I know there's dozen of posts and discussion everywhere, but I'm getting pretty confused. Everyone has something different to say : use rapeseed oil, coconut, olive oil, flaxseed, someone in the oven, someone on the stove.. I found two good videos, made by professional people, but they use a different process to season them:

here and here

The eggs are moving much better in the second video than any of my non stick pans, and I would like to obtain that result, and possible mantain it, without removing the seasoning.

Which one do you recon works better? I also have an electric stove, so it may be better using the oven instead.

My knowledge is never to wash them under the water. Just remove the sticky stuff using a spatula, put some oil to keep them well and if you need use salt and a paper towel to scrub. I read that someone is deglazing using some water in the process, or scrub them with a a brush under the water (My old chef told me never to do that so.. I'm a bit confused) I am seeking help from the experts... :)

  • 2
    Me think you will need to try them out; if one does not work, clean the pan and start with another one; I don't have a Carbon Steel pan, but I would do the salt/potato/oil method, it looks more fun than just oil.
    – Max
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 12:51
  • 1
    Check the oil level on those fast moving eggs!
    – TFD
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 20:46
  • That's a good point TFD :)
    – Vargan
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 13:54

3 Answers 3


It might be better for you to understand some of the factors involved, and make your own decision how to treat your pan. Below is some basic information I think you will find helpful.

Background: I've successfully reclaimed old, rusty pans, fixed a few that family put in the dishwasher (TERRIBLE IDEA) and so on, and maintain my own regularly.

Cast iron is "seasoned" when it develops a highly carbonized and oxidized surface. This surface coating is both harder and more slippery than the plain iron.

This surface only truly develops with 3 things: High heat, carbon and oxygen in the presence of your pan.

The heat can be provided by a stove, oven, campfire, grill, torch, etc.

The Carbon can be provided most effectively by some kind of oil. I prefer crisco/shortening most. Baconfat second, but that's just an opinion.

The third thing is oxygen. That's in the air, so it is both free and plentiful.

Now, other things to consider. If you have an unseasoned, rusty or poorly seasoned pan, it actually might be best to "start over". Using some kind of abrasive (steel wool, sos pad, even light sand paper) you can remove any unwanted coating, until you get to the grey, dull iron underneath.

Then apply oil, and apply high heat in the presence of oxygen.

Sometimes this coating may take several applications to develop, and will actually get smoother and darker with use. Rubbing with things like salt and whatnot can actually act to kind of polish the surface.

And the best part is, if you truly don't like how an application turned out, scrub it raw, and start over. You'll be removing almost immeasurable amounts of the iron. I have my GREAT GREAT Grandmother's skillet, and it has been seasoned and re-seasoned perhaps a hundred times in its life.

The rest is mostly guesswork, opinion and conjecture.

I hope this helps.

  • Thanks, I did a lot of research before posting in here, so I kinda knew those things.. I'm not able to find crisco in the UK, so I need to use something else. I have a bottle of cold press rapeseed oil (liquid). The pan is new so there's no rust in it luckily :)
    – Vargan
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 10:01
  • That's good then. I think of cast iron skillets as being kind of an "old technology", so generally I think older methods are best suited. Oil is great, just a suggestion from personal experience, you don't need to much. Just enough to make the metal "shiny" is usually enough oil. Do you have access to a charcoil or gas grill? That's what I've been using recently with a lot of success. Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 11:21
  • Unfortunately, no access. But I've read some posts where people claim good results baking the pan for 90 min at 350/400, and I think I can give it a try, it should create a uniform layer
    – Vargan
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 12:22
  • what oil do you think is best for this?
    – Vargan
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 12:51
  • 1
    Honestly, I think the 'cleaner' the oil the better. I would go with a highly processed, highly filtered oil. Canola, generic 'vegetable' oil, etc. Also, so long as you have good ventilation, I would go even hotter. I would try wiping it down (no drips or pooling) with oil, then toss it in a pre-heated 450-500F oven. It should be ever so slightly smoking. What I might call "oxidizing" of the hydrocarbons (oil), others might call "burning" Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 13:04

For any plain steel; carbon steel, cast iron etc, but not stainless or non-stick

  1. Remove previous bad seasonings, or on a new pan remove containments and manufacturing residues

Check the pan surface for any metal protrusions, usually a quick scrape with a hard metal spatula will remove these, if not, consider other methods to remove them. You should be able to run your palm over the surface without cutting yourself

I use a steel scourer pad and some dish soap and scrub it hard and thoroughly. Then heat on a stove or in an oven till it stops smoking. Best to do this outside if you can. Scrub clean again

  1. Polymerise with high temperature oil

Use the highest temp oil you have in kitchen. I don't think it makes any difference which one you use

Apply a light coating and heat until it starts to fully smoke, let it cool a bit, then apply another layer, repeat until you get bored, or the pan is black

Finish by heating a complete layer of salt, until the salt has fully discoloured. The salt will have absorbed the non-polymerised oil from pan surface

When cool, the surface of the pan should be shiny black, and smooth to the touch. Any sticky bits need more work, any metal protrusions need to be removed

  1. After the pan is uses to cook anything, wash it out with water and soap using a brush, oil very lightly, and re-heat until smoke starts

  2. For Soft sticky things like eggs, do the salt treatment again, just before cooking the eggs

  • Thanks for your info. This is pretty much what I've seen in many post/videos. I think I'll try flaxseed oil for this, or cold pressed rapeseed.
    – Vargan
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 10:02
  • 1
    +1 for the suggestion to repeatedly layer the coating, +10 for the word polymerize, +1000 for suggesting to repeating layering until bored. Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 14:01

carbon steel

I do the same for the cast iron or carbon steel.

Heat up on stove when new or stripped down. Let it cool to room temp Apply very thin layer of flaxseed Place upside down to oven on high. Do the cycle of coating and baking 3 times.

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