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How To Clean a Carbon Steel Pan

Jan 19, 2021

By: Team Made In


Blue Carbon Steel Pan

is a perfect hybrid of a cast iron skillet and a stainless steel frying pan, meaning it has cast iron’s heat retention, seasoning, and non-stick properties with the benefits of stainless steel’s heat control and cooking speed. And best of all, it’s lighter than cast iron, it seasons more quickly than cast iron, and it’s meant to get dirty. In fact, the more blackened and worn it gets, the better it performs.

However, like a cast iron pan, you have to be careful when cleaning your carbon steel pan. Water and soap will strip the pan of its seasoning and will hinder its nonstick properties. How do you keep your pan clean


perfectly seasoned and slick? Keeping reading!

Cleaning & Storing Carbon Steel

We're sure you've taken the time to properly season your carbon steel pan and it would be a shame to undo all of the progress you've made by dunking the pan into water and scrubbing it clean.

Here are the steps to clean your carbon steel pan

When you finish cooking with your pan, gently wipe the pan clean with a paper towel or dishtowel. This will help collect any food remnants and absorb excess oil and fat.

If you have food that's stuck or burnt to the pan's surface and its necessary to scrub, you'll need a little water to loosen the debris. Do NOT use soap and do NOT use a soaking bath.


scrub the residue off with a bristle brush or sponge (not a scouring pad) and use a 


 amount of water. Water and moisture are the mortal enemies of carbon steel, so be careful!

When you’re done washing off food residue, dry your pan and put it over medium heat on your stovetop. This will help dry out any water or moisture left on the surface of the pan.

If drying your pan causes the surface to get too dry and lose its slickness, you should re-season your pan. Read our article on

 re-seasoning carbon steel

 to learn how it's done.

Once your pan is clean, you can store it alongside your other pans. If you live in a place with natural moisture (or don’t use your skillet often), apply a very thin coating of oil to the surface to prevent rusting before you put it away. Your pan should always have a slick and slightly oiled surface.

Need some inspiration on how to put this pan to use? Be sure to check out some of our

favorite carbon steel recipes

and learn how

why carbon steel is a professional chef's secret weapon.


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