My big ol’ twenty inch reversible grill has developed some pitting over the summer and I’ve been contemplating the pros and cons of various methods to strip a pan down to bare metal and start the seasoning process from scratch. 1. A self-cleaning oven on clean mode heats up the pan hot enough to incinerate the seasoning and burn off everything down to raw iron, but it heats up the house and has been linked to cracked pans. 2. Roasting a pan in a fire or over the barbecue can get the iron hot enough to turn the seasoning to cinders, but the heat is uneven and, again, has been said to warp or crack cast iron if not carefully…

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You get a new pan from the store, or an old, new-to-you pan from a family member, and the first thing you’re likely to do is spend some time re-seasoning. Fresh from the factory, or stale from neglect, obviously is a great time to put in the effort. But what about the pans you already own and are using regularly? How do you know if they need some intensive cast iron care or even a full seasoning restart? I was cooking a batch of buttermilk pancakes this morning and noticed a chip on my twenty inch grill, the same pan that had given me some trouble a couple months back (but in a different spot on the pan!) That blemish…

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My twenty inch cast iron grill pan sees service at least once a week (when we’re home, that is) on Saturday mornings as a pancake making workstation. For at least a decade our family tradition is a fresh batch of these simple breakfast treats. 1 1/3 cups of all purpose flour3 tablespoons of granulated sugar1 tablespoon of baking powder1 egg3 tablespoons of vegetable oil1 teaspoon of vanilla1 1/2 cups of white milk1/2 cup chocolate chips The flour, sugar, and baking powder get mixed together in a medium bowl. The egg is whisked in a 2 cup measuring cup, then I add the oil, vanilla and milk and mix again. The wet and dry are combined, mixed lightly, populated with the…

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My beloved twenty inch cast iron grill pan developed an ugly blemish over the autumn months. A scar. A scab. A patch of failing seasoning crusted, bubbled and flaked off leaving a rough spot the size of a medium pancake on the middle edge of an otherwise awesomely seasoned piece. This isn’t beauty-shaming. A good quarter of the grill was rendered useless for cooking by a spot of flaking seasoning. I worked around it. At first. Then I ignored it. But it only got worse. Three years ago I had cleaned this particular pan down to bare iron. I ran it through the deep cleaning cycle of the oven and burned off all of the seasoning. It was a mess.…

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