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Seasoning Emeril Cast Iron...

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi guys!

Just received a ton of the Emeril Cast Iron cookware for our wedding shower last week. I was doing some google searches tonight on seasoning it, and I'm totally lost on what to do because I don't want to mess it up.

So many people saying so many different things. One saying sand it down due to the wax on it, some saying season it with Vegetable Oil but others say it'll make it sticky if you do that. My head is spinning now and I'm not sure which way to go now.

What I wound up getting is:
- Reversible Grill/Griddle
- 6-Quart Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven
- Cast Iron 4-Quart Chili Pot
- Cast Iron Sizzle Plate
- 12" Cast Iron Skillet

Any advice or suggestions on which way to go with getting this set up correctly would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much,

post #2 of 23
Here's the "right" way to do it.

Other's may have other methods, but this is the one that I've successful used and taught for quite some time.

Caution! This method will create a lot of smelly acrid smoke. If you do it inside, be VERY SURE to have incredible ventilation. If you can't use a professional kitchen with a powerful flame hood ventilation system running, open your kitchen window and use a very powerful fan.

The first step is to get rid of the wax/mineral oil rust-prevention coating that came on your cast iron. Do that by using SOS/steel wool pads, lots of soap, lots of very hot water and lots of scrubbing. NOTE: This is the one and only time that you're cast iron should ever come in contact with soap. More on that later.

As soon as you've gotten rid of the last of the wax/mineral oil, rinse your cast iron thoroughly in very hot water, dry with a clean towel and place in a 250 degree oven to get bone dry.

After about 20 minutes, take out of the oven (using hot pads / gloves) and rub in an extremely light coat of Crisco with a clean low-lint rag. Cover all surfaces, inside and out. (If your coat is too thick, it won't stick and will flake off with use.)

Place your cast iron back into the oven, upside down so that no excess melted shortening can accumulate on the cooking surface. Crank the oven up to 400 - 450 and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, venting as much of the nasty smoke as you can. Then, turn off the oven and allow everything to cool to room temp, without opening the oven.

At this point, you should have a shiny black coat on all surfaces. (If you'd followed the usual advise and done it at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour, you'd have a sticky, brown coating.)

Then, just because you want to be a bit obsessive, repeat the Crisco coating and baking process two more times.

After the third pass through the oven, your cast iron will look (and cook) like treasured heirlooms from your grandmother.

If the idea of smoking up your kitchen is simply too much for you, can use use an outdoor grill, IF you can get it hot enough.

Care Tips:

Try to avoid stewing things, especially acidic things like tomato sauces, the first few times you use your cast iron. It's best to do a bit of frying with adequate fat at first.

When you're done cooking, simply rinse out the cast iron with very hot water and a nylon "scrubbie." No soap, as it tends to remove your hard-won seasoning and can be a ***** to rinse out fully.

If you have stuck on bits, don't fret. Simply put the cast iron on the stove and bring an inch or two of water to a boil, with a lid on. The heat will loosen whatever is stuck and you can then scrub and rinse with hot water.

Dry the cast iron immediately and place back on some heat. Melt a touch of Crisco, spread around in a very thin layer and heat until smoking. Then allow to cool and put away. (This will not only add to your seasoning, it will sanitize the cast iron.)

Lastly, don't lend your cast iron to anyone who hasn't been fully indoctrinated into the above.

post #3 of 23
<LOL> My ex-wife went after my cast iron skillet with steel wool (SOS, I think) and ruined it. It took a while to get it back to normal. Sheesh!

post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your response! I will give it a try and hope it doesn't stink up the kitchen too bad, I will put a fan on open the window and turn the kitchen exhaust on as well.

So I should do the same procedure for all of my pieces?
post #5 of 23

Already seasoned

Emeril cast iron cookware is pre-seasoned. I'm not sure you need to do all that work in order to use the pans. I wonder if castironchef knew that, and still recommends his/her seasonong technique.

post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
It still has the wax coat tho on it. And it doesn't seem as if all the piece are pre-seasoned. Hopefully he comes back and sees this thread :)
post #7 of 23
According to other cast iron manufacturers, All-Clad, and Emeril, the pre-seasoned pans just need to be washed. Which pieces aren't pre-seasoned?

Have you read the instructions that come with each piece? What do the instructions say? I've never used pre-seasoned cast iron - all my stuff predates pre-seasoning, so I can only give you a heads up.

post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Actually, all the directions say to wash with soapy water and season... Try and figure that one out.
post #9 of 23
The seasoning technique for pre-seasoned cast iron is different - a lot simpler - than the technique required for a non seasoned pan. Wash, dry, spray or wipe a light film of oil on the pan, and that's it (posting this from memory)

post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yes, but what about the wax coating. It won't hurt to re-season it.
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
I went to the supermarket and realized I wasn't sure if you meant Crisco Oil or the Shortening...

post #12 of 23
I'm sure that that explains the EX in ex-wife.

If the Emerilware is preseasoned, then I would recommend that you put two more coats on. If not, then go with the scrub and three coat method above.

However, I just checked a website description that used the phrase "matte enamel" for some of the items. If they're enameled, they don't really need seasoning, just careful not to chip off the enamel.
post #13 of 23
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
How do I tell? Oh boy this is confusing! LOL
post #15 of 23
No ... that had nothing to do with it.

post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Finally getting aroudn to seasoning our new cookware after the wedding, honeymoon and Christmas!!!

What is the first thing I should make? I read not to make anything acidic or stewy at first.

My other question is, can I use Olive Oil if needed when sauteting?
post #17 of 23
First thing, roux for gumbo. It cooks some more high heat oil into the pan.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Recipe please??? :)
post #19 of 23
Roux is just roughly equal parts flour and fat/oil. For making a dark roux, an oil with a high smoke point is desirable, peanut is good, but plain old vegetable oil is fine too. A wooden spoon or spatula is a good tool for this process too.

Mix the oil and flour together over medium high heat until it starts to darken a bit. Then reduce the heat to medium and keep stirring. Then after hte next few shades of darkness, reduce the heat again. Keep stirring. Any time the pan starts to show whisps of smoke, move the pan off the heat, keep stirring untill it stops smoking and back to the burner. Keep reducing the heat and stirring until its about like milk chocolate in chocolate in color.

As to gumbo itself, there are many past threads on that topic that the search feature will pull up for you.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #20 of 23
My wife ran my cast iron skillet through the dishwasher. I opened the dishwasher door and I could feel my jaw drop. It took me a while to get the rust off and season it again.
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
I just tried making potatoes and onions with the cast iron skillet, boy what a freaking mess. I'm thinking this entire experiment was a big mistake.

The kitchen filled with smoke, everything stuck to the skillett and it burned the potatoes without cooking them.

I don't know what i did wrong, I poured a little Olive Oil in then tossed some cubes potatoes. I chopped an onion and mixed it up.

Did I do something wrong?
post #22 of 23
i have the same problem with my cast iron emeril grill pan.....tried every which way to season (from this site and others) and still smoke the house up, even when not using oil,

I pan-grilled a strip steak last temp....just a little rub on it, no oil.....and in the pan, no oil, and i even filled between the grill grooves with salt.....

still setoff all smoke alarms.

I'm just going to keep using it, and hope it gets better.
post #23 of 23
Grill pans smoke. No other way around it. Cooking a steak properly needs high heat. That's just a recipe for smoke. There have been other threads about this issue with steaks and pans before.

As to the potato and onion dish. Raw cubed potato has a long cooking time compared to chopped onions. The sugars will burn in the onion before the potato is done. I learned from sad experience much like the one you described. So you cook the potatoes over medium to medium high- heat for a while until they're mostly done, then add the onion. When you first put in the potatoes, toss quickly to coat with the oil, then let them sit. They'll stick a bit while they're sitting. When they're ready to turn, they'll release from the pan, maybe as much as 5 minutes depending on the size of the potato, heat, seasoning of the pan and so on.

I, too, cooked some roughly 1/4 inch cubed russet potatoes in my Lodge cast iron skillet last night to accompany some pounded pork loin chops. No sticking, came out nice and golden, but the potatoes took probably 15 minutes in the pan. I borrowed a trick from Cook's Illustrated with the potatoes. Chop the potatoes, put in water in a pot or large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Drain immediately and put par boiled potatoes into the hot greased cast iron. The par boil cooks the outer starches of the potato so it crusts up nicely in the cast iron. I used some bacon drippings and olive oil for the fat. Seasoned with Lemon Garlic Rosemary salt and some black pepper.

For the flavored salt:

3 cloves garlic, 2 minced
1 cup coarse salt
zest of 2 lemons, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced

Place everything but the 1 whole garlic clove in food processor and process with 2-3 pulses until slightly ground and well combined.

Pour the flavored salt into a jar, place the remaining whole peeled garlic clove down in the center of the jar. Let sit at least 3 days before using. Keep covered and cool and dark. Keeps about 3 months.

I also used some of this salt on the pork too as well as some Adobo Seco
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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