How to Season Stainless Steel Pans – The Ultimate Guide (4 Steps)

Last Updated on October 13, 2021 by Boniface Muriuki

When using your stainless steel pans for the first time, you should season it to achieve optimal performance. Seasoning will keep your food from sticking to the pan, which will improve your cooking experience significantly. 

But how do you season a new stainless steel pan?

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to season stainless steel pans which will make the process a breeze. Ensure that you follow each step to the letter for the best results. 

How to Season Stainless Steel Pans

Why You Should Season Stainless Steel Pans

Whenever you buy your stainless steel pan, it’s always your desire that it will serve you right for the longest period possible, right? 

Well, how best the pan serves you will depend on your maintenance skills. If you fail to care for your stainless steel pans well, then you can be sure that you’ll have a short-lived cooking joy. 

But how does seasoning stainless steel improve it?

When you season your pans, you’ll use oils. The oil is relatively viscous and is believed to fill in the pores in your stainless steel pan.

Consequently, you’ll achieve a smoother and relatively nonstick surface. This will liberate you from food sticking on your pans as you cook. Additionally, it eliminates the chances of burning, thus making the cleaning process easy.

However, you should note that regular cleaning of your stainless steel with soap and warm water will open up the pores. As such, we recommend that you season your pans at least thrice a year to maintain the top-notch performance. 

How to Season Stainless Steel Pans – the Ultimate Guide 

Seasoning your stainless steel cookware is less work than seasoning red copper pans, carbon steel, or cast iron. 

You will need soap, warm water, oil (with a high smoking point), and paper towels. We recommend that you use any oil ideal for air fryers.

Read here about the best oils for air fryers 

Step 1: Wash Your Pan 

The initial step involves cleaning the pan thoroughly. Ensure that you use warm water and soap to open all the pores adequately.

If your pan is new, you should avoid using abrasive cleaners since they will not add any value to your cleaning process. Rinse it adequately and dry using a clean towel.

Step 2: Oil Application 

You can use the oil you selected from the list of the best oil for air fryers. Avoid butter and olive oil since they have low smoking points. 

Place a few drops on both the bottom surface and the sides. Spread it using your fingers or a paper towel. 

Step 3: Heating the Pan

Set your stovetop to medium heat and start the heating. You must heat until you see smoke emanating from the pan.

Remove the pan and let it cool.

Step 4: Wipe Excess Oil and Dry the Pan

Using a clean paper towel, you should wipe off the excess oil. The pan will be ready for use after completing the wiping process. 

Step 5: Repeat the Process Regularly

To ensure that pores in your stainless steel pan remain sealed, you should season your pan regularly. We recommend 3-4 times a year. 

Seasoning Stainless Steel Pan

Pros and Cons of Stainless Steel Cookware 

Now that you’ve learned how to season stainless steel pans, it would be ideal if you understand the benefits that you’ll accrue when you buy the best stainless steel pans. Read on for more:

What are the Advantages of Stainless Steel Cookware 

Matter of factly, stainless steel is the leading contemporary cookware – and for very convincing reasons. These pans and pots are not only durable but also effective. Here are a few benefits of stainless steel cookware:

  • Longevity. Stainless steel cookware are durable, thus guaranteeing top-notch functionality for a relatively long time. However, we recommend that you only select cookware constructed using multi-ply high-grade stainless steel. This material is hard enough to ensure that you pass the pan to your next generation!
  • Good Heat Absorption. The best stainless steel cookware has an exceptionally good cooking ability. It absorbs heat pretty fast to ensure that your food cooks fast. The only pan that can beat stainless steel in heat absorption is made out of red copper. 
  • Ease of Cleaning. Stainless steel pans have smooth and non-porous surfaces that are easy to clean. Using warm water and soap is everything you will need to achieve sparkling clean pans. If need be, you can use baking soda and vinegar to remove stains. Even better, the majority of these dishes are dishwasher safe!

Read more on how to clean stainless steel pans here

  • Does Not React with Food. Unlike copper pans, stainless steel cookware is safe to use with highly acidic and alkaline food items. You can cook your lime recipes without the risk of forming harmful compounds. 
  • Lightweight. When you compare stainless steel pans with cast iron, you’ll realize that it is easy to handle the former due to their lightweight nature. This boosts your flexibility as you can turn the food without a hassle. 
  • Highly Aesthetic. Stainless steel pans come with an attractive shiny mirror-finish that will surely add a sparkle to your kitchen. 
  • Relatively Affordable. Stainless steel pans are fairly priced. Depending on the brand and the quality of construction, you’ll get pans that suit your budgets. However, you should ensure that you go 3-ply or 5-ply construction despite their higher prices. You’ll be guaranteed durability and enhanced functionality. 

What are the Disadvantages of Stainless Steel Cookware?

  • Not the Best in Heat Distribution. While stainless steel cookware absorbs heat fast, its heat conductivity and distribution is rather poor. The slow and non-conductive nature can impair the cooking process leading to the burning of food before it cooks entirely. However, manufacturers have incorporated bonded conductors to enhance functionality. As such, you should always be keen to only select cookware with these conductors. 
  • Not Ideal for Delicate Food. When using stainless steel, your food will be prone to sticking and burning. As such, this cookware is only ideal for browning, boiling, or deep frying. Foods like eggs, tofu, and lean meat will almost always stick. However, manufacturers are using nonstick coatings to eliminate this problem. 
  • Can Easily Stain and Discolor. Stainless steel cookware can turn color when cooking salty food in high temperatures.

How to Season Stainless Steel Pans -The Bottom Line

If you want to get the best from your stainless steel pans, you should ensure that you season them regularly. This way, you’ll seal all the pores, creating a smooth and non-stick surface.

If you’re wondering how to season stainless steel pans, then worry no more! This article offers a comprehensive guide on how to season stainless steel pans. Additionally, it highlights the benefits and disadvantages of using stainless steel cookware.

We implore you to read through the article and implement all the tips to the letter for guaranteed functionality and durability. 

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