spotty seasoning on cast iron...why ?

Discussion in 'The Mess Hall' started by liolo, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. Hi guys,

    Today I re-seasoned my cast iron skillet from scratch.

    I used the 3 times boiling method to clean it prior and It looked pretty good, gray with a metallic shine, after drying.
    This time I seasoned it with bacon grease hoping it would not do like all the previous times when I used canola and olive oil and seasoned with full of little round spots instead of an even layer.

    I had it upside down in the oven for 30 min at 400F (I was cooking something at the same time). I tried to apply the least possible amount of grease , just enough so that it looks shiny everywhere.

    When I took it out a few hours later it was full of those damns spot again.

    I took some photos of it, but unfortunately when I though about asking you guys, I had already greased them another layer with a paper towel and some bacon grease.

    So basicly..Took out the pan out of the oven, rub some more bacon grease with a towel and then took the pictures.
    You can click on them by the way to see it in full resolution.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This one is a very old one I got from my grandma, there is no indication of the brand on it. I have another 30+ years old Le Creuset and it does the exact same thing...
    I Would really like to know what is causing this every single time I season both of my cast iron pan.

    Thanks,
    Julien
     
  2. Alacrity59

    Alacrity59 Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    I would suggest that these pin holes will fill in with use and time. For me 400 is a little low but again time and use will bring it along.
     
  3. The spots are actually the solidified oil. It's like if the oil did not want to stay flat. It packs together to form droplets and that's what stays there.
     
  4. I season my cast iron first on the stove cooking bacon at low heat then in the oven face up at about 450. I use mostly LODGE cast iron. I would just use it at this point to make bacon and sausage and see. You can even put it in the oven with the bacon and cook at 400 for about 20 min
     
  5. I season on the grill with shortening - an even layer hand smeared - about 30 min on med high.
     
  6. Yep, that's the only way I can seem to make the seasoning take. Lots of animal fat & lots of fairly hi temp frying. The baking method of seasoning always gives poor results for me.
     
  7. I can't get a good look to tell what that is. I do know that seasoning never really takes well in one shot, it is more of an accumulation over time.

    Looks like it is time to do some frying. I'd recommend trying to lay hands on some green tomatoes and getting southern with it! Or Maybe some CFS.
     
  8. Looks like a pretty good season. Like others have said, cook on it and it should get better.

    The only thing I would say about your seasoning is I typically do mine for a minimum of an hour at 400. Use melted crisco as the coating. Let it come back to room temperature slowly on it's own. Maybe length of time is affecting it. If it keeps bothering you, take it to a media blasting place and get it blasted and start over. If it still does it, then I'd think it's something you're going to have to live with.

    Personally, I'd just get to cooking on it.
     
  9. franz

    franz Moderator Emeritus

    I am no expert on seasoning cast iron, but when I do season my pans it takes 3-4 times to get a coating that is to my satisfaction.
     
  10. Too much oil or grease in the pan is the problem. It should be applied thinly with a paper towel. Heat. Repeat.
     
  11. I'll concur with others here to just start cooking with it. The initial seasoning is all well and good but no initial seasoning will ever match what you get after a dozen or so meals cooked. If the surface is even then the seasoning will even out as the high points will wear down and the lows fill in.
     
  12. letterk

    letterk Moderator Emeritus

    Yup. Thin thin coats and many of them. I'd also suggest using flax seed oil (thanks for the tip Jim). Rather than type it all out, here's the how-to. I've tried a lot of ways to season and always end up disappointed. This method is amazing.
     
  13. Alacrity59

    Alacrity59 Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    Just for the sake of safety I'll mention the possibility of spontaneous combustion of oil soaked rags and wadded up paper towel. This is especially common with linseed oil (another word for flax seed) but can also happen with cottonseed, or fish oils.
     
  14. I seasoned my lodge pan on my outdoor gas grill and as previously mentioned by franz "it took 3-4 times"
     
  15. I'd have to agree with too much oil. I just use thin coats of vegetable oil in a 450 degree oven. A spend all day on a new pan and probably put at least 6 coats on. I wipe it with oil when I bring it out of the oven, let it cool and reapply before putting in back in. That gets a good start going. I've never had much success with bacon grease or olive oil. It will get a lot better the more you use it. I usually just use a new pan for making cornbread for a while. Something about baking cornbread in it really gets one seasoned well.
     

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