Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Re-seasoning My Stargazer and Wapak Skillets
Jan 10 2017
Back in November I got my new Stargazer 10.5 inch cast iron skillet, made in the USA. I used the Crisbee to season it three times. It never looked good and after using some of the seasoning came off. I tried to salvage it by seasoning with grape seed oil over top but was not satisfied with it. I decided to wait until after Christmas and then redo it. For Christmas my wife had bought me a vintage Wapak #3 skillet at an auction. After inspecting it I was a little excited about it because it had what looks like two A’s crossed with an arrow for a center logo I had never seen on a Wapak skillet. I hope I can learn more about it.
With the holidays over and very cold weather it was a good time to redo both skillets. I ran them through a self-cleaning cycle in my electric oven for 3 hours. This stripped them down to bare cast iron. I decided to use Crisco to season them. Jeffery B Rogers, my guru for cast iron seasoning and care said if Crisco was good enough for his Mother it was good for him! He has a Facebook site under the Culinary Fanatic. I wrote him about my Stargazer and using Crisbee and he had a similar outcome. He also tells about some Australian carbon steel skillets that are stamped from one piece. They were so smooth would not take seasoning well so now they shot blast them for a satin finish that takes seasoning.
That makes me wonder how the old vintage cast iron came, were any pre-seasoned then or did the cook just start cooking and season as they used.
After cleaning my skillets I placed them in my oven and set at 500 deg. F. I took them out at 200 deg. and rubbed well with Crisco then wiped clean with Scotts blue shop towels, they are highly absorbent. Then at 300 deg. I took them back out ant wiped again. Be sure and place them upside down in the oven this keeps any excess oil from pooling inside the skillet. They were in the 500 deg. oven for 30 minutes and then let cool.
I did the same procedure two more times but just went to 400 deg. for the half hour. Jeffry says the 500 deg. the first time helps set the color. My Wapak skillet came out a nice black and the Stargazer was a deep brown on the inside but nice and even.
For my first cook in the Stargazer I fried a pound of bacon. I had no stick at all and it cleaned up great afterwards. For easy cleaning my cast iron I use Scotts blue nonabrasive pads, for stuck on food I use a chain mail.
For any of you that have vintage cast iron here is a good site to help date it.