How to season a frying pan

Seasoning is just oil baked onto cast iron through a process called polymerization. It gives your cookware that classic black patina. Seasoning forms a natural, easy-release cooking surface and helps prevent your pan from rusting. They’re lightweight, which makes them great for stirring and flipping the food that you’re cooking. They hold heat longer than other pans. They can quickly and evenly cook foods. In this article, we discuss about how to season a frying pan.

Food sticks easily to a bare metal cooking surface; it must either be oiled or seasoned before use. The coating known as seasoning is formed by a process of repeatedly layering extremely thin coats of oil on the cookware and oxidizing each layer with high heat for a time. This process is known as “seasoning”; the color of the coating is commonly known as its “patina” – the base coat will darken with use.

season a frying pan

The benefits of a well-seasoned frying pan

A well-seasoned frying pan offers numerous advantages.

Firstly, it provides a non-stick surface that prevents food from sticking and burning, making cooking easier and more efficient.

Secondly, it enhances the flavor of the food by imparting a subtle taste from the seasoning.

Thirdly, it is more durable and resistant to rust and corrosion, ensuring a longer lifespan.

Additionally, it requires less oil for cooking, making it a healthier option. Lastly, it is easier to clean and maintain, saving time and effort. In conclusion, a well-seasoned frying pan is a valuable investment for any kitchen, offering both practical and health benefits.

How to season a frying pan for the first time

While some frying pans for chicken, fish, steak, and other skillets come pre-seasoned, many do not, so your first step should be to season the pan. Here are the steps you need to follow to season a pan for the first time.

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Thoroughly wash your new pans in hot, soapy water. This helps remove the coating of wax or oil that manufacturers may apply to protect the pan during shipping.

Note: You may need to use a stainless steel scrubber to clean cast iron skillets and heavy-duty carbon steel pans, while tin-plate and hard-coat aluminum pans will only require a dish towel to clean.

3. Rinse your pan and dry it with a clean towel.

Cleaning and care

4. Place the pan in your preheated oven for a few minutes before continuing to make sure that it is completely dry

5. Once your pan or skillet has dried completely, you can begin seasoning it. You can learn how to season the different types of pans and skillets below to complete the first seasoning.

Additionally, there are multiple ways to season a pan. We will show you how to season a pan in the oven as well as seasoning pans on the stove, so you can use the method that best matches your needs and the type of pan you’re using.

Different Types of pans for seasoning

Not every type of frying pan or skillet requires seasoning. Below is a list of the types of frying pans that need to be seasoned. Additionally, you can learn how to season each type of frying pan.

  1. Cast Iron Pan
  2. Stainless Steel Pan
  3. Carbon or Black Steel Pans
  4. Non-Stick Pan
  5. Tin plated pan
  6. Aluminium Pan

Cast Iron

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C.
  2. Wash the skillet in warm, soapy water and a sponge or stiff brush. Cast iron should not normally be washed with soap, but it’s fine here since the pan is about to be seasoned.
  3. Rinse and thoroughly dry the skillet.
  4. Using a cloth or paper towel, apply a thin coat of vegetable oil to the inside and outside of the skillet.
  5. Place the skillet upside down on the oven’s center rack. Place a sheet of aluminum foil below the rack to catch any drips. Bake for an hour.
  6. Turn off the heat and allow the skillet to cool completely before removing it from the oven.
Cast Iron
Cast Iron

Stainless Steel

  1. Wash and dry the pan. Use a gentle dish soap and warm water to thoroughly wash your stainless steel frying pan. Afterward, rinse and dry your pan completely.
  2. Oil your pan. Once the pan is completely dry, heat it up on your stovetop. Then add a little bit of oil. You will want to use an oil with a high smoking point. Some examples include sesame, vegetable, peanut, and soybean oil. Once you have added oil over medium heat, use a wad of paper towel to distribute the oil around the pan’s surface.
  3. Cool the pan. Once you have a hot pan, and it starts to smoke, remove it from the stovetop and let it cool. When your pan is cool, use another paper towel to remove the oil. (The environmentally friendly option is to substitute a clean, dry cloth for the paper towel).
  4. Repeat the process when necessary. When you find that food is once again sticking to your stainless steel pan, return to these steps and re-season it.
Stainless Steel

Carbon or Black Steel Pans

  1. Wash your new pan, wok, or frypan in hot soapy water, ensuring you remove any residual manufacturing oil. Allow to dry completely.
  2. Set down your wok/fry pan on a stable heat source (a wok may need stabilizing with a wok ring).
  3. Pour a little vegetable oil (flaxseed oil is ideal) onto a piece of paper towel, use this to lightly coat the inside of the wok/frypan. Make sure there are no drips or runs.
  4. Turn on the heat under the wok or fry pan to high. When the oil reaches the smoking point, turn off the heat and allow the wok/frypan to cool. Repeat this process 2 or 3 times or until you are happy with the coating. Do not leave the wok or frypan unattended during this process.
  5. The wok /frypan will change from silver to black. This is the coating that will help to stop food from sticking to the pan and prevent rust.

Non-Stick Pan

  1. If your cookware is brand new, wash it first to remove any leftover factory residue. Make sure it is completely dry before adding oil.
  2. Coat the surface with a thin layer of neutral oil (vegetable or canola oil are good choices). You can use a towel to evenly distribute the oil. Bring the oil all the way up to the rim of the pan.
  3. Heat the cookware over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. If the cookware is oven-safe, you can also put it in the oven at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Once cool, wipe away any excess oil with a towel, and the pan is ready to use!
non stick

Tin plated pan

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Apply a thin coat of vegetable shortening or lard to the inside and outside of the pan. Coat all areas except the handle of the pan.
  3. Place a lined baking sheet on the bottom rack of your oven.
  4. Put the pan on the middle rack of the oven.
  5. Bake your tin plate pans for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Remove the pans from the oven, wipe them dry with a clean cloth, and let them cool completely.
  7. A seasoned tin plate pan should have a dark brown or black color.
  8. You may need to season your pans 2-3 times before reaching the desired seasoning.

Note: Tin pans will rust if they’re refrigerated, soaked in water, or left unseasoned in damp environments. Be sure to season your pans regularly and store them properly to prevent damage.

Aluminium Pan

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Apply a thin coat of vegetable shortening or lard to the interior and exterior of your hard-coat aluminum pan.
  3. Place a lined baking sheet on the bottom rack of your oven.
  4. Put the hard-coat aluminum pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake between 15 and 20 minutes.
  5. Pull the pan out of the oven wipe it dry with a clean cloth and let it cool.
  6. Do not over-bake your hard-coat aluminum pans and do not wash off excess oil, simply wipe it off with a towel.
  7. You may need to season new pans 2-3 times until you reach the desired effect
Aluminium pan
Aluminum pan

How to Clean a Seasoned Pan

Now you know how to season a frying pan. If your pans have been seasoned properly, clean-up should be relatively simple. Here are some tips for cleaning seasoned cast iron, carbon steel, aluminum, or tin frying pan.

  • Clean your pans while they’re still warm to make the process easier.
  • All you need to clean a seasoned pan is hot water and a sponge, you should never use harsh chemicals.
  • Only use cloths or sponges to clean seasoned pans as abrasive scouring pads may scrub away some of the seasoning.
  • To deal with hard stuck-on stains, use a mild scouring pad only.
  • After cleaning a seasoned pan, re-apply a thin layer of vegetable oil to the pan.
  • Store your seasoned frying pans in a cool, dry place to prevent rust.
clean and care of pan

How Do You Know When to Reseason Pans?

There are several signs that your frying pans need to be reseasoned. Here are a few clear indicators.

  • When food starts to stick to the surface.
  • The surface of the pan starts to look gray.
  • Rust is starting to form on the surface.

Additionally, you can design a schedule to season your pans regularly to ensure that they never lose their non-stick surface.


The significance of seasoning a frying pan cannot be overstated. Proper seasoning of a frying pan is essential to ensure that it functions optimally and lasts for a long time. Seasoning a frying pan involves coating it with a thin layer of oil and heating it to a high temperature. This process creates a non-stick surface that prevents food from sticking to the pan and also protects it from rust and corrosion. A well-seasoned frying pan also enhances the flavor of food and makes it easier to clean. Therefore, it is crucial to season a frying pan before its first use and periodically thereafter to maintain its quality.

A well-seasoned frying pan can make a significant difference in the quality of your cooking. By following the steps outlined in this post, you can ensure that your frying pan is properly seasoned and maintained for optimal performance.

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