Saturday, July 8, 2017
The fine art of seasoning a carbon steel pan.
People kept telling me to use a high smoke point oil and then they told me to use flax seed oil. It has the highest omega 3 fatty acid content, which turns to a hard carbon matrix. I used grape seed oil because it was the least expensive and has one of the highest smoking temperatures.
After grinding my old crepe pan down to bare naked clean steel on the inside, which took at least an hour of hard work with a wire brush on my angle grinder. I started the seasoning.
Wiping off most of the oil you put on the pan is essential, rubbing hard with a clean paper towel will leave the right amount of oil. Don't think that wiping lightly will do it, it leaves too much oil!
Right away the enter started browning while the edges were still clean looking. After several layers I realized that I had to hold the edges over the center of the burner to heat the edges of the pan as well as the center. Because around the edges the oil looked like it was separating from previous layers that were not cured enough. After I started heating the layers more evenly it started developing a beautiful golden brown over the entire cooking surface.
After bringing every part of the surface to the smoking point and let it smoke a minute or so (do not let the center turn to carbon!), then let it cool before doing the next layer! If any part is sticky after cooling, it is because it did not get hot enough. Go back and reheat it until it smokes. But if a layer turns black, it has been too hot, more layers could help.
A dozen layers is not too much. An oven would be much easier to do this process in.