How to Season Stainless Steel Cookware
January 25, 2018 Stainless steel cookware articles

how to season a stainless steel pan

Did you know you can season stainless steel cookware?

Cooking with stainless steel cookware can be fun, due to the even heating, and can also be challenging, especially when it comes to cleaning stainless steel.

If you are not experienced with using stainless steel cookware, you can easily burn the food in the pan.  This can create a nightmare scenario to clean the burned on food particles from the bottom of the pan.

This can leave unsightly brown stains on your new shiny cookware that may seem impossible to remove.

No need to worry that you will be forced to toss out your expensive cookware, due to those ugly brown stains.  In reality, the stains do not affect the performance of your stainless steel cookware.

In this article, you will learn how to season stainless steel cookware.  This is one of the best ways to create a non stick surface on the cookware to prevent food from sticking.

You may be aware of the process and benefits of seasoning cast iron cookware.  This is  a way to seal the iron pans with a coating of oil or fat.  This will prevent food from sticking, and also to prevent the iron from rusting.

While not as well known, you can also season stainless steel cookware, which helps keep food from sticking to the pan while cooking, and makes cleaning easier.

The process to season stainless steel cookware, that is to bake a thin layer of oil or fat into to the pours of the metal, is a bit different though the benefits of seasoning stainless steel pans are the same as for seasoning cast iron, which is to prevent food from sticking and making cleaning easier.

See also  Enameled Cast Iron OR Seasoned Cast Iron - Which is the best cast iron skillet?

If you just purchased your new stainless steel cookware, it is best to season it before the first use.


8 Simple Steps to Season Stainless Steel Cookware:


1) Wash stainless steel cookware in hot soapy water to remove any dirt, dust or packaging residue.

2) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

3) Coat the inside, outside and handles of your stainless steel cookware with a 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil, olive oil or peanut oil.   Some people say you can season stainless on a stove top, but since the purpose of seasoning is to bake the fat into the steel to create a non-stick surface, it is best to season your stainless steel cookware in the oven.

4) Leave the skillets in the oven for about 1 hour until it starts to smoke.

5) Turn off the oven and let the pan sit until it is cool enough to touch.

6) Remove the pan and immediately wipe out remaining oil.  Don’t let the pan cool with the oil residue in the pan.  As the pan cools, the oil will polymerize and leave those unsightly brown stains that are impossible to clean off with soapy water.

7) After using pan simply wipe clean.  Re-season as needed.  With regular use, the

8) After washing with soapy water, it may be necessary to re-season as the oil coating can be washed off with soapy water.

Now your new stainless steel skillets should have a non-stick coating, and food should not stick to the pan, until the oil coating begins to wear off.  If and when food begins to stick then simply follow steps 2-8.

See also  Three Ways to Season a Cast Iron Skillet


What If Your Pan Turns Brown During Seasoning?

If your pan gets too hot before you can remove the oil and it turns brown, or the fat congeals on the pan if you let it sit too long and now can’t wash it off?  No worries.

The brown baked on fat will not impact the functionality of the pan,  although it may look unsightly, especially on your new expensive stainless steel cookware.

You can use a product called Bar Keepers Friend, a sponge and some warm water.  Follow direction on the can.  If you don’t have Bar Keepers Friend, you can also use baking soda, warm water, a sponge and a little elbow grease.

This will remove the baked on fat.  Then you  can re-season your cookware again.




"6" Comments
  1. It’s awesome that stainless steel is designed to resist corrosion due to their high chromium content. My boss has been telling me about how he wants to build a new machine this quarter for use outside, and he wants to make sure that it can stand up to the weather. I’ll pass this information along to him so that he can look further into his options for using stainless steel.

  2. Thanks for helping me understand that stainless steel cookware provides equal heating for your food! My friend plans to build a functional kitchen in his new small apartment. Maybe we should visit a restaurant equipment store as a start!

  3. So, I just bought a new 10 qt Instant Pot, and am not sure if I should try and season it.
    My first use was to make Zuppa Toscana, which was a big hit, but as I cooked my sausage and bacon in the pot, and it stuck, I thought about trying to season it perhaps. I don’t know if it will work, as I will be cooking many liquids in it, and perhaps I should just be prepared to deal with this.
    It wasn’t a hard clean up, as the soup cooked off most of the glazing from the meats.


    • When using the Instant Pot to cook meat, you have to put oil in first to prevent food from sticking.

      I use baking soda to clean baked on food. It removes baked on foods easily.

  4. I like how you said that stainless steel cookware can be seasoned and sealed to be more easily cleaned just like cast iron can be. My wife and I would really like to have some good nonstick pans. We’ll have to look into getting some good cookware that will give us those benefits, or that we can add the benefits to.

  5. Just keep in mind, you don’t want to use the stainless steel cookware on very high temperatures. That is what causes rainbow stains.
    Filip recently posted…How to clean discolored stainless steel potsMy Profile

Leave a Reply