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Do You Need to Season Stainless Steel Pans?

We don’t suggest you season your Stainless Steel Pans — here’s why.

By Team Made In
Feb 7, 2022
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Not all cookware is ready to be cooked with straight out of the box. Some cookware doesn’t come with a nonstick coating, and is designed to be used after being “seasoned.”

Seasoning is the process of applying a very thin layer of coating (such as vegetable oil) on the surface of your pot or pan, which then acts as a barrier between the cookware and what you're cooking in it.

Most home cooks know that Carbon Steel and Cast Iron pots and pans are examples of cookware that must be seasoned before they can be used. But is the same true for Stainless Steel Cookware? (Spoiler alert: no, we don’t suggest seasoning your Stainless Steel Cookware.)

Read on to settle the debate as to whether or not you should season Stainless Steel Cookware.

Do I Need to Season My Stainless Steel Pan?

No, we don't recommend seasoning Stainless Steel Cookware. After unboxing your Stainless Steel Pan, you can get started cooking with it right away without worrying about this extra step.

Seasoning cookware adds a layer of oil to the cooking surface, which then fills in the pores of metal to make the cookware non stick. Since oil is added during the cooking process with Stainless Steel Cookware,  we don’t believe it’s necessary to season with oil beforehand.

In addition, cleaning a Stainless Steel Pan with soap and warm water once you’ve finished cooking removes oil from pores. This means your Stainless Steel Skillet would need to be seasoned before and after each wash.

The Case for Seasoning

While seasoning Stainless Steel pans is not a required step, some professional chefs and home cooks alike may choose to season their Stainless Steel Frying Pans to create a smoother, more non stick surface.

Food can stick to Stainless Steel cookware, so some believe seasoning makes for an easier cleanup and more non stick cooking experience. The truth is that it may make cleaning up more difficult as you’ll need to season before and after each use.

Instead, we recommend preheating your Stainless Steel Skillet and letting it get nice and hot before putting in any cooking oil.

At the end of the day, seasoning Stainless Steel comes down to your personal preference. Cooking with Stainless Steel Pans will be different than using a Non Stick Frying Pan, but will still produce incredible results — seasoned or not.

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