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Seasoning Carbon Steel Skillet

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi Gang,

I just ordered another Carbon Steel skillet, this time from Matfer-Bourgeat (Thanks BDL!). However, I forgot the method for seasoning this puppy for the first time. I think it goes something like this - from some notes I have:
Wash the pan well with hot, soapy water, and dry it thoroughly.
Then cover the bottom of the pan with coarse salt, and cover
that with a generous layer of vegetable oil (Not a job for EVOO -
maybe peanut oil, or what? I used safflower last time). Let the
pan sit at room temperature for 12 hours, then heat it over
moderately low or maybe medium heat until the oil is very hot and
just starting to smoke. At that point discard the oil and wipe the
pan dry with a strong paper towel or perhaps an absorbant and
lint-free cloth towel.
Does that sound about right?
post #2 of 13
Sounds overcomplicated. Wash thoroughly, dry thoroughly. Oil the pan with a neutral flavored cooking oil or lard, put upside down in a cold oven, on the upper rack. On the lower rack put a sheet pan covered with newspaper or paper towels to catch any drips. Set the oven to 300 and let 'er rip for an hour or two. Turn off the oven and let it cool with the door closed for another hour. Wipe the pan with a paper towel and you're good to go.

Love the arch on the Matfer handle, it's so darn French.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Not that I doubt you - not at all - however, I'm curious why so many sources, including Matfer, suggest using salt. In fact, Matfer suggests salt AND potato peelings.
1. Before use, wash pan under hot water in mild detergent, use a
bristle brush to scrub all protective coating, proceed by thoroughly
drying pan.

2. Place in pan the following ingredients and sauté on medium heat
while swirling around entire pan. Amount of ingredient will vary
depending the size of pan i.e. medium pan use 1/3-cup oil, 2/3-cup
salt, & 2 whole potato peelings. Discard after sautéing for 10

3. Repeat step 2 again.

4. After processing steps 2 & 3 use oil with paper towel and wipe
entire pan.
post #4 of 13
They want to get all the odor out of the oil; and they don't trust you to use something both fresh and neutral. As long as you use an appropriate oil or fat you'll be fine. You know that even though you get the process started, the pan doesn't really season until it turns black; and that the black is carbon. It takes a little while.

post #5 of 13
It also helps to pick up loose particles of metal and as noted, the odor and taste of the uncured metal. The Chinese traditionally season a carbon steel wok with chives, often scrubbing the pan with the woodier bases of the chives
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
The new pan arrived yesterday :bounce: The body of the pan looks great - clearly it's well made. However, I was a little disappointed with the handle. Oh, it fits my hand well and it's comfortable, but it's shorter than I thought it would be, so the arch isn't quite the same as on pans with longer handles. It sure is nice and hefty, though.
post #7 of 13
FWIW I season all mine like I do my hand hammered woks from the Pour about 1 cup of salt into the pan and heat it over a gas burner until the pan changes to a nice purple/blue color while moving the salt around in the pan. This may take a long time but wait until you see the color change. It will happen. Pour out the salt and let the pan cool. Rub down the pan with a thin layer of oil/lard and put in the oven at 300 for about 2 hours. Wipe it down after 1 hour in the oven. Wipe it clean. Cook. You will throw away all your non-stick stuff in about a week. I don't recommend using it for highly acidic cooking - use stainless.
post #8 of 13
Which brands are you recommending for a Carbon Steel Skillet?
post #9 of 13

de Buyer, no hesitation. Built to last. However, stay away from their Mineral B series as they put silicon-like stuff on the handle with the result that you can't use the skillet to finish steaks or whatever in the oven.

post #10 of 13

The part of not beeing able to finish steaks in the owen with mineral B's is not correct.

Stay under 200 degrees Celsius (around 400 F) and the handles are just fine.


But yeah, the De Buyers are built to last.

post #11 of 13

I stand corrected! I thought it was 200 Farenheight. I have 3 Mineral B skillets (and 2 carbon plus), I'm new to cooking with carbon steel. Just found a way to season them that works, they're a pleasure to use.

post #12 of 13
Are there any other difference between the carbon plus and mineral b's except the handle?
The mineral b are a joy to cook with for sure
post #13 of 13

No not that I noticed. My mineral B look better though, they took a really nice bluish even color.

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