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polish cast iron?

I recently polished up my small, rough cast iron skillet and it worked beautifully! I used a drill-mounted sanding disc of the flap variety available at most hardware stores. If you do this make SURE you wear eye protection and a dust mask would also be a good idea, you're throwing a lot of particles around. After sanding, the pan was smooth but certainly not polished. It seasoned quickly and it cooks like a dream. Just a tiny touch of oil is all I need to keep my eggs from sticking. So, for those of you wanting to get into cast iron and can't find a good used pan, go ahead and buy a new one and sand it down. It works fine.

Aug 24, 2008
ironmonger in Cookware

polish cast iron?

I, too have a very rough pan that I've been using on an almost daily basis for something like 4 YEARS and is STILL rough. It takes WAY too much oil/grease to cook things like eggs. All of my other iron cookware was easy to season and use, but not this latest one. The Lodge cast iron I've seen lately is abysmal! Even their 100 dollar plus super-duper stuff is too rough to cook in. When I emailed them about this, they replied that they don't polish their cast iron *anymore*, meaning they did at one time. And by the way, I have about a dozen various bits of cast iron and know how to use/season/clean/maintain it, and only this newest piece has ever been a problem. I'm about to try sanding this pan too. I feel I have nothing to lose since it's not improving with age like every other iron pan I have. My main workhorse pan is my 9 inch that I use for everything including pancakes and takes only the tiniest spritz of oil to keep it nonstick for several pancakes. I have a 12 inch I use for large skillet work and cornbread -- TIP: put it in the oven during preheating and pour your cornbread batter into the HOT greased skillet and pop it back in the oven. Superb! I have two 10 inch skillets I keep in reserve and only use when I make German Pancakes. I also have two small "cauldrons" that I like to use when serving chili.

A bit off-topic, but I don't like Teflon. Why should I buy a pan that I KNOW is going to wear out? Sure, as long as you only use it on low heat and take special care with it, it might last a long time. But Teflon wears OUT while iron wears IN. I have seen a few rare examples of broken/damaged cast iron, but I have never heard of an iron skillet wearing out, even after a hundred years of use. A lot of people will scream that they love their Teflon. Good, use it if you like it. That doesn't make it "better" than iron since they're two entirely different cooking surfaces, like stainless steel and glass.

Still Off-topic: And by the way, I've retired ALL my aluminum pans. Why run the health risks of cooking in aluminum when there are better alternatives...like cast iron.

Aug 01, 2008
ironmonger in Cookware