What a waste.
March 7, 2010 7:44 PM   Subscribe

I made some lentil soup earlier in my cast-iron dutch-oven/pot. It's a new pot and I've seasoned it once and that seemed to do a good job. Anyway, I had a bowl of my soup as soon as it was ready, but I just went back to the stove to pack the leftovers up and clean the pot and the soup has turned from a muddy green broth to a dark sludge, nearly black.

Searching around the web, I think I found out this has to do with a sulphur reaction between the lentils and pot. A few things I'm not sure about:

Was the soup safe to eat in the first place? Is it safe to it now? Even if it is, it's not very appetizing. And do I need to re-season the pot?

posted by Evstar to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's totally normal, and the food is safe. You don't need to reseason the pot, but even if you do, it will continue to do this to your lentils. I don't mind it, but if it bothers you, just use a different pot.
posted by runningwithscissors at 7:52 PM on March 7, 2010

Any other foods to avoid?
posted by Evstar at 7:55 PM on March 7, 2010

Red wine will taste nasty if used to deglaze on cast iron. Apparently the tannins react with it. I've used balsamic to deglaze cast iron but wouldn't be surprised to learn it can pick up an off taste. Acidic sauces can be troublesome, but I do tomato sauce all the time & don't have a problem.
posted by Dmenet at 8:52 PM on March 7, 2010

Not sure if the recipe mentioned it, but for the future when recipes call for using a pot or pan made out of a non-reactive material, this is why.
posted by Elminster24 at 10:15 PM on March 7, 2010

I haven't heard of tomato sauces being problematic in cast iron— maybe whatever reaction occurs there isn't objectionable. Or maybe tomato dishes usually don't stay in the pot after being cooked, unlike soups.

(My cast iron is so heavily seasoned at this point I don't know if the food ever comes into contact with actual iron…)
posted by hattifattener at 10:34 PM on March 7, 2010

It's aluminum that you're supposed to avoid with tomatoes.
posted by Pallas Athena at 9:07 AM on March 8, 2010

Acidic things like tomatoes are not recommended in cast iron because they will remove the seasoning from the pan.
posted by lawhound at 1:31 PM on March 8, 2010

Thanks, everyone.
posted by Evstar at 6:45 PM on March 8, 2010

You didn't mention if your lentils had tomatoes in them, but this will also happen in a non-reactive pot + tomatoes. Or even just lentils + air over time.

French green lentils, which are a bit puffier and hold their shape better than regular green or brown, don't oxidize as much.
posted by fontophilic at 7:52 AM on March 9, 2010

I used puy type lentils and there were no tomatoes in the recipe. Just lentils, some fatty pork, carrots, celery, thyme, etc.
posted by Evstar at 6:16 PM on March 9, 2010

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