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A lot of times when I use my cast iron pan, I'll sometimes get some "black stuff" which I assume is gristle on my food. It doesn't taste bad, it's not a "TON" - I'm assuming it's a combo of burnt+black stuff from the cast iron pan.

Is this in any way dangerous?

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Do you mean gristle? That's cartilage in meat, the tough stuff you can't really eat. – Jefromi Oct 6 '13 at 21:09
Does this answer your question?… – Jefromi Oct 6 '13 at 22:03
Look at this one too.… Are you seeing any evidence of the seasoning of your pan being scraped up? How about evidence beyond the "black stuff" of your food burning? It's either one or the other. A well seasoned cast iron pan is a beautiful thing, if the seasoning of your pan isn't ideal, it's worth the effort to improve it. The best way to go about seasoning/reseasoning is the subject of much debate on this site, but I definitely recommend cleaning first with steel wool if you decide that reseasoning is necessary. – Jolenealaska Oct 6 '13 at 22:19
I don't know what gristle could possibly have to do with "black stuff" or cast iron in general. It would help if you could explain your logic. – Aaronut Oct 7 '13 at 1:14
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Black stuff on a cast iron skillet is most likely just a thin layer of burned food. It's not horribly dangerous (I'm sure you've eaten some charred things before) but it does make your food look worse, so you may as well just keep your skillet clean and well-seasoned and avoid it.

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I'm wondering if it isn't a bit of seasoning getting scraped up into his food. Again, not dangerous, just unattractive. Like maybe his pan needs the steel wool and reseasoning treatment? – Jolenealaska Oct 6 '13 at 22:00
@Jolenealaska That would be pretty obvious - you'd see damage to the pan and it'd look more flaky. Unless it's just not properly seasoned, I guess. – Jefromi Oct 6 '13 at 22:02

If you need to re-season your cast iron, first rinse carefully and put it upside down in your oven on self-clean. It will remove all the "dead black crust" and leave it brand spanking clean. THEN, rub it down all over (especially inside) with a layer of shortening and put it in a slow over (250 def.) for a couple of hours. Turn off the heat and let the pan cool inside the oven.

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