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Thread: Seasoning pans and foods that kill seasoning

  1. #1

    Seasoning pans and foods that kill seasoning

    I was using my DeBuyer pan today and it fried eggs so well and so easily that I figured I'd just use it to cook the rest of what I was cooking. I put some spinach in the pan and noticed later that the pan was looking really splotchy. I took the spinach out and rubbed a spoon around a bit and realized that the spinach had eaten the crap out of the seasoning. The seasoning was soft and easily came off. Have you guys had this happen? What is the deal?
    In case it helps, I seasoned it using the flax oil method that was posted on the earlier carbon pan thread (see here: http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/20...ing-cast-iron/)

  2. #2
    I'm not sure what you mean by the seasoning was "soft"? It shouldn't be flaking or gumming up. If you put, say, lemon butter and tomatoes in a cast iron pan, it will come out looking kinda stripped, like someone had been scrubbing it too long. Typically it's acids or foods that react strongly with iron.

    I've never had a problem with spinach though.

  3. #3
    It was literally soft. That's the best way I could describe it. It didn't flake really (i.e. it didn't look like katsuoboshi). It just kinda came off in a paste, which was really surprising to me. And there were little black specks like pepper all over the spinach.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by heirkb View Post
    I was using my DeBuyer pan today and it fried eggs so well and so easily that I figured I'd just use it to cook the rest of what I was cooking. I put some spinach in the pan and noticed later that the pan was looking really splotchy. I took the spinach out and rubbed a spoon around a bit and realized that the spinach had eaten the crap out of the seasoning. The seasoning was soft and easily came off. Have you guys had this happen? What is the deal?
    In case it helps, I seasoned it using the flax oil method that was posted on the earlier carbon pan thread (see here: http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/20...ing-cast-iron/)
    This happens to me every time I try to force seasoning or patina, it never seems to completly stay on the way everyone said it does. I have even tried the high smoke temp oil. I have since scoured my Debuyer and let it develope a natural seasoning over time (not too much time because I use it often) The natural seasoning is much stronger than anything done in the period of a night.

    I would start over and don't rush it.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by kalaeb View Post
    The natural seasoning is much stronger than anything done in the period of a night.

    I would start over and don't rush it.
    Agreed. I've seen a friend try to rush seasoning a wok by using it a few times. It didn't work.

    I recommend also not cooking a large amount of watery items, whether it's vegetables, sauce, etc., immediately after you initially season the pan. That's what my friend did and the seasoning came off immediately.

    While I don't own a DeBuyer carbon steel pan, I have a carbon steel wok and a cast iron pan that I've re-seasoned a few times (not accidentally; I purposely cleaned and re-seasoned the pan because the seasoning became so thick that the pan's seasoning no longer made the pan level). Do some high temperature searing or pan frying a few times, and then heat your pan to high heat after you've washed it. This worked well for both my wok and cast iron pan.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  6. #6
    I thought that food would stick to the unseasoned pan and if it did, wouldn't that require some scrubbing to get the gunked on food off? Also, do you avoid soap if you're developing the seasoning naturally?

  7. #7

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    Yes, unfortunately it requires scrubbing to get the gunk off. It can be a pain, but well worth it. Don't scrub the pan until it is silver again, just until the black stuff is off. It should leave a quark colored steel beneath it. Just make sure to oil the pan before and after each use, and you should be fine. I cooked crepes right after I scoured mine and there were no issues. I actually found it to be more non-stick once I removed the black faux seasoning than with it.

    If I ever get off work I will take some pics of mine.

  8. #8
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    i keep meaning to buy a DeBuyer skillet. i own a bunch of vintage cast iron Lodge that i keep well seasoned. is the DeBuyer stuff similar in terms of what needs to be done to it?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdipisReks View Post
    i keep meaning to buy a DeBuyer skillet. i own a bunch of vintage cast iron Lodge that i keep well seasoned. is the DeBuyer stuff similar in terms of what needs to be done to it?
    Yup, treat a De Buyer the way you would cast iron. I have all sorts of cast iron from modern Lodge to 100 year old Griswold and none of them perform as well as my De Buyer. Within 2 cooks I could fry and egg and it would slide around the pan like it was in a teflon skillet. I love my De Buyer pans!

  10. #10
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    sweet, gonna have to get me one, then!

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