My cast iron pan has started to give off tiny black flakes after 3 months of use. Are these dangerous in any way? Are we ingesting iron? There are patches on the skillet that are now a little lighter than their surrounding areas.
That is just the seasoning - the nonstick carbon that is formed after years of use - coming off. If big pieces are dropping in your food or you are freaked out by it, simply give your pan a good scrubbing with some steel wool and soap then re-season it.
To season the pan:
- Take a paper towel and soak a bit of oil into it
- Coat the inside of the pan with oil
- Put in a 250F over for about an hour
- Repeat each day until it has a nice shiny non-stick coating once again
Remember not to wash the pan with soapy water if you want the pan to stay non-stick. If there are bits of food in it from frying or such. Scrub it out with hot water and some coarse kosher salt, just nothing like steel wool, non-stick safe scrubbers are OK.