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Author: OleDocJ Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 293  
Subject: Re: linseed oil to season castiron Date: 4/8/2011 6:36 AM
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I'll probably try to fry eggs, taters and onions on it without oil or grease, to see how stick resistant one of the skillets is and how well the seasoning holds up.

OK, Bob. You're going a bit overboard. A well seasoned cast iron surface is not a teflon surface. You need to add those things (oil, grease) to fry eggs, taters, or onions on the surface.

Eggs are easy if you understand the technique: Heat the skillet with medium heat; when hot, add a dollop of butter or margarine, when it comes to a sizzle, add the eggs.

The sizzling butter does a couple of things: it lubricates the surface and it creates a zone of temperature control for frying the eggs. The moisture in the butter acts as a buffer to lower the surface temperature to around 212 degrees. The egg whites cook almost instantly without sticking. Technique.

Actually, 2 of the best things I've learned, so far, is to apply 6 or more coats, 1 at a time, wiping the oil off as dry as I can each time and baking it in the oven @ 500 degrees F for an hour or more. That's worked pretty well. I think I may have lost a bit of the seasoning, but the loss wasn't at all "splotchy", nor was a great deal of the seasoning removed... I fried a chicken breast sprinkled with lemon pepper (acidic), salt and paprika along with some chopped Napa cabbage on a GasOne butane burner. I thought the seasoning stood up pretty well.

The 6 coats is good. That forms the foundation for building up the seasoned surface. But, it's just the foundation - not the final surface that you desire. That comes with repeated use and proper handling.

Cleaning is important. Just use water and a green nylon fiber scrub pad. Wipe dry, heat briefly on burner, and re-oil surface. Don't burn stuff on the surface - use proper heat control - use oil, grease, butter as needed.

You mentioned earlier about cleaning with salt. I've heard of that, but I don't think it's a good idea. Salt is an enemy of iron; the chloride is the villain. Any chloride which manages to reach the iron surface will contribute to the formation of iron chloride (ferric chloride - FeCl3) which is, itself, a strong Lewis acid. That will promote oxidation of the iron. Of course, the seasoning is intended to prevent any salt from interacting with the iron surface, but using salt on a freshly seasoned surface is not a good idea.

I fry eggs in my cast iron skillets and they don't stick. That is due both to the seasoning and to the technique: adding the egg to sizzling butter/margarine. With proper technique you might be able to make fried eggs on a freshly seasoned surface.

But, teflon it is not!


OleDoc
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