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JeffS

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Has anyone re-surfaced their cast iron pans?

I have a large Lodge skillet that I decided to modify for no good reason other then to see if it made a difference. The interior surface had a nice season to it but I decided to sand some of the larger factory textureing down to see if I could make it even better. Still a work in progress but after the first round and re-seasoning it I think I'm liking it better then before.

Has anyone else done this?
 

nikoz

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Yeah, the cast iron skillet we're using now has been resurfaced. When our son was in University, he left the pan outside for the winter so we had to refinish it. That brand had a real good polish when new so the refinish didn't effect the performance any.
 

joec

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I have a couple of real old cast iron that are glass smooth from the start and also have a couple of Lodge pans with the rough finish. To be perfectly honest both types seem to cook the same as long as they are seasoned the same. I use lard to season with but that is simply because it is cheaper than doing up a couple of pounds of bacon based on today's prices.
 

Pensacola Tiger

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I have a couple of real old cast iron that are glass smooth from the start and also have a couple of Lodge pans with the rough finish. To be perfectly honest both types seem to cook the same as long as they are seasoned the same. I use lard to season with but that is simply because it is cheaper than doing up a couple of pounds of bacon based on today's prices.
The latest suggestion I've read is to use flaxseed oil to season your cast iron.
 

spinblue

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You can have my cast iron pans when you pry them my cold, dead hands.
 

crizq0

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I forgot i left my cast iron over the burner and destroyed the seasoning. I ended up sanding it down to the bare metal.

Did any of you guys have any trouble getting it a nice black cast iron pan. How long does it take to get nice and black again?

Its getting better but on the sides of the pan still shows bare metal type of color.
 

Vertigo

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I forgot i left my cast iron over the burner and destroyed the seasoning. I ended up sanding it down to the bare metal.

Did any of you guys have any trouble getting it a nice black cast iron pan. How long does it take to get nice and black again?

Its getting better but on the sides of the pan still shows bare metal type of color.
Are you coating the sides and handle with fat and baking it off in the oven? I rusted mine out once and sanded it down to bare metal, only took a few greasy trips through the oven to get a good season back.
 

crizq0

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Yea, I used shortening to grease it all up. Maybe i'll try some bacon grease to season a bit more times in the oven when I get time.

Other than that, it cooks great. Just want that uniform black cast iron look througout.
 

SpikeC

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Yea, I used shortening to grease it all up. Maybe i'll try some bacon grease to season a bit more times in the oven when I get time.

Other than that, it cooks great. Just want that uniform black cast iron look througout.
It will come to you on it's own good time.........
 

Dave Martell

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I resurfaced an older Lodge pan and it came out fantastically smooth but I made one big mistake in the process....I used a brass wire brush when stripping off the old seasoning. I did this on the advice of an expert online who is referenced all over the internet as having the best way to handle this job. Well the wire brush worked as reported however no one mentioned that the brass bits would (upon heating of the pan later) melt into the pores of the cast iron turning the pan copper red! After flipping out, then crying, and then flipping out again, I did another Google search to right away find a guy saying to NEVER EVER use a brass brush on a cast iron pan or this problem will occur.

Now I have the smoothest slickest dark copper looking cast iron pan you've ever seen. :(
 

nikoz

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I forgot i left my cast iron over the burner and destroyed the seasoning. I ended up sanding it down to the bare metal.

Did any of you guys have any trouble getting it a nice black cast iron pan. How long does it take to get nice and black again?

Its getting better but on the sides of the pan still shows bare metal type of color.
A strange phenomenon is that oil/fat seems to wick up a pans edge & overflows to eventually create a black coating. Speed it up by simply rubbing flaxseed oil on the outer edges before uses. It ain't gonna happen after one use.
 

JeffS

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Only down side of this whole experiment for me is losing the natural seasoning the pan built up over the last 10 years. Not a big deal really as its easy to add a functional season back to the pan in the oven. Good to see I'm not the only one who has done this. :)
 

mhlee

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Only down side of this whole experiment for me is losing the natural seasoning the pan built up over the last 10 years. Not a big deal really as its easy to add a functional season back to the pan in the oven. Good to see I'm not the only one who has done this. :)
I've re-seasoned my Lodge cast iron pan a few times now over the 10+ years I've had it. Over time, the seasoning becomes uneven. I use it several times a week for hight heat searing so the pan quickly accumulates a thick layer of seasoning pretty quickly.

I take off the seasoning when it's uneven - especially when it's raised in the center and the edge of the pan almost has a channel around it. I've filled it with kosher salt and put it on high heat. I've also just thrown it on a super hot grill to burn off the seasoning.

Whatever way you take off the seasoning, I've found that after a few weeks, you can have the pan well seasoned. I've just cooked burgers, bacon, or used an oil, like canola oil, that easily polymerizes to start the seasoning. My pan seems no worse for wear.

But, according to many people, current Lodge cast iron pans have a much more rough surface than older pans, e.g. Wagner, so sanding down the surface may also improve your performance. If you do go forward with sanding it down, I would sure like to hear the results.
 

SpikeC

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Griswold is the real deal. I got my No.9 back in '71 for a dollar at the Goodwill store, as I recall.
 

deker

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I've got some Lodge pans that don't see much use since I'm stuck with a glass top electric cooktop and don't want to scratch it all to hell. Would it hurt anything to grind the ridge off of the bottom of these pans and just make them flat and smooth?

-d
 

EdipisReks

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i use a brass bristled brush on my cast iron (i have a pretty extensive collection that i use all the time) pretty regularly, and i've never had an issue with it.
 

EdipisReks

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I've got some Lodge pans that don't see much use since I'm stuck with a glass top electric cooktop and don't want to scratch it all to hell. Would it hurt anything to grind the ridge off of the bottom of these pans and just make them flat and smooth?

-d
probably not.
 

Citizen Snips

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i used to keep it on the french top stove until it got hot enough. then i add salt and oil and put it in the oven for service. after service i would drain some oil out and use tongs and a towel to remove excess carbonized food. the salt acts as an abrasive. i would repeat this process as needed. sometimes could take a week or so.

i had 5 so i could clean one at a time. the problem was i had 1 day off and someone else would work my station and i would come back to a mess. if it was just me i could keep them clean for months but in one day, someone could jack up the seasoning and hard work.

i believe all of the casties at that job had been resurfaced. i had never used cast irons that needed that much attention so i prefer not to resurface mine. i use it all the time at home and never had a problem with the seasoning.
 

Kyle

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I have a Griswold piece that I got as a gift that I can't seem to re-season. I soaked it in oven cleaner for a day and then used a wire wheel brush and got it pretty clean. Then I used the flaxseed method 5 or 6 times in an oven. I used thin coats as suggested and it never turned black, just a dark gray. I started cooking things in it and it started to turn black and I was able to do eggs pretty easily. However, every time I fry some bacon it seems to stick and just destroy the seasoning, not make it better. I always have to clean it using coarse salt and a brush which ends up removing some seasoning. The flaxsee method worked great on a 12" Lodge that I had.

I think I want to remove all the seasoning again and start over, but the wirebrush method didn't really do the trick. I think I'm going to try sanding. What grit should I start with?
 

SpikeC

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I would be worried the the oven cleaner left some residue in the pores of the iron. Maybe boil soapy water in it for a few hours before re-seasoning.
 

apicius9

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Very cool, I have an old and unused Griswold pan that leads a lonely life hidden away in a closet because it is a bit rusty and I wasn't sure what to do about it. After reading this, I may just get it out and bring it back to life again.

Stefan
 

joec

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Very cool, I have an old and unused Griswold pan that leads a lonely life hidden away in a closet because it is a bit rusty and I wasn't sure what to do about it. After reading this, I may just get it out and bring it back to life again.

Stefan

Are you kidding me Stefan, one of the best pans ever made and due to some rust it sits in the closet. Get that pan out clean it up, in the oven with some lard, oil or what ever your preference and re season it. :D
 
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