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BTD Forums  /  Cook Right 4 Your Type  /  My cast iron pans are irritating me.  What gives?
Posted by: JJR, Wednesday, August 31, 2011, 3:56pm
Last couple of days I noticed when I fry an egg, I see little black specks on them afterwards.  It's not just charred egg, it's like little pieced of the pan.  I don't want to eat them like that.  Anyone else have this problem?  Are my pans done for?  What gives?  It seems like a new development.

Posted by: ruthiegirl, Wednesday, August 31, 2011, 3:56pm; Reply: 1
Maybe you need to re-season them?
Posted by: passionprincess, Wednesday, August 31, 2011, 3:57pm; Reply: 2
It seems like you overheated your pan and the finish is peeling off. I had the same thing happen. Just go back and oil and finish your pans again. Once the black flecks start peeling, it will continue. Scrub it off and season it again.

Be sure to run your AC with windows open or do it outdoors. The fumes gave me a headache!
Posted by: passionprincess, Wednesday, August 31, 2011, 4:10pm; Reply: 3
I forgot to add - if your oil layers were too thick when you were seasoning your pan, it will peel off. High temps and thick oil layers are the main culprits.

I tried Sheryl Canter's way of using flaxseed oil. It looked nice when it came out of the oven but I like using olive oil better because olive oil in thin layers do not flake off like flaxseed for me, for some reason.
Posted by: JJR, Thursday, September 1, 2011, 4:07pm; Reply: 4
Thank you for the tips, I'll have to look into this.  Because I love that pan.
Posted by: Debra+, Thursday, September 1, 2011, 5:18pm; Reply: 5
My mom used to clean hers in her self-cleaning oven when she was doing it.  Turn them upside down and voila.  They would come out beautifully.   Just season afterwards.  

Debra :)
Posted by: passionprincess, Thursday, September 1, 2011, 6:45pm; Reply: 6
Your mother is a wise woman! Sheryl Canter, who did a lot of experimentation and research on cast iron pans also suggested using the self-cleaning function (if you have it). Cool thing is, your mother probably did not have to go through all the trial and error like Sheryl did!

I used it to re-season my pan after I had what JJR was describing - black flakes coming off here and there.

Quoted from Debra+
My mom used to clean hers in her self-cleaning oven when she was doing it.  Turn them upside down and voila.  They would come out beautifully.   Just season afterwards.  

Debra :)

Posted by: JJR, Friday, September 2, 2011, 4:15pm; Reply: 7
So stick them in the oven on self cleaning mode up side down?  

And you've had this happen too passion princess?
Posted by: passionprincess, Friday, September 2, 2011, 4:59pm; Reply: 8
Sticking it in the oven for 2-3 hours in self-cleaning mode will strip your pan. I did that so I could season it from scratch. After you strip the pan, then, you need to heat the pan for about 10 minutes at 200 to open up the "pores". Take the pan out, rub a thin layer of olive oil or flaxseed oil and then wipe it off (most of the oil that is needed has already soaked in), then, heat the oven to at least 450 and "bake" for 30 min. to an hour. Repeat the 200 degrees, then oiling, and 400 degrees about 5-6 times (according to Canter). I did it 3-4 times. People next door thought I burnt something and called maintenance! Ugh!

My pan is good so far. :)
Posted by: JJR, Saturday, September 3, 2011, 12:54am; Reply: 9
Ew, I'm not sure I want to sniff all those fumes.  I might have to do it on a day I can stay out and come back.  
Posted by: passionprincess, Saturday, September 3, 2011, 7:40am; Reply: 10
If you have a grill, season your pan outdoors. My dad did that with my mom's set and the whole family loves them.
Posted by: RedLilac, Saturday, September 3, 2011, 3:01pm; Reply: 11
Thanks for the tips
Posted by: JJR, Saturday, September 3, 2011, 4:05pm; Reply: 12
Yeah, I thought of that just before I opened this thread.  Thank you!
Posted by: passionprincess, Sunday, September 4, 2011, 3:59am; Reply: 13
Glad to be of help. :)

I went through hell and back when I messed up my pan. I know how to season and maintain my pan perfectly now. I can't wait to move to a bigger place and get a full set of cast ironware. My other pan is stainless steel and baking dishes are all glass. I would LOVE a cast iron bake set!
Posted by: TJ, Sunday, September 4, 2011, 3:59pm; Reply: 14
I bought a cast iron pan at a thrift store a few weeks ago.  It was rusted up pretty bad, but all surface rust.  I cleaned off the rust with a wire brush attachment on my drill, until it was that nice gray color, then coated it was CO, put in in the oven upside down, and baked it at 300 °F for an hour, and that did the trick.

Just make sure you have scrubbed it down to bare metal*; don't preheat the oven (so the iron can warm gradually); and put the pan on the top rack with a cookie sheet under it on the next rack down to catch the drippings!

*I had to reseason because I didn't clean it fully on the first attempt.
Posted by: JJR, Tuesday, September 6, 2011, 10:35pm; Reply: 15
TJ, just a thought, what material was the brush you were using?  It might be why it's so gray now.  So, for what it's worth, you might have buffed in whatever metal was in that brush.  If it's stainless, no worries.  Otherwise, it would be something I'd keep in mind.
Posted by: TJ, Wednesday, September 7, 2011, 1:40am; Reply: 16
It was steel.  Don't worry, clean cast iron is supposed to be a medium-dark gray.
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