Discussion in 'EXPAT Knives®' started by Expat, Sep 8, 2016.
I haven't forgotten about this thread. I have a pan soaking in lye right now. I'll do a complete how-to when it's ready.
I got this one cast iron skillet. All I use it for is steak. I'd like to get a big pan, but they are hard to find and people ask high prices for them.
I miss the old cast iron thread....
I have a 55 liter Rubbermaid tub with 5lbs of pure lye (sodium hydroxide) and water. I've run so much cast iron thru, the bottom of the tub has an inch of black sludge .
I don't bother scooping it. I just let the pans soak to the point where a simple rinse in hot soapy water removes any buildup off the pans, pots, etc. Then I rinse in a pot of boiling water, dry on oven and reseason.
I haven't forgotten this thread either. I've been thinking of a project that starts with a new cast iron skillet. Details to follow soon.
Missed this thread.
Few pics here:
Keep the pics coming.
Still waiting on my PM EXPAT CastIron muffin tin.
I told you. Lodge said I have to commit to 1,000 pieces. How many can I put you down for?
I guess I'll just have to make corn cakes on the cleaver.
I'd buy one, maybe two. This doesn't sound like it's going to happen.
i have notice that every pan that i use, even the rough pebble finish Lodge, to cook hash browns and diced potatoes, get much slicker , much faster than any other pan i have, including my glass smooth ones....
the starch i think is acting a filler in the microscopic ridges and valleys of the metal, and it carbonises quite quickly along with the beeswax and lard.....
I had a thorough restoration thread on the old forum. I figured I'd do a new one here. I have a new Lodge pan that I bought last summer on vacation. (I'm on permanent vacation, actually, but I bought this one last year). It was building up a nice seasoning to it but then I cooked some beef merlot.
For those of you that don't know, any vinegar or wine or other acidic dish can eat through the seasoning, no matter how great it is. My seasoning was solid on this thing with nothing sticking but as you can see, it ate through it on the side:
It's perfectly fine to keep using it like it is. Eventually, that bare metal will get its own seasoning and it'll be fine. But, I figured what the heck, it gives me a good opportunity to do a how-to. It was also very rough so I wanted to smooth it out.
Into the lye solution in the tupperware tote:
It stayed in here a week. Not because it needed to--a couple of days will be enough but I went out of town to go eat some Hot Chicken.
Out of the tote:
Do not use your bare hands to touch lye. It will burn you. Get it in your eye and you're blind.
You can see the seasoning-turned-sludge on the bottom of the pan. This will just rinse off:
The cool bottom and some more sludge:
All cleaned up with soap and hot water (you can see the rough texture):
Bottom after it's cleaned. Notice the flash rust forming. This is common but it just flash, surface rust. It literally wipes off. It occurs when the pan is so hot, the bare metal starts to evaporate the water before it can be wiped off. As it evaporates, it rusts quickly.
Palm sander time:
After about 5 minutes with the 80, 2 minutes with the 120 and 2 minutes with the 220:
Some people will warn you against making the steel so think that it will crack under heat if you sand it too much. That's a valid concern but new Lodge is very thick and all I'm trying to do is knock down the high parts of the rough surface, not get it all completely polished. You can't really tell but this is very, very smooth. The crannies will be filled in with seasoning within a few months of daily use and the surface will be perfect.
I think the steel looks cool. Like the unpolished part of a handmade knife.
Cleaned and washed thoroughly. Ready for seasoning:
@RedEyedHog 's special fat. I use it for my seasoning.
Third and final coat:
Do you coat the inside and outside with the fat when you are seasoning it? Also, since you are recreating this thread, please post the oven temp and time for seasoning.
Yes, inside and out. Although once the outside has a couple of coats on, I quit doing the outside. It's just for keeping it from rusting.
Each coat was at 450 degrees for 60 minutes.
I came across an old cast iron skillet recently, marked Eagle Stove Rome, Georgia on the bottom. I thought that was neat since I live close to Rome and spend a good deal of time there.
Turns out Eagle Stove Works was one of several iron stove manufacturers in the city at one point.
Researching it also took me to castironcollector.com, which seems like a site a lot of you would enjoy.
The aforementioned pan back in action:
@Expat -- you stole my topic for sanding out a new cast iron pan and seasoning it. Not a lot of people will be troubled to look for or take the time to run down antique cast iron. But those same people would maybe like to try some cast iron cooking. So I thought it would be good topic to just buy new and demonstrate the sanding/seasoning process. Good post.
I will add few comments from my experience. Time and temperature are not overly consequential but you want enough heat for a long enough time that the seasoning product (in your case lard) has time to break down and penetrate the porous cast surface. Crisco vegetable shortening can work and olive oil or butter will do in a pinch. Food oils will also help season a new skillet. Try grilling mushrooms, onions, and peppers in a skillet. Between a little bit of olive oil and the natural oils it will do a nice coating as well.
When finished cooking with cast iron skillets, I will wipe the food particulate out with a paper towel and then use the greasy paper towel to wipe the outer surface of the skillet, including the handle and bottom. I used to notice some slight surface rust on my handles. They tend to stay clean of food oils and can be prone to some surface rust. Wiping them is all it takes to keep them seasoned as well.
When seasoning do you guys let cool and wipe the skillet out before doing the next coat?