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Later Teflon hello Cast Iron "Frying an egg in a Cast Iron pan"

Discussion in 'Special Dutch Oven Cooking Tips' started by sqwib, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    February  9th, 2014

    Later Teflon hello Cast Iron

    I really want to ditch my Teflon pans and until now I have only used my Teflon pans for eggs.
    The time has come for me to ditch ALL the Teflon pans!

    Cast Iron can be a bit intimidating, especially after someone experiences a failed fried egg in a cast iron pan.
    My first few few attempts at eggs in a CI pan can be compared to pouring glue on carpet!

    I have always been intrigued by cooking with cast iron and it hasn't been until recently that I have really been using cast iron.
    I have been cooking a lot in my Camp Dutch oven the last several years with great success.

    My folks never used cast iron, but my Wife's mother used a few cast iron pans often.
    I have done so much research into working with cast iron that my head begun to spin, there are so many tips, opinions, care and remedies for seasoning and using cast iron, everyone has their method.

    I have recently been experimenting with different methods for my Camp Dutch Oven and have had great success, the next thing I wanted to do was to be able to fry an egg that would slide around on a Cast Iron pan like a puck on an air hockey table.

    This was the only thing holding me back to become a complete Cast Iron convert, well at the least, being able to ditch my Teflon.

    I had said something to my wife about stripping her Moms Cast Iron pan and re seasoning with this new method, she said, "no", because it has been seasoning for as long as she can remember. This pan has potential but every dam thing sticks to it, its bumpy, uneven and a bitch to cook with.

    So this weekend my wife was away on business so I took a chance and I prayed my wife would forgive me if anything had gone wrong, so this HAD TO WORK!
    Don't get me wrong, I would have never attempted this had the pan performed well from the beginning.
    I did not want a Cast Iron skillet being the reason for a DIVORCE!
    Could I have just bought a new pan? YES, but they don't make them like this anymore.


    Lets begin

    • 1st step was the clean cycle in the oven, wow the thing was a pile of rust when removed from the oven.

    • 2nd step was scrub to death with soap and water to remove the rust, wow I must say that this pan is in great shape after removing the crud, did I say crud, yes I did because it did not have any non stick properties whatsoever, so I'm calling it crud not seasoning.

    • 3rd step dry pan on a burner

    • 4th step, preheat the oven to 500° and completely wipe down the pan LIGHTLY with “Flax Seed Oil”, place the pan in the oven upside down for 1 hour at 500°. 2 hours later remove pan from the oven and repeat process two more times for a total of three.

    • 5th step, place on a high heat burner and using a lint free rag rub in a teaspoon of Flax Seed oil after it has finished smoking repeat the process around 8 - 10 times, let the pan cool and check to see if the inside is tacky, if the pan is tacky crank the heat till it smokes wipe with a lint free rag and then turn off the burner when there is no more smoke.
    How did it come out?

    Here is a video of the results.

    I am truly sold on this method using the Flax Seed oil.

    Notes / Observations:

    Do not use high heat, if the butter browns too quickly, the heat is too high.

    The first egg stuck in the center of the pan using high heat and the next two eggs stuck in the same place no matter how much oil I used.

    The pan appeared to have some crud from the first egg. I removed the crud by scrapping with the side of a spoon and it worked perfectly after that.

    If the egg sticks, make sure to scrape off the crud or food will stick to that area... this is what was happening with the pan before it was stripped and re seasoned.
  2. smokeymagoo

    smokeymagoo Smoke Blower


      Great post, I love CI pans but don't have anywhere near the guts to fry an egg. Have you ever tried Cocnut oil to season a CI pan with. We have some close friends that have problems with Flax Seed, Peanut, Canola oils so have replace must with Coconut oil for when they come over.(which is at least twice a week,) I have only been using it for about 2 months now and it seems to smoke/burn at lower temps but is great for non stick cooking in my SS pans.

  3. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes I have used Campchefs CI Conditioner and it's great.

    The ingredients listed, in order, are: Organic Palm Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Vitamin E, Citric Acid)

    If your referring to the oil for seasoning a CI pan, you want it to smoke until the smoke is gone.

    If your referring to using the oil for cooking, YOU DON'T want it to smoke!
  4. java

    java Smoking Fanatic

    I love my cast iron, works good in the oven, on the stove, and on the camp fire!
  5. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My wife won't give up her teflon pans because my cast iron is too heavy.[​IMG]
  6. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    One good thing about that is... I would much rather get whacked in the head with a teflon pan than a CI pan and since she thinks they're too heavy, you may be safe even if you have one laying around!
  7. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks great!! I like the idea of doing it on the stovetop. I did mine in the oven for an hour at 500˚ for each coat and it took me the better part of 2 days!
  8. Love my cast iron pans, and am going to follow your technique.  Never thought of using the clean cycle in the oven.  I use the oven cleaning cycle for cleaning my grill grates.
  9. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Thanks! Nice video!

    [​IMG]  C'mon man, that's not how one flips an egg!
  10. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Dang!  My moms cast iron skillets and the stinky smell of lard?

    It was just the sign of a great meal coming your way.

    I have an 80 year old cast iron dutch oven that they will have to bury with me!

    Still, cast iron is not for everything.

    I still use some teflon pans.  Not for the easy cleanup, cause cast iron is not hard to clean.

    Cast iron takes time to bring to temp.  When at temp, it holds its temp and does not respond well in applications that require quick temp changes.

    I certainly agree that a well seasoned cast iron pan was the original non-stick cookware.

    Nothing quite as pretty as sweating down veggies in a big old black cast iron pan.  Makes me want to run for the camera.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice SQWIB... I can't slide an egg in new Teflon like you did in the CI....
  12. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The first time I looked at your thread the video wouldn't load right for me. I saw it tonight and it is really cool. I'm starting to cook more with cast iron and have learned to turn the heat down, especially with eggs. Nice job!!!
  13. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    There seems to be a big misrepresentation in the keeping of cast iron - that you just wipe it out and keep cooking.  My wife and I fought about this for about the first two years of marriage.  Then she saw the light.

    The biggest part in keeping the integrity of the pan's seasoning is:

          Never let food dry in the pan.  Cook in it, remove the food, then clean it right away.  Basically, hot water and a little scrub brush is all that is needed at this point.

          Never soak the pan in water.  Never, ever, ever soak it.  Wash it out with hot water, boil water in it and use a stiff scrub brush.  Then rub it with fat/oil.

    Some people think that anything left in the pan and scorched onto the surface is seasoning.  Wrong.  My wife's pan was bumpy as all hell - well burnt, but just bumpy from remnants of food that were not removed.  The more she cooked in it the "bumpier" it became.  That is burnt on food, not seasoning!!!!  There should not be anything bumpy in your pan.  If so, it's just stuck on food - not seasoning.

    Cast iron is easy but it takes patience.  Season it - the hotter the better and I believe that bacon grease is the perfect agent for this. Once seasoned, keep the bottom smooth of burnt on stuff.  Clean it with hot water and a scrub brush.  I try and stay away from detergents on my cast iron, but a soapy scrub pad works well when needed.  Once washed, towel dry it.  Then rub a bit of oil around it before putting it away.

    I have my Great grandmother's chicken fryer (she didn't fry chicken) and it is slick as cat poop on the inside.  I also have the 6" skillet that is good for eggs.  I messed up the skillet about 15 years ago, had to start over, and it remains great to this day.  Bacon grease and put the pan in the oven on the clean cycle.

    If I was really on top of doing my dishes when I should, I could probably go all cast iron.  But I am not so, I use it for certain situations.
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  14. I could not believe how much junk came off the CI fry pans when they went through the oven clean cycle.  Had to bring in the shop vac to clean the oven.  I should have also placed my dutch oven in during the cleaning cycle.
  15. shtrdave

    shtrdave Smoking Fanatic

    So how does one clean the build up off the outside of a skillet, many years of it. No self cleaning oven here.
  16. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    I take a wire brush to them. Re-season and then keep them.
  17. Long two day process.  My only suggestion is do not use 1 t of oil during each step in step 5.  I wiped a thin coat each time and then turned up the heat.  In my 11 in. pan I used one teaspoon the first time and I do not like the way it looks after the first heating.  On my 9 in. pan I just wiped a thin coat each time and it looks great.  I am on the 8th time of smoking the oil off, and will probably do a couple more.  I am lucky to have a gas cook top with a large fan, because I am sure the smoke alarms would have gone off.  Now if I can keep my wife from soaking the pans in the sink. It took me a long time to train her to wipe my end grain cutting board, dry, after each use.    The 9 in. pan looks brand new.
  18. nimrod

    nimrod Meat Mopper

     Well Mom gave me Grandma's old 10 inch CI fry pan. It needed some clean up but the bottom was as slick as Teflon. Easy to fry a egg on this pan.

     I had purchased a cheaper 8 inch for corn bread. To a tapered Emory wheel to it. In no time it was as smooth as Grandma's. Re-seasoned it and now the cornbread pops right out. Definitely worth the time & effort to buff it smooth.

  19. tropics

    tropics Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    SQWIB That is a great post, I have negelected my CI pans. Today not much to do, so I took the wire wheel and drill to them.They weren't that bad but I wanted down to Iron. Used my BBQ side burner and the grill area like an oven. Have a few small spots felt a slight stick, reheating them now.

    Thanks Richie