Cast iron seasoning fail

3
10
Joined Jun 16, 2016
Hi everyone,

I just had a bit of a seasoning problem. I received a brand new, untreated, Japanese cast iron pan which I set out to season, by pouring a little canola oil inside, distributing it evenly and then putting it in the oven for about an hour. However, when I took it out, the oil was everywhere but on a patch a couple of inches wide. Here is the pan after wiping the oil:


The weirdest thing is that this spot is now completely oleophobic. It is not possible to coat it with oil unless I pour a good quarter-inch in the pan. Here is what it looks like with a little oil on it:


The oil forms droplets instead of spreading out. So now I'm a little freaked out and don't know what to do next. Should I just keep seasoning by putting enough oil so that it covers that spot too? Should I strip it and start again?

Thanks for any help!
 
982
212
Joined Jun 23, 2015
Welcome to cheftalk.  Why did you buy a Japanese cast iron pan?  Lodge cast iron is made in Tennessee except for enameled cookware, (China).  Now I will try to help.  Try using a solid like Crisco.  Wipe it on the pan then put the pan in the oven upside down and heat at a low temperature.  Make sure to put something under it to catch the drippings.  Lodge is available at many chains including Walmart.  Good luck with your pan.
 

phatch

Moderator
Staff member
9,383
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Joined Mar 29, 2002
Before everything else, did you SCRUB it clean? It might be a remnant of the cast release agent or some of the storage protectant.

Scrub it down and start over. See what you get.
 
4,462
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Joined Aug 4, 2000
Once cleaned, my cast iron utensils are rubbed with lard, placed in the oven upside down so the inner surface "drains", and baked at 400-450F for at least three hours.
 
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Joined Jun 11, 2012
I like to scrub mine down with a mixture of salt and oil.
The salt serves as abrasive to helps scrub and clean and also helps pull any unwanted water/ moisture from the pan. A bit messy but it works for me. Hope this helps, good luck!
 
3
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Joined Jun 16, 2016
Hi all,

Thanks for your responses!

First, @Jimyra, for one thing Lodge isn't distributed in Europe, and for the other one this is a sukiyaki pan, which has a slightly different shape which makes it more practical to cook on a busy table and not in a kitchen.

@phatch  what technique do you use to scrub it? is it the same salt and oil technique that @markherm13  uses? I started by rubbing it thoroughly with steel wool. 
 
4,462
105
Joined Aug 4, 2000
I like to scrub mine down with a mixture of salt and oil.
The salt serves as abrasive to helps scrub and clean and also helps pull any unwanted water/ moisture from the pan. A bit messy but it works for me. Hope this helps, good luck!
Your method is also how I clean my carbon steel wok.
 
3
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Joined Jun 16, 2016
@Jimyra  I cleaned it with steel wool, then salt and oil, in a very aggressive fashion ; the weird spot was still visible but oil would still remain on it. After a first round of seasoning, this particular patch has become a little oleophobic again but less than the last time. I plan on trying to apply several more layers of seasoning ; if this patch remains as it is I'll strip the seasoning completely with lye and start again.. 
 
3,993
832
Joined Dec 18, 2010
My suggestion is that you just start cooking. Cook some bacon and make a BLT or two for lunch.  Don't make seasoning a science experiement... these little things will work themselves out over time as the seasoning really gets good.
 
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Joined Mar 9, 2012
I've been cooking with cast iron for 50 years.   Just put some oil in it and heat it up.     Scrub it with something, but use no soap and repeat.    If you use soap, you have to start over if you scrub it real hard.     Not a big deal.   I think some people overthing the cast iron seasoning thing.   I like to scrub mine with steel wool and hot water to clean them.    I never use soap on them. 
 
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