Our Blue Carbon Steel Pan is the perfect hybrid of a cast iron skillet and a stainless steel frying pan. It has cast iron’s heat retention, seasoning, and stick resistance properties with the added benefits of stainless steel’s heat control and cooking speed. And best of all, it’s lighter than both cast iron and stainless steel, it seasons more quickly than cast iron, and it only gets better with age. In fact, the more worn it is, the better it performs!
The key to getting started with Blue Carbon Steel is a solid first seasoning. We don’t pre-season our pans — which is a good thing — and that means you are in the driver's seat with a little work to do before you can get cooking.
One of the most common questions we get from customers is about how to season a carbon steel pan correctly, and we are here to help!
What Is Seasoning?
In order to get a slick surface that evenly cooks food, imparts more flavor upon ingredients, and resists sticking, rusting, and corrosion, you'll need to put your new carbon steel pan through a seasoning process that includes coating it with a thin layer of oil. This oil fills the pan’s small surface pores and kicks off your pan’s seasoning.
As you get cooking, the fats and oils in your food will continue to fill these pores and build up a layer of polymerized oil that creates a slick patina.
Our carbon steel pans have relatively small and shallow pores. This means you'll acquire a solid seasoning layer after your initial seasoning and you’ll have a super slick surface within a few uses. As a point of comparison, cast iron skillets have deep pores. This means you need to spend more time building up seasoning to make their surfaces slick.
Your First Seasoning
Your initial seasoning is a crucial step in setting the stage for future use. The good news is that seasoning a carbon steel pan isn’t rocket science, and it isn’t as difficult as seasoning cast iron. Plus, if your seasoning doesn't turn out, you can check out this post on how to re-season your carbon steel pan .
There are many, many ways to season a pan. We’re big fans of the stovetop-to-oven method, which locks in your pan’s initial round of seasoning using the technique below:
- Wash your pan with hot, soapy water and rub off any oil residue. The dark residue on your new pan is just dried oil that we apply to preserve the pan and prevent it from developing any rust during transit. It won’t hurt you if you consume it, but you should remove as much of it as you can with soap and water.
- Place a foil-lined baking sheet on the bottom rack of your oven, then preheat your oven to 400-450 F. The oven temperature should be at or slightly above the smoke point of your oil or wax, and most high-smoke-point oils and waxes fall in the 400-450 F smoke-point range.
- Once your oven is preheated, place your dry and empty pan over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes to zap any remaining moisture and open up your pan's pores.
- Remove it from the burner and use a paper towel to apply a very thin layer of Made In Wax or high-smoke-point oil to the inside of the pan, ensuring it is completely coated.
- Carefully move your hot, waxed/oiled pan to the oven and place it upside down on the center rack.
- Leave the pan in the oven for an hour at 400-450 F.
- Don't be alarmed if you see some smoke.
- After one hour, turn your oven off and leave the pan in the oven until it has completely cooled.
- Your pan is now ready to be used, or you can repeat these steps as many times as you'd like to continue building that seasoning.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You can expect your pan to change colors once your seasoning journey begins. Embrace the discoloration — it's what makes your Blue Carbon Steel pan different from all others!