Carbon Skillets

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gladius
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Re: Carbon Skillets

Post by gladius » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:14 pm

Too much oil...heat up pan then add kosher salt and green onions to absorb excess oil and remove metallic taste. Scrub onions and salt on pan surface with metal utensil until onions are burnt. Rinse with hot water, dry and lightly oil ready for use. An outdoor grill is best to get the pan hot enough is the indoor electric doesn't work well.

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Altadan
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Re: Carbon Skillets

Post by Altadan » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:26 pm

gladius wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:14 pm
Too much oil...heat up pan then add kosher salt and green onions to absorb excess oil and remove metallic taste. Scrub onions and salt on pan surface with metal utensil until onions are burnt. Rinse with hot water, dry and lightly oil ready for use. An outdoor grill is best to get the pan hot enough is the indoor electric doesn't work well.
Are you saying I'm baking the pan with too much oil?
At this stage I'm really just daubing the paper towel with a 1.5cm of oil from the bottle, and then stretching that across the whole pan. Surely that can't be too much :o

is the method you suggest to absorbed the baked layer? I might give it a try this evening

gladius
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Re: Carbon Skillets

Post by gladius » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:39 pm

The fact it is sticky to the touch suggests so. You could start over by burning and seasoning again but over very high grill heat.

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Drewski
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Re: Carbon Skillets

Post by Drewski » Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:14 pm

Love that cool red colour! For the first while, I understand that its normal to lose some seasoning here and there. Can take months of use to develop a full, proper layer of seasoning. Thought this video was pretty useful for some trouble shooting and what to expect while seasoning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlixS9WuC0A

I also posted a (kinda dumb) video on Oct 28 that is a time lapse of seasoning in a pan. You'll see that it goes back and forth, but in the long run, the seasoning is developing. Seems like its unrealistic to expect to season a pan, with whatever method, and have it perfectly non-stick from day 1.

I'll have 3 pans coming in in the next couple weeks, will be sure to report back any findings.

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Altadan
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Re: Carbon Skillets

Post by Altadan » Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:33 pm

Drewski wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:14 pm
Love that cool red colour! For the first while, I understand that its normal to lose some seasoning here and there. Can take months of use to develop a full, proper layer of seasoning. Thought this video was pretty useful for some trouble shooting and what to expect while seasoning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlixS9WuC0A

I also posted a (kinda dumb) video on Oct 28 that is a time lapse of seasoning in a pan. You'll see that it goes back and forth, but in the long run, the seasoning is developing. Seems like its unrealistic to expect to season a pan, with whatever method, and have it perfectly non-stick from day 1.

I'll have 3 pans coming in in the next couple weeks, will be sure to report back any findings.
I saw your time-lapse (not dumb at all!), and this video you linked was quite reassuring. Thanks!
Seems like patience is key here.
Still, deep frying might be next. I got some tiny potatoes waiting to be tortured

gladius
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Re: Carbon Skillets

Post by gladius » Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:52 pm

Altadan wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:26 pm
Are you saying I'm baking the pan with too much oil?
At this stage I'm really just daubing the paper towel with a 1.5cm of oil from the bottle, and then stretching that across the whole pan. Surely that can't be too much :o

is the method you suggest to absorbed the baked layer? I might give it a try this evening
---
Forgot to ask...the Mineral-B skillet come with a thick waxy coat: are you sure you removed all the coating? You really shouldn't have any sticky on the steel.

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Altadan
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Re: Carbon Skillets

Post by Altadan » Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:02 pm

gladius wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:52 pm
Altadan wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:26 pm
Are you saying I'm baking the pan with too much oil?
At this stage I'm really just daubing the paper towel with a 1.5cm of oil from the bottle, and then stretching that across the whole pan. Surely that can't be too much :o

is the method you suggest to absorbed the baked layer? I might give it a try this evening
---
Forgot to ask...the Mineral-B skillet come with a thick waxy coat: are you sure you removed all the coating? You really shouldn't have any sticky on the steel.
I'm sure I have :)
It's not so much "sticky" as more "friction"
Like I said, whenever I give it a gentle scrub with the stainless-steel tangled-pad, it becomes smooth to the touch. I should say that a) it is still warm from the oven when I've done that (so I should probably sit tight at least once and let the thing cool down before I rush to scrub), and b) I haven't tried frying any eggs directly, without having first given it this light scrub.

I keep reading how simple the whole thing is, but I get confused every time I need to clean off whatever burnt/got stuck to the pan.

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mauichef
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Re: Carbon Skillets

Post by mauichef » Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:43 pm

I've now been using my Debuyer for about a week and a half, almost every day.
How did it take me 60 years to discover carbon pans??????
OMG...this thing is amazing.
It did not take long to season it.
I did add a bit too much oil a couple of times and it went a bit sticky. But after a few uses and some scrubbing it is now as non stick as anything I have ever used.
I heat it up after every one to remove any moisture and then apply the thinnest coating of oil after it has cooled as I live near the ocean and Mr Salty live with me!

Image

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Altadan
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Re: Carbon Skillets

Post by Altadan » Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:47 pm

Nice!

So, when YOU say nonstick, how much oil is involved in this nonstick cooking you're performing? As little as you used to use?

OgerBash
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Re: Carbon Skillets

Post by OgerBash » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:11 pm

If you go to.the work shop website they have a good video of seasoning the wok that translates to the carbon skillet.

I usually do two coats in the oven more to protect the outside than the cooking surface. Then I follow the wok shop video to scrub/prep the cooking surface. Then I use the pan with a little more oil than normal for a week. At that point I'll use it for eggs.

gastro gnome
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Re: Carbon Skillets

Post by gastro gnome » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:30 pm

Altadan wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:47 pm
Nice!

So, when YOU say nonstick, how much oil is involved in this nonstick cooking you're performing? As little as you used to use?
I have to reiterate that people should not expect Teflon performance from these pans. They are different tools. I am able to get mostly stick-free performance for my main use (frying eggs), but I let the pan get thoroughly hot and add a decent bit of oil until smoking. I use the Serious Eats crispy fried egg method so I probably add a bit more than I would for other types of cooking, but oil is definitely required. My pans are very well seasoned.

Others can and have disagree with me, but I think you should recognize that this may perform differently than other "nonstick" touted pans (which I generally do not find I have to heat quite as thoroughly to attain similar results).They have better nonstick properties with a similar amount of oil as stainless coated pans. Less than Teflon. But these all serve different purposes for me.

Also, performance will improve as your seasoning does. As I've said before, I like to make Spanish tortillas as my first cook. Lots of oil and use for all those peeled potatoes.

gastro gnome
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Re: Carbon Skillets

Post by gastro gnome » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:33 pm

Altadan wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:02 pm
gladius wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:52 pm
Altadan wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:26 pm
Are you saying I'm baking the pan with too much oil?
At this stage I'm really just daubing the paper towel with a 1.5cm of oil from the bottle, and then stretching that across the whole pan. Surely that can't be too much :o

is the method you suggest to absorbed the baked layer? I might give it a try this evening
---
Forgot to ask...the Mineral-B skillet come with a thick waxy coat: are you sure you removed all the coating? You really shouldn't have any sticky on the steel.
I'm sure I have :)
It's not so much "sticky" as more "friction"
Like I said, whenever I give it a gentle scrub with the stainless-steel tangled-pad, it becomes smooth to the touch. I should say that a) it is still warm from the oven when I've done that (so I should probably sit tight at least once and let the thing cool down before I rush to scrub), and b) I haven't tried frying any eggs directly, without having first given it this light scrub.

I keep reading how simple the whole thing is, but I get confused every time I need to clean off whatever burnt/got stuck to the pan.
If your pan is sticky from too much oil, you generally can get it hot (either on the stovetop or the oven) and the excess oil on the surface should liquify and you can blot it out with a doubled over and doubled over and doubled again paper towel (just get some layers in there to insulate your fingers if you are holding with your hands, otherwise hold with tongs as the pan is hot).

A drop or two spread all around the pan doesn't sound like too much oil, but as gladius said, the fact that the surface is tacky means that there is excess oil that has not polymerized. You have to remove it to get back to smooth - either by scrubbing, heating and blotting, cooking something absorbent int he pan to absorb it, etc. I think heating and blotting is the easiest first step.

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mauichef
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Re: Carbon Skillets

Post by mauichef » Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:02 pm

Altadan wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:47 pm
Nice!

So, when YOU say nonstick, how much oil is involved in this nonstick cooking you're performing? As little as you used to use?
In my case. Yes.
I do not use any more than I did before. My fried eggs are cooked in a tiny amount of butter and they slide out so easily.
I personally think this is as non stick as any pan I've experienced...without all of the issues associated with these other types.

gladius
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Re: Carbon Skillets

Post by gladius » Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:34 pm

As my grandkids call them: the "ugly" skillets (compared to the All-Clads) may take some time to fully season but when they do, even crispy runny eggs slide right out. :)

See: https://imgur.com/a/caz1uoa

Image
Last edited by gladius on Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mauichef
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Re: Carbon Skillets

Post by mauichef » Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:50 pm

gladius wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:34 pm
As my grandkids call them: the "ugly" skillets (compared to the All-Clads) may take some time to fully season but when they do, even crispy runny eggs slide right out. :)
Yes they do :D

Image

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Altadan
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Re: Carbon Skillets

Post by Altadan » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:21 pm

gladius wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:34 pm
As my grandkids call them: the "ugly" skillets (compared to the All-Clads) may take some time to fully season but when they do, even crispy runny eggs slide right out. :)

See: https://imgur.com/g9HXVuH

Image
That really is an ugly, ugly skillet :roll: :lol:

Cutuu
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Re: Carbon Skillets

Post by Cutuu » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:25 pm

mauichef wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:50 pm
gladius wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:34 pm
As my grandkids call them: the "ugly" skillets (compared to the All-Clads) may take some time to fully season but when they do, even crispy runny eggs slide right out. :)
Yes they do :D

Image
I agree. I have some carbon steel and a vintage cast iron that has eggs sliding around almost as good as Teflon. Teflon is a touch better, but not much. And I don't have to use alot of fat.
Last edited by Cutuu on Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:25 pm, edited 5 times in total.

gastro gnome
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Re: Carbon Skillets

Post by gastro gnome » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:49 pm

I respect the opinion and experience of many people here and I'm not looking to belabor this point. But my take and everyone else's on this thread is opinion (and I doubt anyone really wants to weigh out fat in grams to standardize the amount we are using). What constitutes a lot or a little amount of oil/butter/fat is subjective. The amount of butter in @mauichef's pan looks pretty similar to what I use and I wouldn't call it just a drop or two. But again, that's just my opinion.

I stand by what I have repeated. In my experience, vintage cast iron (which I have) and well seasoned carbon steel (which I also have) require more fat than Teflon pans to achieve similar minimal stick performance. And that is fine. I can get much better brown, lacy crisp bottoms to my eggs in my cast iron and carbon steel. Smooth, heavy pans can function a lot like a PTFE-coated pan, but they are not exactly the same thing and I wouldn't expect them to behave the same way.

The purpose of my seemingly contrarian opinion is not to try to shout louder and declare myself right and others wrong. My early experience with carbon steel had fits and starts. And if I kept reading that people achieved nonstick performance with basically no fat (which did not describe my experience), I might have been tempted to give up or assume it was user error (rather than differences in how two people describe the same or similar sets of circumstances). I am trying to encourage people to experiment, keep using your skillets, and don't get discouraged if seasoning comes off. Or if they are not exactly like a Teflon pan. Or if you might need to use more oil than you tried the last time.

Keep cooking, find out what works for you. They are excellent tools and with good care they can do a lot of things well.

I'm frying some eggs tonight. Maybe I'll take a video.

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Altadan
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Re: Carbon Skillets

Post by Altadan » Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:15 pm

That's fair enough.

Coming from the Mediterranean, I dismissed the hype around cast-irons as a relic of the past that the New World has retained over the centuries.
I've been cooking with olive oil - on teflon - all my adult life. Down here in Texas, though, there's a whole lotta butter going into folks' skillets, and at times I feel like I'm gonna outlive them all, at others I think... well, yum! serve me s'more!

Both of y'all's eggs do look rather oily to my eyes, but I'm sure that's part of the appeal ;) I've plenty to learn still

I wasn't too keen on the carbon steel when this thread started, thinking that maybe it's just all butter, and deep frying, and whatnot.
But slowly, surely, you got to me - and the nonstick notPTFE properties got to my wife too (!) though the 6lbs deBuyer certainly demands some braun...
Now I'm here, and I'm excited about browning, and frying, and searing, and getting all crusty and crunchy.
I think "experiment" is what this is at the very least. I hope it'll be much more ^_^
thanks for all the help, gentlemen.

RickR
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Re: Carbon Skillets

Post by RickR » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:13 pm

Altadan wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:33 pm
Please excuse me for drawing the conversation away from ghee and back to seasoning, but I've got a question I'm sure y'all will be able to answer;

I recently got myself the DeBuyer 12.5" Mineral-B, and since we've got a ring-electric stove top, based on y'all's discussion and Amazon reviews I opted for the oven baking method.
My first attempt was a gummed-out layer of avocado oil which I later scrubbed off.
Next I tried some au-naturale, which (with lots more cooking oil than I'm used to) seemed to work alright.
Since I wanted some more aesthetic appeal, I then quickly turned to oven baking flaxseed oil, which we apparently had on hand. This time I knew to apply extra extra thin layers (just a few drops rubbed thin with paper-towel).
The first baking turn the pan a gorgeous dark gray, and every layer since has turn it more and more in the direction of dark-reddish brown.
Wife & I are excited.

However (1) - this is where the question comes - when I bring it out of the oven and pass my fingers on the (still) warm surface, it feels like it might be ever so sticky.
On (possibly stupid) instinct give the inside of the pan a very, very gentle pass with a wet steel-sponge (not wool, but that tangled "stainless steel scrubbing pad").
I'm not sure if its the cooling effect of the water, or the steel, or both, but after that the surface feels smooth.
Some of the beautiful reddish color is lost in the process, but underneath it is still rather dark.

thumbnail2.jpgthumbnail.jpg

However (2) After once searing a flank steak, and then just now (see photos) frying some sunny-side-ups, I find that more of the seasoning is removed even if I just wipe the pan clean with a paper towel...
Oh, and in both cases there has been some sticktion, but not as bad as can be.
So, my questions:

1) What am I doing wrong?
2) How soon after cooking do you clean yours - or, how long can you afford to wait before cleaning? (is it fine to leave till after the meal?)
3) Should I really be leaving the dark reddish, despite it's touch to the finger?
4) Generally speaking, what should I expect? Longer till the pan is "mature"? Just come to terms with using more oil than I would with a teflon?
~~~
5) if I used to cook on the nonstick at, say, heat level 6-7, should I cook the same things on 5-6?

Answers for any or all of these is appreciated
The pan should have been cleaned down to bare metal using oven cleaner containing lye (yellow cap Easy Off) after the initial failed attempt with too much avocado oil. Because it wasn't, subsequent attempts to season will fail because the seasoning cannot bond to the steel. This is why your seasoning flakes off.

So, it's back to square one. Get yourself a couple of cans of oven cleaner and a heavy duty trash bag. Wearing rubber gloves and eye protection, spray a generous coating on all sides of the pan, concentrating on the inside. Tie the bag closed and leave it for three or four days. Again, wearing rubber gloves and eye protection, remove the pan and scrub it well in warm/hot water. If there is any residue, repeat until the pan is absolutely clean on the inside. If you are concerned with the appearance of the outside of the pan, make sure it is absolutely clean as well. The steel is unprotected at this time, and will rust quickly, so move on to oven seasoning or put a light coat of oil on the pan until you are ready to season it. I cannot recommend using the self-cleaning cycle of an oven nor the "toss it in the fire" method, as excessive heat may damage the pan.

Heat the oven to 200 F. If you oiled the pan, wash it in hot soapy water until it is clean. Put the pan in the oven for 30 minutes. Take it out, and turn the oven to 300 F. Put a teaspoon or so of the seasoning oil in the pan and wipe it over the inside and outside, adding more oil if you need to. I use grapeseed oil, but any oil with a smoke point of around 400 F will work. (Here is a link to smoke points of various cooking oils: https://jonbarron.org/diet-and-nutritio ... oke-points).

Now wipe out all the oil you can using paper towels or (preferably) the highly absorbent, blue, disposable auto shop towels. Wipe until you think you've removed all traces of the oil. Don't worry, there is plenty left on the surface for seasoning.

When the oven hits 300 F, put the pan in the oven upside down on the rack. There shouldn't be any drips, but if you want, put aluminum foil on the rack under the pan to catch any. (If you do get drips, it means you left too much oil in the pan).

After 30 minutes, remove the pan and turn the oven up to 475 F. With a good wad of paper towels (the pan is hot) wipe off any small beads of oil that have collected on the surface. The pan should look almost dry, with a matte appearance.

Put the pan back in the oven, again upside down, and when the oven gets to 475 F, set a timer for 90 minutes. After 90 minutes, turn the oven off and without opening the door, leave it for an hour.

At this point the seasoning should be perfectly dry and smooth to the touch. Repeat this process two or three more times, or until you are satisfied with the results. At this point, you can do stovetop seasoning, or just start cooking with the pan. Bake some cornbread, fry some bacon, or caramelize some onions.

Clean the pan with hot water and a brush or sponge. If you have some stubborn food residue, a little dish soap won't hurt anything, just don't soak the pan in water. Dry the pan well, and if you want, put a little oil on it.

Good luck!

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