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Glazing Steel Pans

 
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I've just read the article on seasoning cast iron skillets and it brought to mind an experience I had 30+ years ago.

I was trying to fry eggs in an old steel frying pan and no matter how much oil I put in the eggs were sticking like they had been spot welded in place. A female friend said something along the lines of "Aunt Meg showed me a trick to sort that out". She proceeded to do something like the following (please bear in mind it was 30+ years ago so my memory may not be totally accurate here): She wiped all the oil out of the pan, scrubbed it clean and then heated it over a hot flame. When it reached an extremely high temperature she threw a handful of table salt into the pan, swilled it around a bit and then quenched the pan in water. This left a glassy glaze on the surface of the pan and when I used the pan it was non-stick and continued to be so for a couple of weeks. I scrubbed the pan in soapy water after each use which with hindsight probably wasn't the right thing to do.

I have no idea how or why this worked and I've not done it for many years but 30 odd years ago I repeated the process several times myself getting a similar effect each time.

Has anybody come across anything like this before and if so: is my description accurate and why does it work?

BTW I'm not suggesting you try super heating and quenching a cast iron skillet as it would probably shatter.
 
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