Seasoning a ceramic pan is pretty simple, you need to clean the pan, wipe a thin layer of oil on, bake it, let it cool and then repeat the process 6 more times. After, you’ll have a thick layer of seasoning.
Keep reading to see exactly how it’s done.
The best oil to season a ceramic pan
Before you start seasoning your ceramic pan, you’ll need the best oil, otherwise your efforts will be wasted. Start buy getting yourself a bottle of flaxseed oil, simply because it’s highly unsaturated which helps the polymerization process, it contains omega-3 which helps create a harder seasoning, and it’s got a low smoking point so it’ll cost you less in electric bills.
If you don’t have flaxseed oil, or you are struggling to find flaxseed oil in your shops, then the following cooking oils are also great for seasoning a ceramic pan:
- Grapeseed oil
- Canola oil
- Vegetable oil
- Avocado oil
These oils are based on how much unsaturated fats they contain, the more they contain, the better they are.
How to Season a Ceramic Pan
Seasoning a ceramic pan is pretty straight forward, however there are a few techniques that I use to get the best long lasting seasoning on my pans.
Follow the steps below to have the perfect seasoning:
1⃣ Clean the Pan
Using warm water and dish soap, clean the bottom and edges of your pan. It’s important that there is no residue left on the pan before you start seasoning. This is because you need the oils to polymerize with the ceramic surface of the pan, and if there’s dirt trapped in the pores of the ceramic, then the oil won’t be able to polymerize in them.
2⃣ Wipe a Light Layer of Flaxseed Oil
Now wipe the bottom of your pan with a light layer of flaxseed oil. Make sure you get all the edges and base. You need to ensure this is a light coating, if you put excess oil on then you’ll end up with a sticky seasoning at the end, and it won’t be pleasant to hold or cook in.
A trick I use is, if I have to ask myself if there’s too much on, then I’ve used too much. It should look as if there’s no oil on the pan at all.
Don’t worry if you’ve used slightly too much, as we will be correcting that on the next step. Just ensure it’s not dripping with oil.
3⃣ Bake the Pan In the Oven
Place your pan upside down in the oven, it needs to be upside down to ensure excess oils can drip off, so I’d also advice placing some aluminum sheets underneath the pan to avoid it dripping into the bottom of the oven.
If in the last step, you used slightly too much oil, then placing it upside down will prevent excess oil from forming a sticky residue.
Now turn the oven to a temperature that’s higher than the smoking point of the oil you used. For reference the smoking points of the following oils are:
- Flaxseed oil: 225 °F
- Grapeseed oil: 421 °F
- Canola oil: 450 °F
- Vegetable oil: 450 °F
- Avocado oil: 482 °F
So if you are using flaxseed oil, you’ll need to heat the oven up above 225°F, I’d recommend around 20°F higher than the smoking point, so 245°F for flaxseed oil.
Now leave your ceramic pan in the oven for 1 hour before removing and then allow it to cool down. You should now have your first layer of seasoning on your ceramic pan.
4⃣ Repeat For Six More Times
Repeat steps 2 through 3 six times to get a good layer of seasoning on your pan that will protect it from both food and the environment.
If done properly, you will not need to season your pan for another few years depending on how well you take care of it.
You’ll also add to the layers of seasoning when you cook fatty foods such as bacon in your ceramic pan.
How to care for ceramic pans
A ceramic pan is pretty easy to take care of. Here are some tips:
Handwash your pan
Always hand wash your pan with warm water and dish soap. Do not put it in the dishwasher and definitely do not use steel wool on it. Dishwashers and steel wool are really harsh, and they will eat through your seasoning.
There are not many pans that can go through the dishwasher either, and ceramic pans are definitely not an exception.
So always hand wash your pans for safest way of cleaning them.
Only use safe utensils
Ceramic pans are delicate, and they require safe utensils, these include utensils made out of rubber, wood, silicone or plastic.
Sharper utensils such as metal, will cut into the seasoning that you’ve built up, and can even reach the ceramic to cut into it.
If this happens, then your pan will lose it’s non-stick properties and can even be dangerous once the ceramic coating becomes scratched due to chemical leaching out into food.
So always use safe utensils, and for reference, the safest utensils to use on ceramic pans are rubber.
Store your pan the correct way
When storing your ceramic pans, avoid direct contact with other pans, especially if you have heavy pans made of metal such as cast iron, as the weight and harshness of it’s material will cause chips in your ceramic pans, and once it’s chipped, it needs to be thrown away.
My advice would be to use something as a barrier such as a soft cloth, and place any pans on top of it lightly.
This will keep your ceramic pan safe from harms way.
Do not use high heat
Ceramic pans, regardless of how good your seasoning is, cannot tolerate high heats. Recipes which require high heats specifically call for the use of cast iron or other metals which can tolerate them.
If you use high heat in a ceramic pan, you may end up cracking it. Never go above medium heat on your ceramic pan.
Don’t cause thermal shock by drastic temperature changes
Thermal shock will shatter your ceramic pan into pieces, well not literally, but it will cause cracks and most likely split your ceramic pan in half.
To avoid this, let it cool down naturally before adding water to clean it. The last thing you want to do is add water to a 300°F ceramic pan.
You can however change the heat from medium to low on the cooker, as this won’t cause any drastic temperature changes.
Don’t use cooking sprays or oil sprays,
Cooking sprays or oil sprays contain chemicals other than the oil, and these will start building up on your top layer of seasoning, eventually causing it to become sticky.
Once your seasoning has become sticky, there’s no easy fix, you’ll have to strip the seasoning off, and go through the seasoning process again.
So stick with normal cooking oils for cooking your food to protect your seasoning.
Never use anything abrasive to clean your pan.
Squeaky Clean, Soft Scrub and Bar Keepers Friend are all good products to use. If you try to use abrasive cleaners to clean your ceramic pan, then you’ll end up damaging the seasoning, and may even damage the ceramic coating.
Find a product such as barkeepers friend, and use it for the rest of your ceramic pans life to get the most out of it.
How to Clean a Dirty Ceramic Pan
Cleaning a ceramic pan isn’t difficult when you have a good seasoning that provides fantastic non-stick properties, but when your ceramic pan gets really dirty, it can see like a big chore to clean.
However using our methods, it becomes easy.
Use an Acidic Product
The first method you want to try is an acidic product, and yes this will slightly eat into your seasoning, but if you’ve seasoned properly it won’t be enough to destroy it, and you will be able to rebuild it back up quickly through cooking with oils.
I’d advise a cheap acidic product like vinegar, simply wipe some onto the dirty spots, and let it rest for 30 minutes.
After use a sponge to start scrubbing away, remember not to use anything to abrasive.
Try an Abrasive
If using an acidic product didn’t work, then your final option is to use something more abrasive. I’d recommend using a sponge with a really rough side on, stay away from anything too abrasive like steel wool.
Simply soak the pan in water and dishwash soap for an hour, this should attack those hard to get stains, and then scrub as much as you can with the rough side of the sponge.