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How to season stainless steel frying pans

Updated February 21, 2017

You love to cook, so you want your cooking utensils to work for you. If you have stainless steel frying pans, you may want to season the pans. Treating a frying pan with lard or bacon fat so it creates a non-stick coating is the purpose of seasoning. Most cooks season cast iron frying pans, but many cooks like to season stainless steel frying pans. Seasoning a stainless steel frying pan is quick and easy.

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Lard method

  1. Preheat your oven to 150 degrees C (300F). At the same time, preheat the frying pan on the hob. Melt the lard in the frying pan. Use enough to coat the inside of the pan.

  2. Heat the frying pan until the lard is hot, but before it smokes. Pour off the excess lard and wipe the pan with paper towels.

  3. Place the pan in the preheated oven. Time the pan for 45 to 60 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. The pan is ready to use.

Bacon fat method

  1. Cook some bacon for other uses. Save the clear bacon fat. Pour the fat into a glass measuring cup and let it cool to settle and clarify (separate). Preheat your oven to 150 degrees C (300F).

  2. Wash your pan with washing-up liquid and rinse. Fill halfway with cool water and heat to boiling. Let this simmer for five minutes.

  3. Remove your pan from the heat, pour out the water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Take a dry paper towel or coffee filter and lay one in the pan. Spoon the top layer of bacon fat on top of the towel or filter and let it drip through to the pan. When the pan has enough fat to coat the surface, spread the fat around the entire inside of the pan. Throw away the paper towel or coffee filter.

  4. Bake the pan in the oven for one hour. Remove the pan and let it cool. Sprinkle salt into the pan and then wipe it out with paper towels. The salt works as a mild abrasive to smooth out the fat.

  5. Use your pan according to recipes. Wash them in mild soapy water, rinse and dry. Retouch seasoning with fat-moistened paper towels and a little dry salt. Store in a dry place.

  6. Tip

    Season again when food starts sticking to the pan.


    Do not wash the frying pan in the dishwasher.

    Do not use scouring pads on the frying pan.

    Avoid using vegetable oil to season a frying pan because it will smoke easily.

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Things You'll Need

  • Lard
  • Clarified bacon fat
  • Paper towels
  • Table salt

About the Author

Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.

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