Carbon steel is arguably one of the most high performance materials on the market and is coveted for its heat conduction and retention, responsiveness, strength and durability. But like all things, there are a few things that can help maximize its performance. So we’ve put together a few tips to help you get the most out of this incredible cookware and ensure you have a stellar experience using it.
Season that baby.
Raw carbon steel requires seasoning. Check out our detailed seasoning and seasoning maintenance guide.
Easy does it.
Heat up and cool down your wares gradually. Flash heating or cooling any cookware can cause corrosion and warping over time. Non-stick finished pieces are especially susceptible to this pitfall. Running a hot pan under cold water for instance, shocks the finish and is a sure fire way to ruin that coveted non-stick surface.
A little patience pays off.
When you gradually heat metal, it allows the pores in the material to close, meaning a greater resistance to sticking and fewer hot spots. You’ll get the most consistent heat by preheating your pan at the temperature you intend to cook with.
Do not air dry!
Water makes carbon steel is susceptible to oxidation and therefore rusting. Hand dry each piece after use.
When to salt.
Salt water after it’s begun boiling. Pre-salting water can cause pitting corrosion and leave pockmarks in your beloved wares.
Add oil after your pan is hot. This allows for the greatest non-stick.
Temp your ingredients.
Cold food is more likely to stick. It’s also more likely to cook unevenly. Let your ingredients sit out a bit at room temperature and blot away any excess water before cooking.
A little cushion is always best.
If you stack your cookware, placing a spacer between your pieces is the best way to avoid wear and tear and scratching. This is especially true for non-stick surfaces.
Clean with care.
Raw carbon steel? All you really need is warm water. Mild dish detergent is fine, but not necessary.
Bleach causes all materials to degrade over time and can cause irreparable damage to your cookware.
For more in depth cleaning tips, check out our detailed carbon steel cleaning guide.
Now get out there and cook!