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Old 05-19-2017, 03:40 AM   #1
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Seasoning a carbon steel pan

Hi everyone

I bought a DeBuyer Carbon Steel Pan (24cm) about 3 weeks ago.

Since then, I seasoned it twice using the oven method - Coat pan with thin layer of flax seed oil, 1 hour upside down in hot oven, then leave 2 hours to cool in oven.

After that, I started cooking with it a number of times, but some of the seasoning came off.

How many layers of seasoning is recommended before I cook with it again?

I don't feel like re-seasoning my pan so regularly.

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Old 05-19-2017, 05:32 AM   #2
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I have two De Buyer carbon steel pans that are the workhorses in my kitchen. I use mine for everything from eggs to meat. About the only thing I don't fry in them is fish.

The first one I seasoned in the oven using the method you describe. The last one I bought I just seasoned on the stove top with flax seed oil. A couple of light coats is all it takes before using it for the first time. Compared to cast iron, I find these pans very easy to season, but the one caveat is that you have scour off every last little bit of the lacquer coating that comes on the pan before you season it the first time. It's very labor intensive, but you only have to do it once. I'm wondering if this might be why some of your seasoning flaked off. I haven't had that problem with mine, so I can't say for certain.

The other thing I would add is that how you use and clean these pans is very important. I never use any soap or scrubbing utensils on mine. Make sure you preheat the pan for a good two or three minutes over medium heat before adding your oil and food. But I don't recommend using super high heat. Medium high at most. Even when searing meats, it really isn't necessary because the pan gets very hot. Too high of heat will only result in things sometimes sticking a little because the food overcooks before it has a chance to properly release from the pan.

If I'm cooking eggs, I can usually just get away with wiping these pans down with nothing but a paper towel and putting it away. If something does stick, I simply heat the pan for a couple of minutes over high heat, then pour some water into the hot pan while it's still over the burner to deglaze it. The water should almost immediately come to a boil. I'll then take a paper towel, fold it up into a little wad and, carefully, using a pair of tongs, wipe it around in the simmering water to clean the bottom of the pan. Anything stuck should come right off using this method. Dump it out, dry it out, and put it away.

While it's still new you might choose to rub a little tiny squirt of oil onto the surface of the still hot pan with a paper towel before putting it away. It will make things easier for the next time you use it. Over time, once you have a good layer of seasoning built up, you won't have to even need to do that much.

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Old 05-19-2017, 11:27 AM   #3
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I believe you can remove the lacquer by boiling potato skins in the pan for about a half hour. One of my carbon steel pans came with instructions to do that before first use. Some sort of mysterious chemical reaction takes place.
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre2807 View Post
Hi everyone

I bought a DeBuyer Carbon Steel Pan (24cm) about 3 weeks ago.

Since then, I seasoned it twice using the oven method - Coat pan with thin layer of flax seed oil, 1 hour upside down in hot oven, then leave 2 hours to cool in oven.

After that, I started cooking with it a number of times, but some of the seasoning came off.

How many layers of seasoning is recommended before I cook with it again?

I don't feel like re-seasoning my pan so regularly.
If your oil chipped off after spending an hour in a 400+ oven, it was probably. not thin enough.

I apply oil in very thin coats 5 or 6 times. If you must put drip pan under your skillet, your oil is way too thick.
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Stock Pot View Post
I believe you can remove the lacquer by boiling potato skins in the pan for about a half hour. One of my carbon steel pans came with instructions to do that before first use. Some sort of mysterious chemical reaction takes place.
I don't know about potato skins, but lacquer is easily removed with acetone or lacquer thinner.

Don't use either inside. They're extremely flammable and odorous.
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:52 PM   #6
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I've read about the potato thing, but wonder if it's based at all in fact, or just an old wives tale.

In any case, even if it does work, it's only doing its job on the inside of the pan. The protective lacquer also covers the outside as well as the handle.
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre2807 View Post
Hi everyone

I bought a DeBuyer Carbon Steel Pan (24cm) about 3 weeks ago.

Since then, I seasoned it twice using the oven method - Coat pan with thin layer of flax seed oil, 1 hour upside down in hot oven, then leave 2 hours to cool in oven.

After that, I started cooking with it a number of times, but some of the seasoning came off.

How many layers of seasoning is recommended before I cook with it again?

I don't feel like re-seasoning my pan so regularly.
When building up a pans seasoning and washing it, let the pan soak in hot water for 10 minutes, don't use soap and keep hot water to a minimum, then use cold water. I bought a stiff plastic brush that is better to scour with than normal dishwashing brushes which aren't very stiff. Try and keep cleaning the pan to a minimum. A thin coat of seasoning (while building it up) tends to become unseasoned if you go at with with lots of hot water and soap.

Some reviewers said this brush was too stiff. That's exactly what you want for scrubbing CI pans and the like.

Quickie Dishwashing Brush with Microban-121MB-1 - The Home Depot
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Old 05-22-2017, 02:02 AM   #8
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Well, when I unboxed the pan, I used the method by America's Test Kitchen to remove the bee's wax. This was with oil, salt and potato skins.

Thanks for everyone contributing to the thread. Over the course of the week I'll apply 5 - 6 layers of thin oil coating.
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