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Aug 18, 2013 05:14 PM

De Buyer Mineral Pan - what am I doing wrong?

On the advice of many chowhounds, I purchased a 9.5" De Buyer mineral pan as a replacement for the skillet my husband was using for his eggs in the morning. He's very unhappy with it, says it sticks. I know this shouldn't be happening. He cooks his eggs low and slow and uses plenty of coconut oil. We then just rinse it out and use a brush to scrape off the stuck pieces and then dry and re-oil. What should I be doing different.

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    1. There are tons of threads about DeBuyer pans, so feel free to look up some of them. As for the sticking problem, it simply means that the pan wasn't seasoned thoroughly or properly.

      It depends on your seasoning skill, you will trouble-shoot at different stage. If you have been using cast iron cookware for a long time, then I would suggest you to use the same seasoning method or possibility using a higher temperature method. If you do not know how to season a cookware, then you should read up the seasoning methods. I would look up stove top seasoning method.

      1. It sounds like you pan isn't seasoned properly. While I don't cook with coconut oil, a room temperature egg with a little olive oil doesn't stick for me.

        23 Replies
        1. re: Sid Post

          I'm realizing I probably messed up the seasoning. I have a 10-month old, so unfortunately I don't have time to read all of the previous threads about this. Any quick suggestions about how remedy the first round of seasoning? Sand it down? Just try the potato peelings all over again? Thanks so much.

          1. re: makinitgreen

            Sheryl Canter, Flaxseed oil.


            There's lots of ways to season a pan, and plenty of debate on which is best.

            This works.

            Try it.

            1. re: makinitgreen

              There are tons of ways to season a pan. Without seeing your pan, we cannot be sure if you need to sand it. However, most likely, you won't have to You or your husband will need to describe the pan a bit more for us to know. There are many ways to season a pan, and there are many more ways to mess it up. Every situations requires a different strategy.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                I finally got a chance to upload a photo. Can you tell from this photo the direction I might need to head in? Thanks so much.

                1. re: makinitgreen

                  It looks grey with a lot of dark green spots. Is that correct? Usually, I tell people to continue to season and use the pan, but your pan could be oxidized/rusted, so I would recommend to remove the spots and start over. They look very minor, so it won't take long to resurface the pan.

                  There are a couple of ways to resurface your pan. You can use a green scour pad or a fine sand paper to resurface the pan. Or you can put it in the oven and have it go through the self-cleaning mode for about 1 hour and wipe clean it. Or you can just heat the pan up on a stovetop (but this is a bit dangerous, so I would recommend against it if you have not done this before).

                  Because it is a relatively new pan with only a few light spots, I would just use a green scour pad. It will be a quick job, I presume. 10 min, I think.


                  After that, do a stovetop seasoning like this:


                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Thank you so much! I wouldn't say the spots are green — more gray/black — but probably your assessment is right on anyways. I'll give it a try and report back. Thanks again!

                  2. re: makinitgreen

                    Your pan looks unseasoned to me. I assume the darker patches are light seasoning or oil that isn't fully cooked in at a high enough heat. Are you "baby'ing" this pan?

                    As mentioned below, get some oil with a high smoke point like peanut oil. Get the pan screaming hot, much hotter than you would cook with. Have a large lid handy to put out the fire and take some paper towels soaked lightly in oil with some tongs and wipe the pan down. Does it smoke immediately? Does any oil pooled at the bottom catch fire? If not, HEAT IT SOME MORE!!!! The oil should turn black or burn in ~15 seconds. If it just catches fire, turn the heat down a little. The paper towels in your tongs should char lightly.

                    I did this with a 24cm Mineral Fry Pan at my mother's house. She thought I ruined the pan. She was wrong :-)

                    After three wipes of the entire pan, inside and out, it was a nice dark black. Make sure your coating of oil is a VERY thin film.

                    1. re: Sid Post

                      That's a little scary sounding & I am not really a timid cook! I have a couple of DB pans that have seasoned up quite nicely without that extreme method. Judging from the photo the OP provided; I think they need to just keep at it (using & oiling the pan)- its all a phase of the process.

                      1. re: bevwinchester

                        Both the high and low temperature methods work. Though the high temperature one works better for me.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          so old, but speaking of high and low temperature methods.. care to shed some light on your high temperature method? Does it fit into any of the ones I've listed here?:

                        2. re: bevwinchester

                          I wouldn't call it scary. I have burned stuff before but, that was the first time I recall something actually catching fire in the kitchen. After a brief tinge of excitement, I just put a lid on the pan and the drama ended.

                  3. re: makinitgreen

                    Reader's Digest abbreviated version for the busy mother, congratulations on the young one!

                    When you find a some free time, wet a paper towel with oil (peanut oil has a very high smoke point and worked well for me on my last De Buyer pan). Wipe the cold pan with a very thin layer of oil. Now heat it up VERY HOT until the oil turns black. This is a very thin coating so, it won't be super dark black. Now that the pan is screaming hot, use a pair of steel tongs and wipe the pan with this oil soaked paper towel. Move quickly because it will catch fire if you are slow. Wipe it down like this 4 or 5 times and it will be 90% of the way to a great start. The rest comes with time and use.

                    Be sure to have a lid that will cover the pan so, if the oil pools in the pan and catches fire or you let the paper towel catch fire, you can put the lid on it and starve the fire's oxygen supply.

                    1. re: Sid Post

                      Okay, so I'm back for some help. I've tried twice now to reseason the pan, and it's getting worse every time. The first time I tried it with bacon grease, and it just didn't season properly, so the eggs were still sticking. I just tried again now with crisco, and it was a disaster. From the De Buyer video I couldn't tell how hot to heat the oil, and I think I overheated it. I also put a cover on it, and now there is a thick, sticky, burnt layer around the top where it splattered. Obviously I'm going to have to do this all over again. But to be honest, I'm really scared of the paper towel/tong method. I have a baby in the house, and I just can't afford to burn myself or have a fire or any other scary thing. What else can I try? How hot should my oil be? On medium? Thanks!

                      1. re: makinitgreen

                        A pan will not be ready for eggs right away, unless it's Teflon.

                        In what way was your attempt with Crisco a "disaster"? Whatever you use, it should be about the same. The only difference when usinf a solid shortening is that you first need to melt the shortening in the preheated pan, then wipe the excess out. After that, whether with shortening or oil, you bake it for awhile, wipe the excess out, then bake some more. Repeat the next day and maybe the day after that. Then just use the pan.

                        1. re: GH1618

                          Well, I was going by the method someone posted via De Buyer's website, which is to heat the oil in the pan on the stove for 5 minutes. It was a disaster because there is a thick, sticky layer of half-cooked oil on the top of the pan - around the edges, about 1" down. Also, my house is filled with smoke and reeks of burnt oil. The bottom of the pan looks fine, but I think I'm going to run into problems if I don't clean off that sticky layer.

                          If I use the bake method, at what temp and for how long?

                          P.S. To get that sticky layer off, can I use an SOS pad? I don't want to do the self-clean oven technique because it's too stinky/smoky with a baby in our little apartment.

                          1. re: makinitgreen

                            You should certainly clean off any sticky layer. That's a result of leaving too much oil in the pan. The oven method works better, in my opinion. About 300 °F is good, you don't want the oil smoking, whatever kind you use. The pan needs to be preheated (after cleaning) to ensure it is thoroughly dry. Then you heat the oil (or melt the shortening) then wipe it around to cover all interior surface, and bake for about 20 minutes. Then wipe out all excess with paper towels and bake for 20 or 30 minutes more. Then wipe again with paper towels. The residue in the pan should only be the thinnest layer that cannot be wiped out.

                            1. re: makinitgreen

                              I agree with GH. A sticky layer is no good. I personally prefer the stovetop method. I have more control and it is faster. Nevertheless, the oven method will also work for you. This is where GH and I disagree, but this only means that various methods work.

                              As for the oven approach, some people prefer "hotter and shorter" method, while others prefer "cooler and longer" method. I like to apply a thin layer of oil, bake at 400 °F for 1 hour, then repeat this procedure for 2-3 times.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                Hot and fast ... Plain and simple, after trying other methods it works best FOR ME.

                                No matter what method you use, if the pan isn't hot enough the oil/grease/whatever won't season like it should. If it's brown and sticky, it was either applied too thick or to a pan that was not hot enough.

                                Remember to start with a really hot pan. With peanut oil, start with a pan a little under 400F if you use the oven method.

                            2. re: GH1618

                              Heehee, I will probably get lobbed at for this- but I am speaking from experience, as I own 3 DB skillets. I don't cook eggs in the damn things, because they stick every time & (this may be weird but....)- I don't really prefer the taste of my scrambled eggs from a CS pan. Just speaking my truth.....

                              1. re: bevwinchester

                                Thanks for this - I like hearing others' experience. What do you use for your eggs?

                                1. re: makinitgreen

                                  Either my cheapo nonstick Nordicware skillet (WM) or my nice Circulon nonsticks. Have to admit I am coveting that Demeyere Proline 11" just a bit.

                            3. re: makinitgreen

                              The way I did it on my small DB pan was to boil the potato skins like it said in the booklet, which discoloured the metal a lot, then dripped some oil onto a paper towel, heated the pan up on medium (this is their thinnest range, so it heats up fast and hot), used my fingers (you can use tongs) to rub the oily paper all over the inside of the pan to apply a very thin coat of oil, waited a few seconds (the oil did smoke, that is fine) then wiped with a dry towel to remove any excess oil. After that my pan was nonstick enough to fry an egg sunny side up. You don't have to worry about the paper or oil catching fire unless you really go crazy with the heat.

                              1. re: Sirrith

                                I seasoned mine similar to how Sirrith did his--which is also the way I season woks. Instead of the potato skins I actually scrubbed the virgin pan with Dawn and then just heated water in it to hopefully boil off anything left of the manufacturer's coating.

                                Then it was just slicking a thin coat of oil onto it. I was able to making scrambled eggs with just a bit of sticking (using butter, my usual oil for eggs) after two coats. To clean, I just scrub gently under water, stick it back on the stove, and then use my fingers and an oiled towel to put some more oil on the pan and heat it up until it's dry again.

                      2. Heavens, don't sand it! The main thing you're doing wrong is being impatient. Good seasoning takes time to develop to a point where eggs will be easy.

                        The potato peel thing is just for initial cleaning. If your pan is sticky, clean it well with washing soda, rinse well, and reseason. I recommend Crisco shortening for seasoning, regardless of what you like to cook with. Do not leave excess oil in the pan after using, or it will get sticky.