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Few questions about Cast Iron.

Hello, I have a few questions and hopefully I can get some help
I can't really find answers to these anywhere, but I'm stuck with some stuff and don't wanna learn by a mistake.
First time cast iron user, bought Lodge, threw it into oven with self clean on, came out beautifully gray and clean, and I started the flaxseed oil method for reseasoning, so far it's looking great.
But these questions really trouble me before I fire this bad boy off and start making those delicious steaks.

-when heating pan in oven and then placing on the electric glass top to make a steak, do you have to put it on a pre-heated burner ? I’m afraid the glass top might crack from putting heated pan onto unheated top.
-after every warm water wash, do you oil only inside of the pan, or do you oi the whole pan ?
-seasoned pan has oil on the bottom aswell, so when you put it on the burner does the oil burn, like putting oil between a burner and pot/pan ?

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  1. "-when heating pan in oven and then placing on the electric glass top to make a steak, do you have to put it on a pre-heated burner ? I’m afraid the glass top might crack from putting heated pan onto unheated top"

    That is more of a glass top question. I don't think so. Since your glass stove can handle the intense heat element, it should able to handle a hot pot.

    "-after every warm water wash, do you oil only inside of the pan, or do you oi the whole pan ?"

    Definitely not the whole pan, in rare occasion I oil the inside of the pan, but more than often -- nothing.

    "-seasoned pan has oil on the bottom aswell, so when you put it on the burner does the oil burn, like putting oil between a burner and pot/pan ?"

    Yes, and no. It may burn a little bit if it is not completely seasoned, but it is not a constant process. It will disappear. In other words, it may happen the first time, but not afterward.

    1. I don't have any experiance with glass top stoves, so don't know about the hot pot on a cold stove thing. I once read somewhere that cast iron should not even be used on glass top stoves. I know people that do though. I might preheat the stovetop if your cast iron skillet is already hot. Also be careful of cold cast iron on an already hot burner or a very hot oven. Extreme and quick temperature changes can crack the cast iron.

      Yes, if you have oil on the bottom of your skillet it will smoke. I also would wonder if some of the oil would get on your glass top and bake on it.

      Once I have a good seasoning on my cast iron, I seldom oil the outside anymore and only grease the inside when it looks like I need it. I don't leave my cast iron oily wihen I store it. I find the oil goes rancid and it attracts dust.

      1. Since someone started a new CI discussion, I'll throw in a question of my own.

        A few months ago my mother gave me a small CI skillet that belonged to someone in my family. Found in my grandmother's house, we think it might have belonged to my great-grandmother, but we really don't know. Grandma says "ehhh, it's been around here forever, but I don't remember using it."

        It's not very big (it's got a 7 on the handle - does that refer to the size?) It wasn't extremely well cared for, but it's not in bad shape, either. I don't see rust, but it's "spotty" inside on the cooking surface, the walls have a fair amount crud caked on the top (like, the upper sides - not down where the cooking is done), and it doesn't look very uniform in color. It's black, but not shiny, and certainly not as smooth as glass, as some posters state in the various threads here.

        I'm torn - should I go through the process to remove all the current seasoning, clean it down to bare metal, and re-season? Or should I try and just "correct" the current issues by scrubbing with the salt/oil method, and then build up new seasoning on top?

        I've been pouring through the CI discussions here, and have lots of information about how to season new pans, and how to fix old pans that are in bad shape. But mine seems somewhere in the middle - not in bad shape, but not perfect, either. It seems a shame to remove whatever years of season are built up on it, but if it's going to mean the pan doesn't perform as well as it should, maybe it's worth it?

        3 Replies
        1. re: Ditdah

          Ditkah, I would deffinately get all the old buit up seasoning and start over from scratch with new seasoning. You just might find out you have a diamond in the ruff.
          Years ago, that was the norm to periodically burn off the old seasoning and start over again. Over time the seasoning would get uneven and, well, for lack of a better term. Crudded up in places. LOL So they would burn it all off, scrub it down and start again.
          So get busy and let us know how it turns out.

          1. re: Ditdah

            I would certainly get rid of any "crud" on the inside of the pan, but not worry about the outside. It shouldn't be necessary to strip the pan of seasoning, in my opinion. Just get it clean and crud-free, and go from there. I am from the school of thought that holds that one should not fret too much about seasoning a cast iron pan. Keep it clean to avoid crud buildup, and use it, and will become well-seasoned with time. The initial and remedial seasonong steps arw important, but they will not get the pan into well-seasoned condition in a short time.

            Here is my test for a "well-seasoned" cast iron pan. Wash it quickly with hot water and a few drops of detergent, then rinse with hot water. If the cooking surface is still semi-glossy and drops of water bead on it, it is seasoned. If a little detergent now and then damages the seasoning, it is not "well-seasoned."

            1. re: GH1618

              >I would certainly get rid of any "crud" on the inside of the pan, but not worry about the outside.<

              Call me obsessive, but the only 'crud" I want on my pans are the ones that I put there. For in an old pan, that I don't know the history, I don't know what that crud might consist of. Old cast iron pans could have been used for more than just cooking. They could have slopped hogs, fed chickens or the dog. Could have been stored in the barn, where it was used to hold a chicken or birds nest. Stacked up and forgotten in a shed where it became home to some other vermin, if it were a dutch oven, could have spent time as a chamber pot.

              Nope. For me, I am burnin' off the crud, scrubbin' it down and startn' over new. :o/

          2. I have a glass topped stove. I put my cold CI on the burner and set it on Medium, unless I am doing a saute that required Med High. I wait until my pan is hot ( a drop of water balls on the heated surface) and then I add the protein, or the French toast or whatever. I don't necessarily do this to saute onion though.

            For a steak, don't you go from cooktop to oven, and not vice versa?

            I don't wash my pan unless I have to. I scrub it with a paper towel and tongs, and kosher salt. Others do this with cornmeal. If I need to wash it, I try to rinse only. If I have to use dish detergent, I use the minimum. If the pan needs a little more oil, you will know this. Just be sure to wipe it down thoroughly.

            Hope this helps. I have received much help along these lines from CI users on this board.

            1. I have a glass cooktop as well. I wasn't very happy when I found traces of brown on the bottom of my griddle one day. The seasoning gets removed gradually during hot water scrubbing I assume. I then scrubbed the rust away, brushed some oil on it, and baked it in the oven, repeated a few times - enough thickness to withstand another few months?

              Thanks for your thread which reminded me to go check on the pan again this morning. Yep... UGH.

              2 Replies
              1. re: cutipie721

                Just make sure you dry it by heating on a burner, not hand-drying. That helps ensure all the water moisture is gone.

                1. re: ahack

                  I don't heat it on the burner, but I leave it outside on a dry towel overnight before I store it away. The water I use to scrub the pan is so hot that I can see whatever remains vaporizes after I wipe dry it. I guess that's still not enough :-(

                  Well, then I don't understand why the interior doesn't rust at all?

                  In either case, I'll try heating it on a burner to see if it helps. Thanks!

              2. Its perfectly fine to use a CI skillet on a galss/ceramic stove. I've done it regularly for 15 years.

                The manufacturers warranty the glass for a period of years so they tell you not to use heavy or rough cookware on it.

                But the work fine.

                Why would you preheat a skillet in the oven?

                1. I would not re-oil the outside of the pan, and would add oil only sparingly to the inside of the pan after cleaning. I put the pan over heat for a short time after cleaning, to ensure that it is completely dry, and now that my pan is well-seasoned, I never add more oil.

                  1. Cast iron works really well with glass top stoves. As long as you can safely move it from the oven to the stove top there isn't a problem. Silicone pot holders or mitts aren't recommended with cast iron. They get slippery like a greased pig and you don't want to drop it on the glass top or anywhere for that matter. Lodge makes handle mitts that work great. Check restaurant supply houses for better prices than online.

                    If the outside looks like it is getting gray then usually it's easier just to season the whole pan. You can do a quick touch up if you don't have the time but it may leave some residue on the glass top that you will have to remove.

                    The problem with cast iron that has been tucked away for years and no one remembers using it is that it may have been used for something besides cooking. Other pans it's easier to tell with but cast iron hides a lot of history. Wash it, strip it and season.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: SanityRemoved

                      Cast iron works really well with glass top stoves.

                      Thanks Sanity, this is good for me to know. I may be getting a new stove before long. Trying to decide if I want gas or electric (I have never cooked with gas and I imagine myself burning everything) and now glass might be a consideration too.