First time using CI. Questions and advice please.

Discussion in 'General Dutch Oven Information' started by scsim13, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. For xmas i got a 3 piece Universal brand cast iron pan set and a lodge DO. After reading through some of the forums, I added several layers of seasoning to the pans using avocado oil and olive oil, using the stove top method. The two smaller pans have great seasoning and non-stick now, but my larger piece is not taking the seasoning. It looks spotty and as if it is holding food on it. Do I need to strip and start over? What oil should I use for my seasoning? I watched the video with the stove top and flax seasoning. I have applied one coat to my dutch oven using Avocado oil, and want to make sure that I get my technique down before I season it further, as this is my most important piece. What oils should I be using? Will the pans get better as I use them? What should I do about the larger pan that looks blotchy? How should I continue with my DO? Thanks in advance. I've received lots of helpful advice/ideas on my WSM forums and have no doubt everyone will come through here as well.
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  4. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I like to put CI in the oven with Canola oil, but if Dave and Case like the method that they posted, I would go with that.
  5. Thanks gents! My oven doesn't have a self cleaning option. What would be the best way to strip my seasoning? With the single coat of Avocado oil on my DO should I strip this as well and add flax, or would it be ok to add flax on top of my Abocado oil coat?
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You will need to strip it.

    Do you have a propane BBQ? Weed burner? Anything you can get really hot? Wa the DO pre seasoned or bare metal when you applied the avacado oil?

    Why did you choose avacado oil?
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  7. First you need to accept that you may be about to acquire another addiction; i.e. in addition to Q smoking. With that warning I offer the following advice based on my having bought over 50 pieces of CI some of which are 80+ years old. My adult children now how sets of skillets to the point they dread Christmas as they know they will get another skillet. 

    The old stuff like what your grandmother had that was as smooth as glass was partly due to her having cooked on it for years but mostly due to the sand casting. That was how they were made before the modern machine casting that is as rough as a cobb--literally. 

    For good advice on seasoning go to castironcollector dot com and find the cleaning page. If your piece is not rusty and you want to remove the heavy burned on gunk then read about a lye bath. Lye will take off all the gunk and then you have to season it. The advice above about using Flax Oil is good advice. Go to the web site as well as other sites he references with a lot of advice. As usual there are as many opinions about CI as there are about smoking and curing meat. You will quickly figure out who is for real and who is passing on advice without having been there.

    If you want to buy the old pieces that are as smooth as glass and like you wish your ancestors had left you then go to Ebay and search on cast iron cookware. Look at Erie and their predecessor Griswold (great pieces and hence higher priced), as well as Wagner, and Wapak. The three-notch Lodge pieces are far better than the machine made stuff you can but now. There are others in that vintage that you will find if you get hooked.

    Like smoking you need to read the science of seasoning cast iron. It is not baked on grease or oil. They are only the sealer for the "black rust" that forms after you give it a good start, never use soap to wash off the seal and know that every time you use it that black rust layer deepens and creates that pan your friends would die for--and your grandmother had.

    PM me and I will gladly send you links to other sites where you can really get into the science of cast iron cleaning and seasoning.

    But, you have been warned, you are could get hooked. 
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2016
  8. All pieces were brand new and "pre" seasoned. I used avocado oil because it's what I had on hand and I knew it had a high smoke temp. Just got a little excited and wanted to start using my CI I guess. Thanks
  9. Sent PM Sundown
  10. drewed

    drewed Meat Mopper

    I'd stay away from the flax seed.  From the 'webs:

    "Flaxseed oil is fine for display pieces but a poor choice for seasoning cooking pans. 

    The main reason it is a poor choice for cooking pans is that it forms a non-durable coating that is brittle and which chips and flakes easily. If you plan on re-selling your seasoned pan, season with anything else because people who love CI don't buy flaxseed-seasoned pans 

    Degree of unsaturation discussions always seem to neglect discussion of long term durability. As a chemist, I understand the principle behind why people believe it is a good coating... high unsaturation = more crosslinking... but that is only part of the seasoning story. High unsaturation also leads to a polymer that is more brittle and with less carbonized material in the interstices. Carbon is important to both non stick properties and durability of the seasoning layer. 

    Also Flaxseed oil is the food-grade version of linseed oil, once commonly used in house paints and part of a finish that I use on my blacksmith projects.
  11. And so begins the forever and ever debate about what to use and not use to season cast iron. I avoided that debate at the Cast Iron Forums and will only respond by asking that you consider Sheryl Canter's research and recommendations at her web site in the article titled  A science based technique for seasoning cast iron. I am avoiding posting a link but you will not have a problem finding her. Like smoking it is all about temperature and if the fat (oil) is being managed safely. And, safety is a personal decision and many ways keep us alive. Once you clean and season your first old slick skillet you will be as happy as when that pork butt pulled apart and the blade bone slide out. 
  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well, I guess you found the one person that has a problem with Edible Flaxseed Oil for conditioning Cast Iron pans....   Unfortunately, you didn't do a thorough search...   Probably just to "try" and prove your point....  

    Personally I've been using it for several years...  It does not chip and flake if the pan is properly cleaned prior to the applications of the oil... 

    Proper cleaning is a must, just like house painting....  Flax oil won't stick to a poorly seasoned pan like paint won't stick to a poorly prepared surface for painting.....   

    Also, you did not site the article where that information came from.....

    Drewed, do you really think the members on this forum, would mislead other members on a subject as important as taking care of heirloom cast iron ware that could have been handed down for generations ???   I don't think so....

    Personally, I believe stuff on this forum way before I believe "opinions" on the web....   There are Waaaaaaay too many folks on here that spend their days substantiating stuff that members put in print, so other members get the truth and not some pile of fertilizer.....
  13. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yep that's an excellent article.

    I don't care what the CI forums say about not purchasing pans that have been coated in Flaxseed oil. All of mine are, guess I'll never have to worry about some CI snob wanting them! My Flax seed finished have never cracked or chipped.

    Now for the comment from Drewed on Flaxseed oil and linseed oil. Yes they are from the same plant, Linum usitatissimu. Food grade flaxseed oil is in its purest form. Linseed oil is a refined product and has additives added to it. The refinement process makes it not safe for human consumption. I would suggest you do some reading starting with the reports from USDA regarding the usage of flaxseed oil for human consumption.

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