How To Season Non Stick Cookware

How To Season Non Stick Cookware

So, you’ve bought a gorgeous new pan and you can’t wait to get cooking. But wait! Is there anything you need to do before you begin searing a steak or frying a couple eggs? If it’s a nonstick pan or a stainless steel hybrid with a nonstick coating, as in the case of HexClad pans, then indeed, there is a crucial first step: seasoning your pan.

Before cooking with your HexClad nonstick pans or many other pans (like other nonstick pans, cast iron pan, or carbon steel pans), you’ll want to season the pan first. It’s a simple process that takes just a few minutes and will make your pan perform much better.

What does seasoning a pan mean?

No, “seasoning” a pan doesn’t mean using salt and pepper to make it taste better. The term seasoning means creating a fat-based coating that will protect food from burning, residue forming, or food sticking to the pan’s surface. All of this makes the pan easier to clean, too.

How does the process of seasoning a pan work? To season your pan before cooking, you’ll heat the pan with a thin layer of neutral oil (like vegetable, avocado, or olive oil). This works through a process called polymerization, which occurs when the oil (or another fat) is heated at a high enough heat that it transforms from a liquid into a naturally nonstick layer that bonds with the metal. If you’ve ever seasoned a cast iron or carbon steel pan, you’ll use the same process for your HexClad pan.

No matter what kind of pan you’re planning to season—from a wok to a chicken fryer to an 8-inch skillet—you’ll follow the same procedure. It’s simple, easy, and takes just a few minutes, and will pay off every time you cook. If you’ve just given your pan a deep clean with steel wool or food is tending to stick, then it’s a good idea to re-season your pan. Simply follow the same steps.

Follow these simple steps to get your new nonstick pan in great shape before you begin cooking:

Wash your nonstick pan with warm water, a gentle sponge, and dish soap. Dry well.

Heat your pan over medium-low heat for about 30 seconds.

Pour 1 teaspoon of neutral oil (like vegetable, avocado, or olive oil) into the pan and swirl to coat. You can also use a paper towel to spread the oil all the way to the edges.

Increase the heat to medium and continue to heat the pan for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Use a paper towel to wipe excess oil from the pan. If you’re planning to cook right away, proceed with the recipe. Otherwise, wipe well and store.

Note: Seasoning your HexClad pan is only necessary the first time you cook with the pan or after a deep clean. That’s because HexClad pans and other nonstick pans re-season with each use.

Remember that HexClad pans work best when they’re used over low and medium heat, rather than high heat. That’s because HexClad’s hybrid design distributes heat faster and more evenly. High heat might cause food to stick, disturbing the seasoning.

See how to season your pan with HexClad CEO Danny Winer Curious to witness the seasoning process in action? Watch this handy video to see how the seasoning process works.