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"Seasoning" frying pans

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"Seasoning" frying pans

Postby rhyang » Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:56 pm

I've been using an MSR Flex Skillet (nonstick coating) for frying trout, and that seems to work for me. But being an engineer and a bit of a gearhead I've been experimenting with other pans.

On someone's recommendation from the Fishing Hole I picked up an MSR Alpine Skillet (stainless). In the past when I tried cooking with stainless pans at home I didn't fare too well, but recently realized that stainless has to be "seasoned". I found this article and am in the process of giving it a shot :

https://www.overstock.com/guides/how-to ... steel-pans

Last year I tried a Trangia 25 hard anodized pan thinking it might be nonstick. That did not work out well at all -- messy, sticky, lots of soap, etc. I now realize that I probably should have seasoned that one too.

I'm obviously going to experiment with this more, but was wondering if anyone has any tips to share on the subject. Thanks !

-Rob



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Re: "Seasoning" frying pans

Postby ERIC » Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:33 am

I have experience with this. seasoning is definitely the way to go. I season some of my home cookware as well. Side note - to keep my black, gas grill from rusting I coat it in spray vegetable oil and it keeps it looking brand new.
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Re: "Seasoning" frying pans

Postby John Harper » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:14 am

I use a cast iron pan at home, seasoning is very important. I'm not sure if stainless steel is the same, I think cast iron is relatively porous and the seasoning seals the iron. I could be wrong as usual.

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Re: "Seasoning" frying pans

Postby RichardCullip » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:11 am

As John said, seasoning cast iron is a must. For stainless steel cooking it is important to heat the pan first and then add the oil. The internet jury is still out on seasoning a stainless pan - some articles yes it's a must and others say there is no need. I assume it can't hurt and it just might help.
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Re: "Seasoning" frying pans

Postby mrphil » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:41 am

Yes, seasoning cast iron pans is a must, but it doesn't work the same way with stainless. It's a porosity and polymerized coating issue, and stainless simply doesn't need it, and won't take it. Also, one of the most important considerations in seasoning a pan is in how you clean it after you use it...you don't scrub it down and remove all the residue or you defeat the entire purpose. In the wilderness, in a backpack, in the Sierras, in bear country, the scent of oils, fats, and salts is going to be an attractant. I've been to several campgrounds over the years and seen bears leaving all the other cookware that's left out alone, but going to town licking cast iron skillets and griddles.
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Re: "Seasoning" frying pans

Postby Tom_H » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:04 pm

My grandmother had several cast iron skillets ranging from medium to huge. She started out cooking on wood stoves, and never used anything other than cast iron skillets. You don't want to wash them because they will begin rusting before you can even get them dry. The seasoning oil prevents oxygen from reaching the iron. Cleaning them involved scraping the oxidized oil residue out, wiping with paper towels (but avoiding enough friction to leave paper residue) and rubbing down with clean oil, Crisco, or salt pork. In the south, salt pork is called fatback and is used as seasoning in turnip and collard greens, lima beans, black-eyed peas, creamed corn, etc. Since many used the same "fatback" for seasoning as well as sealing the pan from oxidation, southern people called it seasoning the pan. Grandma then used a variety of oils for skillet frying chicken and other things.

Pans that don't rust don't require oil as an anti-oxidization barrier, but lipids do add flavor to food. I mainly use olive oil or butter depending on what I'm cooking. On the trail I would take thin teflon coated aluminum pans and mainly fried in butter carried in a lexan jar.
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Re: "Seasoning" frying pans

Postby rlown » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:21 pm

RichardCullip wrote:As John said, seasoning cast iron is a must. For stainless steel cooking it is important to heat the pan first and then add the oil. The internet jury is still out on seasoning a stainless pan - some articles yes it's a must and others say there is no need. I assume it can't hurt and it just might help.


As we are talking about stainless, this is the best approach. I have 6 Cast Iron pans for home use. And a non-stick for backpacking. The cast iron do need to be seasoned and quickly cleaned after cooking (wish my wife would get that concept as it requires re-seasoning if it just sits there after cooking)
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Re: "Seasoning" frying pans

Postby rhyang » Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:22 pm

Thanks for the tips everyone. I need to remember to heat the pan first !
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