I understand this topic must have been repeated a billion times already, and I have read quite a fair amount of threads on this topic too. But it is always so much better if one gets a response, specific to his situation, so here I go.
Bought Lodge 12" Cast iron skillet. It said it was pre-seasoned but I seasoned it with soybean oil 2-3 times before use anyways. Was doing good, except that it started showing patchy grayish spots or maybe they were black spots, you get the idea, it was not visually pleasing! So I came upon the article explaining the science of seasoning and how I should be using flaxseed oil and etc. So I went bananas on my CI skillet, scrubbed it really well with one of those metal scrubbers, and [only to add more to my frustrations later on] I even sanded the inside to kind of smoothen the surface [Yes, I envy how smooth the inside of a Griswold skillet looks, compared with my Lodge!]. After this, I have seasoned CRAZILY with flaxseed oil! First I tried seasoning it by baking at 500F for an hour, after it was done, I could EASILY wipe off the black iron with tissue paper. I tried saving money on the oven gas and then went bananas over seasoning it over stove top. Got the skillet really heated up, applied a thin layer of flaxseed oil, waited for it to smoke completely, and while it was still hot, continued repeating this procedure 3-4 times! After it had cooled, guess what, I made lemon pepper seasoned tilapia in it, only for the fish to stick badly and leave a mark on the skillet. I thought the seasoning was done for or wasnt done properly to begin with. Thoroughly washed the pan with soup and sponge, reseasoned in the oven and this time tried tilapia again, but with different seasoning, Still stuck. Instead of cleaning the pan thoroughly with soap again, I just cleaned it with hot water and reseasoned it in the oven at 550F for an hour. It LOOKED like I had seasoned it properly NOW! Certainly, the inside was smooth and even when I scrubbed real hard with a paper towel, it was not picking up any black (iron). So I decided to go a bit light on the pan, added a layer of oil and fried 2 beef patties in it. Naturally the pan got very oily. So I used a little bit of oil to get rid of the oil. Guess what I notice when patting it dry with paper tower? IRON! The paper towel is EASILY picking up iron! I think I may have stripped the seasoning once again. Please tell me what am I doing wrong? I think there are 2 possibilties: Initially, I was not applying a thick enough coat of oil, which is why I would still pick up iron on the paper towel after it had cooled down in the oven. And this time, I may have stripped the thin coat of seasoning that I did manage to make on the pan by using soap. What do you guys think?