Help me fix my cast iron skillet

I asked for one thing in Christmas 2007 - a nice cast iron skillet.

And I got it. Go parents! :smiley:

It came labelled “pre-seasoned”. I read up on the internet - “Never use soap to wash it, you’ll wreck the seasoning.”

For about a year and a half now, that’s worked. Recently I moved. I needed to clean the damn thing. It just felt…greasy.

I used a copper scouring pad to scrape the deuce out of it. Seemed to work ok. But I did notice, after this scrubbing, that the pan had a copper looking sheen on the cooking surface. Plus it still felt kind of greasy.

I caved. I put it in the dishwasher. Forgive me. Now it looks terrible. There looks to be a copper “bloom” all over the cooking surface. This may not matter one bit - tell me. I need to know if and how I need to resurface and reseason this skillet. It’s been so handy up to now, I’d hate to lose it. Advice welcome.

Use a paper towel to rub the pan all over with cooking oil. Grapeseed oil is an excellent choice, but anything that doesn’t smoke too badly will be fine. Put it in the oven at a low setting for a couple of hours. Wipe off any excess oil. That’s it! You’re good to go.

If you use just boiling water and a brush to clean it, you shouldn’t have any trouble with it feeling greasy, and the seasoning will get better and better with each use.

It’s supposed to feel a little slick. That’s the seasoning.

Go to walmart and get a big tub of lard. Dip your hand in it and rub it all over the pan and stick it in an oven at a low temp. Every time it looks like it has soaked in add more.

Do whatever you want with the rest of the lard (pervert - I meant cooking).

Don’t stick the skillet in the dishwasher again. Around here that’s a shooting offense!

I lurves me cast iron skillets! The best way to re-season a pan after you screw it up is to wipe it liberally with your favorite oil or spread and start using it. You might have to toss the first thing you try to cook, though.

My favorite pan is probably 40 years old. The last time I forgot it on a burner and cooked it cherry red (grace of OG I didn’t burn the house down), I wiped it with a thick layer of I Can’t Believe Its Not Butter, and used a little PAM on it the first couple of times I fried eggs. It has come back good as ever. I clean it with plain hot water and dry it on the stove. Never give up on a cast iron pan. I have rescued them covered with rust from the dump, cleaned them up, re-seasoned and enjoyed.

On review: What Peregrine says, too.

Good replies,

But does the copper matter? Like I said, the cooking surface has a copper sheen.

People need to ingest iron, no problem. Copper - less so. Does it matter, or affect the properties of the skillet, if it has a copper layer?

Good info here, but Cafe Society would be a better fit.

I’m picturing a layer of iron oxide (rust). Kind of orange, might remind you of copper. If I’m right, it will go away when you season your pan.

I love using the cast iron cookware at my friend’s house, I’m just afraid I will some how screw it up.

If you’ve really gotten copper on your cast iron pan, get some plain steel wool (NOT the kind with soap/detergent in it) and give a good scraping.

As for the dishwasher use, I think ShelliBean’s being too nice. It’s a hanging offense around these part, and that’s just for the first offense!

Whatever you use to re-season your pan, 1.) cook it upside down (so it doesn’t pool), and 2.) use a grill, if you can, 'cause it will smoke up your home otherwise.

I would get some steel wool and clean it very well. Sounds like the copper pad left bits on the rough surfice of the pan. Dry well then coat the entire pan with lard and put in oven upside down with temp set at 500. I do mine outside in the bbq. leave for one hour, if needed repeat. this will smoke like a bugger so open the doors. the nonstick we all love is the carbon from the oil. I got this from a manufacturers website (cant remember which one)

A related question. I recently accidentally stripped the seasoning off of a good portion of a cast iron pan, all the way down to bare grey iron. Do not pour oil into a pan left on a high stove for 10 minutes. This is not a shortcut to seasoning! Also, grease fires are scary.

So, I’m reseasoning it using Crisco and an oven. Posters here have recommended high and low heat, whereas I’m using the Lodge-recommended 350 degrees, which is medium for an hour. What’s the right way? So far, the formerly bare areas are now a light brown color, so I assume I need to do a few more cylces. Also, the first 2 coats are somewhat sticky or gummy. Do I need to heat it longer or something?

Strangely, it may be that you need salt.

I once took a cooking class with a professional chef, and he said that in his early apprenticeship days in the kitchen where he was responsible for the lowliest jobs, one thing he hated most was “seasoning the cast iron skillet with salt.” Huh? He said, no really, that’s what you use.

I’ve never heard of this anywhere except from him, but who knows, I guess it is true.

The copper look is probably rust. As far as re-seasoning goes, follow the directions upthread about the lard and the oven.

In the future, to clean your skillet, use the Alton Brown method. Pour in a liberal dose of kosher salt, wad up a paper towel, grab the paper towel with a pair of tongs and scrub the salt around the pan. Wipe out the salt, then use a clean paper towel to apply a very thin coat of vegetable oil. Your pan is supposed to feel “greasy” on the inside.

Just chiming in to agree with these. This is how I clean the pans every time. One of my former roommates would wash then re-season sometimes, which is ok, but AB’s method works great for me.