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Smoothing a cast Iron pan?

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Just got a new 12" Lodge for cooking fish-chicken on the grill up at the camper.  Anyone done this or why not to? :confused:

 

 

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I have one of the Lodges. It is the largest one they make. All my other ones are old Griswalds

I thought the Lodge was rough when I got it but after it got seasoned it really didn't matter. The built up grease (seasoning) is smooth now and the pan works great for frying fish and other greasy foods. I don't know if there is a downside to what the video suggests doing as I have never done it that way myself. That's all I know about that.

 

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I contacted Lodge about the rough surface of a dutch oven I bought about a year ago. They told me if I wanted to I could lightly sand it with fine sand paper but they wouldn't recommend it. The texture is supposed to aid in the seasoning

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6 hours ago, Pat K said:

I contacted Lodge about the rough surface of a dutch oven I bought about a year ago. They told me if I wanted to I could lightly sand it with fine sand paper but they wouldn't recommend it. The texture is supposed to aid in the seasoning

bull(cough)stuff. 

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20 minutes ago, delcecchi said:

bull(cough)stuff. 

Not exactly what they e-mailed me back then but from their FAQs on their web site:

My new pan feels rough in some areas. Is this normal?

Yes. This is a result of the sand casting process. With use and replenishment of the seasoning, the pan will become smoother. Unlike other types of cookware, Lodge Cast Iron only gets better with use. For concerns about roughness, it is OK to use a fine grade of sandpaper to smooth out the rough areas. Make sure to re-season the item before using..

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I have many cast iron pans and the roughness only helps with the seasoning and patina.  The key is to use the pans often, and build the patina. I try and use my pans when ever possible for cooking, I fry my eggs every day in cast iron, cook hamburgers, bacon, the gr easier the better. Most people that have cast iron today, I bet, don't use them much at all.

I clean them with a little warm water, kosher salt, and sometimes aluminum foil, very easy.

I think the engineers at Lodge know a little more then this guy.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Cooperman
Typo

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IF the surface was super smooth and slippery, you would not have the over-time seasoning ability and 'build up" that makes the cooking with cast iron so special. I was just waiting for the others to put in that point......because my take is NEVER sand cast iron cooking utensils. And I'm "sticking" with that opinion. Not everything has an analytical approach or answer to it. Some things just work. ;)

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Agree with you, RebelSS. Another thing I consider to be an absolute no-no is to use any soap or detergent on cast-iron.  I usually just clean with water and maybe a little rubbing with a scrub sponge but that's about it and then I wipe it dry immediately. Never have to re-season my cast-iron and some of them I've been using for decades both in the house and camping.

A friend once thought she was being nice and washed and scrubbed my favorite frypan with dishsoap. Took a lot of work to get that pan seasoned well again.

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All I can say on this subject is that classic Lodge and Griswold etc cast iron pans were all machined smooth at the factory.  I am of the opinion that leaving the surface "as cast" is a cost saving measure which turns out to not have too detrimental an effect, especially when combined with their pre seasoning.  

So the downside is that sanding and smoothing removes the factory seasoning of current lodge products. 

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Thanks for all the replies. Since I will mainly be cooking fish in it which will kind of float in the oil may be I wouldn't have much sticking any way!  Time for some good grease build up it looks like! :)

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1 hour ago, RebelSS said:

Throw a big ol' chunk of bear fat and about 3 lbs of bacon in there...THAT'LL get 'er seasoned up right!

Either that or I bring it in and get it Teflon-coated!  :D

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20 hours ago, delcecchi said:

All I can say on this subject is that classic Lodge and Griswold etc cast iron pans were all machined smooth at the factory.  I am of the opinion that leaving the surface "as cast" is a cost saving measure which turns out to not have too detrimental an effect, especially when combined with their pre seasoning.  

So the downside is that sanding and smoothing removes the factory seasoning of current lodge products. 

I think you're right that they change in surface texture was likely due to cost savings during the production process.  We go through the same type of thing at work all of the time.  If we find a way to make something that is cheaper or easier we'll look at how it impacts quality.  If its deemed acceptable we'll make the change.  In this case I'm sure the extra texture was deemed acceptable and then they put the marketing spin on it saying the added texture helps with seasoning. 

I'm guessing it really doesn't make much difference when cooking.  Once its seasoned nothing is going to stick even either way.  I know the Lodge pan that I have has a noticeable texture to it but I've never had anything stick to it.  When I clean is its always the last thing I clean.  I'll rinse it out and hit it with the sponge that may have a residual amount of soap in it.  I'll give it a quick wipe down to dry but then I put it back on the stove over very low heat to let the heat dry it.  I will then also take a paper towel with a little vegetable oil on it and wipe down the pan while its still on the heat.  Then it gets taken off the heat and moved to the back burner of the stove where I store it, it never really gets put away fully since there is no point.

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Perhaps but cast iron cookware has been around a long, long time. Probably even longer than del! :lol: Something to bear in mind too as you cook with any of this stuff, using spatulas and other utensils on it, you tend to smooth it as you continue to cook with it as well. Some of my Mom's old cast iron pre-WW II pans are still around and you can bet there was no extracurricular smoothing or machining done on any of them. They're nice and smooth not to mention probably as good or better than anything that can be purchased today. And they probably paid a whole $.75 for them! :)  

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My 2 Wagner cast iron 10" pans cost a whole 25 cents each at a yard sale. Bought them from a friends mom and got them just for camping back in the 70s. They are as smooth as a babies bottom on the inside and rough on the outside. Just wish I had a gas stove top so I could use then everyday. Darn glasstop stoves :(

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5 hours ago, Jim Almquist said:

My 2 Wagner cast iron 10" pans cost a whole 25 cents each at a yard sale. Bought them from a friends mom and got them just for camping back in the 70s. They are as smooth as a babies bottom on the inside and rough on the outside. Just wish I had a gas stove top so I could use then everyday. Darn glasstop stoves :(

Yep, I am a little reluctant to use cast iron on smooth top range.  Gotta get some cast iron for the new toy at the cabin.  

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I clean mine with oil and a straight edge spatula. Water never touches it unless it gets rained on or the wrong person cleans up while camping.

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Anybody have their lodge have the factory seasoning flake off? I have lost all the factory seasoning except up on the sides of the interior of the pan and now its smooth. Hopefully that stuff is not caustic.

Tried adding picture of pan but for some reason It will not upload or is it download

Edited by waker
trying to add picture

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