View Full Version : 'Spot' seasoning a cast iron griddle
I've got a couple of small spots on my griddle that just don't seem to 'take' to seasoning.
What's the best method?
01-02-2008, 08:17 PM
I think you need direct heat beneath the spot while adding oil over the course of about an hour. That should do the trick.
01-02-2008, 11:56 PM
It could be a flaw in the metal, but if not, Crisco seasons cast iron the best. Smear the whole thing with crisco, place upside down in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour. That's usually as good as it gets.
01-03-2008, 01:18 AM
Sand it with 400 grit sand paper first.
01-03-2008, 02:34 PM
I would scrub it with a metal scrubber or with steel wool (be sure to remove all the metal left by steel wool). Then, I lightly cover the pan/griddle/whatever with a high-flash-point vegetable oil, like avocado (or anything with a smoke point above 450 deg F, which gives you lots of options). I then bake the thing at 440 deg F for a couple of hours.
I don't use animal fats because they go bad more quickly and the cast iron starts to impart a taste like spoiled bacon to the food. (This is mainly true if you don't use the pan often, but much of my cast iron is mainly for use while car camping).
The more you use the pan, the less often you'll have to re-season it. The very act of using it seasons it more evenly than the first seasoning...
01-03-2008, 02:49 PM
Using it is the best seasoning...
We've used our dutch oven for home cooking from time to time just to help with seasoning. High-fat foods such as bacon, ground beef, etc. typically help season cast-iron.
On the flips-side, baking breads and dry foods in the dutch oven can actually remove some of the seasoning.
After every meal we cook with the dutch oven we clean it with hot water (NO SOAP!), reheat it until dry, wipe a light coat of butter over it, and then reheat it for a bit. This has seemed to work good. We store ours in its original box... though a burlap bag is recommended (just haven't gotten around to it yet).
01-03-2008, 03:24 PM
We use our cast iron so much at home that we have never seasoned them beyond the first use. So for infrequent use, I dunno.
But I like the crisco and bake it idea. That is roughly close to how we seasoned ours originally.
Thanks for all the replies!
My standard method has been the the Crisco @ 400*F approach. I have tried scouring the spots w/ a stainless steel pot scrubber, but it hasn't worked. I'll try more serious scrubbing, and if that doesn't work, sandpaper.
FWIF, this is on the flat side of a Lodge reversible rectangular griddle. The rippled side, which I haven't used but a couple of times, looks great.
01-10-2008, 06:04 AM
Until you said "Lodge", I was all ready to get on a CHINA RANT. It is still interesting; a problem with today's cast iron is that it is often made with JUNK. And I mean recycled metal. Stuff they are picking up in my neighborhood all the time. This can cause "bad spots."
However, I am not a fan of the reversible grills. What happens is that when you are using one side, the other side, (the bottom) is getting burned up. At least all the careful seasoning is getting burned right out of it. Do you notice spots over the burners? If the spots are random, I would take the item back, and get another.
Lodge knows better.
01-10-2008, 06:09 AM
However, I am not a fan of the reversible grills. What happens is that when you are using one side, the other side, (the bottom) is getting burned up. At least all the careful seasoning is getting burned right out of it.
Dale-I agree with this. I have a reversible and hate the grill side. The flat side works great, and so I use it exclusively. The seasoning gets burned off the side against the flames every time. After use you still have to wipe a bit of oil on it to keep it from rusting.
01-10-2008, 01:36 PM
I have never heard of seasoning cast iron before, but in context of this thread, I have come to realize that many camp cooking issues with griddles may be an operator issue, and that cast iron kitchen set that we received as a wedding present may have not potentially sucked as we had thought.
Where can I learn more about seasoning cast iron?
...However, I am not a fan of the reversible grills. What happens is that when you are using one side, the other side, (the bottom) is getting burned up.
That makes sense to me, but I only tend to use one side, the flat side, and that's where the spots are!
The rippled side (always on the bottom), looks great.
Thanks for the info, though.
01-10-2008, 02:26 PM
Where can I learn more about seasoning cast iron?
See post #3. It is really that easy. If you don't season cast iron, and re-season every so often, food sticks horibly, and you'll hate it. When properly seasoned, it's nearly as nice as Teflon but much better to use. After use, wipe out, and spray in a bit of cooking oil. Then you're all set for the next use. Never wash with soap or detergent, the harshest thing you ever want to use is hot water. If you get some major baked on crud, put the Cast iron in the oven upside down, and run the oven self clean. That burns out everything and after the cycle, you re-season just like you would a new pan (and it will look brand new).
If you got one of those big sets, get out the 10 inch fry pan, and the covered large pot. Those are the two most useful items. Cook on them at home for a while and get the feel for it.
If your set came with a Dutch Oven with feet and a rimmed top( Called a camp cooker or cowboy oven by some)-That is an outstanding camp accessory for making all kinds of stuff like breads, desserts and whole meals. The back side of the lid makes a good fry surface.
Lots more info on the web.
01-10-2008, 03:32 PM
I love this forum!
01-10-2008, 04:53 PM
After every meal we cook with the dutch oven we clean it with hot water (NO SOAP!), reheat it until dry, wipe a light coat of butter over it, and then reheat it for a bit.
I just thought this good advise was worthy of repeating. If you never use soap the metal will soak up the oils and be the best possible cookware for years and years. My friend has a hunting cabin full of the stuff and it is all at least thirty years old and, as was said elsewhere, it is nearly like working with teflon. Just pour some warm water in it when you are done and scrub it gently with a natural bush then give it a wipe with some newsprint and it'll serve you well forever. If you are not going to be using it for a while, drop a teaspoon of cooking oil on a paper towel and give it a wipe, inside and out.
01-19-2008, 12:55 AM
I would like to pass on a tip that we have used for many years on all our cast iron that we have on our chuck wagon.
After cleaning and drying, wipe the surface with a light coating of Mineral Oil. Mineral Oil will vaporize readily when heated and leaves no residue. Most important, it does not become rancid with time as animal or vegetable oils will. Nothing worse than opening up a DO that has been stored and getting an odor that is reminiscent of dead rat.
With proper care, cast iron will last a long, long time. I have pieces that are much older then I am and I'm old.
01-25-2008, 06:16 AM
After reading all of the posts I just wanted to relay a funny story that happened to me. At one of the fire stations I worked at they had a great collection of cast iron that was used for every meal. There were probably 20 pieces from a small frying pan about 6 inches all the way up to huge frying pans that were maybe 16-18 inches. Well those pans were used for every meal 7 days a week for over 15+ years. They were better than cooking on teflon, nothing would stick, and well taken care of. Cleaning with hot water only, a light reseason and reheated to dry. One day a new firefighter with some extra time and wanting to impress and stay busy decided to "clean" all of the cast iron while we were out on a call. When we came back the firefighter proudly showed their hard work and how sparkling new the pans looked. The firefighter had "cleaned" the pans with soap, bon-ami, and heavy duty scrubby pads. The look in my face and my fellow firefighter's face was probably priceless. We cried the rest of the shift. It took 2+ months or more to get those pans back into working order. A few of the pans I feel never recovered. Good cast iron will last more than a lifetime and will cook better than anything else when taken care of correctly.
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