How to Season Stainless Steel Frying Pans (so it won’t stick while cooking)

Stainless steel pans come with their fair share of advantages – they are extremely durable, they retain and evenly distribute heat, etc.

Yet, many people shy away from using them every day since certain foods tend to stick to stainless steel pans. However, that can be completely avoided with a simple hack – season your stainless steel pans!

So, let’s see how you can season your stainless steel pans.

How to Season Stainless Steel Pans

With the help of a little salt and peanut oil, you will be able to give your stainless steel pan a well-seasoned surface.

This effective coating will allow your stainless steel pans to effectively become non-stick! Plus, this glaze is all-natural, which makes it a healthier and safer substitute.

Here’s what you need to do to season your stainless steel pan.

Things You Will Need to Season the Pan

  • A stainless steel pan
  • Table salt
  • Peanut oil (or any oil with a high smoke point)
  • Paper towels

Directions to season a Stainless Steel frying pans

Here are the directions you need to follow in order to properly season your stainless steel pan.

1. Wash Your Stainless Steel Pan

Before you get to the seasoning bit, you need to make sure that your stainless steel pan is thoroughly washed.

This is especially vital if you are about to season your newly-bought stainless steel pan.

Use warm water and gentle dish detergent to softly and thoroughly clean the exterior and interior of your pan.

Once you have rinsed your stainless steel pan, make sure to dry your pan before seasoning it.

2. Heat Your Stainless Steel Pan

Next, you need to place your washed and dried pan on the stove over medium-high heat.

3. Coat Your Stainless Steel Pan with Peanut Oil

Once your pan is warm, you need to put at least 2 tablespoons of pure peanut oil in it.

You need to allow the oil to smoke up a little so that it can coat the entire surface of your stainless steel pan.

The smoke from the heat will help the oil to absorb and stick to the surface of your pan.

You can also use a silicone brush to make sure the surface and inner rim of your stainless steel pan are properly coated with the peanut oil.

4. Add Salt into Your Stainless Steel Pan

Next, you need to sprinkle some table salt into your stainless steel pan.

Make sure to cover the entire surface of your pan with salt.

The salt helps to effectively remove any water from the pan, allowing the oil to be absorbed by the surface.

5. Cool Your Stainless Steel Pan

After a good 2 to 3 minutes, take your stainless steel pan off the stove and let it cool down.

The oil and salt mixture should at least be lukewarm if they are not at room temperature.

You want it to be cool enough to not scald to the touch. This will allow the oil mixture to be safe enough to handle for the remainder of the seasoning method.

6. Pour Out the Excess Oil

Once your pan is cooled down, you can slowly pour any excess oil that remains on the surface out of your pan and down your kitchen drain.

If you don’t want to pour it down your drain, you can soak up the oil and dispose it off with food waste.

Either way, you will still have some excess oil left in your stainless steel pan.

7. Use Paper Towels to Wipe Your Stainless Steel Pan

Use a clean paper towel to rub the salt and oil around the surface of your stainless steel pan.

Wad up the paper towel and run it along the surface of your pan in clear circular movements. Crush the salt particles with a paper towel.

Make sure to get the inner rim and sides of your pan as well.

Keep rubbing the towel to ensure that your pan is nicely polished by the salt and oil coating.

This will allow the towel to soak up the remaining oil as well as give your stainless steel pan a nice and distinct shine.

This shine is a sign that your pan is well-glossed and is now effectively non-stick!

Next, wipe away the salt and oil and discard the used paper towel.

Use another towel to ensure that you have completely wiped your stainless steel pan clean.

Before you store your seasoned pan, make sure to place a layer of clean paper towel between each stacked pan to protect your pan from unnecessary scratching.

That’s it, you can now use your stainless steel pan without worrying about food sticking to it!

Why Use an Oil with a High smoke Point

Oils such as peanut, vegetable, sesame, soybean, etc., are all perfect choices for seasoning a stainless steel pan.

This is because all these oils have a high smoke point – they smoke up at 400°F and higher.

It is vital to use an oil with a high smoke point as such oil will react more easily and readily to the heat as you begin your seasoning method.

It will also interact better with your pan’s stainless steel surface and stick more effectively to the surface.

This helps your seasoning to be more effective and last longer.

How to Make Sure Food Does Not Stick to Your Seasoned Stainless Steel Pan

Seasoning the surface of your stainless steel pan to avoid food sticking to it is definitely not a permanent fix.

Sometimes, when the seasoning wears off, food can stick to your pan. To avoid such an occurrence, you can always re-season your pan. It’s an easy and quick method.

However, there is another way to ensure that food does not stick to your stainless steel pan while cooking.

Always make sure to thoroughly reheat your pan before adding any ingredients to it.

Preheating your stainless steel pan will allow the surface to distribute the heat evenly. It will effectively prevent uneven cold or hot spots on your pan’s surface.

This will allow your food to be cooked and heated evenly.

Also, always use a little bit of butter or oil to cook your food in your stainless steel pan. This will allow food to properly cook in your pan and prevent it from sticking to the surface.

How to Clean a Seasoned Stainless Steel Pan

To make sure that your stainless steel pan stays well seasoned between uses, avoid washing your pan with dish soap.

Instead, you can use clean paper towels to wipe your stainless steel pan clean after each use.

If the food still sticks to your pan, simply scrub it with some salt and oil and then wipe away the food residue with a paper towel.

However, if you have to wash your pan due to a pesky, stubborn food scrap that just won’t come off, then make sure to use the steps mentioned above to re-season your stainless steel pan before your next use.

Why You Should Season Stainless Steel Pans

Seasoning is necessary because it creates a barrier on the surface of your stainless steel pans and protects them against rust.

If your pans are starting to lose their non-stick coating, seasoning can help restore it at least temporarily.

Let’s take a look at three primary reasons why you should season your stainless-steel pans:

Easier to Clean

Cleaning seasoned pans is so much easier as you don’t have to use an abrasive cleaner or scrubbing pad to get rid of the food residue.

It will simply wash off under warm running water. Avoid using a ball of steel wool as that can remove the seasoning and you’ll have to do the process all over again.

Non-Toxic Coating

When the coating on non-stick pans starts to break down, it may release toxic chemicals into the air that can create health problems if they’re inhaled.

Seasoned pans, on the other hand, have a protective layer that’s a lot safer for cooking.

Non-Stick Surface

As we’ve established, seasoning helps create a non-stick surface on your pans that could be a lot more resistant than ordinary Teflon coating.

This means that you’ll have lesser problems dealing with food sticking to the pan.

Also read: How to Season a Copper Pan

How to Store and Clean a Seasoned Pan

You need to take proper care of your seasoned stainless steel pans and use them correctly in order to increase their shelf-life and make sure they stay in the best possible shape for a long time.

Make sure you’re keeping your stainless steel cookware completely dry when they’re not in use. Keep a few paper towels inside your seasoned pans before storing them with other pans in your cupboard.

Stacking pans on top of each other is a common method of storage that saves a lot of storage space, but it can also lead to scratches on the inside and the bottom of your pans.

You won’t be able to season scratched stainless steel pans as effectively, which is why you need to protect the coating with paper towels when you store it.

Washing your pans with water and soap after cooking will remove the non-stick surface and you’ll have to season your pans all over again.

You should only use paper towels to wipe away any food residue. It’s advisable to leave the oily surface as it is as it will help protect your pans against stuck-on food particles.

If your pan becomes too dirty to use because of the residue, you can clean it with soap and water.

It’s advisable to rinse it thoroughly with warm water and use a non-abrasive cleaning tool, such as a soft cloth or a sponge to gently remove the residue and grease.

When you’re done with cleaning your pan, dry it with clean paper towels as soon as possible to prevent spotting.

If your pan has a lot of stubborn, stuck-on food residue, add a little bit of dish soap into it and then fill it with water before placing it on the stove over high heat.

Let the water boil for around 5 minutes before draining it. Use a soft sponge to wipe away the residue as it should easily come off now.

When you’ve washed your seasoned stainless steel pans with water and soap, it’s no longer seasoned.

You’ll have to season it again with fresh oil the next time you intend on using it to make sure it continues to work the same way.

In Conclusion

Seasoning your stainless steel pan is necessary as it will allow you to effortlessly cook delicate foods such as fish and eggs in your pan.

It will prevent such food from quickly falling apart on the stainless steel surface because of the lack of oil or butter.

If you don’t want food to stick to your stainless steel pan, then always make sure to season it.

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