Cooking with a Blue Steel Pan

What is Blue Steel?

Bluing is a special surface-hardening treatment that makes steel more resistant to rust. During the process of oxidation, a thin layer of blue-black iron oxide is formed on the surface, giving the steel partial protection against rust and a beautiful blue-black appearance. Bluing treatment makes the metal harder, but it needs to be appropriately oiled to make the surface more corrosion resistant. There are no significant differences in performances between blue steel and black steel.

Blue Steel Cookware

One of the most common uses of blue steel is for making cookware with naturally non-stick properties.

Features that make blue steel pan so special include quick heating time, perfect heat conduction, and the ability to reach and withstand very high temperatures. Blue steel pans are much lighter and easier to manipulate than cast iron pans, and they are also quicker to season.

The appearance of the pan will change over time due to scratches, regular uses, and seasoning. The blue lining will eventually disappear, leaving the surface look brownish-black, while the excellent cooking performances remain intact.

Best Uses of Blue Steel Cookware

Blue carbon steel is used to produce extraordinary frying pans. These pans are the perfect choice for searing, frying, browning, and caramelizing. They offer the ideal cooking surface for making thin and crispy crepes.

Because of its strength and exceptional cooking quality, blue steel is a favorite among professional bakers. It heats rapidly and evenly, which results in evenly baked foods.

Blue carbon steel pan can be used with any heat source, including a wood fire. It can be used at higher temperatures than most other frying pans.

To keep food from sticking, use medium heat, and make sure the pan is well heated before adding the batter or food to it.

This pan being naturally non-stick, lightweight, and a great heat conductor will quickly become your favorite piece of cookware.

Care and Maintenance

Before Using for the First Time

Carbon steel pans usually come with a factory coating of wax, which needs to be removed before use. Wash the pan thoroughly inside and outside using a gentle scrubbing pad and hot water to remove all the gunk and get the coating off. For this initial wash, you can use a little dish soap. Rinse and dry thoroughly with a towel, then heat in the oven for 1 hour at 200°F.  Allow the pan to cool.

Seasoning (Over a Burner)

Your new blue steel pan comes unseasoned, so you need to coat the surface with oil. The seasoning process creates a slick non-stick surface and prevents rusting and damage.

Pour a thin layer of vegetable oil to cover the bottom of your pan. You can use any oil with a high smoke point, such as refined canola, flaxseed, sunflower, grapeseed, or avocado oils.

Use a paper towel to spread the oil to the sides of the pan, and make sure that both inside and outside surfaces are adequately coated.

Heat the pan on medium heat on the burner until the oil starts to smoke, then rotate the pan for additional few minutes. Remove the pan from the stove, and carefully discard the excess oil, wiping the pan with a cloth or paper towel.

Let the pan cool before storing it in a dry place.

To keep your seasoned undamaged, don’t boil foods with high acid content in your pan.

Use wooden, bamboo, or silicone utensils, as metal can scratch the non-stick seasoning.

After proper seasoning, the cooking surface will turn non-stick. Oil, in combination with high heat, forms a thin coat over the porous steel surface. The pan should be re-greased after each use. Over time, the pan will develop more layers of natural seasoning and an excellent nonstick surface. The more the pan is used, it just keeps getting better, becoming more & more non-stick.

However, your shiny blue pan will discolor and turn black with use. Nevertheless, there is no reason to worry about changes in color as it is supposed to look like that. Although its appearance can change, its cooking qualities will remain intact.

Regular Cleaning

After each use, merely wipe the pan clean using a paper towel. Only wash it if necessary, using hot water and a sponge without soap. Using abrasive pads is not recommended as they can scrub away the seasoning. It must be dried quickly to prevent rusting. Dry thoroughly on the stove and re-grease while the pan is still warm. Always store in a dry place.

This cleaning process will become easier over time as your pan develops more layers of natural seasoning.

Removing Rust and Food Build-Up

Blue steel is highly moisture sensitive. Leaving foods to cool in the pan can lead to condensation. Never leave the pan to soak in a sink or put in the dishwasher. Washing in the dishwasher also results in ruining the non-stick coating, and you need to repeat the seasoning process. If rust occurs, you need to scrub it away and re-season the pan.

To remove stuck-on food, sprinkle a small amount of salt and scrub with a brush or paper towel to remove food residue. Then re-season your pan.

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