Seasoning a pan makes the surface non-stick, which helps you reduce the amount of butter, oil, or fat you use when cooking. A seasoned pan is also easy to clean and doesn’t rust as quickly, which gives it a longer lifespan. This guide will explain which types of materials need to be seasoned, how to season each type of material, and how to care for your seasoned pans.
Not every type of frying pan or skillet requires seasoning. Below is a table that displays the types of frying pans that need to be seasoned. Additionally, you can learn how to season each type of pan by clicking on it below.
While some frying pans and skillets come pre-seasoned, many do not, so your first step should be to season the pan. Here are the steps you need to follow to season a pan for the first time.
Note: You may need to use a stainless steel scrubber to clean cast iron skillets and heavy-duty carbon steel pans, while tin-plate and hard-coat aluminum pans will only require a dish towel to clean.
Additionally, there are multiple ways to season a pan. We will show you how to season a pan in the oven as well as seasoning pans on the stove, so you can use the method that best matches your needs and the type of pan you’re using.
Seasoning cast iron cookware is essential because it helps form a non-stick surface on the cookware and creates flavor that will build every time you season the pan or skillet. Here are step-by-step instructions for seasoning cast iron pans in the oven.
Tip: Never put cold water in a hot or warm cast iron pan because it was cause the pan to warp or crack.
Carbon steel pans are durable and prevent hot spots from forming, which makes them an excellent option for foodservice establishments. Additionally, seasoning carbon steel helps ensure a non-stick surface. Below is a step-by-step guide to seasoning carbon steel pans, but you can also use this process for seasoning carbon steel woks.
Note: Seasoning a carbon steel pan, paella pan, or wok can create smoke, so be sure that your kitchen is well ventilated before beginning.
Note: Carbon steel pans and woks are not dishwasher safe, so be sure to always wash them by hand.
Hard-coat aluminum pans have been subjected to an electrolytic process, which makes these pans resistant to corrosion and very durable. To further protect your hard-coat aluminum pans, you can season them, which also makes their surface non-stick. Here is how you season hard-coat aluminum pans.
Tin-plate pans feature a thin sheet of stainless steel that is coated with tin. Tin plate’s construction gives it excellent durability and corrosion resistance, which are key when working in a commercial kitchen. Seasoning tin plate pans helps ensure that they have a non-stick surface. Here is the process for seasoning tin-plate pans.
Note: Tin pans will rust if they’re refrigerated, soaked in water, or left unseasoned in damp environments. Be sure to season your pans regularly and store them properly to prevent damage.
If your pans have been seasoned properly, clean up should be relatively simple. Here are some tips for cleaning a seasoned cast iron, carbon steel, aluminum, or tin frying pan.
As you use your seasoned frying pans, the seasoning will start to wear down. So, you’ll need to season your pans regularly to ensure they maintain their non-stick surface.
There are several signs that your frying pans need to be reseasoned. Here are a few clear indicators.
Additionally, you can design a schedule to season your pans regularly to ensure that they never lose their non-stick surface.
The process of reseasoning pans is exactly the same as seasoning pans for the first time. Simply follow the instructions listed above for the specific type of pan you’re reseasoning minus washing the pans in soapy water, which only needs to be completed on new pans.
These steps may be slightly different if your frying pans have started to rust. In this case, scrub the rust away with steel wool or a powerful abrasive and then clean any of the metal dust away. Once this is done, you can use the steps above to finish seasoning the pan.
Seasoning your pans is essential for extending their lifespan and to make their surfaces non-stick. Be sure to season your frying pans regularly to keep them properly maintained and protected.