Kitchen Gadgetry

I tend to season pans in the oven.

What kind of oil are you using for cooking your eggs?

when I was using the crisbee stick I didn’t need to use anything.

Never used the stuff here, it sounds like it works well? Worth trying out? And did you try the cream as well?

It works well, I believe because it has beeswax in it. Comes in a container that looks like a deodorant stick. I think it works well but I was fishing around for something cheaper. I don’t recall how I seasoned the pan initially but I would clean the pan with kosher salt scrubbing and then reapply the Crisbee stick. This is on my mini-cast iron pan that’s used to cook one egg a day for my breakfast, so it gets a lot of use.

I think I’ll re-season the pan with this stuff and see if that helps clear up my issues.

So just for fun and because I needed something to think about, I did a test. My cast iron is 15-25 years old, I don’t know because it’s cast iron. I burnt one up a while ago and I have this one, blah blah blah.

So what I did is clean the hell out of it, soap and water, then I gave it a hand sanding at 60 grit, which in the woodworking world is the same as a diesel F-350, very rough. It took almost no effort to get to what I would call “through the seasoning” with streaks of apparent metal.

Then I boiled it again, heated it, applied avocado oil and wiped it out with paper towels until they came clean.

The interesting bit is that I didn’t season it at all other than to oil it and wipe it as clean as I could without detergent, then I cooked an egg on it, at medium heat. Probably a step or two higher than I usually would cook an egg. I left the egg to cook, no touching, with the edges burning and no lid until the broken yolk set and it was tasty.

Upshot: it popped off the surface of the pan better than any egg I’ve cooked in the last ten years. I’m not arguing against seasoning at all, but there might be a lot said for a regular higher grit sanding. 60 was way too much but I was experimenting, a sheet of 220 might make a big improvement for a well seasoned pan.

Yeah, as I recall, a lot of modern - and that era stretches back a decade or two at least - mass market cast iron pans aren’t really polished much at all out of the factory. Seasoning fills in the bumps and divots very well, but I can’t imagine that starting with a smoother surface would make things worse!

Ok, well you are essentially just using the crisbee stick in place of some other oil, like butter. I believe crisbee is mainly soy oil, with some beeswax.

To be clear, a cast iron pan will never function like a Teflon based non stick pan, so I wouldn’t expect it to. I think it’s pretty normal to use some kind of oil in it when you are cooking with it. A small amount of oil should keep things from sticking.

With my carbon steel pan, for instance, before I start cooking with it I’ll usually just rub a stick of cold butter over it, just leaving a thin coating of butter on it that tends to prevent anything from sticking when I cook eggs or anything like that.

I’m doing further testing but my propane grill has sprung a leak, so I’m stuck with two sanded cast irons and no way to season other than smell-fucking my house. I will say that the surfaces are glass-like right now.

Burying the lede here, I think.

Definitely worth figuring out where the leak is coming from and how repairable it is. Mine had the regulator start to leak and that was very easy to just order a new regulator and replace.

Heh, yeah, don’t know but it’s the hosey thing that screws into the tank, not the tank itself so no explody stuff happening. Not sure if it’s worth fixing or just buying a new grill, this one’s over a decade old.

What’s the brand? If it’s the part of the hose that’s down by the tank you should be able to replace it. On my Weber when I replaced the regulator(which is the bit that screws into the tank) it came with a new length of hose for that section too.

You should be able to season them in your oven without causing any problems, that’s how I initially seasoned my last wok.

Hey, I’ve done this! Unfortunately I can’t find my sanding pics but it went well enough. I have a very old Griswold skillet, I think it’s 60-70 years old at this point? It’s smooth as butter, it helps a ton when cooking. Conversely I had a Chinese no-name skillet that was quite rough. I wire wheeled it, then sanded it and then reseasoned it to the point it was quite usable and much better to cook on.

What I do have is pics of a coworker of mine. He apparently thought an angle grinder wheel would work much better so he took one to his large Lodge skillet. Unfortunately he gouged and scored it a bit in the process. But, cast iron is cast iron. He gave it to me to season. This was after a single coat:

That’s my Griswold to the left of his Lodge pan, you can see he got it quite smooth.

This was after the final of 5 season coats when I gave it back to him. Understand the process he used left it bare, like gray and shiny, so this was a marked improvement. I mentioned he should season it again but don’t know if he ever did.

But for sure, you can absolutely get a smoother base metal on them and it helps a lot. There were a couple of companies that were trying to set themselves apart a few years ago that were doing this, I’m not sure if any of them are still around.

Great advice. My go-to skillet is very smooth and well seasoned but I wouldn’t skip oil for cooking. Besides non-stick cookware, it really doesn’t make much sense to chase that dragon. Oil is what helps transfer the heat to what you cook, and it does so by evening out the heat platform between your food and the pan. To skip it for any cooking just makes things a tossup for sticking and can lead to uneven heat.

Field Company and Stargazer are two I know of offhand. I have a pan from each of them and love them both. I also have a couple of Lodge pans which work pretty well, but the smoother surface really does make a difference, so the Lodges don’t get as much action as they used to. I really should sand them down and get 'em back into the rotation.

This tempts me greatly, but I also don’t think I need additional cast iron skillets. I have my trusty Lodge that I’ve never had any real sticking issues with unless I do something dumb, and I have a smaller unknown branded skillet that I pretty much use exclusively for toasting or blooming spices. My wife uses the big cast iron on occasion but mostly sticks to the dutch oven. What benefit do you get from your additional skillets? Are you using two at once?

One thing that I’ve been really happy with, is my carbon steel skillet.

It’s like a lighter weight cast iron skillet. For things like cooking eggs, I’d much rather use it than heavy cast iron.

I have different sizes of them, so I vary which one I use depending on what I’m making. That said, I do pull out more than one at once periodically as well; usually when cooking for company and not just my wife and I.

edit: I should also probably be up front with the fact that I just love cookware and kitchen knives and so tend to acquire more than I realistically need (or have room for). ;)

I like cast iron, and I like cooking eggs.

But, I always cook eggs in a non-stick teflon pan with butter. It is basically a 0 failure option. Teflon is really great for cooking eggs, and I like it for fish too. I don’t know why you wouldn’t cook an egg in a nonstick pan, other than not having one, or trying to prove a point, or to enjoy the difficulty.

The benefits of cast iron are heat retention, so amazing for searing, and the ability to cook on the range or in the oven, and swap between the two. I don’t see the advantages of using a cast iron for an egg or two.

The only advantage is you don’t need to buy and store a second pan.

I agree, nonstick is great for eggs. That’s pretty much all I use it for (I don’t cook fish at home after the shrimp scampi with butter lettuce incident of 2003).