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Carbon Steel Seasoning stripped by meats

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I've recently bought and seasoned a deBuyer 11" Carbon Steel Mineral B pan. I boiled potato peels and then seasoned it with the Sherylcanter method. Everything has been going well, but whenever I cook anything high in protein like steak or hamburger- the seasoning strips in certain areas. I've attached a picture and you can see the area where the hamburger touched stripped a lot of the seasoning. The pan looks a lot brighter than it actually is because of the lighting.

Will it eventually stop as I use the pan more?

Sort of a side note here: Why did the top rim of the interior and the whole exterior season so differently from the cooking area? The exterior and top rim of the interior have a deep bronze colour, and the bottom of my pan has turned a dark charcoal colour. The cooking area has remained silverish since I first seasoned it.

Thanks for the help.

 
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  1. A little bit of stripping is normal. Excessive is not. Of course, then the question becomes where to draw that line. Well, there isn't a real clear line. If the stripping starts to affect the cooking performance, then you will need to do a quick stovetop seasoning which is like 3-5 min.

    <Will it eventually stop as I use the pan more?>

    It should get better and less often, but I won't say "stop"

    <Why did the top rim of the interior and the whole exterior season so differently from the cooking area?>

    This is fine. Obviously the cooking surface undergoes a very different experience than the side. The cooking surface is hotter and foods are constantly in and out. Metal utensils are also there....etc.

    <The exterior and top rim of the interior have a deep bronze colour>

    Normal.

    1. Hi, randomnation:

      There are three things going on in your pan. First, "seasoning" and the rim ring involve polymerization. The fats you used to season the pan polymerized onto the steel, and even *more* polymerized from cooking fat and spatter. Thin runnels of spattered and dripped fat tend to polymerize more quickly than does a thick layer of cooking fat.

      Second, you probably have some carbonization going on under your meats. Localized spots of seasoning are weakened with hardening and burning and will pull off.

      Third, you are undoubtedly getting some mechanical abrasion in the bottom from utensils, cleaning and the food itself.

      The combination of less polymerization inside the pan bottom, carbonization and release is what's giving you the brighter bottom relative to the spatter ring and exterior drips and charcoal exterior bottom.

      You will drive yourself crazy if you try to maintain a consistent, grunge-free appearance. This is a big reason why CS pans have never been very popular with home cooks--they necessarily look differentially grungy.

      My advice is to just keep cooking as long as the "business side" of the pan is doing what you want. If too much flake is ending up in your food, strip and reseason.

      Aloha,
      Kaleo

      1. Thanks, guys. The cooking performance hasn't been affected at all. The stripping actually comes during cleaning when I'm removing all the burnt carbon that comes with cooking meat. Areas that were previously stripped have darkened and haven't stripped again.

        <This is fine. Obviously the cooking surface undergoes a very different experience than the side. The cooking surface is hotter and foods are constantly in and out. Metal utensils are also there....etc.>

        The contrast has been there even before I started cooking with it. The contrast seems to begin at the water level that I boiled the potato peels at.

        It's alright though, as long as it keeps nonstick properties.

        1 Reply
        1. re: randomnation

          With carbon steel I've found that the seasoning comes off more readily if the pan is still hot, than if it has cooled somewhat before cleaning. With cast iron I usually clean while the pan is still hot.

        2. I've not had this happen in my CS pans. But I also have not had any luck with the "Canter" method. I now just prefer heating the pan up very hot, like deBuyer recommends, pouring a bit of oil in, then wiping it out again. This has proven more effective and durable for my CS and CI cookware than the Canter method.