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Seasoning & Caring for a Carbon Steel Pan

What is Seasoning?
Seasoning is the term used to describe the process of preparing a pan for use. The process establishes a natural non-stick surface and prevents rusting. Think of the phrase, "a seasoned pro." It refers to someone who has a lot of experience. Seasoning a pan is essentially like adding age (in a good way) and experience to your pan.
Seasoning Your Pan

Before using your steel pan for the first time or after an intensive cleaning it must be seasoned. Using a paper towel, wipe the interior of the pan with any type of flavorless cooking oil. Heat the oiled pan until it becomes hot and the oil begins to liquefy. Then turn off the heat and wait for the pan to cool. With a new, dry piece of paper towel, wipe out any excess oil. At this stage the pan will start to darken and lose any spotting marks. With a new pan, repeat this process one or two more times. You’ll notice the color will change to a darker finish. Be aware that the pan is not dirty, but rather the heat has changed its original color. This is to be expected, and normal. If done correctly, your steel pan will now be naturally non-stick and protected from oxidation (rusting).

Caring For Your Pan

To ensure that your steel pan keeps its natural non-stick properties and to reduce the chance of oxidation (rusting), wash the pan with hot water, and then wipe immediately with a paper towel. After cleaning, you can also dry the pan by putting it in a hot oven for a few minutes or heat it over a gas range until all excess moisture is evaporated. If necessary or needed, it may then be oiled and re-seasoned following the above seasoning instructions. Store in a dry place. Prolonged exposure to moisture is a steel pans worst enemy. With proper use and care, a steel pan will last a lifetime. Please note, however, that steel pans will change color under heat and over time.
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