A good quality skillet is an important arsenal not only as cookware but also as bakeware. Cast iron skillets have been popular for today’s kitchen in providing unmatched durability, functionality, and versatility over other cookware. It can do the same functions as a standard frying pan while also providing the needed durability for high-temperature cooking (like baking and broiling).
Create a wide array of recipes using a single piece of equipment. Prepare the best-tasting appetizers, proteins, vegetables, and desserts—inside the comfort of your home. Cast iron skillet also reduces time in transferring your contents into an oven-safe vessel. What’s better about this product is you can purchase your skillet at affordable prices. Maintaining your skillet includes the process of seasoning your cookware-bakeware. But sometimes, the much-needed maintenance leaves a gooey, sticky touch on your beloved cookware.
Should A Cast Iron Skillet Be Sticky After Seasoning?
To retain the non-stick properties of your cast iron skillet, regular seasoning is important. Seasoning involves a step-by-step process of applying high-temperature oils (like flaxseed oil and grapeseed oil) before inserting them inside the oven. This leaves a lustrous sheen on your pan that acts as a natural non-stick coating.
Seasoning your cast iron skillet can sometimes leave a sticky sensation in your hands. If you regularly season your cookware, it should not be sticky while using. Cast iron skillet produces a durable and healthy coating through seasoning—that prevents sticky residue during the cooking process.
However, there will be times that despite you seasoning your cookware regularly, food particles still stick to its surface. Listed below are several reasons why your cookware is still sticky after seasoning.
- While oils, butter, and shortenings act like natural non-stick materials, applying too much will create an unwanted sticky surface. If your pan is already pre-seasoned, adding typical oil amounts for your cooking will be too much for your cast iron skillet.
- Another reason why cast-iron skillet is sticky: improper temperature. Oils must be placed while the pan is already heated enough and not when both oil and pan are cold. The sudden rise of temperature will quickly create sticky residues in your cookware.
If you happen to use these improper methods, there is a high chance that your cast iron skillet already had food and oil residue all over. This produces an abrasive texture to your already seasoned pan. Cast iron cookware with this condition will retain its stickiness, despite continuously seasoning it.
What Do I Do If My Cast Iron Skillet Is Sticky After Seasoning?
If your cast iron skillet is adequately and properly seasoned, it will have enough protection to prevent your food from sticking to the skillet’s surface when cooking. Seasoning is a process where your cast iron skillet is drenched with heated oils until it creates a formidable coating. If the food is sticking still despite doing such a process, re-seasoning your device will undo this damage. Properly seasoning your cast iron skillet will replenish your cookware-bakeware back to its original state.
- Pick up your sticky cast iron skillet. If it is used, remove the excess dirt and grime with mild soap and water. This excess food buildup may not only cause the food from sticking to your cookware, but it can also place risk to your health.
- Remove the excess oil completely by placing mild dish soap in a scourer. Scrub it enough for the dirt to remove completely, but not too much that it will strip the cast-iron’s natural coating.
- Repeat the process until the cast iron is no longer sticky to touch. You may conduct a tissue test, which involves placing a tissue into the pan to check if excess oils are still visible. You can also use your fingers in case you don’t have paper towels.
- Properly season your cast iron skillet. Despite vegetable oil, canola oil, and staple cooking oil that can temporarily provide a seasoned skillet, it is advisable to purchase oils with higher heating points like flaxseed oil and grapeseed oil.
- Aside from proper oil for seasoning, acquiring higher temperatures will ensure that your cast iron skillet gets the needed temperature for the oils to absorb the cookware. The pan should be hot enough (temperatures exceeding 400°F/204°C) for the burnt oils to bond with the metal—creating a shiny, seasoned, new sheen.
Current Ways to Season the Skillet
As mentioned earlier, seasoning your skillet will do wonders for your cooking. Sticky iron-cast pans require re-seasoning to rejuvenate the metal’s surface. It may not look very safe for some to try on their home, but it is a simple task to do. All you need are seasoning oil, cotton or lint-free cloth, and a heat source (oven, direct heat).
To season your skillet back, you may follow these simple procedures:
- Clean your pan thoroughly. Pre-seasoned pans are made with soy-based seasoning or burnt gunk when you are misusing them. Remove the dirt by washing it thoroughly with mild soap and lukewarm water.
- Preheat your cast iron pan. To dry your pan completely, place your pan to your 200°F/93°C to warm it up until your metal’s pores release excess moisture.
- Start seasoning your pan. After the pan can be touched by your hand, begin applying fresh, non-rancid seasoning oil. Oils like flaxseed and grapeseed can provide the best quality since they have high heating points without creating side effects. Rub your seasoning oil well until all of the parts are already covered.
- Bake your seasoned pan. Place your oil-drenched skillet upside down in an oven with a temperature of 500°F/260°C for one hour. Allow the pan to cool down and repeat the process until the pan absorbs the oil completely. It will take five to six attempts before the pan is optimal enough for non-stick cooking.
- Test your seasoning. To test if your seasoning works well, conduct an egg test by frying an egg and sliding it across the skillet. You can test pancake batter as well. If the pan doesn’t leave a sticky residue, it is good for us.