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Jan 25, 2013 01:05 PM

Just got carbon steel pan, didn't expect black spots

I just got De Buyer Carbone Plus pan. It looked nice and all shining.

I just thoroughly cleaned it under steaming hot water. Now from nowhere there is a ton of black spots everywhere.

Is this normal? Tried to clean it with a bit abrasive sponge but it is pretty much impossible to get it off.

This is my first time going with carbon steel. I looked at a couple articles on seasoning of carbon steel but there is no mentioning of the black spots.

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  1. <I just thoroughly cleaned it under steaming hot water. Now from nowhere there is a ton of black spots everywhere.>

    Look like oxidation from the water droplets. You can think of them as light rusting.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      A bit tired from work. I re-read the instructions, it says very hot water. I guess steaming hot is a bit overkill. Would prefer if they specified the temperature.

      Is it safe to start the seasoning process? Or should I somehow deal with the spots?

      I've been thinking to follow this

      Thanks for any pointers.

      1. re: avrecko

        The temperature of the water is unimportant. Hotter is better. But when you clean an iron or steel pan with water, you should first wipe it dry with a paper towel, then apply a little heat to the pan to dry it quickly and thoroughly.

        1. re: GH1618

          Got it. The pan was in the car for a long time (it is winter). I had it indoors for about 40 minutes. It was dry but slightly cold.

          Maybe I should have left it alone to warm up to room temperature.

          1. re: avrecko

            The dark spots do not look that bad to me. If they are rust spots, then you should deal with them. Otherwise, any seasoning building on top of rust will be unstable. As of now, it is optional. If you want to remove them, then try to use Bar Keeper Friend's solution or white distilled vinegar. Once they are removed, *quickly* wipe the pan dry and then apply a very light layer of oil. This will prevent oxidation and rusting.

            As for seasoning, there are tons and tons of different methods, they all work, some better than others. I have the pleasure to try most of the seasoning methods. DeBuyer also has its own seasoning video.


            The video you got is very good. I personally prefer the Vollrath method a bit better, but I don't think you *need" flaxseed oil, most oils will work. Good luck.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              After looking them in the sunlight they definitely look brown. Definitely oxidation like you mention in the first reply.

              I'd like to use the vinegar method. All of the articles I found are dealing with super heavy rust. Some say 50:50 ratio water to vinegar. Some say 1/2 cup of vinegar some say 100% vinegar. Nobody mentions what % acidity should the vinegar have.


              1. re: avrecko

                Just use 100% vinegar. The vinegar you buy from supermarkets is about 5% in acetic acid. It isn't that strong.

                  1. re: paulj

                    Sorry. I wrote too fast again. Thanks for the correction.

                    Let's do this again.

                    Most of the white distilled vinegar we buy from supermarket has about 5% acetic acid. This is fairly weak. So what I wanted to suggest to avrecko is to simply use the distilled vinegar as it is without any dilution.

                    In other words, in my mind, 100% vinegar is not 100% acetic acid, but only 5% acetic acid.

                    Now if anyone really want to buy glacial acetic acid (water free), then you will probably have to get it from chemical stores. I am not sure if anyone can get it.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Ok, I'll go with 100% vinegar 0% water. I understood you the first time. ;)

                      For how long should I soak the pan?

                      I only have organic vinegar it has "stuff" floating in it. Should I go with the "regular" stuff?

                      1. re: avrecko

                        You don't need to soak it -- in this case. I would just try to dip some distilled white vinegar onto a paper towel, and then use the paper towel to rub against the spot until they are gone. If you have Bar Keeper's Friend, then you can dissolve some Bar Keeper's Friend in water and then do the same thing. Bar Keeper's Friend is a bit stronger and more effective. The soaking method works better for stainless steel.

                      2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        I think you were clear the first time.

      2. My de Buyer Mineral pan is supposed to turn black over time. I don't suppose a Carbone Plus pan would be much different.

        1. Don't worry about them. This is a tool, not wall hanging.

          1. Like paulj said,I wouldn't worry about it.After it's properly seasoned and well used it will look like this anyway..

            2 Replies
            1. re: petek

              :) Showing off. By the way, what is your dish? I see a lot of onion. Is there beef too?

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Showing off..who me?? :) kinda I guess.
                Only photo I have of my carbon pan,I just happened to be caramelizing some onions that day..

            2. gonna get black before you know it. these will blend in