When Good Iron Goes Bad

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. It took some serious love in the backyard and four rounds of reseasoning love to get it back into service as our Saturday pancake grill.

But a January mid-winter in mid-Canada is neither the time nor the place to strip a pan to bare iron.

Solution? Elbow grease, some steel wool, and an hour of grinding the blistering patch of dead seasoning into a smooth, bare spot. Then three rounds of hot-oven-baking-on some fresh carbon layers.

The results were successfully tested this morning… and those pancakes were delicious.