I flung myself headlong into seasoning my nice old Griswold cast-iron frying pan (see previous post). After settling on palm oil as a likely seasoning agent, I smeared a heavy layer on, looked up the oil's smoke point on the internet, and cranked the oven up to 450 degrees.
After a few moments, the magic carpet of smell swept me back to a time 20 years earlier...suddenly I was at the Mann Esplanade 3 Movie Theaters in my blue polyester uniform, standing in front of a huge popcorn machine, adding about 2 pounds of kernels to the popper. (I used to sometimes pop 50 pounds of kernels a night. I wonder how many cubic feet of popped popcorn that is.)
If there had been a doubt in my mind that we used palm oil to pop in at the Mann Theaters, it is gone now. I am willing to testify in a court of law that I popped huge amounts of popcorn in heart-clogging palm oil. The smell was unmistakable.
Smoke began wafting from the oven and I shut it off. More wafting. Fan on. Fan on high. Even though the oven was off, the pan kept smoking for a good half hour. I left it in the oven overnight.
The next day I got a comment on my blog saying "Don't use palm oil! It will leave a sticky surface. Try Crisco instead."
It turns out the smoke point of white palm oil is 450 degrees. Who knows what it is for the red palm oil I used.
Ok. Now I have a disgusting, sticky pan. I guess I will have to scrub it down to remove the gunk, then start all over again. I will keep you posted.
The upside is that Greg says the red palm oil helps his dry elbows. Always look for the silver lining.