Care and Seasoning
Athena Skillets stand up to the highest heat and will not warp on the stove top or in the oven. Our unique heat treating process keeps the skillets from warping. With the simple care and maintenance described below, these pans will last a lifetime. It's really hard to hurt an Athena Skillet -- that’s why we guarantee them for life.
Your skillet will arrive pre-seasoned with coconut oil, with a blue tint. This is a good foundation, but you'll want to build on it. As you begin to cook with it, the blue color will naturally begin to turn black as the metal begins to patina and the seasoning builds on the surface of the pan. This seasoning adds something to the flavor of the food and is what gives our pans their natural non-stick quality. After 10-15 uses the seasoning will become hard and shiny. If at any time your seasoning becomes soft or sticky then you probably aren't cooking at very high temperatures.
You can also accelerate the seasoning process if you like. Many chefs recommend flax oil for seasoning because it crystallizes the hardest, but any quality cooking oil will work. We recommend oven seasoning because the oil crystallizes and hardens when baked. You can oven season your skillet when you first get it and it can also be done occasionally as needed, particularly if you are not regularly cooking at high temperatures or baking with it.
Oven seasoning is easy. Coat your skillet with oil, inside and out. Place the skillet in the oven, turn it up to 400 degrees, and leave it for an hour. Turn the oven off and let the skillet completely cool inside the oven. You can do this repeatedly but we have found it is best to just start cooking with it and do more oven seasoning as needed. Your seasoning will change as you cook different foods and use different oils.
Acidic foods like tomato or lemon can strip the seasoning off of your skillet. This does not hurt the skillet itself but you will need to build the seasoning back up.
You shouldn't clean carbon steel cookware in the dishwasher, and you should avoid using soap. After cooking, simply wipe the pan clean or rinse it with hot water and get it dry. If you are using it regularly then that is all you need to do. If you are not going to be using it for a while then you might want to give it a coating of oil.
Follow these simple steps and your pan will stay in working shape for a very long time. We hope you enjoy cooking with it as much as we do.