How to Care for Your Carbon Steel Stove the Right Way


made in carbon steel cookware ban fries with chilli

Courtesy of Made In Cookware

Your carbon steel stove is a versatile powerhouse for burning, and non-stick cooking in general. It goes from the stovetop to the oven (or grill), which is why it’s a must-have for home cooks and professional chefs alike.

“Carbon steel [pans] taking the best features of stainless steel and cast iron and combining them into one,” says Jake Kalick, president and co-founder of Made in.

To like meltingcarbon steel has the ability to withstand high heat and develop a natural nonstick patina over time, but like stainless steel, it’s relatively lightweight and heats up quickly, Kalick says.

Related: Tools You Need to Care for a Cast Iron Skillet

“You can cook almost anything in carbon steel,” he adds, sharing that a few of his favorite dishes are sautéed in a wokperfect rice in a paella panand a nice crust on a pizza steel. “The only thing you have to be a bit careful about are the acidic ingredients. You can add tomatoes to it without any problem, but it’s not the place to make a sauce based on vinegar or citrus fruits. , as it will remove the seasoning.”

Don’t worry: if you make this mistake, you can re-season your pan with little to no consequences. Coming up is how to care for your carbon steel pan to make sure it lasts a long time.

Tips for cleaning and maintenance

When it comes to maintenance, carbon steel acts more like cast iron, says Kalick. So before you start using your carbon steel skillet, you need to season it. “We recommend doing it in the oven, but it can also be done on the stovetop,” he says. “Coat your cookware in oil, then expose it to heat. This creates a polymerized reaction, where the oil fills the pores of the pan, creating a smooth surface.” Kalick notes that the longer you cook with your pan, the more seasoning builds up.

Ready to clean your carbon steel cookware? “Start by wiping off as much food residue as you can with a paper towel or rag,” Kalick says. “If there are still bits of food stuck, you can boil water in your cookware to loosen the food, before scraping it off with a metal spatula. When it gets really dirty, scrub it off with about a cup of coarse salt, then rinse with hot water.Your cookware will then need to be seasoned again, which involves heating a small amount of oil on the stove, letting it smoke , then let it cool until the color of the metal darkens.

The best tool for cleaning carbon steel cookware

Steel wool is far too abrasive for nonstick or even stainless steel cookware, but it’s great for removing rust from carbon steel, Kalick says. “If your cookware rusts, you can remove it with steel wool and a paste of baking soda and vinegar, using the steel wool as a scouring pad.”

It’s important to note that because steel wool is such a tough abrasive, it will not only remove the rust, but also the layer of seasoning you’ve built up, says Kalick. To remedy this, simply follow the reseasoning steps above. “After the initial re-seasoning, you’ll have to rebuild that patina from scratch, giving you a great excuse to cook fatty foods like bacon to help start this process.”

Can dish soap be used on carbon steel pans?

Short answer: Stay away. The dish soap is not suitable for carbon steel pans.

“Just like with cast iron, you never want to use soap on your carbon steel pans,” says Kalick. “This will completely wash out the seasoning and might also leave a nasty residue.” When your cookware has caked on food, use boiled water and a metal spatula as needed, but never dish soap.

Kalick also warns home cooks never to put carbon steel in the dish-washer. “Detergent is often too abrasive and there’s an increased risk of your cookware getting scratched or dented by other things,” he says. “If you put a carbon steel pan in the dishwasher, you will absolutely ruin it.”


When storing your carbon steel pan, make sure it is completely dry. “This will help reduce the risk of rust,” says Kalick, adding that if you live in a more humid climate, rust is somewhat unavoidable, so be sure to store it in the driest place possible and re-season it regularly if rust appears.


Comments are closed.