Pan Seasoning

Buying Guide

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Seasoning a pan allows you to cook a great-tasting product without a lot of oil, butter or fat. Seasoning a pan will also give it a stick-resistant surface, allowing for easy clean up, and will keep it from rusting quickly - ensuring that your pan has a longer life. This handy pan seasoning guide will help you determine whether or not your pans need to be seasoned, how to season your pans based on their material, and how to care for them after they’ve been seasoned.

How to Season

Preparation: Prior to seasoning, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Thoroughly wash your new pans in hot soapy water. This is helpful to remove the coating of wax or oil that manufacturers may apply to the pan to protect it during shipping.

Note: Cast iron pans and heavy-duty carbon steel pans will probably require the use of a stainless steel scrubber, while tin plate, hard-coat aluminum and light-finish carbon steel pans should only require the use of a dish towel.

Rinse your pan and dry quickly with a clean towel. Place the pan in your preheated oven for a few minutes before continuing to make sure that it is completely dry.

Watch our Video for Step-by-Step Instructions!


Cast Iron: Apply a thin coat of vegetable shortening or lard to the inside and outside of the cast iron pan – make sure you coat all areas except the handle. Then, place your lined baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven, and the cast iron pan on the middle rack (so that the oil drains onto the lined baking sheet). Leave the pan and the baking sheet in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. After an hour, turn the oven off, pull the pan out of the oven, wipe dry with a clean cloth and let it cool.


Note: Never put cold water in a hot or warm cast iron pan – this will cause the pan to crack or warp. See “Care after Seasoning & Re-Seasoning” section for proper cleaning instructions.


Carbon Steel: Place your carbon steel pan on a range top burner over medium-high heat until hot. Wisps of smoke will start to rise from the pan, and the pan will start to change color to a brownish hue. Add a small amount of vegetable shortening or lard to the pan, wiping all over the pan using tongs and a clean rag. Once the pan is coated, place the pan back on the burner, this time on high heat, and heat the pan until the fat begins to liquefy. The pan will be very hot, so be sure to use oven mitts and gloves.


Note: The pan will smoke, so make sure your kitchen is well ventilated.


Remove the carbon steel pan from the heat, wipe away any excess oil, and let the pan cool. After the pan is cool enough to touch, wipe it clean with a dry paper towel. Keep in mind that some pans may need a second or third coating before they are fully seasoned.

Note: Carbon steel pans are neither dishwasher nor microwave safe – always hand wash after use. See “Care after Seasoning & Re-Seasoning” section for proper cleaning instructions.


Tin Plate: Apply a thin coat of vegetable shortening or lard to the inside and outside of the tin plate pan – make sure you coat all areas except the handle. Then, place your lined baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven, and the tin plate pan on the middle rack (so that the oil drains onto the lined baking sheet). Bake tin plate pans using the regular times and temperatures your dishes generally use, so that you do not over bake the pan. Generally, 15 to 20 minutes should be enough. Pull the pan out of the oven, wipe dry with a clean cloth and let it cool. You’ll want your pan to become a dark brown or black color. Keep in mind that some pans may need a second or third coating before they are fully seasoned.


Note: Tin pans will rust if refrigerated, soaked in water or left unseasoned in damp environments. See “Care after Seasoning & Re-Seasoning” section for proper instructions on cleaning your seasoned pan.


Hard-Coat Aluminum: Apply a thin coat of vegetable shortening or lard to the inside and outside of your hard-coat aluminum pan – make sure you coat all areas except the handle. Then, place your lined baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven, and the pan on the middle rack (so that the oil drains onto the lined baking sheet). Bake the pan using the regular times and temperatures your dishes generally require. Generally, 15 to 20 minutes should be enough. Pull the pan out of the oven, wipe dry with a clean cloth and let it cool. Do not over bake or wash off excess oil – simply wipe. The residual oil, and any extra oil added before baking, will make the pan stick-resistant.


See “Care after Seasoning & Re-Seasoning” section for proper cleaning instructions.

Care after Seasoning & Re-Seasoning Pans

Care after Seasoning

If your pans have been seasoned properly, clean up should be relatively easy. It is best to clean seasoned pans while they are still slightly warm, and hot water and a cloth or sponge should be enough to clean your seasoned pans. No harsh chemicals or scouring pads should be used – these will take off any seasoning that your pan has already achieved. If some areas do need extra cleaning, a mild scouring pad should be used to scrub the hard to clean areas. Reapply a thin layer of vegetable oil to your pan, and store it in a cool, dry place.

Re-Seasoning

Pans should be re-seasoned if food sticks to the surface, the pan starts to look gray in color, or if any surface rust has formed. Pans should always have a virtually stick-resistant surface. Pans should be re-seasoned when necessary – they will last much longer if they are re-seasoned when they need it. Simply repeat the seasoning process and make sure you always store your pans in a cool, dry place.