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Help Seasoning De Buyer Mineral Fry Pans

Thanks Chemical,

As soon as I'm able to get back to the computer tomorrow afternoon, I will find your email address and email you a couple of photos as well, which I was able to snap just the other day... Hopefully it will give you a much better idea of what is going on over here with this pan. We can then discuss my mailing it to you. I appreciate your help so much!!! Talk soon!

Sincerely,
Eleni

Feb 03, 2012
Eleni15 in Cookware

Help Seasoning De Buyer Mineral Fry Pans

Thanks Flash. I will check out the related topic you recommend, but I've about all but given up on ever being able to "fix" whatever might be causing this problem with the pan. When I have a little more energy, tomorrow, I'll check out this discussion for any further clues....

Feb 03, 2012
Eleni15 in Cookware

Help Seasoning De Buyer Mineral Fry Pans

Hello Chemical,

I was trying to look up the old threads about the recurring issues with these DeBuyer mineral pans. So here I've found you again on yet another thread regarding the seasoning of these, particular, pans.

I'm now at my wit's end and ready to give up with them. If you would like, please give me your address and I can mail you one (or even both of these pans) so that someone who is a little more "expert" might benefit from them. I appreciate all your help in the past. I've cooked two more eggs within the last week and the black gunpowder stuff is all over the bottom of the eggs again.

No water has touched these pans (only cooking oil --olive-- and butter) since my now endless attempts to remedy this situation. I wipe them down only with paper towels after cooking once they've cooled down. If this is indeed a rust problem, I cannot possibly conceive from where the rust is "being born" given the ZERO contact with water.

Ok, let me know if you want this pan or pans. And thanks again for all your help!

Sincerely,
Eleni

Feb 03, 2012
Eleni15 in Cookware

Is my cast-iron dirty?

Thank you Chemical.

Believe me, I'm going to keep trying your recommendations. I've cleaned off the larger 10" mineral pan with water as well, but haven't had this larger of the two pans leach anything off onto the 2 omelets I've cooked in it.

DeBuyer's video instructions recommend cleaning these pans off with very hot water and a brush after the cooking is done, do you believe they should never come into contact with water then? Let the pans cool down and wipe them off with paper towel and always use just the salt/oil mixture -- from time to time -- for "cleaning". Is this the best rule of thumb?

I will keep you posted on developments...thank you and Happy New Year!

Eleni

Jan 04, 2012
Eleni15 in Cookware

Is my cast-iron dirty?

Hello there Chemical and friends. I am back from holiday/vacation and went back to deal with my very extremely, technically difficult, french (DeBuyer) carbon steel 8" fry pan and its continued leaching of iron metal powder, rust onto my cooked eggs. I cooked yet another egg, and there it was: all the same "blackish tinges" on the bottom of the fried egg.

Is it rust? Can't really think of it as rust per se, as it is not reddish-orange in hue. The stuff coming off the pan onto to the egg is a charcoal colour metallic powdery stuff. I have photos, but will take a day or two for me to figure out how to post them here onto this thread.

In other words, the problem persists. I would love to solve it.

The larger 10" DeBuyer fry pan I own, which I've not attempted to season and only put the boiled potato peel tactic/method into use with that one. This larger pan retains its silvery colour (as opposed to the 8" pan which has taken on a MUCH darker hue, dark brownish, bronze) after cooking the kosher salt method over medium high heat for 20 minutes.

I actually picked up a Lodge flat griddle round fry pan in the Target store, for a relatively inexpensive price [about $14] because I want some way to cook some eggs for my kids. (I am still too afraid to use the DeBuyer's for cooking food for my kids.)

If we cannot solve the 8" fry pan mystery, I am willing to donate this pan to Chemicalkinetics or to any of the other kind people on this page who have put in so much effort into this quite puzzling problem. Perhaps more "seasoned" professionals could figure out this mystery with this pesky DeBuyer mineral pan???

Sincerely,
Eleni (Helen)

Jan 04, 2012
Eleni15 in Cookware

Discoloration on DeBuyer mineral pans [split from "Is my cast-iron dirty?" thread]

Hello everyone,

I will be out of town until Jan.3rd. I will find a way to upload the photos of the two DeBuyer pans in question, as well as the two photos of the two eggs from the other night. I simply haven't had enough time here on Christmas day, to figure out how to upload the photos. I hope to resume this discussion just after the new year, once I'm back in town, regarding the ongoing learning curve with the rust and/or carbon-- which is coming off these pans-- and onto the food. Thank you everyone!

Sincerely,
Eleni

Dec 25, 2011
Eleni15 in Cookware

Discoloration on DeBuyer mineral pans [split from "Is my cast-iron dirty?" thread]

Everyone here, thanks so much for all the ongoing assistance. I am horrible at navigating threads so I want to leave a quick thank you here on this thread to all the people involved in figuring out the mystery of the DeBuyer mineral pans!

Many thanks,
Eleni

Dec 24, 2011
Eleni15 in Cookware

Is my cast-iron dirty?

OK everyone, I am back. I just completed the next piece of advice from Chemicalkinetics. I took a paper towel and dropped a dab of olive oil into my 8" mineral pan. I rubbed the oil all around for a couple of minutes and a little bit of coloring came off the pan onto the towel. I was rubbing the pan very hard to pick up any rust (or whatever the heck this stuff is).

I repeated the oiling/cleaning process a second go around, before getting ready to cook the "test egg".

As I cooked the egg sunny side up on medium heat, I had high hopes that nothing would come off this pan, this time, onto the egg. I flipped the egg over easy, and I just saw trace amounts of the, now, silvery-grey looking powder tinge on the white color of the egg.

By the time I flipped the egg off onto the plate, the bottom side of the egg had indeed picked up a fair amount of the discoloring powder in question. Additionally, there was more of the metallic smell to the pan as well.

So I thought to myself, 'what else might I do differently here?'

Instead of rinsing the pan off with hot water, I just took a new paper towel and wiped the pan down to remove the butter I had just used to cook the egg. The pan itself has become very "non-stick" at this point, so there never really is any food residue left on it.

So I thought to myself, 'no more rinsing with hot water, since none of the egg is really sticking to the pan anyway'. I added another pat of butter and went ahead and cooked a SECOND egg.

This egg released beautifully, like the first and I prepared this one over easy as well. It was with great joy that I noted absolutely no grey-silver powdery tinges on this second egg. I almost couldn't believe it!

Not a trace of fine powder, I looked at all sides of the egg on the plate and could see none of the familiar stains on the egg white parts. I even took a picture of the two eggs and will try to find a way to attach a photo to one of these threads (if I can figure out how to do so).

Regardless, my only conclusion, for now, is that these DeBuyer mineral pans absolutely DO NOT LIKE water of any kind. If I can avoid it in the future, I will not use hot water rinses after cooking anything in these pans anymore.

I do remember when doing the boiled potato skins initial set up of the pans, that both pans released an slightly unsettling blackish tinge into the water and onto the peels which were boiling inside the pans. I figured this was "excess iron" from the factory? Regardless, the journey to figure out these pans will be ongoing it seems.

Also, should I consider these pans unseasoned? My limited knowledge of what this word actually means is as follows:

This is only MY guess...

A seasoned iron or carbon steel pan is a condition achieved in pans which so much cooking has taken place in it over time, that it is well seasoned? [insert laugh track here]

This is my definition of "seasoned" and I know it is probably 100 miles off the mark. Thanks everyone and I will await to hear your much valued commentary! I will also try to figure out how to post a photo of these two pans, the smaller 8" now is MUCH darker than the less used 10". Both though, are extremely new pans, relative to how long these things are supposed to last. They are both less than a month old now...

sincerely,
Eleni

Dec 24, 2011
Eleni15 in Cookware

Is my cast-iron dirty?

Thank you so much Chemicalkinetics. As soon as I can attempt this next recommendation, I will get back to you shortly thereafter with the results. I will keep my fingers crossed! I will send you the report by early tomorrow! Have a pleasant evening! Infinite Thank yous!

Eleni

Dec 23, 2011
Eleni15 in Cookware

Is my cast-iron dirty?

Hello again Chemicalkinetics,

I have a very hard time navigating these discussion boards, so please forgive that I am probably not on the correct "thread" (if that is what these are called) in regard to these DeBuyer Mineral pan discussion from a few days ago.

I tried your latest recommendation *with high hopes*, that I'd finally get to the bottom of the issue at hand (with the pan releasing the dark, powdery-fine charcoal, metallic-tinged sheen on the bottom of each and every fried egg I cook up)!!

I used your no-heat method, recommended from about two days ago, (just some kosher salt with a drip of olive oil and I scrubbed the inside of the 8" pan for about 3 or 4 minutes very well, moving the salt all about the pan. I kept wiping it off after rinsing it out with very hot water until I saw nothing coming off onto the white paper towel. I was CONVINCED that this time would be the charm!

I threw a pat of butter down into the pan and set it on the stove to heat up. I cracked a whole egg onto the heated surface and cooked the egg. The egg, once cooked, slid off the pan with the ease of a teflon type pan.

The moment of truth came when I took the fork and lifted the edge of the egg's surface to see how it looked underneath....(the part that comes into contact with the surface of the pan)....and alas, there it was--AGAIN--- the familiar grayish-blackish gun powdery, metallic looking tinge baked right into the bottom of the egg. This stuff that comes off the pan is very fine looking and difficult to describe, but there it is, each and every time!!

I am at my wit's end. At this point, I refuse to let my kids eat any eggs that come off of these pans. The eggs are of great quality; we buy them directly from a pastured poultry farm and they're about as good as it gets! I hate to waste these eggs, so either I eat them or my husband, as we try to surgically avoid eating the bottom veneer of the fried egg with the gun-powder coating.

I do not cook them with very high heat either, so there is usually no browning on the bottom surface of the fried egg-white, so I am not confusing browned egg white for this stuff coming off the pan itself. The egg-white remains truly "white" therefore I can see clearly the carbon stuff coming off of this pan and sticking to the food.

Please Chemicalkinetics, any thoughts on the matter? At this point, I'm ready to give these pans to a good new home (or at least to someone who knows better how to remedy this quite vexing process of seasoning / preparing these pans). They do have quite a strong "metallic" smell to them, if that is any clue, I guess kind of the smell similar to iron metal.

Contacting DeBuyer via email has yielded zero information. I will try one more time to contact the company and see if eating this carbon-looking stuff is wise.

Sincerely,
Helen (Eleni) Rainey

Dec 23, 2011
Eleni15 in Cookware

Discoloration on DeBuyer mineral pans [split from "Is my cast-iron dirty?" thread]

Infinite thank yous from me Chemicalkinetics! This latest recommendation of yours will now go into tomorrow's "to-do" list and I'm hoping it does the trick. Absolutely, this is definitely not a rust issue--more of a carbon type of thing going on. I will update you tomorrow and have a very nice evening!

Eleni

Dec 20, 2011
Eleni15 in Cookware

Discoloration on DeBuyer mineral pans [split from "Is my cast-iron dirty?" thread]

Thank you Chemicalkinetics. I really appreciate all of this help (infinitely!!) I am going to check out your videos you linked to [above] right now (I literally get only 1/2 hour free per day to check internet, web, and emails--as I run a very busy household managing 3 young children and a mother who is in the later stages of Alzheimer's).

Therefore, I will see what is involved in this "seasoning process" you recommend above. My smaller 8" pan is now a very dark bronze-ish bluey color after the 20 minute dry salt heated cook-off.

I cooked some eggs again this morning only to have this fry pan release the same "gun powerdery" looking residue on the bottom of the egg. The food item cooks up great and nothing really sticks to the pan (given its advertized natural "non-stick" properties), but I can't help but feel queasy about consuming this dark discoloring that comes off of the pan and onto the food.

I am hoping with the next step I take to remedy the situation (the actual seasoning process) it will somehow stop this process of the dark stuff being released from the pan. The larger 10 inch pan still retains its more silver-ish looking color, as I have not subjected that one yet to as much use or any higher heating or the salt trick. I do know that these mineral pans are supposed to darken with repeated use to a much darker, almost blackish color. Thank you again Chemicalkinetics for your continued assistance!
Eleni/Helen
Alexandria, VA

Dec 20, 2011
Eleni15 in Cookware

Discoloration on DeBuyer mineral pans [split from "Is my cast-iron dirty?" thread]

Hi everyone,
Well, I did the kosher salt thing just about an hour ago. I heated the pan with a nice coating of kosher salt at its base and moved the salt about the pan with a silicone spatula every 5 minutes or so. I'd say total time I heated the pan with the salt in it for about 15 or 20 minutes (it got very hot even with the medium heat setting on the burner) until I noticed the salt turning the recommended grayish color. I threw away the salt (yes, it was VERY hot) and then ran very hot tap water over the pan. Lots of sizzling of course.

The pan itself darkened during this salt heating process to what I can only describe as a bluish purplish brown hue. Very interesting. These are strange pans indeed. I dried it completely with paper towel and now that it has cooled, I will go back and apply another very thin coat of plain olive oil. Rust does not appear to be an issue, but--most certainly-- the pan looks nothing like it did when it was "new" about a week ago.

I will attempt Chemicalkinetics recommendation of seasoning the pan in the oven. I will have to check exactly how one goes about doing this seasoning via Wikipedia or any of the other places that might describe how it is done.

I can't thank you guys enough for answering my questions here today. This mineral pan sure is tricky to say the very least. I am hoping the next egg I cook in it will not release the dark and scary looking "gun powder" tinges like the last couple of times. The lady at Williams and Sonoma told me that these particular pans are "already seasoned" or that they "don't need seasoning"; I can't remember which.

Regardless, thanks to everyone here who has offered advice. Clearly one needs to be a bit of a rocket scientist to venture into these types of cooking implements!

Dec 19, 2011
Eleni15 in Cookware

Discoloration on DeBuyer mineral pans [split from "Is my cast-iron dirty?" thread]

I will try this -- thanks for all the pointers guys! Just for some additional info regarding this pan though, I've scrubbed it clean after each and every cooking use (only with hot water) and I use a clean paper towel to wipe it down. The black stuff looks like a very small amount of something akin to gun powder, for lack of a better way to describe it.

In other words, this black stuff is NOT any food residue which had not been properly scrubbed off from a prior use. It is definitely coming from the carbon steel or iron from which this pan is made??? This is quite troubling indeed. Ok, I'm off to try the trick with the kosher salt and oil mixture. Also, why do the instructions indicate never to "soak" these pans in water. Would they rust? I have noticed something which appears to look like rust on them before (after my husband accidentally placed the smaller pan in water to soak, I caught this about an hour after the fact).

Thanks again for your help guys!

Dec 19, 2011
Eleni15 in Cookware

Discoloration on DeBuyer mineral pans [split from "Is my cast-iron dirty?" thread]

Hello Chemicalkinetics,
I read another thread of yours regarding the DeBuyer mineral pans (two of which I recently purchased). I'm trying to move away from all the teflon stuff we used over the last 10 years and thought these pans seemed very organic and "safe".

Anyway, I followed all the weird instructions with boiling the potato peels before their first use and such and never using soap or soaking the pans, etc, etc... Coating them lightly with oil after cleaning them off.

With everything I cook, the pans are darkening and the food leaves outlines and markings (discolorations) on the pan's surface. Scrubbing them off with hot water and a brush after cooking something, does not make the markings go away.

I only rinse them with hot water and a brush and dry them off after that. I've never "seasoned" the pan per se (i.e.: coating in oil and baking for hours in the oven at 500 degrees???) I've never done that.

Regardless, of all the above, alarmingly, the mineral pans are releasing a dark residue onto the foods I'm cooking. (Mostly eggs for now--either sunny side up or scrambled) and I'm just feeling terrible about having my family consuming foods that appear to be getting "tainted", for lack of a better term, by the blackish stuff that is coming off of these DeBuyer pans and settling onto the food I cook in them.

I've sent a question to the company's [DeBuyer] website, but they never sent me a response. I'm hoping that you, Chemicalkinetics, and your apparent infinite wisdom regarding all these cooking vessels and utensils could maybe shed light on this problem??? These pans were rather pricey and I'd hate to think I've either ruined them or that they are defective, or worse yet---poisoning us in some way.

Thank you very much!

Helen Rainey
Alexandria, Virginia

Dec 19, 2011
Eleni15 in Cookware