clean and polished.

          Edit: It also rusted after about 12 hours. Maybe if I cooked on it 2-3 times a day it would eventually season itself but I cook maybe 2-3 times a week. At that rate, sanding it down is working better than the "official" recommendation.

        2. Don't worry too much about using the potato peel seasoning or not. The potato skin is more for removing the original coating I believe. Season it just like you season any cast iron or carbon steel on a stovetop.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            "The potato skin is more for removing the original coating I believe."

            Precisely. I don't think the pan was completely cleaned first.

            1. re: GH1618

              A good point. If the original coating is not properly removed, then there will be trouble down the road.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Hello Chemical,

                I was trying to look up the old threads about the recurring issues with these DeBuyer mineral pans. So here I've found you again on yet another thread regarding the seasoning of these, particular, pans.

                I'm now at my wit's end and ready to give up with them. If you would like, please give me your address and I can mail you one (or even both of these pans) so that someone who is a little more "expert" might benefit from them. I appreciate all your help in the past. I've cooked two more eggs within the last week and the black gunpowder stuff is all over the bottom of the eggs again.

                No water has touched these pans (only cooking oil --olive-- and butter) since my now endless attempts to remedy this situation. I wipe them down only with paper towels after cooking once they've cooled down. If this is indeed a rust problem, I cannot possibly conceive from where the rust is "being born" given the ZERO contact with water.

                Ok, let me know if you want this pan or pans. And thanks again for all your help!

                Sincerely,
                Eleni

                1. re: Eleni15

                  Carbon steels can rust from the thought of water vapor. Check out the related discussion "the ultimate way to season cast iron". I basically followed those steps but with coconut oil instead of flaxseed, because it's the most inexpensive oil I have. This is also pretty much what my chef friend told me to do, and as you can see it's not what most people on these boards recommend for these pans. I don't believe it will keep eggs white but its looking like it should.

                  1. re: ThaFlash_LA

                    Thanks Flash. I will check out the related topic you recommend, but I've about all but given up on ever being able to "fix" whatever might be causing this problem with the pan. When I have a little more energy, tomorrow, I'll check out this discussion for any further clues....

                  2. re: Eleni15

                    Eleni15,

                    I am sorry to hear this. I think you said only one of two pans has this black powder problem, or was it two now? My email address is currently in my profile. If you click on my name, then you will find it under "Location". Please email me, and I will give you my mailing address. I will love to take a look, and if I think I can solve this problem (if it is a problem), then I will send the pan back to you. Thanks.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Thanks Chemical,

                      As soon as I'm able to get back to the computer tomorrow afternoon, I will find your email address and email you a couple of photos as well, which I was able to snap just the other day... Hopefully it will give you a much better idea of what is going on over here with this pan. We can then discuss my mailing it to you. I appreciate your help so much!!! Talk soon!

                      Sincerely,
                      Eleni

                      1. re: Eleni15

                        Eleni15,
                        Every attempt at "fixing" yielded poor results for me which is why I would sand down and start over. Here's the link:
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/757023

                        I followed the principles but using coconut oil and even though I haven't used the pan yet it's still rust free.

                    2. re: Eleni15

                      I wouldn't just wipe them down, b/c that could still leave water (from the food) in the pan. At a minimum, wipe them then heat to high on the stove to burn off all liquid.

                      What I do for these pans, is wash without soap. Then dry on stove with high heat. Then wipe with beg oil all over, while still on high heat. Then keep on high heat for a few more mins. then turn off heat and wipe away any excess oil. Cool, then put away.

                      I noticed that a fish smell carried over from a recent use. So I tried this on a post second fish attempt: I filled the pan as best I could with water, then boiled it for quite some time. Then rinsed and heated and oiled, per above.

                      I'd love suggestions on if I'm right and / or how to improve!

              2. I was aware of the greasy coating before I started so I used detergent with VERY hot water, and every bit of it came off. I had nice shiny bare metal with no residue to start. I had no idea the potato peels were for removing that stuff--I thought maybe they helped the oil season the pan.

                Anyway, while reading through the CH archives last night, I read someone's comment that vegetable based oils have a tendency to do this (I used canola oil) and lard or other non-veggie oils didn't. So, I scoured away the sticky residue, as best I could, with course salt and a sponge, applied a liberal coating of warm bacon grease (I pour off my bacon grease and keep it in the freezer so I always have some on hand), wiped the pans dry with paper towels, and put them away.

                This morning I fried up a bunch of over-easy eggs for the family and with just a little butter, they slid right out the side of the pan with no sticking whatsoever. After cooking, I just wiped it out with a dry paper towel and put it away. So, I think I'll just keep cooking in them and let the seasoning come.

                Re TheFlash_LA: I am new to Carbon Steel, but I've used Cast Iron for a while, and I wonder if your cleaning method is the issue. Wouldn't the sandpaper remove all seasoning after each use? What I have always done with CI, and will try with CS is, if there is no burned on residue, I just wipe with a towel and put away. If there is burned-on residue, I use a brush, scraper, or hot water and a scraper to remove it, dry and put away. I only add an oil wipe if I've had to clean the pan with water. And boy, are those pans ever 'non-stick!'

                3 Replies
                1. re: jljohn

                  That's a good observation. Canola is not the best thing to use first, it seems.

                  1. re: jljohn

                    That's kind of the point. I haven't been able to get any sort of "seasoned" affect so I sand it down to start over.

                    When I first got the pan I followed the directions exactly and got the result you described. So I sanded it down, washed with detergent and started over. Each time I try to season it, I end up with a poor result so I sand it down and start over. One time I had what looked like a hard, black seasoning when cooking a steak. That came right off with a wood spoon as I was scraping up the fond.

                    I've used cast iron and stainless quite a bit, I have a lot of carbon steel knives which doesn't apply here. The more I cook the more I realize I should just slowly take more and more of my mom's All Clad set, she won't notice. The CI is good for searing, non-stick for eggs (omelettes since I don't like the taste of eggs much) and stainless for the rest.

                    I've never had a problem with food sticking on my CS pan, even on a raw pan. I just can't get anything remotely close to a "seasoning".

                    I've tried the De Buyer method.
                    I've tried rubbing oil on it with a cloth and placing it upside down in a moderately hot oven.
                    I've tried the same in a really hot oven.
                    I've tried rubbing it with oil and placing it on the stove on high heat.
                    I've tried grape seed oil, coconut oil, ghee, duck fat and pork fat.

                    I have a few more attempts. I'm going to try the oven method with the pan right side up, if that doesn't work I'll just polish it and work to keep the polish, and if that gets frustrating I'll just blue it. I may have spent enough on gas trying to season this to offset the low cost of this pan compared to an All Clad stainless.

                    1. re: ThaFlash_LA

                      I have All Clad and this pan serves another purpose. Its my non-stick pan. Sear to broiler and easy clean. Start over and just use it to cook bacon and breakfast sausage. After use take some of the drippings and rub all over, underside included. Rinse and rub inside with Kosher salt. After about 2 lbs of bacon you should have a rock hard non stick surface. Done.