Cooking with cast iron

  • I am looking for some knowledge and help.
    Our family has hosted a soup cook every few years. The soup is a mock turtle soup…essentially vegetables, chicken, and beef. We cook in a 20 gallon cast iron kettle that we borrow. In the past I have noticed a faint cast iron flavor I the soup. This year the flavor is either much stronger, or I have a higher sensitivity. The soup has tomatoes paste and ketchup ingredients, so it is acidic.

    Further research indicates that the kettle we use may need to be seasoned again. This is most likely the cause of the metallic flavor.

    My question is does anyone have a recommendation on anything that can be done or added to decrease the metallic taste in the leftover soup?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

  • Team Blue Power User Traeger Primo Grills PK Grills Canning Sous Vide Community Moderator

    I cook 99% of my food in cast iron, and have never noticed an iron taste. Like you mentioned it msy just need reasoned, which should help as it will in theory create a barrier between your food and the cast iron. As long as the cast iron is well seasoned acidic foods shouldn’t be a problem.

  • Canning Dry Cured Sausage Primo Grills Team Blue Sous Vide Power User Cast Iron

    Jay Fleck Re-seasoning is the preventative for the next batch, but I can’t think of a thing to remove the iron taste from what you have already made. Only guess I would suggest may be to heat it with whole potatoes and then remove the potatoes, If you do this, just try with a small sample batch as an experiment. Good luck.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Jay Fleck The potato thing that Chef is talking about is good for reducing salt content but I don’t know about a metallic taste. Now, it is possible that it isn’t your cast iron but an ingredient you added that you is giving you that taste. For example, Bacon will give off a strong metallic taste when it goes rancid. Doesnt mean it has truly spoiled but it does mean it has been in the freezer too long. Was any of the beef you used very fatty and or old or cured?

  • Jonathon We use chicken, beef, and ground beef. Chicken and beef were fresh. Ground beef was frozen less than 6 months. Same ground beef used over the last few months has been fine, so I doubt that could be it. We did use some frozen vegetables, but they were recently purchased as well.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Jay Fleck Yeah then it probably was not your meat or other ingredients. I’d season the cast iron really well for future use but I don’t think there will be anything to be done with the soup already made. Flaxseed oil has become more popular recently to cure cast iron but I found it really hard to work with, seemed to gum up more often but maybe I was using too much? Vegetable oil is what I think gives me the best results.

  • Team Blue

    Jonathon I’ve been using a bees wax blend from the folks at made-in that works well for seasoning and avocado oil for upkeep

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Joe Hell Living in the pacific northwest you get all those cool trendy things! We get corn and flatness, hooray! Just kidding I love Kansas but I have never heard of beeswax for curing. Is it just like using a veggie oil or do you cook it on at different temps?

  • Team Blue

    Jonathon when I bought my made-in carbon skillet I purchased the the seasoning wax they offered. It seems to work really well. After each use I clean the pan with a scrubber pad and hot water. I will then crank the heat on the pan and add a splash of avocado oil because it has a high smoking point and spread it around the pan with a paper towel and let cool

  • Team Blue

    I have had really good results using peanut oil. As noted, you most likely lost the ‘seasoning’ of your kettle with the acidic ingredients so, you need to rebuild the seasoning.

    Normally, I’d cook some breakfast sausage or bacon but, with a huge kettle, I’d get it hot enough to make water drops ‘dance’ and mop it with peanut oil and its high smoke point. Do this 3 or 4 times after each coating ‘bakes’ in. If you wipe the kettle down after cleanup when you reheat for the next batch, it will help with the seasoning issue assuming the kettle stays clean and the oil itself doesn’t go rancid. The best bet is to wash and heat it up good and mop a new layer of peanut oil on.

  • Thank you the replies. I’ll plan to season it the day before my next use.

  • Team Blue

    Jonathon Peanut All

  • Team Blue

    Tex_77 Ditto. What have you been washing that pot with? May have scrubbed the seasoning out & got some taste into it if you are using soup or anything. We use just very hot water & sometimes just wipe them clean, depending on what has been cooked that time. I seasoned our about 40 some odd years ago & never missed a beat since. Use pots, (little & big), skillets, just about you name it.

  • Sous Vide Team Blue Power User Regular Contributors

    Joe Hell 99% of the time I heat up the cast iron, put a good amount of kosher salt in it and use paper towel to rub it clean. Keep on going till all the residue is off the surface. Rinse it with very hot water and dry it. Put it back on the burner to rid the surface of any residual water. Then, hit it with a very small amount of your favorite oil. I store it upside down to allow for any excess to drip out. Keeps it ready for the next use. But, what do I know. I only have 8 different cast iron cooking implements with only one bought new.

  • Sous Vide Team Blue Power User Regular Contributors

    Jay Fleck Just make sure you season it upside down to allow any residual oils to not be burnt into the surface.

  • Team Blue

    As long as you use a thin layer of oil, you shouldn’t have any problems with seasoning or cleaning it (wiping it out). Thick oil or even a puddle will ruin the seasoning though so, be sure to pour off any excess oil and wipe it lightly with a paper towel if you apply a bit too much.

  • Sous Vide Team Blue Power User Regular Contributors

    sidpost Absolutely! Thanks for the support. Do what works best for you and have fun doing it.

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