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seasoning carbon steel pans

There is no doubt that we love our carbon steel frying pans. We can say that they are good options when buying a frying pan. No one will hate it with its durability, ease of keeping up with, and being free of toxic chemicals. Sit back and finish reading this article. Here, we’ll teach you how to season carbon steel frying pans.

Like many families, our family had been using non-stick frying pans for some time. The benefits were very obvious. Cooking all types of food without worrying about scratches or peeling protective coating. But eventually, the cost started to add up as we replaced them annually when visible scores and scratches appeared.


There was a documentary we watched in 2018. The title of this investigative documentary is The Devil We Know. That’s when I learned the toxic compounds used on non-stick cookware and their detrimental effects on health. As a result, we ditched all our non-stick dishes in favor of carbon steel pans. To be honest, it was a wake-up call.

Now that we know the comparison between carbon steel vs cast iron pans. Let’s address some frequently asked questions: Why seasoning and cleaning these pans? 

seasoning carbon steel pans


Seasoning carbon steel pans is vital for several reasons. First, seasoning provides a protective layer against rusting. Second, seasoning convert its surface into a non-stick to maximize performance and durability. Both benefits apply equally when seasoning cast iron or wok pans. Seasoning involves heating oil in a pan to bond to its cooking surface. It creates a natural protective coating that prevents food from sticking without worrying about breakdown over high heat. Seasoning also helps ensure optimal cooking surfaces with other oils, such as sesame. Seasoning a carbon steel cookware pan is straightforward and effortless. Having simple results, you can use them immediately to enjoy delicious cooking experiences. With the addition of a well-maintained carbon steel pan season, you can enjoy simple results immediately, enhancing your delicious cooking experiences. These experiences include perfectly frying, searing, pan-frying, and stir-frying vegetables. Plus, it last longer, and you will truly love cooking in it.



Here is a video on how to maintain cast iron skillet. Getting accustomed to everything may take some time, but the effort will be well worth it.



1. Remove the Protective Coating Using Sponge and Hot Water

New carbon steel pan  typically come unseasoned. Protected with a thin protective layer to prevent the metal from rusting. You’ll know it’s unseasoned if your pan has an unusual metallic grey hue rather than black like most off-the-shelf cast iron pans. The first step to successful pan maintenance is removing its protective coating. Because different manufacturers use different varieties. I won’t provide specific instructions here for that process. Just follow any provided by your pan manufacturer and follow their guidelines accordingly. After doing that, make sure you wash it well afterward.

2. You Need to Dry the Pan

As soon as you’ve washed your pan of its protective coating, it is imperative to dry it immediately. Now that the stuff protecting it from rusting has vanished, rust can form rapidly on any exposed steel. After I have towel-dried the pan. I usually place it over a stovetop burner to evaporate any remaining moisture and take the next step.

3. Pour 1 mm of Oil and Heat the Pan on Medium High

Be careful not to pour more than 1 mm. Otherwise, the sides will burn off residual oil and turn black instead of producing an elegant patina finish. On the stove, carefully move and swirl your pan to avoid leaving oil residue behind on your surfaces. Warm your oil until smoking occurs (usually, about 8-12 minutes, depending on your stove), then turn it off and allow the oil to cool.

4. Pour the Oil and Apply Oil Sparingly

Lightly coat a kitchen towel you don’t mind ruining with a neutral oil such as canola oil, vegetable oil, or grapeseed oil. These may not work with butter which contains water and milk solids. Additionally, olive oil tends to cost more and often contains sediment. Apply the oil liberally throughout the entire pan, inside and out. Make sure that any excess is removed by buffing until the pan looks dry. Any additional application of oil could easily ruin your seasoning. Leaving a sticky coating that’s difficult to fix. If you doubt about whether too much has been applied, rest assured that it was too much. Buff it dry and out, and remove any signs you oiled that pan. No need to fret, my friend. There’s still enough oil present for seasoning purposes.

5. Burn It

Now heat the oiled pan either on its highest burner setting or in your hot oven. Carbon steel doesn’t conduct heat well. In that case you may have to move the pan around while heating. This is to ensure all areas of oil have formed polymers evenly. How can you tell? With new carbon steel, you can actually see where oil has set into a solid coating with subtle brown hues. Now, that’s the seasoning we’re talking about! As this process will produce significant smoke. Beware that opening windows and turning on fans may help. Send your kids outside to play while this process continues. Smoking will eventually stop, signaling that the oil coating has completed its transformation. How long does this take? It depends on your burner and pan size. Several minutes may suffice in a burner setup. Whereas 30 minutes should do it for an oven setup.

6. Repeat It

Continue applying micro-thin layers of excess oil and heating them until they darken. Until your pan has at least reached a dark shade of brown. It means it’s enough seasoning to start cooking if it reaches dark brown.

Over time, your pan will become darker and develop an appealing patina. Over time it becomes even less sticky, as can be seen with newly seasoned pans where some foods easily move about. The key to maintaining your carbon steel pan is making sure it is cleaned off after every use with hot water only. Here are three easy steps for doing just that.


1. Wash It

Clean your seasoned carbon steel pan by hand using warm water and soap. If it’s a must, use a scrub brush, pan scraper, or non-scratch pad as necessary. For stuck-on food debris, simmers 3-5 minutes in water before using your scraper after it has cooled in to clean it away more effectively.

2. Dry It

Dry quickly and completely with a paper towel or lint-free cloth.

3. Apply Oil

Pour a very thin layer of cooking oil onto the surface of the pan. After that gently rub until evenly distributed.

seasoning carbon steel pans







Tips on Cooking in Seasoned Carbon Steel

1. Use a carbon steel pan in all-around cooking.

Seasoned carbon steel pans can fit seamlessly into any kitchen environment. It can fit even in induction, ceramic, electric, and gas. But wait, there’s more, as well as in the oven, grill, or campfire.

2. Gradually heat and cool your pan always.

Preheating your pan slowly helps spread heat evenly. Preheating eliminates hot spots on your cooking surface and prevents warping. Cooling it slowly after use also prevents warping.

3. Only use heat-resistant utensils, metal, or wood.

Preheating your pan slowly helps spread heat evenly. Preheating eliminates hot spots on your cooking surface and prevents warping. Cooling it slowly after use also prevents warping.

4. Always use an oven mitt or a pot holder.

Carbon steel handles become hot while cooking. That is why always use a pot holder or oven mitt to protect yourself while handling a hot pan.

5. Use trivets to protect countertops.

Protect your dining table and countertops with trivets to protect them from hot cookware.

Enjoy your Cooking!


These steps will help you create the ideal carbon steel pans. Once they have been properly seasoned, continue cooking with them to achieve delicious meals.

Is carbon steel pans oven safe?

It depends upon the manufacturer and the pan. Some are oven safe and some are not.

Are metal ustensils safe to use in carbon steel pan?

Yes, be careful while the pan is being seasoned, or you could experience scratches. Once it is well seasoned, yet, metal utensils should no longer pose any threats.

Is there any food to avoid while using carbon steel pan?

Avoid cooking acidic food. Food such as tomato, citrus, and vinegar sauces. Because they will dissolve any seasoning present on the surface.

Is there any best oil in seasoning carbon steel pans?

In seasoning carbon steel pans, it is ideal to choose an oil with a neutral aroma and high smoking point. Canola oil, vegetable oil, avocado oil, and sunflower oil are excellent examples of such oils. While butter or unrefined oils with lower smoking points should be avoided as these will compromise results.

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