Friday, July 25, 2008
Another Seasoning Tip
This funky old Griswold breakfast skillet came my way with some cooked on, nasty looking, eggish residue and some minor surface rust.
I let the pan soak in the electrolysis tank overnight. Was I smart enough to take a couple of before and after shots? HELL NO!
The electrolysis tank did its usual fine job. I then scrubbed the skillet with hot water, soap and a stiff brush and put it into a 200 degree oven to dry.
The skillet at this point was just hot, naked, (words carefully chosen to ensnare search engines) cast iron, looking like it was cast that very morning.
At this point I actually had a good idea. The oven temperature knob was cranked to 550 degrees and the skillet stayed in the oven for a little over 30 minutes. When I removed it I needed to use 2 hot pads and it was still a little hot to handle but I rubbed it down with a paper towel soaked in a good extra virgin olive oil. The oven was turned off and I put the skillet back in with the door cracked to let it cool. I pulled it out after 10 minutes and wiped it down again to make sure the oil did not congeal. After 30 minutes the pan came out and sat on a cooling rack.
Looking at the skillet it is obvious that the super hot iron soaked up the oil. The 550 degree iron was well past the smoke point of the olive oil so some polymerization probably occurred as well giving it the nice dark brown patina. I've done no other seasoning, what you see is the result of a single treatment. I suspect I stumbled into something similar to what Lodge does for the "pre-seasoned" cast iron they sell.
I'll start using it tomorrow morning and report on how well it works.
Update: 4 fried eggs were cooked as a test for seasoning. They did not stick but this skillet still needs more use before it works like a well seasoned Griswold. I expect eggs to glide around inside the pan when it is swirled and this just takes a little time to develop.
This pan is not as versatile as a round skillet. Cooking bacon and fried eggs looks like it's forte but leftover rewarming is another use I can see. It sure is a well made and finished piece of black iron. Only Le Creuset produces cast iron of similar quality today.