23 January 2014

Reseasoning my cast iron... Again.

Maybe I shouldnt have nice things.

After stripping and seasoning a cast iron skillet I found at a thrift store, I allowed the cast iron to sit in the sink with food stuck on it and it proceeded to rust. Granted, I was mad at it because after one great flatbread, the second one proceeded to stick.

This time, I am trying a new method by encouraging the production of magnetite or "black rust" on the cooking surface of the skillet before I season it with oil. I sandpapered off the rust and all-over generally, leaving the older seasoning in the pits. Maybe this will permit a smoother cooking surface? To get the magnetite to form, I am following a method I didn't research at all and only saw once, but it seemed like a good idea at the time (See Joseph R. Kennedy's comment about a third of the way down). This involves boiling black tea in the pot, filled up to the level you want to be wonderful and smooth.

The magnetite production will supposedly result in a more protective coating for the iron and will allow the oil to better stick to the iron. In the previous attempt, I obviously didn't get the pan seasoned well enough because some foods still came out greyish, likely from the raw iron leaching out. More layers of seasoning will hopefully alleviate this.

I am also thinking about alternating oils, organic flaxseed with organic coconut oil. The flaxseed is supposed to leave a wonderful smooth finish because you are heating above the smoke point and polymerizing it. I have no reason to add the coconut oil to the mix, besides for adding a wider variety of fats, but it seems like the right thing to do.

I should also be rubbing oil on it in between uses, so I will try to be better about maintaining it. I want to get it in tip top shape so I can try baking breads in it!

Just got done with the tea magnetite procedure. The tea water turned nice and black and so did the pan, just like advertised! Now I will bake it in the oven at 450 for an hour to possibly set the magnetite and dry out the pan. After that, the first coat of oil. Need to decide on linseed or coconut. The tannins in the tea supposedly do something with this process over just boiling regular water. My water didn't even get to a full boil, but the water was totally black, as were the sides of the pan, so I decided that was enough.

No comments: