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Carbon Steel Care 101

Carbon Steel Care 101

Congrats on Your New Carbon Steel Pan!

A few important steps before you start cooking

Congrats on Your New
Carbon Steel Pan!

A few important steps before you start cooking

Before cooking with your new carbon steel pan, you’ll need to apply a base layer of seasoning. This will be the beginning of the pan’s natural nonstick coating, and it’ll help protect the pan from trapping moisture, which can cause rust.

Please note: The insert that arrived with your pan describes an oven-seasoning method for your carbon steel pan. While the oven method works well, we now prefer the stovetop method outlined below for a speedier, more hands-on process.

Your Pan Arrives Coated in Beeswax to Protect It. It’s Easy to Scrub Off:

Instructions

Once the wax is removed, the pan will feel smooth to the touch all over.

1.

Place your pan in an empty sink and run very hot water over it, including the bottom.

2.

Using a non-metallic brush or scrubber, scrub away the protective wax under the running hot water. Make sure to clean the bottom of the pan as well.

3.

Dry the pan thoroughly, and follow instructions for “Seasoning your pan” below.

Removing beeswax

Your Pan Arrives Coated in Beeswax to Protect It. It’s Easy to Scrub Off:

1.

Place your pan in an empty sink and run very hot water over it, including the bottom.

2.

Using a non-metallic brush or scrubber, scrub away the protective wax under the running hot water. Make sure to clean the bottom of the pan as well.

3.

Dry the pan thoroughly, and follow instructions for “Seasoning your pan” below.

Once the wax is removed, the pan will feel smooth to the touch all over.

Seasoning

What is “seasoning”? Microscopic layers of fats that make your pan naturally nonstick with use.

These layers get baked into the metal of your pan to keep food from sticking, and protect your pan from moisture. As your pan’s seasoning develops over time, it’ll become darker and more nonstick — that’s good! These colored layers of fats are called a “patina.”

How to Season Your Pan for the First Time

The following instructions are for gas and electric cooktops. Induction cooktops are designed to automatically lower the heat output if smoking or burning is detected, which means that they don’t get hot enough to develop a proper base layer of seasoning. If you have an induction cooktop, we recommend following our instructions for seasoning your carbon steel pan in the oven.

You’ll need some paper towels, and cooking oil or seasoning wax. We recommend a neutral oil with a high smoke point, like soybean, corn, sunflower, vegetable, or canola oil. Do not use olive oil, butter, or bacon (which can contain sugars, and might burn), or flax seed oil (which can cause flaking) for the seasoning process.

1. Apply a thin layer of wax or oil

Place your pan on a stovetop, and apply about ¼ teaspoon of wax, using a paper towel, or 4-5 drops of oil. You only need a very small amount!


2. Rub until the pan appears dry

Start rubbing it around with the paper towel to spread it evenly all over the bottom and sides of the pan. There shouldn’t be any visible wax or oil remaining. The pan should look dry—and not shiny, greasy, or wet.


3. Heat and watch for smoke

Heat the pan on medium-high heat, and as it warms up, keep rubbing it with the paper towel. Once the pan starts smoking, lower heat to medium. Light smoking is better than heavy smoking. Start with medium-high heat, and raise it if needed.


4. Wipe up excess wax or oil continuously

You may begin to see patches of oil or wax lightly shimmering on the surface. Use the paper towel to continue to wipe it up. Keep the pan looking dry.


5. Move the pan to season it evenly

Allow your pan to gently smoke for a few moments. Then periodically move the pan over your heat source to build even browning over the base. You may see some dark residue on the paper towel, which is normal—that’s the excess seasoning buildup on the pan.


6. Cool and repeat

Once the pan is browned and the smoking has subsided, remove the pan from the heat and wipe down once more to ensure that there’s no lingering oil on the surface. Allow it to cool until it’s safe to touch, then repeat this seasoning process 3-4 more times, until it starts to gain some color.

Seasoning Tips

Every seasoned pan looks different

Your seasoning may appear uneven or a little blotchy at first. That’s fine! It will change and gradually become darker and more evenly colored over time. Think of it as a “living” object.

Go by feel rather than by look

A properly seasoned pan feels smooth to the touch. Stickiness or roughness are signs that you may have used too much oil or wax, and you’ll need to scrub your pan until it feels smooth, and then re-season it.

Be diligent about wiping up the excess oil

Whenever you apply seasoning, remember to continually wipe away the excess wax or oil until the pan appears dry. Too much oil or wax will result in sticky patches and uneven seasoning.

Flaking is normal at first

If the seasoning flakes or chips off while you’re cooking or cleaning, this is likely because your base seasoning is still a bit weak. Gently scrub off any loose flaking and continue to season it. It will stop happening as you continue cooking and it becomes stronger.

Cooking

Important Steps for Cooking with Your Newly Seasoned Pan

Cook with fat to build seasoning

When you first start using your carbon steel pan, you’ll need to use as much cooking fat or oil as you would in a normal pan. As the seasoning builds up through regular cooking, you can use less, and you’ll start to be able to enjoy its nonstick properties.

Season regularly

After you wash and dry your pan, go ahead and apply an extra layer of seasoning, too. Simply rub in a small amount of oil over the heat, then wipe up the excess, and allow it to cool.

Preheat your pan before adding food

Allowing time for your pan to properly preheat is another trick that will keep food from sticking to it. Simply set it over medium heat for a few minutes, until you can wave your hand a few inches above and feel the heat emanating. Then add oil or fat and proceed with your cooking!

Cleaning & Storage

Cleaning & Storage: Avoid moisture, dry well, and touch-up your seasoning.

1.

Clean with warm water and a non-metallic brush or scrubber. Do not use soap or run your pan through the dishwasher. You may have to re-season it.

2.

Towel dry your pan thoroughly.

3.

Toast your pan on the stove. When hot, rub, a few drops of oil into the interior.

4.

Wipe away excess well, and store.

Fixes for common issues

Easy fixes for common issues.

If you encounter one of these issues, do not worry! This pan is very resilient, and almost impossible to ruin. There’s an easy fix for any issues you may encounter.

I see some rust! What should I do?

No problem! Moisture is the enemy of this pan, but it is very resilient, and a little rust is solvable. You can use a little steel wool to buff out a rusty spot. Then season the pan again to rebuild its patina, and protect it from moisture.

Should it look this dark?

Yep! That change in color is called the “patina,” and it’s a good thing! Your carbon steel pan will become darker with use.

My pan looks splotchy or spotted!

This is normal, and not necessarily a problem. Even a perfect seasoning can appear uneven to the eye. As long as your pan feels smooth and uniform to the touch, it’s fine, and you’ll find that your pan’s seasoning will change visually with time. However, your pan should not feel sticky or rough to the touch.

My pan feels sticky or rough.

You might have used a little too much oil or seasoning wax, but no worries! It’s an easy problem to solve. Just scrub your pan well under hot water to remove the excess seasoning. Then dry thoroughly and heat it until it’s almost smoking. Apply a few drops of oil, and rub it into the surface with a towel to repair the seasoning, and wipe away any excess.

Remember: carbon steel pans require very little oil. Your pan should have a matte sheen, and not appear slick or shiny.

My seasoning is flaking off!

Your patina could be coming off your pan for a few reasons. It may be that the seasoning became too rough or thick due to overuse of oil. It is also possible that extended cooking with high-acid foods have weakened your patina’s bond with the metal.

We recommend reseasoning the pan as normal. If the remaining patina appears rough or sticky, then give your pan a scrub first before starting reseasoning.

What is “seasoning”? Microscopic layers of fats that make your pan naturally nonstick with use.

These layers get baked into the metal of your pan to keep food from sticking, and protect your pan from moisture. As your pan’s seasoning develops over time, it’ll become darker and more nonstick — that’s good! These colored layers of fats are called a “patina.”

How to Season Your Pan for the First Time

The following instructions are for gas and electric cooktops. Induction cooktops are designed to automatically lower the heat output if smoking or burning is detected, which means that they don’t get hot enough to develop a proper base layer of seasoning. If you have an induction cooktop, we recommend following our instructions for seasoning your carbon steel pan in the oven.

You’ll need some paper towels, and cooking oil or seasoning wax. We recommend a neutral oil with a high smoke point, like soybean, corn, sunflower, vegetable, or canola oil. Do not use olive oil, butter, or bacon (which can contain sugars, and might burn), or flax seed oil (which can cause flaking) for the seasoning process.

1. Apply a thin layer of wax or oil

Place your pan on a stovetop, and apply about ¼ teaspoon of wax, using a paper towel, or 4-5 drops of oil. You only need a very small amount!


2. Rub until the pan appears dry

Start rubbing it around with the paper towel to spread it evenly all over the bottom and sides of the pan. There shouldn’t be any visible wax or oil remaining. The pan should look dry—and not shiny, greasy, or wet.


3. Heat and watch for smoke

Heat the pan on medium-high heat, and as it warms up, keep rubbing it with the paper towel. Once the pan starts smoking, lower heat to medium. Light smoking is better than heavy smoking. Start with medium-high heat, and raise it if needed.


4. Wipe up excess wax or oil continuously

You may begin to see patches of oil or wax lightly shimmering on the surface. Use the paper towel to continue to wipe it up. Keep the pan looking dry.


5. Move the pan to season it evenly

Allow your pan to gently smoke for a few moments. Then periodically move the pan over your heat source to build even browning over the base. You may see some dark residue on the paper towel, which is normal—that’s the excess seasoning buildup on the pan.


6. Cool and repeat

Once the pan is browned and the smoking has subsided, remove the pan from the heat and wipe down once more to ensure that there’s no lingering oil on the surface. Allow it to cool until it’s safe to touch, then repeat this seasoning process 3-4 more times, until it starts to gain some color.

Seasoning Tips

Every seasoned pan looks different

Your seasoning may appear uneven or a little blotchy at first. That’s fine! It will change and gradually become darker and more evenly colored over time. Think of it as a “living” object.

Go by feel rather than by look

A properly seasoned pan feels smooth to the touch. Stickiness or roughness are signs that you may have used too much oil or wax, and you’ll need to scrub your pan until it feels smooth, and then re-season it.

Be diligent about wiping up the excess oil

Whenever you apply seasoning, remember to continually wipe away the excess wax or oil until the pan appears dry. Too much oil or wax will result in sticky patches and uneven seasoning.

Flaking is normal at first

If the seasoning flakes or chips off while you’re cooking or cleaning, this is likely because your base seasoning is still a bit weak. Gently scrub off any loose flaking and continue to season it. It will stop happening as you continue cooking and it becomes stronger.

Important Steps for Cooking with Your Newly Seasoned Pan

Cook with fat to build seasoning

When you first start using your carbon steel pan, you’ll need to use as much cooking fat or oil as you would in a normal pan. As the seasoning builds up through regular cooking, you can use less, and you’ll start to be able to enjoy its nonstick properties.

Season regularly

After you wash and dry your pan, go ahead and apply an extra layer of seasoning, too. Simply rub in a small amount of oil over the heat, then wipe up the excess, and allow it to cool.

Preheat your pan before adding food

Allowing time for your pan to properly preheat is another trick that will keep food from sticking to it. Simply set it over medium heat for a few minutes, until you can wave your hand a few inches above and feel the heat emanating. Then add oil or fat and proceed with your cooking!

Cleaning & Storage: Avoid Moisture, Dry Well, and Touch-up Your Seasoning.

Instructions

1.

Clean with warm water and a non-metallic brush or scrubber. Do not use soap or run your pan through the dishwasher. You may have to re-season it.

2.

Towel dry your pan thoroughly.

3.

Toast your pan on the stove. When hot, rub, a few drops of oil into the interior.

4.

Wipe away excess well, and store.

Easy fixes for common issues.

If you encounter one of these issues, do not worry! This pan is very resilient, and almost impossible to ruin. There’s an easy fix for any issues you may encounter.

I see some rust! What should I do?

No problem! Moisture is the enemy of this pan, but it is very resilient, and a little rust is solvable. You can use a little steel wool to buff out a rusty spot. Then season the pan again to rebuild its patina, and protect it from moisture.

Should it look this dark?

Yep! That change in color is called the “patina,” and it’s a good thing! Your carbon steel pan will become darker with use.

My pan looks splotchy or spotted!

This is normal, and not necessarily a problem. Even a perfect seasoning can appear uneven to the eye. As long as your pan feels smooth and uniform to the touch, it’s fine, and you’ll find that your pan’s seasoning will change visually with time. However, your pan should not feel sticky or rough to the touch.

My pan feels sticky or rough.

You might have used a little too much oil or seasoning wax, but no worries! It’s an easy problem to solve. Just scrub your pan well under hot water to remove the excess seasoning. Then dry thoroughly and heat it until it’s almost smoking. Apply a few drops of oil, and rub it into the surface with a towel to repair the seasoning, and wipe away any excess.

Remember: carbon steel pans require very little oil. Your pan should have a matte sheen, and not appear slick or shiny.

My seasoning is flaking off!

Your patina could be coming off your pan for a few reasons. It may be that the seasoning became too rough or thick due to overuse of oil. It is also possible that extended cooking with high-acid foods have weakened your patina’s bond with the metal.

We recommend reseasoning the pan as normal. If the remaining patina appears rough or sticky, then give your pan a scrub first before starting reseasoning.