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Carbon Steel Care 101

Carbon Steel Care 101

Congrats on your new carbon steel pan!

Congrats on your new carbon steel pan!

This pan has seen a lot of use in professional kitchens, and is just recently getting into the hands of home cooks everywhere.

Please note: the insert that arrived with your pan may be out of date. This page has the most up-to-date instructions on how to prepare and care for your pan.

Your pan arrives coated in beeswax to protect it. It’s easy to scrub off:

Instructions

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 well.

3.

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

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

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 — that’s good! These colored layers of fats are called a “patina.”

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 well.

3.

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

Seasoning

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

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 — that’s good! These colored layers of fats are called a “patina.”

Seasoning your pan for the first time:

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) for the seasoning process.

What You'll Need

Stovetop

Paper towels

Choose One

Soybean, Corn, Sunflower, Vegetable or Canola oil

Seasoning wax

Do Not Use

Olive oil

Butter

Bacon

1.

Place your pan on a stovetop, and apply 4-5 drops of oil (or ¼ tsp of wax).

2.

Rub it around with a paper towel to distribute, until there is no visible oil remaining.

3.

Heat the pan on high heat until the oil or wax starts smoking. Lower heat to medium.

4.

You will begin to see oil or wax pooling — use a paper towel to rub it back into the pan until gone.

5.

Allow your pan to continue smoking for a few moments. Rub away collecting oil or wax intermittently.

6.

Remove from heat, and wipe away any visible oil or wax.

7.

Allow your pan to cool, and repeat this seasoning process 3-4 more times, until it starts to gain some color.

Keep a close watch on your pan as it heats up and smokes. Rub in and wipe away any excess oil or wax that begins to collect.

Seasoning Tips:

Your seasoning may appear uneven or a little blotchy at first. That’s fine! Every carbon steel pan has a unique look, and it’s patina will change gradually over time. Think of it as a “living” object.

How your pan’s seasoning looks is less important than how it feels. It might appear darker in spots, or uneven, but that is natural and will change with time. Stickiness or roughness are signs that you might need to scrub your pan a bit and reseason it.

Carbon steel is less porous than cast iron, so it requires very little oil or seasoning wax. Remember to wipe away the excess until the pan shows a dry sheen.

Cooking

Cooking with your pan the first few times:

When you first start cooking with your newly-seasoned pan, you will still need a little cooking fat, like you would with a normal pan. Over time, the pan will build up a more natural nonstick surface as you expose it to fats and oils, and it’ll gain the inherent non-stickiness you’re looking for. Don’t be discouraged!

As you cook with your pan and clean it, it will develop its colored patina. Every patina is different, and it will change over time. This is one of the special things about carbon steel pans — they’re each unique. The important thing to remember is that how the patina looks is less important than how it feels to the touch.

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

Things to Keep in Mind

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.

Seasoning your pan for the first time:

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) for the seasoning process.

What You'll Need

Stovetop

Paper towels

Choose One

Soybean, Corn, Sunflower, Vegetable or Canola oil

Seasoning wax

Do Not Use

Olive oil

Butter

Bacon

Instructions

Important!

Keep a close watch on your pan as it heats up and smokes. Rub in and wipe away any excess oil or wax that begins to collect.

1.

Place your pan on a stovetop, and apply 4-5 drops of oil (or ¼ tsp of wax).

2.

Rub it around with a paper towel to distribute, until there is no visible oil remaining.

3.

Heat the pan on high heat until the oil or wax starts smoking. Lower heat to medium.

4.

You will begin to see oil or wax pooling — use a paper towel to rub it back into the pan until gone.

5.

Allow your pan to continue smoking for a few moments. Rub away collecting oil or wax intermittently.

6.

Remove from heat, and wipe away any visible oil or wax.

7.

Allow your pan to cool, and repeat this seasoning process 3-4 more times, until it starts to gain some color.

Seasoning Tips:

Your seasoning may appear uneven or a little blotchy at first. That’s fine! Every carbon steel pan has a unique look, and it’s patina will change gradually over time. Think of it as a “living” object.

How your pan’s seasoning looks is less important than how it feels. It might appear darker in spots, or uneven, but that is natural and will change with time. Stickiness or roughness are signs that you might need to scrub your pan a bit and reseason it.

Carbon steel is less porous than cast iron, so it requires very little oil or seasoning wax. Remember to wipe away the excess until the pan shows a dry sheen.

Your seasoning may appear uneven or a little blotchy at first. That’s fine! Every carbon steel pan has a unique look, and it’s patina will change gradually over time. Think of it as a “living” object.

How your pan’s seasoning looks is less important than how it feels. It might appear darker in spots, or uneven, but that is natural and will change with time. Stickiness or roughness are signs that you might need to scrub your pan a bit and reseason it.

Carbon steel is less porous than cast iron, so it requires very little oil or seasoning wax. Remember to wipe away the excess until the pan shows a dry sheen.

Your seasoning may appear uneven or a little blotchy at first. That’s fine! Every carbon steel pan has a unique look, and it’s patina will change gradually over time. Think of it as a “living” object.

How your pan’s seasoning looks is less important than how it feels. It might appear darker in spots, or uneven, but that is natural and will change with time. Stickiness or roughness are signs that you might need to scrub your pan a bit and reseason it.

Carbon steel is less porous than cast iron, so it requires very little oil or seasoning wax. Remember to wipe away the excess until the pan shows a dry sheen.

Cooking with your pan the first few times:

When you first start cooking with your newly-seasoned pan, you will still need a little cooking fat, like you would with a normal pan. Over time, the pan will build up a more natural nonstick surface as you expose it to fats and oils, and it’ll gain the inherent non-stickiness you’re looking for. Don’t be discouraged!

As you cook with your pan and clean it, it will develop its colored patina. Every patina is different, and it will change over time. This is one of the special things about carbon steel pans — they’re each unique. The important thing to remember is that how the patina looks is less important than how it feels to the touch.

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

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.