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Thread: Lodge Cast Iron Skillet - about ready to give it up!

  1. #31
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    Erik, that is really strange. I've got 8 different cast iron fry pans, a griddle and a Dutch oven, all seasoned with the flaxseed oil method. While I might not cook eggs on cast iron frequently, practically everything else does, and nothing sticks.

    Another vote for contacting Lodge customer service. You've gone well above anything that I'd try.

  2. #32
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    Maybe I missed something but I keep reading medium-low heat and my understanding is that a HOT skillet prevents meat from sticking.

  3. #33
    TVWBB Wizard Timothy F. Lewis's Avatar
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    Me too Phil, when the protein has developed sufficient maillard effect, meats should release pretty easily, too cool and the reaction doesn't occur quickly and things stick.
    At least that's my understanding.
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  4. #34
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    Before the meat has browned sufficiently it's going to stick in most any pan. I don't think it depends on the temperature other than hotter temps cook faster. With something like sausage, if it sticks, just leave it alone for a while longer. It should break free when it's brown. You can end up with a real mess if you're too insistent about turning it before it's ready. Same with chicken and beef. If it's sticking and doesn't appear to be approaching the point of charcoal, let it go a while longer and it should release.

    Also, the cooking shows I watch all almost always put the oil in the cold pan and let them heat together. Most of the time you're looking for shimmering on the surface of the oil or light wisps of smoke to let you know the oil is sufficiently hot. There are some exceptions in specific recipes, but I'd guess 99% of the time waiting for shimmering oil is the right approach.

  5. #35
    TVWBB Wizard Rusty James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy F. Lewis View Post
    Me too Phil, when the protein has developed sufficient maillard effect, meats should release pretty easily, too cool and the reaction doesn't occur quickly and things stick.
    At least that's my understanding.
    Scrambled eggs used to stick to our pans (cooked on a 4 setting - which is equivalent to medium-low on our electric range) until we started using avocado oil. So far, it's the best oil we've used to prevent sticking, although, we've never tried flaxseed oil yet.
    Last edited by Rusty James; 08-18-2017 at 10:55 AM.
    18.5", 18.5", 14.5", & Royal Oak Lump / Briquettes

  6. #36
    TVWBB 1-Star Olympian Rich Dahl's Avatar
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    I've been following this thread since I posted on it 8/6 and I like others I am at a loss as to why you're still having problems. I certainty think you gone way beyond what should have been a cure for the problem. I agree with the others give Lodge a call and see what they might suggest.
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  7. #37
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    The pan isn't the problem. As noted above, sticking is often the result of the particular food or the technique. Sugar in bacon contributes to sticking. Starting it in a cold pan seems to alleviate that. Another consideration is the fact that CI stores heat so well. A pan heated to medium high and left there will continue to get hotter, not maintain at medium high; backing it off to medium or a little lower as the cook progresses will help in that regard.

    Flaxseed oil isn't the answer. It isn't suitable for heated cooking, and just IMO, there's no reason to use an oil/fat you wouldn't cook with to season CI. It's not very well-regarded in the CI collecting community. It looks good, but has a poor track record for durability. YMMV.

    Scrubbing lightly (or a little firmly) with a plastic scrubber or soft nylon brush, even with a little dish soap will not remove seasoning. Seasoning is a matrix of polymerized oil and carbon residue which needs something far stronger chemically, like lye, to dissolve it. You can scrape it off, yes, but you can't wash it off. Best practice in cooking with a newer pan is to use a little more oil until the seasoning layer becomes more established. Use plastic or wood utensils to minimize scraping off what you're trying to build until it becomes well-established. Also, as noted above, don't have too high of expectations; don't expect Teflon. Food is just going to stick a little from time to time, even when you think you have the process down. A half inch of water simmered a minute or two (or even hot tap water) will soften stuck-on residue enough to let it be gently scrubbed off with a plastic scrubber, and with no harm to previously polymerized layers. Drying well and heating over a low burner for a minute (just to evaporate all residual moisture; iron doesn't have pores to open and close) then rubbing with a small amount of oil restores a cosmetic sheen and, if a semi-drying oil like canola, can also actually contribute to the seasoning layer.
    Last edited by Doug D; 08-18-2017 at 10:19 AM.
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  8. #38
    TVWBB Wizard Rusty James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug D View Post
    ...Another consideration is the fact that CI stores heat so well. A pan heated to medium high and left there will continue to get hotter, not maintain at medium high; backing it off to medium or a little lower as the cook progresses will help in that regard.
    I can vouch for that. I set my electric burner on 4 (medium low), and the pan will continue to heat up - to the point of smoking.
    Covering the bottom of the pan with tap water will quickly bring the temp under control, or you can add a little water before heating the pan up. I wouldn't add water on high setting, though, for fear of cracking the pan.

    One negative side effect of this is pan will lose some of its non-stick properties, but adding oil before the cook will alleviate that.


    EDIT: Someone mentioned earlier that Lodge pans are not as smooth as they once were. I picked one up at Walmart, and it had a rougher finish than the one's in my house. Could be a moot point though.
    Last edited by Rusty James; 08-18-2017 at 11:12 AM.
    18.5", 18.5", 14.5", & Royal Oak Lump / Briquettes

  9. #39
    TVWBB Wizard Rusty James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty James View Post
    EDIT: Someone mentioned earlier that Lodge pans are not as smooth as they once were. I picked one up at Walmart, and it had a rougher finish than the one's in my house. Could be a moot point though.

    Just got off the phone with Lodge, and they said the rougher surface texture is due to a change in the way their molten metal is poured. In the older days, it was all done by hand, and it caused imperfections that had to manually smoothed out.

    Now-a-days, pouring molten metal is done by machine, and it eliminated the need for removing imperfections. I was also told that pans with rougher textures will season quicker than smoother pans, and the seasoning procedure itself is a "years long" process. And it is entirely possible to render a cast iron pan unseasonable if one tries to "polish" the finish themselves with a power tool. At least that is what I was told.
    Last edited by Rusty James; 08-18-2017 at 11:57 AM.
    18.5", 18.5", 14.5", & Royal Oak Lump / Briquettes

  10. #40
    TVWBB Emerald Member Len Dennis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty James View Post
    I was also told that pans with rougher textures will season quicker than smoother pans, and the seasoning procedure itself is a "years long" process. And it is entirely possible to render a cast iron pan unseasonable if one tries to "polish" the finish themselves with a power tool. At least that is what I was told.
    OK. You've received a ton of opinions from a lot of people as to what works for them.

    As we all know: opinions are like XXX XXXX's: everyone's got one. Take the four pages here and proceed based on what you feel is right.
    So many recipes, so little time
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