Your Pan is Alive!!
One of the main differences between cooking with cast iron and carbon steel is the responsiveness to heat. Carbon steel heats faster when placed on your range or in your oven and therefore cools faster when removed.
If heated unevenly or cooled too quickly, the pan can have a tendency to warp as the material tries to reorganize itself. As some warpage can be expected, it can also be minimized with care and attention.
Even though everyone wants to feel like a blacksmith once in a while, NEVER EVER quench your hot carbon steel pan in cold water! This can lead to warpage in the steel.
Ready to cure your pan for the first time?
You have chosen to take the first step on your journey to cooking healthier by avoiding chemicals and synthetic materials. By utilizing the time honored tradition of seasoning your handmade cookware, you have made a decision to live healthier and explore new new culinary adventures!
What You Need
Before you begin, you are going to want to choose a plant based oil. We would recommend grapeseed or vegetable oil. Both are readily available in your local grocery stores.
These next following steps should see you through the entire ritual and have you cooking in no time!
Step One: Preheat Your Oven
First item of business is to preheat your oven. The range for seasoning should be between 400°F - 450°F.
In this temperature range your coating of oil is going to bake on to the pan, creating a new, harder, protective coating. Open a window, and be sure to place a layer of tinfoil on the bottom rack.
Step Two: Wash Your Pan
Your Leechtown pan is shipped to you covered in a protective wax. This wax is made up of sunflower oil and beeswax. This coating is strictly a protective layer that prevents rust and grime while in transit from the forge to your kitchen. So while your oven is preheating, this is a great time to wash your pan. Warm water and soap should do the trick to remove the wax.
Special note: This is going to be the LAST TIME YOU USE SOAP!
Dry the pan with a towel and place in the oven for two minutes to warm it up a bit. This trip to the oven is just to dry out the pan and "open its pores" to receive the new coating of oil you are about to apply.
Step Three: Apply Oil to Pan
Remove your warm pan from the oven. It should be warm, not hot!
Next you are going to to drizzle your oil of choice into the pan and spread it around with a paper towel. Your oil layer should be thin. Be sure to cover every inch of the pans surface, including the handle.
When complete, place pan in the upside down position in the middle of the oven.
Step Four: Bake!
This is the exciting part because it's when you get to pour yourself a glass of wine and relax for 45 minutes to an hour while your oven and oil works its magic on your new cookware. When your timer goes off, turn your oven off and leave the pan inside to cool. This completes your first cycle of seasoning!
Step Five: Repeat!
We would suggest you repeat steps three and four as many times as your patience allows. The more times you season your cookware, the more satisfying your cooking experience will be!
Welcome to the world of healthy cooking!
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