Seasoning a frying pan is a crucial process to create a non-stick surface and enhance its performance. Whether you have a nonstick or cast-iron frying pan, proper seasoning will prevent food from sticking and protect the pan from rusting.
This guide will provide you with a quick and easy method to season both nonstick and cast-iron frying pans. With a well-seasoned pan, you can enjoy effortless cooking and better results in the kitchen.
Related: How to clean a frying pan?
What is seasoning?
Seasoning, in the context of cooking, refers to the process of treating and conditioning the surface of certain types of cookware, such as cast iron or carbon steel, with a layer of oil or fat.
This process creates a natural, non-stick coating that enhances the cookware’s performance and longevity.
How to season a frying pan?
To season a frying pan, follow these steps:
Start with a clean pan: Wash the frying pan with warm, soapy water to remove any dirt, residue, or factory coatings. Rinse it thoroughly and dry it completely.
Choose the oil: Select a high-smoke-point oil such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or flaxseed oil. Avoid using low-smoke-point oils like olive oil, as they can burn and create a sticky residue.
Apply a thin layer of oil: Pour a small amount of oil onto a paper towel or cloth and rub it all over the inside and outside of the frying pan, including the bottom and sides. Ensure that the entire surface is evenly coated with a thin layer of oil. Be careful not to use too much oil, as it can result in a sticky finish.
Remove excess oil: Use a clean paper towel or cloth to remove any excess oil from the pan. The goal is to create a thin, even coating of oil, so wipe off any pools or drips.
Heat the pan: Place the seasoned frying pan on the stove over medium heat. Allow it to heat up gradually to help the oil penetrate the pan’s surface. Heat the pan for about 10-15 minutes or until you notice the oil starts to smoke lightly.
Cool and repeat: Turn off the heat and let the pan cool completely. Once it has cooled, repeat the process of applying a thin layer of oil and heating the pan a few more times. This helps to build up a stronger seasoning layer.
Regular use and maintenance: After seasoning, use the frying pan regularly to further enhance the seasoning. Cook with oil or fat as needed to maintain the non-stick properties. Avoid using harsh detergents or abrasive scrubbers when cleaning the pan, as they can strip away the seasoning. Instead, clean it with mild soap and warm water, and gently scrub it with a soft sponge or brush.
How to Season a Non-Stick Frying Pan
Non-stick frying pans typically come with a factory-applied coating, so they do not require traditional seasoning like cast iron pans. However, you can still take certain steps to maintain and prolong the non-stick properties of your pan. Here’s how to season a non-stick frying pan:
Preparing the pan: Wash the non-stick frying pan with warm, soapy water to remove any dirt or residue. Rinse it thoroughly and dry it completely before seasoning.
Apply a small amount of oil: Use a non-stick cooking spray or a small amount of oil such as vegetable oil or canola oil. Apply a thin, even layer of oil to the cooking surface of the pan. Make sure not to use too much oil, as it can create a sticky residue.
Spread the oil: Use a paper towel or a soft cloth to spread the oil across the entire cooking surface of the pan. Ensure that the oil is evenly distributed, covering the bottom and sides of the pan.
Heat the pan: Place the seasoned non-stick frying pan on the stove over medium heat. Allow it to heat up gradually for a few minutes, allowing the oil to bond with the pan’s surface.
Cool and wipe off excess oil: Turn off the heat and let the pan cool completely. Once cooled, use a clean paper towel or cloth to wipe off any excess oil from the pan’s surface.
Regular maintenance: To maintain the non-stick properties of the pan, avoid using metal utensils that can scratch the surface. Instead, opt for wooden, silicone, or plastic utensils. Clean the pan after each use with mild dish soap and warm water, using a soft sponge or cloth. Avoid using abrasive scrubbers or harsh cleaning agents that can damage the non-stick coating.
How to Season Cast-Iron Frying Pan?
Seasoning a cast-iron frying pan is an essential step to create a natural non-stick surface and protect the pan from rusting. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to season a cast-iron frying pan:
Preheat the oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) to prepare for the seasoning process.
Clean the pan: Wash the cast-iron frying pan with warm water and mild dish soap to remove any dirt or residue. Scrub gently using a sponge or brush. Avoid using abrasive cleaners that can damage the seasoned surface. Rinse the pan thoroughly and dry it completely.
Apply a thin layer of oil: Coat the entire surface of the pan, including the interior and exterior, with a thin layer of cooking oil. Use oils with high smoke points like vegetable oil, canola oil, or flaxseed oil. Make sure to cover all the nooks and crannies of the pan.
Remove excess oil: Use a paper towel or cloth to wipe off any excess oil from the pan. The goal is to have a very thin and even layer of oil on the surface.
Place the pan in the oven: Place the cast-iron frying pan upside down on the oven rack to catch any drips. Make sure to position a foil-lined baking sheet or aluminum foil on the lower rack to catch any oil drips.
Bake the pan: Bake the pan in the preheated oven for about one hour. This process allows the oil to polymerize and form a durable non-stick coating on the cast iron.
Cool and repeat: Once the hour is up, turn off the oven and let the pan cool inside. Repeat the seasoning process a few more times if desired, as multiple layers of seasoning enhance the pan’s non-stick properties.
Regular maintenance: After each use, clean the cast-iron pan with warm water and a brush or sponge. Avoid using soap as it can strip away the seasoning. Dry the pan thoroughly to prevent rusting. To maintain the seasoning, lightly oil the pan after each use by applying a thin layer of oil using a paper towel or cloth.
- Always put the pan face down in the oven so that excess oil can drip off.
- Use a foil beneath the pan for cleaning the dripping oil easily.
- Use your pan regularly in your cooking, it will help develop and maintain its own nonstick surface.
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