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How to care for a carbon steel paella pan

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Oiling a carbon steel paella pan

A carbon steel paella pan is a wonderful addition to any kitchen. These traditional cooking pans are made of thin steel which immediately transfers heat from the stove through to the ingredients and are a must have for any paella cook.

The downside of a carbon steel pan is that the untreated steel can rust if it is not properly looked after. To properly care for a carbon steel paella pan it needs to be oiled after each use, and following is a simple method for oiling your carbon steel pan and prevent it from rusting.

All you need is a sponge and some dishwashing liquid, a gas hob if you have one, and some olive oil and paper towel.

Firstly hand wash your pan with a sponge and dishwashing liquid to remove any food scraps and residue. Rinse thoroughly with hot water from the tap, and then quickly dry your pan with a dry cloth or paper towel to remove any moisture.

Now there are a few methods for oiling the pan, and I am going to describe one of them which is particularly good if you have a gas hob. Turn the gas on to a low to medium heat and quickly put your pan above the flames to warm it up.

Be very careful not to let the pan get too hot, all we are trying to do is use the heat to totally dry off the pan and remove moisture. As soon as the pan starts to heat up turn the heat off so that you don’t accidentally burn any dark spots onto the pan.

Quickly pour a tablespoon or two of olive oil into the middle of the pan and swirl it round the still warm pan. With your paper towel start rubbing the olive oil into the pan starting in the middle, and working your way to the outside. Finish off by rubbing the oil around and up the edges of the pan so that the entire cooking surface has been covered with a thin layer of oil creating a seal which will stop oxygen from corroding the steel.

After you have oiled the pan, cover the oiled surface with cling wrap or grease proof paper for storage. 

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