Problem about first time seasoning carbon steel pan

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Joined Apr 3, 2018
I bought a de buyer carbon steel pan today but still haven't season it and I found that there are mainly two methods for seasoning the pan:

1.heat the pan and then coat with oil

2.heat the pan until it gets dark

As far as I know, the darker the pan, the more non-stick it is so second method is actually a faster way to get a non-stick coating, right?
 

dogfood

Banned
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Joined Mar 3, 2018
Heat, grease/oil, ..heat, grease/oil ...& repeat until black,... via stove, oven, or WHY! (expect smog, lots!)
Millions upon millions of Asian woks can't be wrong!
I highly doubt they've ever used "organic flaxseed oil" (or have ever read/followed innerweb BS, ..just because it's on the innerweb)
Do your/more research!

Problem with thinner "pans", is that- when under a hot fire/electric stove is some areas may burn off the seasoning without heating the entire bottom surface evenly.. basically,..the heavier the unit (especially the bottom), the better!
 
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Joined Sep 26, 2017
I find it best baked.

Coat with oil. Wipe all oil off. Bake @500°F for 1 hour. Cool in the oven 1 hour. Cool out of the oven 1 hour. Repeat for a total of 5 cycles.

Your pan will look like those you see in a magazine. Unreal.
 
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I coat mine with a hi temp oil, then using gas stove on low heat I turn the pan upside down over
the burner. When the oil is dry I turn off the heat and cool to room temperature.
Fairly non stick, and rust-free.
 
5,716
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Joined Sep 5, 2008
So your only argument is that it's been done differently by Chinese for thousands of years? Seems like it doesn't leave much room for experimentation, study or research. In any way, to each their own, I'm not sure why you felt the need to be insulting.
 
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Just because something has been done for a long time doesn't mean that it cannot be improved upon.

If everyone sticks to doing everything exactly the way it has been done in the past, there would be no technological advances in the world. We would all still be riding horses around instead of driving cars.
 

phatch

Moderator
Staff member
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My apologies.
I stand corrected.
I've read on the innerweb that our ancestors and the Chinese have faithfully subscribed to Walmart periodicals for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Improve your attitude and manners to continue to be part of the forum.
 
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Bear in mind that the traditional Chinese methods used rendered animal fat, especially lard. The way pigs are raised today, the rendered fat is much less "drying" than it used to be---and less so than flaxseed oil.
 
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Joined Apr 11, 2018
As said, season it like cast iron using the oven method.

Do not use flaxseed oil. Unfortunately that article in one form or another has been floating around for a years. The original one had more detail in how the testing was done but there were a few flaws. The biggest one was the flaxseed was applied using the oven method while the competing "vegetable oil" was applied using the stovetop method. You'll get better results from the oven method regardless of oil so that skewed the results, as did other aspects.

I've been a member of a cast iron collector forum for a couple of years, some extremely experienced people there. The general consensus there is that flaxseed looks great but doesn't last, it'll flake or wear over time. Before I learned that I did a number of pans with flaxseed and had the same experience, looked great but didn't last. People use a variety of oils but the two popular ones are good ol' lard or, if you want something vegetable based, grapeseed oil (which is what I currently use). Then some season below the oil's smoke point, others above. Both work but give different results. Finally, a piece of advice sometimes given is not to season with an oil one wouldn't cook with, and you don't cook with flaxseed.

But still, this manual seasoning method is just the beginning of the process. You really build your seasoning by cooking with it, over time. There really aren't any shortcuts (trust me, I've tried...)
 
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I guess you're just unlucky. My pans are pretty durable using the flaxseed oil.

Yeah, I once said the same thing. And the 11 pieces I did with flaxseed, the exteriors are still ok. But over time the cooking surfaces deteriorated on all but two of them, and those two get little use beyond eggs. While the other 15 pieces I did with grapeseed haven't had that problem.

But I'm just tacking my experience to the general consensus at a forum that specializes in restoring and using vintage cast iron. They taught me a lot. If you're interested, they have an informational "main site" that has this to say about seasoning:

http://www.castironcollector.com/seasoning.php

.
 
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But I'm just tacking my experience to the general consensus at a forum that specializes in restoring and using vintage cast iron. They taught me a lot. If you're interested, they have an informational "main site" that has this to say about seasoning:

http://www.castironcollector.com/seasoning.php

Thank you for adding that link. It's interesting... although by their own admission the results reported could be due to a lack of precision when following directions: "Perhaps those of us who tried it and found it lacking did not follow the given instructions precisely enough."
 
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Joined Apr 11, 2018
Thank you for adding that link. It's interesting... although by their own admission the results reported could be due to a lack of precision when following directions: "Perhaps those of us who tried it and found it lacking did not follow the given instructions precisely enough."

Lol yeah that's Doug, the forum owner. He has a mind-boggling amount of knowledge about vintage cast iron, has had some insane number of items pass through his hands, is virtually unstumpable on the subject. Yet in an explanation like that he'll still add that sort of disclaimer, no matter how unlikely...

But I hope you didn't read that whole page and that was your only takeaway...
 
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Lol yeah that's Doug, the forum owner. He has a mind-boggling amount of knowledge about vintage cast iron, has had some insane number of items pass through his hands, is virtually unstumpable on the subject. Yet in an explanation like that he'll still add that sort of disclaimer, no matter how unlikely...

But I hope you didn't read that whole page and that was your only takeaway...
Interesting site; I was not previously aware of it. Lots of reading and intriguing insights in there. Crisco is the fat I’ve found best for seasoning too. One comment I’d make on his process is that tongs are good for holding the wiping rags to prevent burns.
 
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Joined Sep 5, 2008
Lol yeah that's Doug, the forum owner. He has a mind-boggling amount of knowledge about vintage cast iron, has had some insane number of items pass through his hands, is virtually unstumpable on the subject. Yet in an explanation like that he'll still add that sort of disclaimer, no matter how unlikely...

But I hope you didn't read that whole page and that was your only takeaway...
Oh no! :) In fact I spent some time researching seasoning experiences and advice on their forum, and as with just about any specific advice you look for on the internet... it made my head spin! It's hard to pin down what's going on IMO. Some people report flaking with flaxseed oil, indeed, but some people report flaking with all other oils/shortening as well. I don't see more reports with one specific type of oil/shortening. Some people report great success with flaxseed oil, just like some people report great success with Crisco, Pam, even olive oil (!)... One guy reported trying to season his pan and failing, and giving up and just starting to cook with it and it developed a beautiful black seasoning over time. In fact that seems to be the consensus and what I get from reading the article and the forum: don't worry so much about which type of oil you're using, just cook with the pan on a regular basis to continue building and improving the seasoning.

So... yes, that's my takeaway. Thanks!
 
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