Vollrath carbon steel pan seasoning gone wrong

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by spencer tracy, May 29, 2012.

  1. spencer tracy

    spencer tracy

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    I purchased a Vollrath carbon steel pan and begin the seasoning process as prescribed by Vollrath:

    1 Wash the fry pan in hot water with a small amount of liquid detergent and a
    scrubber (such as a stainless steel sponge or pad). The exterior of the fry pan
    can be scrubbed with the scrubber and an abrasive cleanser. Do not use the
    abrasive cleanser on the inside of the fry pan.
    2 Rinse the fry pan and dry thoroughly.
    3 Place the fry pan on high heat.
    4 Move the fry pan, turning it and tilting it up to the rim and back, until the metal
    turns a bluish-yellow color.
    5 Remove the fry pan from the stove element. Turn the heat down to mediumlow.
    6 Add a thin film of oil (about 1½ teaspoons) over the entire inside surface of the
    fry pan. There are several ways to do this. One is to use a paper towel to rub
    the oil over the surface. You may want to use tongs to hold the paper towels.
    Another way is to use a basting brush for barbecues or any other heat-proof
    brush to brush on the oil.
    7 Heat the fry pan on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.
    8 Wipe off the oil with another paper towel. There will be black residue on the
    towel.
    9 Repeat steps 7 through 9 until no black residue

    After washing it the first time, I noticed the pan was turning a light brown (rust like) after I removed it from the sink. I put it on high heat and heated up the pan. I removed the pan and wiped the inside with 1.5 teaspoons of vegetable oil and put it back on medium low heat for 10 mins. After the first time minutes I went to wipe and there was no black residue. There was a little bit of brown residue. I reapplied the oil and did the process again on low heat.

    My question is how badly did I screw this up and how can I fix it? There is black/brown layer (uneven buildup in some areas) on the bottom with dark brown spots on the sides.

    Here's what the pan looks like:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. chefedb

    chefedb

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    I dont care what they tell you     1. do not use brillo/ steel wool/or stainless steel scrubber.   2. Never heat a pan on the stove to that temp without anything in it

       . I can see by looking at the picture the inside is all scratched up.  Whenever you season do it the way we did it years ago . Wash pan dry pan well  fill pan with about 1/4 inch salt  put on the burner till salt turns a bit grey  put salt in something as you can use for next pan. Rub pan out with oil and then paper towl  DO not wash   Thats it all seasoned  in fact if you cook an egg in it it wont stick. This was the way we made the original non stick, seasoned way before teflon.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    A couple of things I can see from the picture.


    • You didn't heat the pan evenly. Likely, the burner was too small for the size of pan.
    • You had an uneven coating of oil, and too much oil in some places.


    For where it is now, assuming it has an all metal handle, I'd put the pan in the oven upside down on one of the oven racks and run an oven cleaning cycle. This will burn off all the oil. And create some smoke while doing so. So open some windows and run a fan. Tape some plastic over your smoke detector.

    Wipe it out when cool, Rub lightly with a high smoke point oil inside and out.

    Put it back in the oven upside down at 500 for an hour. Let cool. Again, this will create some smoke. See the cleaning instructions above for how to handle this. Repeat as needed until you've developed a patina you like.

    Seasoning it upside down prevents the oil from pooling in the pan and causing those sticky lumps.
     
  4. salparadise

    salparadise

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    Uh, a timely post... the brown truck will be dropping off three De Buyer Carbone pans in a couple of hours. My feeling is that your pan will be ok--- let us know how it goes.
     
  5. salparadise

    salparadise

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    I received 3 Carbone pans a few hours ago. I love'em already. Really heavy duty stuff, non-stick on first use. I boiled potato peelings for 15 min. per instructions, then heated some oil in the pan and wiped it out with paper towel. I let it cool, rinsed with water, heated some olive oil and fried the potatoes. The potatoes slid right out. I wiped with a paper towel, melted some butter and fried two eggs on medium low heat. Completely non-stick, more so even than teflon coated.

    After seasoning per instructions I diced the potatoes I peeled to get the skins and fried them with an onion, first on high and then reduced heat to medium and covered the pan to let them cook through. The lid from my old Calphalon saute fits perfectly. This is the 32cm size pan with helper handle. It's heavy. Maybe too heavy for some folks but I like it.

    [​IMG]

    After frying potatoes I melted some butter and fried two eggs over medium, medium low heat.

    [​IMG]

    Eggs slid right out onto plate with no help at all.

    [​IMG]

    Wiped it clean and added a light coating of oil when finished. May have to do a steak tonight!

    [​IMG]

    This may end up being the best money I've spent on kitchen tools--- probably as good as the $50 for my Wusthof 8" knife.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
    elrookie likes this.
  6. spencer tracy

    spencer tracy

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    Thank you chefedb and phatch for the advice. I think I'm going to toss the pan at this point.

    salparadise, that does look like a nice pan. I might go ahead and buy a De Buyer at some point (and season it the oven way when needed).
     
  7. salparadise

    salparadise

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    Sorry to hear it's not recoverable for you ST.

    I think you'd like the De Buyer. Less than 50 bucks for the 12 1/2" size. Also got the 9 1/2" and 8" sizes. Not sure if I'll ever use the 8" but it put me over the threshold for free shipping for about the same money that I would have paid for shipping, so in that sense it was a freebie. Perhaps it will be good for sauteing garlic and onion to add to a recipe. Realistically, the 12 1/2" seems like it will be the go-to about 99% of the time. There are few instances when a very small pan is actually required.
     
  8. ching chi yeh

    ching chi yeh

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    Hi,

    Please let me know the answers if you are kind enough to share your experiences.

    1. He showed a pan that has 'sticky, stubborn' oil film on it, what can he do to solve it?   I have the sticky oil coating on my stainless pots inside and outside, and I don't know how to rid of it either.   I tried, vinegar/salt, baking soda, steel wool (the finer grade I can find from the hardware store), but some spots just won't come out.

    2. According to your 1/4 inch salt heating method, followed by oil wiping, does that work with the taller wok?   Do I need to fill it to 'higher' line?

    3. If I want to roast peanuts, cashew nuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, etc....  would that work with the same 'salt burying' method as what I see the street vendors with gravels?   I don't even know where those street vendor find the gravels and will the hardware bought garden gravels work?   

    I don't know how to use no oil pan to roast the cashew nuts without burn marks.   I don't know if I just need to use 'low heat' for long time.   I remember seeing people doing that (no oil) frying flour, peanuts, sesames 30 years ago.   They just keep stir the sesames, flour, and they become brown evenly.

    Thanks,
     
  9. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    I see no reason to not use a stainless steel scrubber for removal of solid gunk that has built up on the periphery.  As a matter of fact I do use the SS scrubber followed up by some salt and oil rubbed into the heated pan (EDIT) and wok.  And I get a great, non-stick sheen on both my CS pans and CS wok.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016