How to clean cast iron crepe hotplate?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by soontobemrsp, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. soontobemrsp

    soontobemrsp

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    I will try to post a photo. The seasoning is peeling in the centre and extra thick on the outside edges, how do I remove the seasoning and start again?

    And how do I prevent this happening again?

    Thanks.
    Claire.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2010
  2. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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     I am not experience with crepe pans but I would think they are similar if not the same to cast iron pans in general. I would simply clean it as normal. For this I will heat the pan slightly (opens the pours of the metal) (be careful you should still be able to handle it safely). Clean off the pan with a clean scouring brush (NO SOAP) and warm water. I dry the pan on the stove. Then re-season it.To do this I simply heat the pan slightly and then coat the pan with Crisco (lard). I wipe out any excess.

    Here is a good website with similar info:

    http://www.kitchenemporium.com/info/castiron.html
     
  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    That's an odd color for cast iron. Looks more like rust.  It it a coating of some sort? 

    If it's straight cast iron and not enameled or coated with something, the easiest thing is to just put it in a self-cleaning oven on a self cleaning cycle.

    If it's rust, then that's more work. For that much rust, I'd have it bead blasted, then re-season it immediately.
     
  4. soontobemrsp

    soontobemrsp

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    Which colour are you referring to? The majority is black which is the seasoning I did last May when we bought it. The reddy brown bits in the middle is where some of the seasoning has come away, it's probably rusted in those parts. My camera is not the best and the sun is shining on the hotplate. What should cast iron look like when you buy it brand new? I am starting to worry if it was rusted when we bought it.

    So, to remove the existing seasoning, we should use a hard wire brush and hot water? I imagine this will take a few hours? Not a problem, just want to be sure I am doing it right.

    Thanks so much for the help.
    Claire xx
     
  5. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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     Don't use a hard wire brush. If it is indeed rust which it looks like it might be then you will have to take Phatch's advice.

    Phatch, I personally think the clean cycle is way too harsh to do what your talking about. My neighbor is an appliance repair man and he told me he never recommends people use the clean cycle on their ovens because it is too harsh and it actually reduces the life of the oven.

    You might consider contacting the manufacturer and asking what they recommend.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  6. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Cast iron is normally dark gray. When you season it properly, it turns dark black and slick. The default instructions from lodge will often give you a yellow brown color because you haven't fully converted the oil. It plasticized instead.

    It's possible your pan has only that level of seasoning as crepes aren't cooked at all that hot of temperature. And that would explain the color. Burning off the patina is the easiest method and gives good results. For most people, that means the oven on the cleaning cycle. As to Nicko's comments, I've no opinion really. A grill with a lid on high will do the job as will an open fire or charcoal fire as well. If you have a good exterior venting hood, you could probably do that pan right on the stove burner, but it will smoke a lot.

    At this point a good scrubbing with scotchbrite or steel wool to remove any rust. Or if it's lots of rust, the bead blast job will do it better.

    Similarly, you can season the pan on the stove, grill, or oven. My preferred cast iron seasoning technique is the oven at 500 for an hour then let it cool in the oven. Oil the pan evenly or rub with shortening.  Put a sheet of foil on the lower rack to catch any dripping oil.  Tilt the pan on the upper rack and the wall of the oven or some other part so oil can drip off and not pool as it seasons.  This produces smoke so pick a day you can have the windows open. And maybe turn off your smoke alarm.
     
  7. soontobemrsp

    soontobemrsp

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    I am soooooo grateful for all the advice. I don't have a self-clean oven. The hotplate is gas fired so could I set it up outside and just leave it burning for a couple of hours? Would that remove just the old seasoning or the rust also? They (it has 2 hotplates) were dark grey when we purchased them, and we seasoned them within 2 weeks of getting them, can they rust UNDER the seasoning? If no, then only the small parts showing through where the seasoning has chipped off could be rusted.

    We bought from a general equipment supplier (we live on an island and the supplier is very well known and we heard many good reviews) who orders from the actual manufacturers and transports them here from Athens. If I want to contact anyone, would it be the supplier or the manufacturer? 

    Sorry I sound like such a dunce. This is our first business and our second season coming up. I also don't know what bead blasting is lol but I will google it now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  8. m.d.hughes

    m.d.hughes

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    That's an odd looking crepe grill, it looks to have a lot of carbon build up as they usually look grooved almost similar to a old L.P. (for all you commies ask your Chef what an L.P. is I'm sure they will be happy to tell you) We train all our staff to use a hard wire brush once a day at closing cleaning in the same direction as they spin the crepes, then each morning the grills are seasoned with butter and a paper towel, we never use any water or chemicals on them and they work fine for us, and at last count we have 20 plus grills in multiple locations.
     
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  9. soontobemrsp

    soontobemrsp

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    Here is an update; I bought plenty of sandpaper number 80 and have had 2 goes at it so far, It is now smooth and about one third silver again, just needs another go to get the remainder off.

    M.D.Hughes. I also think it had alot of carbon build up around the edges. Can this be from putting too much oil on in between cooking each crepe? I also have never used any water or chemicals or even washing up liquid on them. At the end of each evening we simply left both plates oiled up. Do you prefer butter to oil?

    xx
     
  10. terrasask

    terrasask

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    Can you post a pic of the brush you use?
    ThAnks
    Having same problem
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
  11. recky

    recky

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    While I'm aware I won't be much help as regards cleaning your hotplate, I have successfully avoided the dreaded carbon build-up on my iron over two years. Here's what I do:

    I never oil the plate between crêpes, only when it has sat unused for more than 15 minutes. I make a classic batter with butter in it, and therefore it's kind of self-lubricating.

    When I do oil it, I use the tiniest amount of veg oil (with a fairly high smoke point) and wipe the plate down with absorbent paper in a circular motion, parallel to the grooves, so that very little oil is actually left on the plate. At the same time, this will clean the plate.

    On the odd occasion, the hotplate will accidentally get too hot and start smoking, which has a beneficial side-effect, as it burns off some of the grease inside the grooves. I let it cool off and oil again as above.

    In this way, I never get any carbon or grease build-up.