hc Hatfield

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since Feb 12, 2009
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Recent posts by hc Hatfield

Paul -

"So I tried grape seed oil for a couple of months. Everything started to get a gummy residue on it. I have switched back to bacon squeezins, palm oil and sunflower oil."

Did you have to burn off the gummy residue and start all over again with naked metal when that happened?

Reason I ask is, I deep fried some potatoes in my Lodge last night using safflower oil. Now, it's got a sticky patch about 2" across on the bottom. I tried rubbing salt on it and doing a stovetop seasoning with lard, but the sticky patch won't go away.

Any suggestions?

And do you have any idea why it's just that one patch that developed the stickiness? 
9 years ago
Yes, the instructions do say to do it when stuff starts sticking that wouldn't normally, so maybe it is to get rid of inadequately polymerized oil that would get in the way of the good seasoning underneath. I wonder why the instructions say to re-season afterwards, though? I guess just in case the process removes the good seasoning, too?

I'd try it just to find out, except I don't want to damage the fragile new seasoning that I worked so hard to build up over the past month.
9 years ago
It's me again. Now that I've got a seasoning going, I find I have another question. I came across this link that purports to tell you how to "deep clean" a cast-iron skillet using a cup of salt and heat:

http://www.ehow.com/how_2028544_deep-clean-cast-iron.html

What, exactly, is the point of this? Is it intended to strip off the seasoning? It sure seems like it from the instruction at the end to re-season. Or is it just to get off whatever bits of food and crap may be stuck to the seasoning, but that is too small to be seen with the naked eye? 
9 years ago
I fried an egg today. In the 12" Lodge. With no oil. And no sticking.



I am a believer.

Thanks for all your help.
9 years ago

paul wheaton wrote:
... if you have the right kind of spatula ...



Speaking of which, do you actually have one of those All-Clad spatulas you link to from your article? I'm looking to upgrade from mine, whose blade is about 1-1/2 mm thick ... much too thick for flipping things like, say, pancakes with finesse. The best blade I found was on an Oxo lasagna server - but the handle was so short it gave me cramps.

What's the All-Clad like in terms of thickness, if you have one?
9 years ago
Dang. The Wagner #8 with glass lid auction must've ended before I saw your post.

9 years ago
Oooooh - thanks for the tip about the vintage stuff on eBay!!

Actually, I made the same frittata I started out with in the Lodge last night and it slid right out!!! I guess all that seasoning, cooking, and experimenting is starting to pay off. Rinse with hot water, a swipe with a nylon-bristled brush, dry on the stove, wipe with a tiny bit of melted lard: done. No metallic smell, either. And no need to have stripped it down!

The Lodge is not as slippery as your beautiful pans, but now I have hope that it may someday get there. Unless I abandon it for an experienced pan, that is.

Chicken under a brick is FREAKING AWESOME, by the way. It's something I could never have made in a non-stick pan. That alone makes all the struggle with the CI worth it.

Thanks for all your help!


9 years ago
Just popping in to say that I am still trying to get to love my pan. Planning to make a brick chicken in it soon. We'll see how much sticking I get.

I just thought of something while reading Dan's earlier post about how making a Cajun roux will help season the cooking surface. I wonder what would happen if one uses graphite lubricant powder instead of flour?? 

Seriously, I may be driven to it.
9 years ago
I just came across this summary of a research paper that showed that, not only does cooking in cast iron add iron to the food, but newer cast iron pans add more iron to food than old cast iron pans. Presumably, the thinner seasoning layer on the new pieces allows more iron to pass into the food.

http://whatscookingamerica.net/Information/IronCastIron.htm

I wonder why the seasoning doesn't completely block the iron from leaching out? I thought it was supposed to be an airtight, watertight seal.

Maybe that's why my pan smells metallic every now and then, even though there are no bare spots?

And if so, maybe I can continue to use it as is without having to strip it down after all?

P.S. Fried an egg today in the pan. Got enough sticking so that I had to boil water to clean it out, and there was that slight metallic smell again. I may be nearing the end of my rope with this.
9 years ago
Bingo!

A good warm-weather project ... probably in a month or two.
9 years ago