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So...

I forged a meat hook for a friend. I'm very much a newbie and its not perfect, but I'm still proud of the end result.  BUT... What do I do know to treat it and make it food safe? I looked around the net for an answer and there's a lot of them, so I'm hoping someone here has a tried and true method that's already worked for them. It's a BBQ tool, so I'd like to protect it from the elements if I could and still make it safe to flip a steak.

Thank you in advance for any input you all might have.  RD

2017-10-25_14_11_03.thumb.jpeg.8907ffd8b718ab9cac3537ea2b1722e2.jpeg

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You could do a hot vegetable oil finish for it. This will be food safe, and give it protection against rust.

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Plain carbon steels are actually FDA approved materials for food contact.  In a commercial environment these days they limit that to cooking surfaces in general.

As to coating, I'd go with the old tried and true oil finish like you'd do on cast iron (or steel) pans.  Works best if you heat the item being coated to as close to the smoke point of the chosen oil as you can get.  Part of the process actually uses free iron as a catalyst to polymerizing the oil into a coating so you want the part to have a fresh surface...like a light fine sanding or run over with a scotchbrite pad.  Oil choice depends on what you have--but the LESS healthy the food oil is, the better it tends to polymerize into a coating.  Lard works great.  Super healthy oils like olive, less so.  Corn and similar about the middle of the pack.  People complain now that they can never get a good non-stick pan coating like Grandma had on her cast iron, forgetting that Grandma used animal grease and not corn drippins.

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Thank you to both of you! It was a fun project and then I was suddenly in a panic that I didn't do the research beforehand.  I had visions of it either poisoning his steak or rusting away.  I'm going with lard, mainly because, "forgetting that Grandma used animal grease and not corn drippins" made me literally laugh out loud...


Thank you again to both of you.

Rick

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1 hour ago, RickyD said:

 I'm going with lard, mainly because, "forgetting that Grandma used animal grease and not corn drippins" made me literally laugh out loud...

Rick

Yep... put it in the oven and heat it to about 150° then wipe the lard all over it then put it back in the oven to bake it in.

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9 minutes ago, JHCC said:

Réaumur.

I had never heard of this before but just had a quick read and is an interesting concept.

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17 hours ago, Kozzy said:

Plain carbon steels are actually FDA approved materials for food contact.  In a commercial environment these days they limit that to cooking surfaces in general.

As to coating, I'd go with the old tried and true oil finish like you'd do on cast iron (or steel) pans.  Works best if you heat the item being coated to as close to the smoke point of the chosen oil as you can get.  Part of the process actually uses free iron as a catalyst to polymerizing the oil into a coating so you want the part to have a fresh surface...like a light fine sanding or run over with a scotchbrite pad.  Oil choice depends on what you have--but the LESS healthy the food oil is, the better it tends to polymerize into a coating.  Lard works great.  Super healthy oils like olive, less so.  Corn and similar about the middle of the pack.  People complain now that they can never get a good non-stick pan coating like Grandma had on her cast iron, forgetting that Grandma used animal grease and not corn drippins.

Good t point worth repeating.

Always season pans with solid fats, not oils.

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I have been cooking for decades.

Lard is not necessary. I have used peanut or more often canola oil for seasoning. 

It works well for all my woks, kadais, and cast iron skillets.

Most of the Hindus and Moslems, in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc. will not lose lard (from the pig).

The majority of Hindus will not use beef (tallow?) to season their woks (Kadais).

Sri Lankans use oil too as many Bhuddists are vegetarian and the minority are Hindu Tamils are generally vegetarian.

The point I am trying to make, in a clumsy fashion, is the majority "wok" users employ plant derived oils to season the pans.

There have been several threads that discussed how to season ferrous cooking "woks".

Also, Pineterest has similar articles on the same subject.

Happy forging and cooking, Pilgrims.  (Thanksgiving cometh!)

SLAG.

 

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Food grade linseed oil has been suggested as one of the best seasoning oils. (often called flax seed oil to differentiate it from the "industrial" version)

However as an omnivore I find bacon a reasonable method and will save some of the "grease" in the freezer for new or aggressively cleaned pans.

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Yes,

The Chinese have a wok "spoon"/spatula that is large, and that spoon ends in a flat profile with the edge cut perpendicularly to help shove food around or commence "shoveling' the food for transfer. Tofu included.

These spatula/spoons can be viewed at any oriental food store. They are cheap and are generally handy for all manner of cooking, Oriental, and Occidental.

SLAG.

 

 

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2 hours ago, SLAG said:

I have been cooking for decades.

Lard is not necessary. I have used peanut or more often canola oil for seasoning. 

It works well for all my woks, kadais, and cast iron skillets.

SLAG.

 

Yup, you don't have to go with lard or "bad" fats...but it helps generate a quality coating with less fuss.  In the real world, I manufacture large scale food processing equipment including some parts for large continuous fryers (50,000 lbs per hour throughput for example).  In the good old days, they had no problem generating non-stick surfaces--because the oil blends had about 30% tallow along with the bulk oils.  They'd store the tallow it in huge heated silos so it would flow (bad day when the heaters went out on those).  

After the "Mad Cow" scare they all dropped the tallow from the blends because product couldn't be shipped overseas with any beef content.  Sticking started becoming much more of a problem after clean-up cycles.  Then the push came for more unsaturated fats and sticking got worse again...now they are often adding super healthy oils to the blends and several times a year I get panic phone calls trying to find a way to re-generate the cured oil coating because they can't seem to make it happen, no matter what they try.

Although my arteries disagree, my taste buds would sure like to see the tallow come back...and it would help with those stressful panic phone calls about sticking.

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Kozzy,

I do not take issue with your information. It is, also, very informative.

I suspect that the reason that I do not get food sticking while I stir fry etc. is that I do not scrub the cast iron skillet while cleaning it. I find that rinsing with a little water and a very small amount of detergent with very mild brushing, then rinsing. sufficiently cleans the wok.

My suspicion is that many people clean the wok/skillet too thoroughly scrubbing the wok, or cast iron skillet, to the point that the protective seasoning is removed.

You see that same style of quick wok cleaning in Chinese restaurant kitchens. (I have worked in some, years ago.)

They helped finance, some of my law school expenses.

Chinese chefs use vegetable oil for wok seasoning and cooking (usually peanut oil as it has the highest temperature flashpoint). They would not have a problem using tallow or lard. Pork & chicken is a mainstay of Chinese cuisine in much of China. But lard is not used to season their woks.

SLAG.

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1 hour ago, SLAG said:

I suspect that the reason that I do not get food sticking while I stir fry etc. is that I do not scrub the cast iron skillet while cleaning it. I find that rinsing with a little water and a very small amount of detergent with very mild brushing, then rinsing. sufficiently cleans the wok.

SLAG.

Absolutely # 1 truest and most important part of the whole coating process and bears repeating:  DO NOT OVER CLEAN!  Grungy looking is good as long as there aren't hunks of old food hanging on.  Thanks for bringing that up as it can never be emphasized enough.

On those big fryers I mentioned, they almost always over-clean and that's something I'm constantly ranting about.  SOP is to boil out with caustic for several hours, rinse with clear hot water, and toss in some acid to neutralize any remnants of the caustic...then whine because everything sticks for the next 7+ days...lather rinse repeat.

There are several cases where some...we'll call them "poor employee"...opened the valves to the oil and flooded that back into the fryer while the hot caustic was still in.  Result - a 6' wide x 70' long bar of soap that takes days to fully wash out :) 

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