I like to think that I have nailed the Maillard temperature on my stove. It's my go-to temperature for preheating tri-ply pans, as well as teflon-coated hard-anodized aluminum pans.
After years of relying primarily on tri-ply for cooking, I'm now returning to cast iron. (I lost a perfectly seasoned cast iron pan during a move, and couldn't see myself going through the labor of starting another).
As I preheat my twice-seasoned (once at the factory and once upside down in my oven at 375F for 90 minutes) cast iron pan, I see smoke rising.
Seeing some liquid oil after the second seasoning, I had (carefully and gently) washed (with mild dish soap and the blue-variety scotch-brite) the pan and dried it thoroughly. As I preheat it, it's smoking—despite the washing.
Can I start to cook on a cast iron pan while it's smoking?
It continued to smoke for a few minutes, and I suspect that that means it's not ready for cooking, but I'm not quite sure what the smoke means. Does it mean that the oil has not properly polymerized and it's still burning? Would just leaving it like that (still on the stove at the Maillard setting, not in the oven) for 30 minutes do the trick? (I'm reluctant to use the oven because the drips from the upside-down pan were far too messy.)