How To Season A Carbon Steel Pan – A Beginner’s Guide

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So, you have just bought a new carbon steel pan. It might be possible that you have put all your bucks and money into buying the one or just got an inexpensive one from your local kitchen store. No matter from where you have acquired it, you should take care of it then only it will return your favor in the form of perfectly and deliciously cooked food. Don’t put your carbon steel pan into use until you have done its seasoning.

Do you recognize what seasoning is? It is not the oily greasing that has arrived from not washing the pan properly. Whereas it’s not the spice which the pan has got from the cooking of food, instead, seasoning is the defensive coating rendered through the procedure of burning oil into the pan. Carbon steel pans are highly used in sautéing vegetables and meals and even in the tossing of food too, that’s why it needs to be seasoned for avoiding food sticking and burning after some time of usage of the pan. Seasoning also helps the pan in preventing rusting on a humid day. Seasoning gives your pan a surface like a nonstick which can only be found in modern kitchen utensils.

Seasoning the carbon steel pan is not so difficult, but still, if you are looking for a guide to know how seasoning can be done over a carbon steel pan, read this guide till the end.

Steps required in seasoning the carbon steel pan

BALLARANI Professionale Carbon Steel 3000 Fry Pan

1 – Remove guarding glazing and rinse the pan 

Mostly the carbon steel pans come unseasoned along with a protective coating for ensuring that the metal doesn’t get rusted. But how do you come to know that your carbon steel pan is not seasoned? Through its color of metallic grey, one can understand. For starting the process of seasoning, you need to remove the protective layer or coating. For removing the coating, the instructions given on the box of the carbon steel pans will be followed and then it requires to be washed off.

2 – Dry the pan

Right after removing the coating and washing the pan, you need to dry it up quickly. The layer which prevents the pan from rusting has gone and in no time you will start seeing some rusting again on the wet steel. Give it a towel dry or keep your pan on the gas stove to dry up the moisture present in it.

3 – Heat the pan

Now the time has come to pertain to the first layer of seasoning. It helps in heating the pan first so that oil can go as thin into the pan as possible. You can heat the pan over the gas stove or can also do it through the microwave at 450°F as long as you assure that your pan is made for the microwave too.

4 – Apply oil sparingly 

In this step, you first need to apply the oil to the kitchen towel. Grease your carbon steel pan with light oil through a towel. You can grease your pan either with canola oil, vegetable oil, or even grape seed oil also works well. But don’t use butter because it has milk and water which might destroy your pan. If you wish to achieve a beautiful seasoning onto the carbon steel pan, you can choose olive or flaxseed oil as well. Rub the towel greased with oil onto the pan inside and out to make sure that your oil has dried up.

Dry off any traces of oil patches on your pan with a dry kitchen towel only.

5 – Burn it on 

Heat your oil-dried pan either on a gas stove or in the microwave. The burner is best to provide heat to the pan but you need to move the pan around to make sure that the oil has formed the polymer everywhere around the pan. The pan side which has absorbed or heated the oil most will have the faint shade of brown and that is seasoning.

But make sure to open your windows, doors, and balconies because the pan will have the highest smoke. When the smoke ends, it gives you surety that the oil coating process has been completed. For this process, approximately 30 minutes with a gas burner will be taken.

6 – Repeat 

Keep doing the process of applying oil to the micro-thin layers and heating them until the pan has been darkening over and over. After this, you can start by cooking your favorite and yummy food items.


Now you can start using your carbon steel pan on regular use. The seasoning will be eventually increased once you start roasting and sautéing in the pan. Also whenever you wish to have the new seasoning layer, you can follow the heat-oil-heat process. Through this, you can ensure that your carbon steel pan is working well and continue to provide you with the best and yummy foodstuffs.

A well-seasoned carbon steel pan is great for cooking eggs, crepes, pancakes, traditional omelet, and several others. Follow the modest steps given above to season your carbon steel pans. Carbon steel seasoned pans will be in jet black color like cast iron. If you haven’t seasoned your new carbon steel pan yet and are looking for some simple steps, this guide has let you know. So start today and increase the life of your pan!