Seasoning isn’t an oily layer left behind from not thoroughly cleaning a skillet, and it’s certainly not a taste developed through time. It’s a protective layer created by burning oil onto the pan. Here’s how to do it the right way with carbon steel.
Carbon steel pans don’t get nearly as much attention as cast iron pans, which is a shame because carbon steel may be just as valuable for a home kitchen. Carbon steel, like cast iron, has relatively limited heat conduction and relatively strong heat retention, making it an excellent choice for pan-roasting meats. On the other hand, carbon steel pans have sloping sides and are thinner and lighter than cast iron because they are stamped or spun from metal sheets rather than cast in shape. Two main characteristics of (How to season carbon steel pans) make them ideal for tossing items, making them one of the most fantastic pans for sautéing meats and veggies.
Another thing that carbon steel has in common with cast iron is that it is seasoned. Despite common assumptions, “seasoning” in the context of cookware does not refer to the taste that accumulates in a pan over time. On the other hand, seasoning is a buildup of exceedingly thin layers of oil that have been heated to change from liquid grease to a solid, plastic-like polymer.
How to Season Carbon Steel Pans in 5 Easy Steps
When you look at a new carbon steel pan, you’ll notice something you don’t see with cast iron: the hue of the naked metal. Your carbon steel pans will be as black as cast iron with enough seasoning layers. Most carbon steel pans arrive unseasoned, enabling you to watch the seasoning develop right in front of your eyes. After witnessing this, you’ll no doubt know what herb is and isn’t.
Preparing is certainly not an oily covering left behind from not appropriately washing a container, and it’s most certainly not flavor developed over long periods of utilization. It’s a defensive covering made by consuming oil onto the skillet. This is the way to do it appropriately with carbon steel. We’ll guide you on how to season carbon steel pans easily.
Step 1: Take Off the Protective Coating and Wipe Down the Pan.
Most carbon fiber pans arrive uncooked, with a protective layer that prevents the exposed metal from rusting. How can you tell if your pan is lightly seared? Unlike black, it will have a metallic gray tint, as most off-the-shelf cast iron pans are.
The first step is to remove the coating. Because various manufacturers use different layers, simply follow the directions on How to season carbon steel pans. After that, thoroughly wash the pan.
Step 2: Dry the Pan
After you’ve removed the protective covering and washed the pan, you should dry it straight away since the substance that was keeping your pan from rusting is gone, and you’d be surprised how rapidly a little layer of rust may form on bare, damp steel.
Normally towel-dry the damp pan before placing it over stovetop heat to cook out any lingering moisture. This also leads us directly to heating the pan.
Step 3: Preheat the Skillet
It’s time to put on the first coat of seasoning, and heating the pan first allows the oil to be applied as thinly as possible. People Frequently do this over a burner, but you can also do it in a 450°F oven if indeed the handle of your carbon steel pan is a stove (unlike cast iron pans, which are solid pieces of iron, manage and all, carbon steel has a handle riveted on; some carbon steel pan handles cannot withstand high oven heat, so check the owner’s manual).
Step 4: Use the Oil Sparingly
Use a neutral oil to lightly grease a kitchen towel you don’t mind spoiling. Canola oil, vegetable oil, and grapeseed oil are all effective. What you don’t want to use: lard and shortening; butter, which contains water and milk solids; olive oil, which is more costly and frequently contains sediment; or flax-seed oil, which produces a beautiful appearing seasoning but is prone to flaking off.
Now brush the oil all over the pan, inside and out, buffing away any excess until the pan seems dry. Can’t emphasize this enough: Using too much oil can ruin your seasoning, leaving you with a splotchy, sticky covering that will be tough to remove. If you even doubt that you have used too much oil, you can assure yourself. Buff it out, buff it dry, and remove any traces of oil from the pan. Don’t worry. There’s still some oil there, just enough for seasoning.
Step 5: Burn it On
Allow the greased pan to heat up on the stovetop or in the hot oven. Because carbon steel does not transfer heat efficiently, you may need to rotate the pan to check that the oil has formed a polymer everywhere. How do you know to season carbon steel pans? You can see it with fresh carbon steel. The regions where the oil has solidified will have turned a light brown. That’s it for the seasoning! Be aware that the pan will intensely smoke throughout this procedure, so open your windows, put on your fans, and send your children outside to play.
The smoke finally stops, indicating that the oil covering has finished its metamorphosis. The time it takes over a burner depends on the burner’s heat output and the pan’s size, although it might take several minutes. Thirty minutes in the oven should be enough.
Step 6: Repetition
Continue adding micro-thin layers of oil and heating them until they darken, over and again, until the pan is at least a dark brown color. That should be enough seasoning to get you started.
Step 7: Re-Season with the Pan as Needed
Your task from now on is to utilize the pan. You’ll get even more spice by roasting and sautéing in the pan. Of course, you may always add more seasoning levels using the heat-oil-heat method described above. Your pan will eventually turn black. If my anecdotal experience is correct, seasoning on a carbon steel pan is more prone to flaking off than seasoning on cast iron. If this happens, don’t worry; season the pan a couple more times to cover a problem area.
Immediately after seasoning, pan performance.
You cooked an egg right after seasoning the pan. You dropped approximately 2 tablespoons of oil into the skillet while it was still hot and smashed the egg on top. You just let the egg alone cook until the bottom seared up (very important. Otherwise, the egg might stick). You had to use a spoon to carefully scrape the sides of the egg, but the egg came out clean and did not adhere to the pan.