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Jul 1, 2012 06:44 PM

Seasoning my new cast iron skillet, it's getting lines on the rim from the oven rack?

Exactly what the title says, I'm not sure if that should be happening because I'm totally new to cast iron. I just ran it through the oven for the first seasoning and it came out with some lines on the rim and handles. The rest of it was a beautiful shiny black, the lines were kinda grayish and vaguely orange. I'm running it through once more the same way but is that supposed to happen? Almost everything I read on chowhound told me to season it upside down in the oven.

If more info on it is needed, it's a 12 inch Lodge cast iron skillet. After some research, I sprayed it with oven cleaner and stuck it in a garbage bag overnight to remove the preseasoning. I then washed it very thoroughly and dried it in the oven at 200 degrees. I pulled it out, dropped a small of Crisco on it and rubbed it all over and into the skillet with a paper towel. I made sure not to leave excess. I then stuck it in the oven and let it heat up to 550 degrees and left it in there for about 2 hours. I turned it off and left it for about an hour. I then gently lifted it and pulled it out and found the lines.

So what should I do here? Maybe after this seasoning run, should I season only the inside and the rim and let it sit upright through the oven? I'm scared stiff that I'm going to mess it up xD

Oh, also note that I googled all over and checked around chowhound as thoroughly as I could manage without going brain dead,

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  1. <the lines were kinda grayish and vaguely orange.>

    That read like rust. How does it feel when you rub your finger on it. Does the color orange comes off?

    <Almost everything I read on chowhound told me to season it upside down in the oven.>

    That is correct. Although it is possible to season the cookware, upside up.

    <I'm scared stiff that I'm going to mess it up>

    The good thing is that it is fairly difficult to mess up too badly with a cast iron cookware.

    Do you happen to able to post/attach some photos?

    Regardless, it really does not sound all that bad from your description.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      As of the past few weeks, I can concur with CK as to the impossibility of screwing up the pan... If at first you don't succeed, try and try again.

      The good news is if I ever need to do it again - it'll be a LOT easier.

    2. Don't worry, it is ok. Mine do the same thing some times. If I have my pan right side up, I occsionally get 'grill marks' on the bottom. If there is anything loose around the lines, just rub it off with your finger or maybe a plastic scrubby. Then grease it back up and put it back in the oven for another seasoning. This time do it with the pan right side up.
      The grill marks seem to either be caused by too much grease on the pan or, in my case, I think it is leftover grease on my oven racks where I have been seasoning cast iron. Either way, it doesn't hurt anything and with time and use it goes away.
      Most of the time I season my pans right side up, unless I am concentrating on the bottom outside of my pans, then I might turn it bottom up.

      Anyway, your pan is fine and all will eventually turn black with use and/or repeated seasoning layers.

      2 Replies
      1. re: dixiegal

        "The grill marks seem to either be caused by too much grease on the pan"

        Yes, I think that was the issue. I think I left just a little too much in the pan, I didn't have this problem on the 2nd run. I remember on one of the spots, it looks like some oil had dripped around the oven rack slightly, leaving 2 pieces of seasoning sticking up about 1/8th of an inch with the grill mark separating them. I smoothed that out before the 2nd time.The seasoning on the edges isn't perfectly smooth now but it seems solid on there. Not sure if I should strip it again and try once more or just go with it.

        I did use it for steak twice now and they turned out great! :)

        1. re: addykins

          I would just go with it. Especially since your steaks did well in it. It will all smooth out over time, as your seasoning layers continue to build.

      2. To paraphrase Chemicalkinetics... cast iron cookware is pretty much indestructable. Have a growing collection that started with 3 totally CRUDDY skillets... Lodge, Griswold, etc. It took several applications of oven cleaner to get the unknown "season" off. I reseasoned the way my Grandmother always did... with bacon grease!?!

        My advice for getting the most out of CI is USE IT, USE IT, USE IT! try to store it where you will be reminded to USE IT! Bought a 2 burner Lodge grill/griddle at a yard sale. It was NOT cruddyand I bought it for a song cuz I wanted it. Admit it doesn't get used as often as it should... kinda lives in my oven. After a while in there (while other things were baking/roasting, I noticed some rust... steam/vapors from stuff, I figured. I just cleaned it up and relubed with BG. If your piece should start to get a little rust, scrub out with lots of HOT water and cheap-o salt... no need for soap... in fact avoid soap.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kseiverd

          >no need for soap... in fact avoid soap.<

          It is perfectly fine to clean your CI with soap if you want to. I want folks to know that, because some people avoid cooking with CI because they think they cannot wash it properly.

          I wash mine with soap and water whenever I feel the need too. (which is most of the time) I just don't soak it in soap and water, just a quick scrub and wash with warm to hot water and dishwashing liquid, and the pan is clean as can be.

          If I have something stuck on, I will put water in the pan and simmer it on the stove.( usually with a top on it to steam the inside of the pan.) That loosens food particles and you can then wash it right off. Either with warm water and a scrubby, or maybe a little soap if you want.

        2. Oh and a warning. 550 degrees for 2 hours may burn off your seasoning. That is really hot for that long.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dixiegal

            It may be ok. I don't know if I have tried 550 oF, but I have definitely used 500~525 oF for 2 hours. I think the burn off rate is still very slow compare to the oven cleaning temperature of ~900 oF. In addition, there would be oil on the pan, so the oil will be first cured/seasoned onto the pan before being burned off.

          2. Cast iron is very forgiving. You can redo the process. I season mine with losts of olive oil and salt. I rub the mixture around the pan and wipe the excess off with paper towel and into the oven at 200 for about 4 hours. No need to put it upside down! Also over time if you keep the soap off the pan it will season on its own.Scrub it clean with salt and oil and lemon juice. You can redo the oven process if it starts sticking again. I think your lines will go away over time.