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Jul 27, 2014 12:34 PM

Re-seasoning my cast iron - HELP!

Okay, it seems pretty simply. Clearly, I'm missing something here. Over the last 5 years, I've attempted to re-season my cast iron skillets 3 times. Each time I run into the same problem: My skillets are now sticky beyond belief! The directions on the Lodge website are simple and straight forward.

I scrub the skillets clean - dry them completely - put an even coat of Crisco on them - place the pans in a 350 degree oven for one hour - turn the oven off - let them cool completely before taking them out.

~ What am I missing here?
~ What's he best way to remove the "stickiness"?
~ How do I prevent this from happening in the future?

Thanks a bunch!

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  1. I would use Ghee instead of Crisco. Just wipe the excess off (very, very carefully) with a lot of folded over paper towels. As far as cleaning after use, I may get harangued on this one, but I use a soft nylon brush on top of chain-mail to get the crusty bits off (if any) and then soft scrubbing with hot water and fruit & veggie wash (very mild soap). I've never had to re-season since.

    1 Reply
    1. re: David11238

      Thanks. I'll give the ghee a try. I just so happen to have some homemade ghee in the fridge!

    2. Too much fat not enough time. You want many thin layers and a shiny smooth surface instead of those beads of... whatever that stuff is. Wipe the pan with a thin layer of oil and bake for at least three hours, you can pull the pan out a couple times and re-oil lightly.

      To keep the finish, clean with water only, return the pan to heat, and apply a thin layer of oil almost every time you use the pan. You're kinda buffing the oil on. Then just turn the heat off and let the pan cool on the heat source. If you do this it'll eliminate all the things that people complain about with cast iron including residual odors and sticking.

      Works for carbon steel also and after you wash it it doesn't hurt if it's still a little oily and some of that oil gets wiped from the inside to the bottom and handle.

      1. I think that crisco is a miss, to be honest. Something is stabilizing that stuff and I doubt it is the best way to get a nice patina on your pans.

        If you are not a vegetarian, and your religion doesn't forbid eating pork, I would start making your bacon in your pan. Early on, you will need extra fat in the pan to prevent any sticking. Another great way to get your pans pores conditioned is friend chicken. Three times with each of these, and you will see a huge change in your patina.

        I have never had that sticky problem since I started using the pans to season instead of following all the "rules" out there.

        edited to add: why is this thread in Food Media now?

        2 Replies
        1. re: smtucker

          I haven't posted here in quite some time...the reason I accidentally posted in the wrong place. Still, some very good suggestions : )

          1. re: ILuvGrub

            Friend chicken.... that is rather funny in a perverse way. Obviously, I did mean fried chicken.

        2. Don't be upset if this post gets moved to "cookware"... it probably will. I use BACON GREASE to lube up my cast iron. If I cook something that leaves NOTHING in pan, I "clean" it with a few paper towels. If anything does stick, I put a little water in skillet when still hot, let it sit a bit, and take a metal spatula to it... NOT screamin hot skillet. Then scrub out with cheap table salt and a rinse with HOT water. Back on stove top till HOT and a dab of bacon grease... rub over interior and exterior and skillet is ready for next time.

          1. I think this is a good blog post. The methods agree with what some have posted:


            I would rank ghee, refined coconut oil, and beef tallow before lard. You want to use a heat-stable, saturated fat.

            2 Replies
            1. re: johnseberg

              In hindsight, I don't know what I'm talking about regarding the use of a saturated fat for this application. It seems like the desired effect involves some sort of polymer formation. I don't know what would work best. I'm pretty sure I've used some cheap crap in the past, and got decent enough results.