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Four coats

July 18, 2013
by Erin B

Yesterday I baked buns.  These buns.  I still don’t have a picture because I took them all to a party and we ate them.  Trust me that:

  1. they look like buns
  2. they are delicious enough that you won’t be thinking of food photography.

While the oven was warm, I went a head and added another layer of seasoning to my pots.  I am starting to be able to tell they are almost seasoned.  I can also see where I have done a better job on some as compared to others.  Which in interesting because I am working in a whole big batch and (in theory) doing the same steps at the same time in the same way on all of the pans.  None the less, I have some that look like this:

IMG_1281

Which is what I was hoping for.  Perfectly even coating, slight sheen, as smooth a finish as is possible in this pan given the milling on the bottom.  Lovely.  However, some of them also look like this:

IMG_1282

This is much more what I usually see when seasoning.  Even though this pan has much nicer milling/finishing of the metal (no ridges, polished interior) if you look closely you can see a slight dappled effect where the seasoning isn’t as even.  This is the sort of effect I usually get when I season my pans.  I suspect that this pan was ever so slightly more oily when it went into the oven last time.  It isn’t bad, but it isn’t quite as nice as the other.  The thing is……  when they went in, I couldn’t tell the difference.

I am still treating this as a great big experiment.  I am still curious what the final out come will be.  Really, once you get past the covered in rust stage and are looking at a seasoned pan, how a cast iron pan LOOKS doesn’t really tell you how non-stick it will be.  The down side of this process is that I still have at least three more coats before I get to cook on it and it looks like I already have a few pans that are not going to turn out as promised.

I could strip the dappled ones and start over but that isn’t really a fair test either.  Can your average house mom (me) actually pull this off?  “Is the promised finish actually achievable in real world conditions?” is as interesting to me as “Is the promised finish actually any better than what I was doing?”  At the end off all of this:  Cook off between the control pan (how I have always done it) and which ever pan looks the most like the one in Sheryl Canter’s blog.

Whenever I finally get to that stage.

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