How to reseason cast iron??

Discussion in 'General Dutch Oven Information' started by rowdyrawhide, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. rowdyrawhide

    rowdyrawhide Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    I just found a dutch oven at a garage sale last week and it was in fairly rough shape, and am in the process of seasoning it for the first time, thanks to some old threads here.  

    The only other cast iron I have is a LODGE skillet I purchased several years ago.  It said it was preseasoned, so I just started cooking with it at the time, (probably my first mistake) mainly I have used it to deep fry fish, french fries, onion rings, etc. I remember when I purchased it the manufacturer label was glued to the bottom, and when it peeled off the parts where the glue was looked different than the rest and it was also dusty.  The glue was similar to what magazines use on some inserts, you peel it off and kind forms a booger.

    My question is the bottom of the pan is not nice and solid black, it looks more like a teflon pan that has scratches all over the bottom (kind of flaking??).   I am thinking it needs to be reseasoned, so what would be the best way revive this or does it need it.

    Thanks for the help.

  2. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  3. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Aaron, are you asking about the bottom of the pan that sits on the fire, or the interior bottom of the pan?

    If it's the bottom that sits on the fire, don't worry about it.  Just wipe it down with veg. oil while it's still hot (usually after you've put it on the burner to heat up the pan and evaporate any water left in the pores of the iron. 

    If it's on the interior, you can burn off the existing seasoning and start over again.  The best way I've found to burn off the seasoning is to place the D.O. upside down on a charcoal or a propane grill over a hot fire and close the top and let the heat do it's magic. You might have to use a brass brush and knock off any carbon that's was left behind (remnants of cooked on foods). Allow the cast iron to cool down a bit and then give the cast iron a good coating of vegetable oil or vegetable shortening. Place the cast iron back on the grill-again bottom side up- and close the cover. If you are using a propane grill try and keep the temps between 400-450° F. Let the oil bake into the cast iron 1 1/2 to 2 hours. It will take several seasoning sessions to obtain that glossy black no-stick surface, Your first session will leave your cast iron with a green/gray color on it-subsequent seasonings will get it to the black you're looking for.

    Some may tell you to oil up the affected area in place in to a 400° oven for an hour or so-the problem that I've encountered is if the over all seasoning is of a poor quality, the existing seasoning may burn off and then you'll be starting over at square #1.
  4. rowdyrawhide

    rowdyrawhide Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Thanks for the quick replies guys, it looks very similar to fpnmf's pan, a little more in the middle but definitely the about the same.  If that is ok then I'll just leave it alone for now.

    Yeah dutch, it is the inside of the pan, should have clarified that.  

    As to answer the question for sure if it comes up again.  To reseason, there is no need to throw it in the camp fire or in the oven on self clean, just let it sit upside down on the grill for an hour or so, scrape of the carbon and oil and then out back on the heat for an hour or two.  Am I correct here.

    Thanks guys

  5. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well, if you're in camp and have a hot fire going, you could put it in the fire. If you do the grill method, close the cover of the grill to retain the heat.  Don't let your cast iron go cold before reseasoning-if it happens, your cast iron will quickly develope some surface rust. 

    The reason I suggested the grill or oven method is because most of the folks that attend my D.O. cooking classes use their black pots at home. It's the high heat that will burn off the seasoning. If you don't want to go the high heat route and depending on how well seasoned your iron is, you can place the cast iron in a larger container and then fill the container and the pot with tomato juice-the acid in the tomato juice will eat away the seasoning.  It will take a while but it will work.
  6. Rowdy that bumpy stuff you see in the picture is something i take off all my Cast iron when i get some at the garage sales etc.

    I have even pickup a Dutch oven that was so bad i had to have it sand blasted.

    I would take a wire brush and paint scraper to that pan as i want my pans to be smooth on the inside. Then if you go to Lodge they have great instructions for re-seasoning.

    While cooking out doors i carry a spray bottle of water and Vinegar to spray down and wipe off when i am done cooking. Don't leave in in the pan to set as it is acidic.

    My pans surprise people on how non stick they are. Pam spray is a great friend for the cast iron. i do not cure with Pam but i do use in on the cured pan when cooking.

  7. A word of caution regarding using a wood fire. I did one years ago on the side of a bon fire. this was a large skillit. It now is a oblong skillit that still cooks great but sure does look funny. And forget getting a lid on it.


    I dont think anything beats cast iron. I am picky though and go with usa builds only.

  8. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

  9. I was re reading some of my replys and i need to clarify my ans regarding that bumpy stuff.

    If it is inside the pan i take it off.  I actually use a paint scraper to do it. My favorite scrub for the cast iron is the green scouring pads.

    Happy Cooking

  10. coffee_junkie

    coffee_junkie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    To reseason a cast iron pan I like to fill with lard or veg oil and deep fry something good like chicken or something. I think you can also rub in lard and stick in a 300 degree oven for a while. Whatever you do don't over think it.
  11. beansbaxter

    beansbaxter Newbie

  12. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I looked and stopped reading here   >>>Since lard is traditional but no longer readily available, many people substitute bacon drippings, but this is a bad idea. If it’s conventional bacon, you’re baking in carcinogenic nitrates.  <<<<<

      That is wrong...way wrong.

    She also couldnt explain that "Canadian Oil Low Acid" is what canola is...

    Too much science for an easy project.  Try this!!  

      Have a great day!!


  13. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This is about the best and truest advice you are going to get anywhere. Dutch knows his stuff!

    My two cent is after this, make a few pots of braised beef roasts and chicken over the next month or two. Don't skimp on the butter, flour or potatoes. Definitely stay away from any tomatoes or acid vegetables.

    Once cooled, just rinse your DO under warm-to-hot water and scrape off any bits with your thumbnail or soft sponge. Anything harder and you will scrape off your seasoning. No need for soaps, though a teaspoon of dish detergent in a gallon of water is the most you will ever need. Just wipe and let air dry; recommend against soaps unless you really need them, then you should start over.

    After drying, wipe down with peanut oil and a paper towel (on the inside, of lid and container) and put away. You may need to re-do this at first, before cooking in it again if the seasonng has really worn off or not there at all.

    Once seasoned, they beat a nonstick super-duper-modern pan anyday. Plus you can hand them down to your kids. You got yours from your grandparent's right?.............
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011

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