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Smooth vs Rough Cast Iron Pan: Which One is Better?

Jul. 08, 2022

Why is my cast iron skillet bumpy? If you are at all familiar with vintage cast iron, you know it is smooth. Was it always smooth, or did it get smooth over time through seasoning and heavy use?

Is today's bumpy cast iron better or worse than the smooth cast iron of the past? The debate is real and ongoing, and you may have your own opinion.

Or, maybe you just want to know why cast iron is bumpy. Regardless of why you're asking this question, let's now find out the answer.

12 Inches Cast Iron Frying Pan

12 Inches Cast Iron Frying Pan

Why is my cast iron skillet uneven?

The simple answer to this question is that cast iron is cast in a sand mold. All cast iron begins with the pouring of iron into a mold made of sand. Whether cast in the 1800s or yesterday, every manufacturer used sand molds. Sand molds produce bumps. In other words, cast iron always comes out of the mold unevenly from the sand indentation. But in the past, manufacturers included a machining step to remove most of the bumps that are no longer made. As a result, newer cast iron is bumpy.

Should cast iron to be smooth or bumpy?

This is a good question and one that is debated by many. Those who advocate smooth say that it has far better non-stick properties than rough cast iron. And those who prefer a textured finish will tell you that having lumps is better for seasoning. Unfortunately, none of these reasons tell us which is better.

While smooth may be more difficult to get good seasoning, does it need to be seasoned to make it non-stick? No, it doesn't. If uneven cast iron is easier to season, does it need to be unseasoned to be non-stick? Again, the answer is no. Smooth cast iron has advantages that bumps don't have or need and vice versa.

Cast Iron Frying Pan

Cast Iron Frying Pan

How Do You Smooth Out a New Cast Iron Skillet?

You basically have two choices: you can sand the bumps down or you can continue seasoning your cast iron pan in the oven and/or through cooking until all the pores are filled in. If you choose to season, the process of getting a smooth surface will take longer, no doubt, but there is little risk.

On the other hand, if you want to smooth your pans now and you want to try sanding them. Some people will remove the seasoning first, which some say is unnecessary. So keep that in mind if you decide to sand your pans.

Also, keep in mind some of the risks associated with sanding. If you sand too far and not just the textured part of the iron, you can make your pans

More fragile, more prone to cracking or breaking

Uneven surfaces, uneven cooking, and the potential for cracking or breaking

But many, many people have done it successfully.

Polished Smoother Cast Iron Skillet

Polished Smoother Cast Iron Skillet

 Polished Smoother Cast Iron Skillet

Smooth vs Rough Cast Iron Pan: Which One to Choose?

If you're asking, "Why is my cast iron skillet bumpy?" I believe you now have a better understanding of why. The main reason is that cast iron is made in a sand pattern. When the pan is removed, the sand leaves a texture.

In the past, manufacturers would take the time to flatten the pan, but today this step has been eliminated. The reason for no longer performing this step will depend on who you are asking.

Today, some people prefer a smooth and some prefer an uneven texture. Again, they have different reasons for this. There's nothing wrong with having a bumpy pan; there are even some advantages, but there will always be people who prefer smooth, and that's okay.

Smooth Cast Iron Skillet makes cleanup easy get all the perks of cooking with cast iron plus one BIG advantage - a smooth finish! No seasoning is needed.

Whether it's a smooth cast iron skillet or a bumpy one, Sarchi can customize your cast iron skillet to your liking. As a cast iron cookware manufacturer, Sarchi Cookware is a cast iron pan manufacturer that you can entrust. We can customize the size for you. Similarly, we can also paste your logo for you and guarantee the best quality.

For more information about how to sand cast iron pan, welcome to contact us at +86 131 3117 2753 or write to us at We will be happy to help you out!

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