How to Season Stainless Steel Cookware

How to Season Stainless Steel Cookware

Seasoning your pans can be a convenient solution to stop food from sticking to your cookware. Most foods, when cooked properly, typically don't stick to stainless steel pans, but eggs and egg dishes tend to stick more easily. A seasoned pan will help prevent sticking. Whether you prefer stainless steel over nonstick-coated cookware, or simply want to make your pans a little more versatile, we'll show you how to effectively season your cookware in 5 easy steps.

An assortment of stainless steel pots and pans on kitchen counter

5 Steps to Season Stainless Steel Cookware


Wash the Pan

Start by giving your pan a thorough washing. Use a mild dish detergent and warm water to gently scrub the interior and exterior of the pan. Rinse and dry thoroughly.


Coat with Oil

Coat the interior of the pan with a layer of oil. Look for oil with a high smoke point like peanut oil. Use your fingers to coat the entire interior of the pan, including the inner rim.


Heat the Oiled Pan

The pan can either be seasoned on the stove or in the oven. If using the stove, place the pan over medium heat. Let it sit until the oil begins to smoke then remove it from the heat. If using an oven, place the oiled pan in a 350-degree oven for one hour.


Cool the Pan

Once the pan has been removed from the heat, let it cool until it can be handled. Using a paper towel, wipe out all the excess oil. Before storing the pan, place a layer of paper towel between each stacked pan to avoid excessive scratching.


Cleaning a Seasoned Pan

To maintain the seasoning on your pan, avoid washing it with soap. Instead, wipe the pan clean with paper towels after each use. If food still sticks, scrub the pan with oil and salt then wipe clean with paper towel. If you have to wash the pan with soap, use the steps above to re-season it before next use.

Cooking Tip:

The best way to avoid sticking when cooking with stainless steel is to thoroughly preheat the pan before adding any ingredients. Preheating will help prevent hot or cold spots on the pan and will allow food to cook more evenly.

by Melissa Ford Kitchen Specialist
NOVEMBER 1, 2016

Melissa is a food-enthusiast, cocktail-lover, and take-out-orderer extraordinaire! She loves to eat, drink, cook, write, and consume copious amounts of coffee. As a self-described culinarian, Melissa enjoys spending time in the kitchen experimenting with ingredients and feeding anyone who visits her home.