If you’ve recently purchased a stainless steel pan, there are some dos and don'ts you need to know in order to get the maximum use out of it.
While stainless steel cookware has many benefits of its own, it’s unfortunately not non-stick, which may lead to some frustration while you’re cooking.
A common way to solve this issue with stainless steel pans is to season them. Seasoning a stainless steel pan essentially makes it non-stick, which makes your life easier for both cooking and cleaning.
The best thing about seasoning a stainless steel pan is that it is a straightforward and easy process you can do at home.
How to Make Stainless Steel Non-Stick
Recommended article: Best Stainless Steel Cookware
Here is a step-by-step guide for how to season a stainless steel pan with ease:
The first thing you must do is clean your stainless steel pan. This first step is simple yet essential. Wash your pan thoroughly and make sure it's clean inside and out. You can use warm water and a mild detergent to do this. Make sure you aren't too harsh with the pan.
Once you’re sure it’s fully clean, dry it thoroughly. You can use a paper towel to ensure the pan is dry.
Now, you need to oil your pan. Before you start the oiling process, you need to make sure you’re using the appropriate oil. We would recommend using an oil with a high smoking point, which will stick properly to your pan during the seasoning process. Choices for the best oil to season stainless steel include peanut oil, avocado oil, vegetable oil, or sunflower oil.
Once you’ve chosen the right oil, you need to coat your pan with it. Pour in around 2 tablespoons of oil and coat the bottom. You only need to thinly coat the bottom, so make sure you don’t add too much oil. Swirl it around the pan and use a soft utensil to make sure the coating is even throughout.
Now, you must heat the evenly oiled pan. Place it on a stove with medium heat for around 6 minutes. Let the pan heat until the oil starts to smoke, and then remove it from the heat. You can also choose to heat it in an oven with a temperature of 350-degrees (make sure your cookware is oven-safe, however).
Once the pan has cooled down, wipe off and drain all the extra oil. You can easily do this with a paper towel.
After you’ve wiped off and drained all the excess oil, you’ll notice your pan has a distinct shine. This shine means that you’ve successfully seasoned your pan and it is now non-stick.
While seasoning is a rather straightforward process, you’ll need to take additional steps to ensure your pan remains non-stick:
● If you’re stacking your pans to store them, make sure you keep a paper towel or pan divider in between so the non-stick layer isn’t damaged.
● Try not to clean your pan with soap every time after use. This will ensure you don’t accidentally wash off the oil.
● You can always re-season your pan if you notice it’s started to lose its slickness.
These simple steps will allow you to maintain the seasoning of your pan!
FAQ on Seasoning Stainless Steel
Is Stainless Steel Non-Stick?
Are stainless steel pans non-stick? Well, the short answer is no! This is one of the few cons of stainless steel cookware.
Stainless steel is non-reactive, and this makes it great for cooking tomato-based dishes, fruits, vegetables, eggs, broths, and gravies.
However, it’s not nonstick. This means that sometimes, food sticks to stainless steel pans.
You can make stainless steel nonstick by seasoning it.
While this seasoning process is not permanent and the seasoning may wear off, you can easily maintain and even re-season the pan if the oil completely wears away.
Seasoning the pan makes cooking easier, as now you won’t have to deal with food sticking to your stainless steel pots and pans. This also allows for your food to be evenly cooked and be more flavoursome.
Do you need to season stainless steel pans?
You don’t technically need to; you can use your stainless steel pan even if it’s not seasoned! However, we highly recommend seasoning your pan, as it has many benefits and makes your cooking experience easier.
The biggest and most obvious benefit is that it makes your cookware non-stick, which makes it easier to cook in. You can also easily wipe off the pan after every use instead of washing it.
The seasoning process also makes it non-reactive to acidic food, so you can easily cook your favorite dishes without worrying about ruining the coating.
Stainless steel is essentially not great at conducting heat, and this means it tends to cook a bit unevenly.
If you notice this problem, seasoning your pan may help, as it can allow for a better spreading of heat. This ensures your food cooks uniformly.
How to keep stainless steel pans from sticking?
Wondering how to cook on stainless steel without sticking food residue? The first step is to season your stainless steel pan. You can easily do this by following the steps for how to season a stainless steel pan, as we’ve provided above. This will make your pan non-stick.
However, to maintain this seasoning, you should be careful with how you wash your pan so the nonstick layer remains intact.
You can also prevent food from sticking by preheating the pan before you add your ingredients. Preheating is also great as it will ensure the pan heats up evenly, allowing you to cook food more delicately.
With a seasoned stainless steel pan, an issue that often arises is that pans may cling to each other if they are non-stick and oily.
In case you have to stack your pans, keep paper towels or pan dividers between them so they don’t stick to each other.
In a Nutshell: How to Make a Stainless Steel Pan Non-stick
Now you know how to season a stainless steel pan. Seasoning is a simple and straightforward process to make your stainless steel pans non-stick.
The best thing about seasoning is that you can do it right at home; you don’t need to buy any expensive ingredients or tools.
Making your pan non-stick also comes with other benefits that include convenient clean-up and efficient cooking.
After seasoning your pan, you should also take steps to ensure the seasoning remains. In case it washes off, you can easily re-season it.
Seasoning allows you to enjoy all the benefits of a stainless steel pan without having to compromise on the benefit of nonstick cookware.
Good luck with the seasoning, and enjoy your stainless steel nonstick cookware!