How to Smoke Season your Carbon Steel Pan

by Robin Hood | Last Updated:  April 10, 2018
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This method is our favorite, however, it is very smokey. Be sure to have open windows, really good ventilation, or if possible cook outdoors.

Smoke seasoning is a quick and useful method for kickstarting your pan’s seasoning. By bringing oil to its smoke point we are breaking down the oil and allowing it to bond and layer on the steel pan surface.

We recommend using a medium temp oil (flaxseed, coconut, sunflower, canola), avoid olive oil or vegetable oil as they can become sticky after smoking and may also leave a burnt flavor.

Bring your pan to a high heat with a little pool of oil spread evenly in the pan. Allow the oil to coat the whole base and sidewalls.

Let your pan heat until the oil smokes just a bit. Once this happens, use a cloth or paper towel to wipe to oil evenly around the pan.

The oil will begin to separate and break down a bit. Your pan base will darken and discolor. The end goal is to blacken the entire pan base.

Move your pan around the burner to darken your pan base evenly.

Continue applying oil with a cloth or paper towel until your entire pan base is dark and shiny.

After a few applications, your pan’s cooking surface will be well seasoned and on its way towards an egg-sliding nonstick base. You may practice this method of seasoning as often as you wish.

Cooking with fatty foods will benefit your pan’s seasoning. Acidic food will remove some of the polymers that make up the season.