Carbon Steel Skillet - Seasoning gone wrong
Hi! I am a little new to the boards here. I purchased a large carbon steel skillet recently and seasoned it similarly to how I seasoned my cast iron skillets. Somehow it went wrong. Instead of being seasoned it has a dark brown and sticky goo all over it. I've tried heating it longer in the oven (the seasoning method I used), but it doesn't work. When I tried to cook on it, even with a lot of oil, the brown goo started coming off and my food stuck.
I know i need to get all this goo off and start again, but I can't seem to wash it off. I've tried dish detergent and baking soda (seperately). It barely got any off.
Does anyone know of the best way to get the carbon steel pan back to 'like new' so I can try to season again? Is it safe to use a brillo pad on it?
I spent quite a bit on this pan, so I don't want to ruin it. Thanks!!!
<Somehow it went wrong. Instead of being seasoned it has a dark brown and sticky goo all over it.>
May be too much oil.
<I know i need to get all this goo off and start again, but I can't seem to wash it off. I've tried dish detergent and baking soda (seperately). It barely got any off.>
I would use a scrapper first to remove most of the sticky goo. For the rest, use the baking soda method.
<Does anyone know of the best way to get the carbon steel pan back to 'like new' so I can try to season again?>
Not sure it is the best, but it is simple. Just put the pan in your oven, and run thorugh the self cleaning mode. It should then burn off all the seasoning and goo.
<Is it safe to use a brillo pad on it?>
Did you you vegetable or canola oil. On my first carbon steel seasoning attempt, I used canola oil and followed the stovetop instructions from de buyer, and I got the same result you did. I scoured it away with coarse salt and oil. Since then, whenever I apply grease to the pan (not for cooking but to build up a little more seasoning or to protect the pan) I have used bacon grease, and I have had no further issues.
From a more holistic perspective, I have decided that 'instant; seasoning is not something I am after. Sure, I 'season' (i.e. I bake or cook a little layer of oil into) any new CI or CS pan, but after that I am content to let it build slowly with use. It has worked much better than any instant approach I've tried. And animal based greases seem to work better than plant based greases for me for some reason. Every veggie oil I've tried (no I've not tried them all has resulted is some form of goop buildup.
Carbon steel pans often have a coating of clear lacquer applied at the factory to prevent rusting during transport and storage. If you don't remove this coating, attempting to season the pan will result in a gooey mess. It's easy to get back to square one, though. I'd suggest you scrub all the gunk off with steel wool (Brillo pads) under hot running water until you get down to shiny metal (which may immediately turn slightly champagne color due to oxidation). After that, you shouldn't have any problems seasoning your pan in the oven or on the stovetop.