Make sure you don’t make this mistake that can damage your expensive carbon Steel pans the next time you are cooking. Follow these few tips on using your carbon steel pans and they will last a lifetime!!
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Most out-of-the-box pans come non-seasoned. It’s important to season your pan before using it. Unseasoned pans stick; that’s just a fact.
Don’t rush seasoning. Some websites will tell you that you need to do, 8, 10, or what feels like 100 seasons before you can use your pan. But you don’t need to do that. You need one solid coating and then use your pan for what it’s intended for, cooking!
The more you cook with your pan, the better your seasoning will be. I’ve seen a lot of people recommending using flax seed oil to season your pan. Flax seed oil has a low smoke point and could cause flaking of the seasoning. Use a neutral flavor, and high smoke point oil like canola oil.
I have a video on how to season your new pan. So give that a watch for your first proper seasoning. Once you’ve done that, then you’re ready to start cooking.
Set your expectations. This is a big thing to remember. You will still need to use oil when cooking. This isn’t magic and your pan will never be 100% non-stick. But it will be good enough to fry an egg in just a small amount of oil with a proper season. If you don't use oil you are going to have sticking issues. Even the best-coated pans will need oil to prevent sticking.
Don’t stress about what kind of oils to use when cooking in your pan! It’s only a big thing to note when you’re seasoning as you’ll season at a much higher temperature than you would cook with.
Pre-heat your pan. There’s no shortcuts in cooking. Your pan needs to be hot enough to keep your food from sticking. Put your pan on medium to high heat and add your oil. When the oil is shimmering and swirls around the pan easily, then it’s time to add your food.
Also, don’t be afraid to use metal utensils in the pan. It is not teflon-coated; they can take a beating. This is why they’re very popular in restaurants, their durability. If you do scratch some of the coating off, that’s fine. The more you cook with your pan, you will re-season it and the scratch should fill itself in.
There is one big ‘NEVER do’ when using your carbon steel pan. If you use induction, make sure you never put it on high with nothing in it or on power boost mode to get it super hot. As induction heats up, the pan will heat so fast it will warp. So make sure you warm up the pan slowly on induction. I have personally made this mistake. Luckily my pan did go back to mostly it’s normal shape after cooling. But that’s not always the case.
Now, we all hate dishes, I know, much less reading about it, but this is very important. Care of your pan is key. You put the work in and you’ll have this pan forever and you’ll just keep building up that beautiful seasoning.
Rule one here, don’t soak your carbon steel pan in water to help remove stuck on food. This will cause the carbon steel to rust. Even a well seasoned pan can rust as the water will make its way to the metal under the coating.
You can use soap and warm water to remove the food. Yes, soap! Don’t be afraid to use soap. A little soap to help clean your pan is not going to remove your seasoning. Soaps today are a not as strong as soaps from your great-grandmother’s days used lye as a base ingredient. Yes, lye will take the seasoning right off. But a soft dish soap will not and on another note, no, your food will not taste like soap.
If you do forget and leave your pan in the sink and it starts to rust, that’s it toss it out!! No, that’s a joke. Seriously, it’s ok. Remember, I said these were tough. Simply clean the rust off and start the seasoning process again.
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