How To Season Stainless Steel Pots And Pans – An Ultimate Guide 2023

How to season stainless steel pots and pans? This question often arises when a newbie or a person does not indulge himself or herself in cooking and tries to make certain things that stick to the pan.

Seasoning stainless steel pots and pans make the pan smooth and hence, your cooking experience becomes much more convenient.

Its nothing but creating a layer of oil on the surface of the stainless steel pan to make it smooth and slippery that almost feel like a nonstick pan.

How To Season Stainless Steel Pots And Pans

Some people think that seasoning is a very difficult and lengthy process and it requires much skill to do that. But I must say, a person with no cooking experience or even a teenager can do it easily.

So, don’t overthink and just follow the below steps to do it with ease.

How To Season Stainless Steel Pots And Pans – Step By Step Guide

Today I’m going to show you how to season your stainless steel pots and pans in order to get a nonstick surface.

So let’s head over to the stove and get started.

Step 1: In order to create a nonstick surface what you need to do is to heat up the pan for about two minutes. So, light the stove and set the timer for two minutes and put the pan on it.

Put the pan on the stove and pour oil in it to season stainless steel pots and pans

Step 2: Once we are sure that the pan is heated up nicely, then we are going to add a little bit (2 or 3 tablespoons, its depends on the size of the pan) of coconut oil or flaxseed oil or any animal fat. You can take any oil which has high heat retention.

Step 3: When you add the oil, it’s going to start to smoke. That’s alright we will add the oil and try to swirl it around to cover most of the surface on the sides.

When you are swirling the oil be careful how you swirl this around so that you don’t splash any oil on yourself but just cover all the sides that’s the best you can and quote everything nicely. And after that, we will turn off the flame and leave the pan to cool completely. 

Step 4: Now, leave the pan for two or more minutes to cool it down completely. When the pan becomes cool then there is some extra oil left over. So, to remove it, just take a paper towel or any soft cloth and wipe it down or soak the excess oil from the pan.

Soak the excess oil and your stainless steel pan is seasoned

Step 5: That’s how your stainless steel pan is now seasoned with a nonstick surface and you can make whatever you like from making omelets to fry bacon.

Just make sure after making anything, clean the pan with a soft cloth or paper towel and rinse it with clean water. Don’t clean it using soap because it will totally wipe out the oil layer and again you have to repeat the process to make it nonstick.

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Precautions to take before and after seasoning

Some precautions must be taken before and after the seasoning of the stainless steel pan. Please follow the instructions carefully, otherwise, the coating will not be perfect.

Caution: Be careful when you are swirling the oil as the hot oil may burn you if it splashes. 

Before Seasoning

  • Make sure you are seasoning a new or a clean pan. If you have cooked something before seasoning, don’t worry, just clean the pan with soap and rinse it with clean water.
  • Also, note that there should not be any deep scratches as oil layered will not be done properly and you will not get a proper nonstick coating.

After Seasoning

  • Do not wash immediately after seasoning, let it cool down otherwise, the coating will not be done properly.
  • Do not wash the pan with soap after seasoning as it will completely wipe off the oil layer, instead, clean with a paper towel or soft cloth and rinse with clean water.

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Now, I think you are pretty confident to season your stainless steel pots and pans.

Its always been an easy task to season any pan whether it is stainless steel or nonstick or cast iron. The only difference is the required time, i.e., different cookware needs different times for seasoning.

Just make sure you follow the steps properly and also take proper precautions before and after seasoning.


1. What kind of oil do you use to season a stainless steel pan?

Whenever you are selecting any oil please consider selecting oil that has high heat retention. Usually, animal fats have very higher heat retention and it works best when you are seasoning.
But it is not mandatory to use animal fats, you can also use coconut oil or flaxseed oil both have good heat retention. If you are unable to find any of this then you can use extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil.
We are using high heat retention oil because when we are heating the pan, this type of oil takes a long time to heat up which in return helps in a better seasoning of the pan. 
The amount of oil totally depends on the size of the pan. The larger the size the more the amount of oil is needed. Usually, for a 12’’ inch pan it requires 3 tablespoons of oil or you should pour oil until the surface is covered fully.

2. Why does everything stick to my stainless steel pan?

If you cook anything before seasoning the stainless steel pan then the food may stick to it. Because the surface of the stainless cookware is not that smooth like nonstick or ceramic cookware.
So, to make it smooth and slippery we have to season the pan with oil. By doing this it will increase the overall cooking experience of the chef. After that, you can make anything.

3. How do you clean seasoned stainless steel pans?

To clean it, simply rinse the pan under clean water, if possible take warm water and wipe it out with a soft cloth or paper towel. It’s that simple to clean seasoned stainless steel pans.
If there is any hard stuck then boil some water in the pan for a few minutes and you will see that the food stuck will come right off.
But never use any soap or detergent as it will completely wipe off the seasoning and again you have to season the pan.

4. Can you use steel wool on stainless pans?

Yes, you can use steel wool on it but I prefer not to use it as it will leave scratches in the pan which in return will remove the seasoning.
But, you can easily use steel wool on the pots because simple scratches will not harm the pots.

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