I have 3 new pre-seasoned cast iron pots as gifts I cleaned as instructed before using. But when I tried simmering a nice pot of beans in one the broth turned really black. I had to throw away everything now I am afraid to use them what can I do

  • 5
    Were they black beans?
    – Catija
    Jan 27, 2016 at 17:24
  • 2
    Don't use cast iron for boiling, I mean you can, but you'll always get a slick and darkened water. Use stainless or enamel for boiling.
    – Escoce
    Jan 27, 2016 at 17:28
  • 1
    @Escoce Cast iron Dutch ovens are regularly used for stews, chili & cookin' up a mess of beans.
    – Debbie M.
    Jan 27, 2016 at 23:48
  • 2
    My cast iron Dutch oven is enameled on the inside...
    – Catija
    Jan 28, 2016 at 0:09
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    I agree, but some people just don't like the way some things come out in a cast iron. I have the whole family of cast iron pots and pans, and even have 2 of a few things I use a lot. Cast iron stays on my stove because it's what I reach for first. Only exceptions is my stock pot and sauce pans which are stainless.
    – Escoce
    Jan 29, 2016 at 23:38

2 Answers 2


It sounds you ended up with magnetite in your broth. That is the black stuff you want to use to season cast iron pans by binding it with fats. Sounds like that went wrong with your pans. If you really want to use them for boiling, you need to season them again, and test if that was successful...(water with a drop of lemon juice or two or three as a test). It is not poisonous.

If you don't know how to season a pan, this is the method I like to use: guide for seasoning a pan

  • Hello Marc, your citation was very, very long, to the point where it is probably not fair use any more. Also, it's not really part of the answer, as the question was not "how to season a pan" (which we have answered elsewhere extensively). As a moderator, I kept the link as an optional resource, but removed the pages and pages of a citation.
    – rumtscho
    Jan 29, 2016 at 17:11
  • 2
    And separately from the moderator action, speaking as a user: Cast iron seasoning does not consist of magnetite, nor is magnetite created by "binding iron with fats" (which, chemically speaking, doesn't occur at all). Also, if the coating leaked the first time (I'm not sure that's what happened, but this is what your answer assumes), why would you suggest that the OP continues boiling in a seasoned cast iron container?
    – rumtscho
    Jan 29, 2016 at 17:14
  • Here I thought a magnetite was a pokemon... oh wait thats Magnemite.
    – Jay
    Jan 29, 2016 at 18:42
  • I did not suggest the OP to continue boiling in cast iron. The rest is obvious from the citation.
    – Marc Luxen
    Jan 29, 2016 at 23:34

It is best not to boil anything in a cast-iron pan or pot. The boiling water lifts the oil seasoning off the iron and exposes the raw metal again, leading to oxidation. Starchy foods, such as beans or potatoes, increase the reaction.

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