Got a Debuyer Mineral Element Pan for Christmas. It has a thin coating of bees wax. I thought it would be nifty to preseason the pan with flax oil and get an awesome surface on it before I started using it. Mostly based on what I've read about iodine values of oils and conditioning of cast-iron cooking pans.

I managed to get a great looking seasoned surface on it but now that surface is flaking off. I suspect it's due to the beeswax being under the surface and the polymerized flax oil not adhering to the metal.

I'd like to strip off the beeswax and polymerized flax oil and start fresh. How can I strip it off without harming the metal? I'm assuming oven cleaner, but want to make sure that won't ruin my pan.

  • How did you season the pan? Did the pan not come with any instructions? Normally you simply heat some oil in the pan and leave it for 5 mins or so and pour it away, that removes the beeswax coating as well. – spiceyokooko Dec 29 '12 at 19:55
  • @spiceyokooko read this and you'll understand what I was after: sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/01/… – jcollum Dec 29 '12 at 21:13
  • I know exactly what you're trying to do. Now re-read the last sentence of your question. Now re-read it again. Now read what advice I've given you. What part of detergent will harm your pan do you not appear to understand? At no point should you ever use soap or detergent on mineral iron pans. At the end of the day it's your pan, you decide what you want to do with it. – spiceyokooko Dec 30 '12 at 11:52
  • @spiceyokooko you're being borderline rude. The article I linked deliberately recommends using oven cleaner on cast iron pans to strip off the polymerized fats. Is there some reason that wouldn't work on an iron alloy pan? – jcollum Dec 31 '12 at 0:47
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    @spiceyokooko yeah I read the instructions. I think you don't understand what I'm trying to do here. No worries, I got the answer I needed. – jcollum Dec 31 '12 at 17:30

There is a video at the manufacturer's web site.

My French is strictly limited, but it is pretty self explanatory even if you cannot read the captions. Just be prepared for some really cheesy music.

It appears you were supposed to wash off the beeswax (which is probably just to keep it from rusting during shipping and storage) and then season it much like any cast iron pan (although this is a die-pressed iron pan, and should be smoother).

The following advise is specifically in response to the original question asking how to remove the seasoning so that it can be re-seasoned as the OP desires. The general advise against using detergent or soap on a cast iron or pressed iron pan is to protect the seasoning on the pan, not the metal itself:

Now that you have a wierd amalgamated coating, I would wash it with something strong--like dishwasher detergent or Barkeeper's Friend--then when you are back down to the metal, season it as desired.

  • You should not use detergent of any kind on mineral steel pans, particularly not dishwasher detergent. – spiceyokooko Dec 29 '12 at 20:05
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    This is a special circumstance--we are actively trying to de-season it, so it can be seasoned correctly. Otherwise, yes, you would not normally use soap or detergent. – SAJ14SAJ Dec 29 '12 at 20:07
  • No it isn't. I've already told the OP what he should have done and what he should do. The heating of the oil will remove the underlying beeswax coating. There is no reason to use detergent on that pan and he'll go a long way to ruining it if he does. – spiceyokooko Dec 29 '12 at 20:08
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    The user manual which I have a copy of specifically states not to use detergent of any kind on the pan. Your advice is poor and wrong. – spiceyokooko Dec 29 '12 at 20:11
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    @spiceyokooko you're being kind of a jerk here. – jcollum Dec 29 '12 at 21:12

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