CARE AND COOKING
Wash the pan with mild soap before you first use it - after that use soap sparingly. The preseason is a good foundation, but you'll want to build the seasoning initially - roasting potatoes is an excellent way to do that! Always preheat the pan before cooking, and always use some fat to help release food. If you run into hotspots, turn down the heat. Iron is a poor heat conductor, so it can heat unevenly if heated too quickly. After cooking, wipe the pan clean or wash the pan with hot water - dry thoroughly on the stove for a few minutes before applying a little oil while still hot. You can also do a salt scrub if you need a good cleaning - warm the pan on the stove, add a bit of oil and kosher salt and gently rub the surface, toss it out and you're done. The salt will have absorbed any impurities, and you'll have a nicely polished surface. Also remember, while cast iron can break, carbon steel can warp, so never walk away from an empty pan or put a hot pan under cold water.
SEASONING AND MAINTENANCE
Like cast iron, carbon steel pans need to be maintained and kept seasoned. If food starts to stick or the seasoning has been stripped, you may need to reseason your pan. Also, iron is reactive, so cooking with anything acidic will strip the seasoning - not the end of the world, but something you'll want to keep in mind. To reestablish the protective iron oxide layer, clean the pan of any residual oil and heat it in the oven for about an hour at 550 degrees until it darkens in color - pans will blacken, but you may see tempered colors ranging from bronze to blue. Remove the pan and apply a coat of oil (we like the organic virgin coconut oil), carefully wipe the oil completely off with a paper towel and allow the pan to cool at room temperature or in the turned off oven. The pans will darken and patina over time, which is a normal part of the seasoning process.