Issues seasoning De Buyer Mineral B
I'm having issues getting a good seasoning to coat to my DB Mineral B. I've have so far attempted twice to season the pan with food grade flax seed oil in the oven with multiple sessions at 500F. Doing so on the first round (of maybe 8 sessions) caused my 10 year old Kitchenaid Superba gas range to finally toast parts of the circuit board or connectors, forcing me to get a new GE Monogram all gas range. That round of season just didn't work out. I might have put the first couple of coats on a micro meter too thick. So I removed the seasoning with oven cleaner and stainless steel wool. And popped it back in the new Monogram with attention to detail on the flax seed oil coating for 6 sessions. And then I did a couple of extra on the burner top.
The issue is this. I'll heat the pan up nice and hot and then add some olive oil and cook up something like eggs. And it sticks. Moderately. Then I'll clean it up using a sponge or even coarse salt, and the seasoning layer starts to erode off pretty much right away. After all the effort and attention I've put in to this, I'm about ready to bail on the DB pans and try something else.
I had the same experience and eventually gave up on (and gave away) the de Buyer. The surface is just too smooth to hold seasoning. Consider dumping it and getting a lodge steel skillet. It's also stamped steel, but somehow they've made the surface very similar to that of a cast iron skillet. It's easy to season and holds the seasoning every bit as well as cast iron. It's a tad thinner than the de Buyer, I think, but I have plenty of cast iron pans when I need them.
This is a bit disappointing to hear Zeldog. I read a lot of positive posts on chow regarding DB mineral pans. I don't think I read one post regarding seasoning issues. If this is true, I would expect to there to be historical accounts posted on chowhounds.
I did get my two DB pans at Williams Sonoma on sale thankfully. But bailing on them, even giving them away, isn't all that easy. I might as well drop them off at a recycle bin.
And I've read that current Lodge pans aren't that great either. Not very smooth (to your point, that could be a good thing).
I was really just looking for a good alternative too teflon for cooking up eggs in the morning. I don't like my stainless cookware for that. And teflon doesn't appeal. An iron pan seemed to be the best choice. And a french made one sounded... to good to be true I guess.
I'm going to email debuyer and ask for advice, but I don't expect to hear back. I have already emailed them once before purchasing and did not get a reply. I don't think their English customer service is very good. And I'll see if I can get a return from Williams Sonoma.
I am busy these days, so I will keep it short.
What I will add is that I have Lodge cast iron, misc cast iron, DeBuyer carbon steel, Chinese hand hammered steel, misc carbon steel cookware....etc. They can all take on the seasoning layers, and they all work.
Based on my experience, the smoother surface cookware like carbon steel are easier to season, whereas the rougher surface of cast iron take longer to achieve. I can usually acquire a fairly nonstick surface on my carbon steel cookware in the same day of my first seasoning process, whereas it can take me up to a week or a month for the cast iron cookware to become fully nonstick. However, my cast iron cookware do hold on the seasoning layer more tightly -- once they are properly seasoned.
Long story short, they all work, but they are slightly different.
b.mac said: "And popped it back in the new Monogram with attention to detail on the flax seed oil coating for 6 sessions. And then I did a couple of extra on the burner top."
You should do the first and all coats on the stove top. The oven doesn't get hot enough. I think your base coat is weak because you did it in the oven. So the oil didn't completely polymerize. That's why it flaked off.
1) Warm up the pan on the stove top
2) Apply a thin and even coat of flax seed oil
3) Turn the burner to med high or high
4) Wait until you're at the smoke point
5) Take the pan off the burner let it completely cool
I would repeat this at least 6 times. And don't rush any steps. The quality of the seasoning depends on your technique.
Don't sweat the seasoning. Just season it once as per DB's instructions: heat pan, pour some oil in, pour it out after it starts smoking, or heat pan, put oil on paper towel, wipe paper towel all over pan, immediately wipe dry with a clean towel, repeat a few times, then just start using it without worrying about seasoning anymore.
I have a 2 DB pans, one which I did the first method on, that is only slightly sticky with eggs (because I cook everything in it, so it will be stickier than a dedicated egg pan) and the other one which I did the potato peel method in (boil potato peels in the pan for 15 mins) followed by the tissue paper seasoning method, I use this pan solely for eggs (with about 1/2 tsp butter) and there is zero stick.
DO NOT bail on them, they are great pans! I use them alongside my Lodge CI and at one point considered dumping the Lodge!
Just remember to use enough oil at the beginning when you cook things, and get the pan hot enough.
You're not the first poster here to have a Canter seasoning fail so spectacularly. But in my admittedly limited experience, sometimes new-ish seasoning just fails. In addition to losing almost all the seasoning on my heavy crepe pan, I also lost half of it in my Lodge 10" round griddle pan. In the end, after sweating over how to restore it, I really did just throw caution to the wind and cook on it. For a while it had a ridge of incomplete seasoning, but that's smoothed out now, too.
I treated it rather like a stainless pan, using plenty of oil. When I was done cooking, I poured off the leftover oil, wiped it out really well, until it looked dry, set it back on the still-warm hob and let it cool. It looks a bit weird, black on one side, still a little gray on the other, but it's coming along and it works well.
I hate to suggest this, after all the work you've done, but I think you should ditch your seasoning method. I got my first pan about this time last year, and obsessed over the seasoning. For hours. Really, I was wasting my time. It's not rocket science, and there's no one way to do it. That said...
With your range, there's no reason you can't season the pan on the hob. I did it with 2 crepe pans on a smoothtop electric with a recirculating microwave/vent combo unit. The smoke alarms did not go off.
I used the DeBuyer method, but there are others. What you want to do is get the pan hot, oil the pan, get the oil smoking hot, then wipe all the oil out. Let the pan cool, then do it all again. Exactly how you do it doesn't seem to be very important, nor does the initial amount of oil, since you're wiping it out anyway. You can do it more times if you want to, but there's really no need.
I found that I needed to sort of baby my Carbone pan when the seasoning was young, which meant using a bit of extra fat, not cooking things that were likely to stick, nothing sugary, etc... It's my heavy-duty pan. My other pan is only used for eggs and grilled sandwiches, always with butter over low or med heat, so it naturally gets TLC and has been pretty slick since day 1. So maybe fry some chicken, make your own tortilla chips or french fries, stuff like that.
BTW - I screwed up with cold, wet food and stripped the seasoning on my Carbone, thought it (or I) was beyond hope, then took a breath and decided to relax and just cook in it. We're all fine now. :)
I've written about seasoning several times before, as have many others. One problem is that there is no consensus. My recommendations are: first clean the pan well (I use washing soda), then season with Crisco shortening. Five hundred °F is too hot — 300 to 350 will do. The basic method is: preheat the pan in the oven to dry thoroughly, add a dollop of Crisco; when melted, wipe all around the inside of the pan and bake for 20 minutes or so; wipe thoroughly with paper towels to leave only the thinnest residue; bake awhile longer; remove from oven, wipe with paper towels and cool down. Repeat the next day or two. Finally, don't expect to cook an egg with nonstick properties as if it were Teflon. It isn't, but it should get better with time. Just use it for a few years and wash only with hot water, usually. It takes time. I don't cook eggs on steel, but if you must, use plenty of butter.
The main things I don't get when people have trouble with seasoning are:
What's with the flaxseed oil?
Why clean it with salt?
I agree there is more than one way to season a pan, but your response is really rubbing me the wrong way.
You are plainly annoyed that there are people with questions about seasoning their pans. Why?
Well seasoned pans are why we buy cast/iron, and if I was running into trouble seasoning I would ask for help too.
You admittedly don't cook eggs on yours, then suggest using "plenty of butter"... and then you ask why use flaxseed oil and clean with salt?
L O L
Pans seasoned well enough to cook eggs exist and are worth striving for, even if you are unaware.
Flaxseed oil has a high smoke point and doesn't turn rancid. It is also very thin and easy to apply in an even layer. It is great for seasoning pans.
People us salt to clean because it is abrasive enough for scrubbing, and bacteria doesn't grow on it. Using salt allows you to clean your pans without exposing to water, which can be damaging to seasoning especially when it is young.
So I hope that answers your questions.
No, you're not correct.
Flax seed oil has a very low smoke point, about 225 F. That low smoke point is the reason for using it for seasoning pans.
And it will turn rancid if not refrigerated. Here's what the University of Maryland Medical Center has to say.
Salt is highly abrasive and can indeed be used (intentionally or unintentionally) to remove the seasoning finish from a pan.
As for "thinner," I didn't find a reference on viscosity of kitchen oils, but my flax seed oil doesn't appear to be substantially "thinner" than other cooking oils. A thin layer is easily achieved with any of them by simple wiping.
There's a lot of good advice here. I think the point is that seasoning and using the pans works.
My advice...ignore all of the detail here. Use the pans. Cook with them. Don't use soap. Use the pans.
After a while, you will realize....hey, this works.