Properly seasoning a pan helps protect it and enhances cooking performance. For Calphalon nonstick pans, seasoning fills in micro-scratches and prevents food from sticking. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about seasoning Calphalon cookware.
We’ll cover the basics of seasoning, reasons for doing it, tips specific to Calphalon, step-by-step seasoning instructions, how to maintain the seasoning, and solve common problems. With the right techniques, you’ll have beautifully seasoned Calphalon pans.
What is Seasoning?
Seasoning is the process of treating the cooking surface of pots and pans to improve nonstick properties, prevent rusting, and enhance durability. It involves applying a thin coating of oil and heating the pan to bond the oil to the metal.
The oil forms a natural nonstick finish over time with repeated seasonings. This patina protects the pan from damage and fills in small scratches on the surface that could allow food to stick. Proper seasoning is what gives cast iron its natural nonstick ability.
Why Season Calphalon Pans?
While pre-seasoned cast iron cookware relies heavily on seasoning, one may wonder if it’s necessary for other materials like stainless steel and aluminum. Here are reasons why properly seasoning Calphalon pans can be beneficial:
Improves Nonstick Properties – The oil coating enhances the nonstick performance of Calphalon’s QUANTUM nonstick pans. Food is less likely to stick, especially after the pan becomes well-seasoned over time and use.
Protects Against Rust – Aluminum-based Calphalon pans can develop surface oxidation that appears like rust. The oil barrier prevents this.
Fills in Scratches – Calphalon’s metal utensil-safe pans still acquire micro-abrasions. Seasoning fills these and smoothens the texture.
Extends Lifespan – The oil barrier protects the pan surface from minor scratches and daily wear-and-tear. This helps the nonstick last longer.
Enhances Food Release – A seasoned cooking surface allows food to release cleanly after cooking instead of sticking.
Improves Slide Performance – Filling in microscopic valleys, the oil creates a smoother surface for excellent slide performance. Food glides easily when tossed.
Best Practices for Seasoning Calphalon
Follow these tips to get the best results when seasoning Calphalon pans:
Use the Right Oil – For initial seasoning,pick an oil with a high smoke point like avocado, grapeseed, refined peanut,or canola oil. This allows the oil to polymerize properly at higher heats for better bonding.
Go Thin – Only a microscopic layer of oil is needed. Apply too much and the coating will become sticky. Target wiping the oil so thinly that there’s barely any visible oil left.
Heat Gradually – Allow the pan to heat slowly to open the pores in the metal. Starting with too high heat can burn off the layer before it adheres.
Allow to Cool – Let the pan cool down naturally after seasoning to normalize the metal. Avoid quenching in water.
Repeat Often – While one seasoning creates a layer, repeating the process many times makes the patina more durable and smooth.
Cook Often – Regular cooking assists seasoning by further bonding oil and smoothing pores. Ensure moisture escapes while cooking.
How to Season a Calphalon Pan
Things You’ll Need:
- High smoke point oil
- Paper towels
- Stovetop or Oven
Step 1 – Wash and Dry
Wash your Calphalon pan by hand with hot water and dish soap or in the dishwasher. Remove all visible dirt and oil residue from manufacturing. Dry the pan immediately so moisture doesn’t interfere with the oil bonding.
Step 2 – Apply the Oil
Pour a small amount of high smoke point oil onto a paper towel or soft cloth. Apply a thin, even, coat inside the pan. Target wiping off any visible excess until barely any oil seems left. Too much oil can lead to stickiness.
Step 3 – Stovetop Method
Place pan over low-medium heat. Allow 5 minutes for pan to heat gradually to avoid burning off the layer too quickly. If oil starts smoking, turn down heat. Heat for 1 hour, moving pan occasionally for even exposure. Turn off heat and allow pan to cool fully before repeating or cooking.
Step 4 – Oven Method
Place foil under pan to catch any drips. Put in cold oven and set temperature to 300-400°F. Allow pan to heat slowly for more even seasoning. Heat for 1 hour before turning oven off and cooling fully before next round. Use a mitt to remove pan.
Aim for at least 3 initial seasoning rounds. Further seasoning occurs through regular use. Always reapply oil if surface ever appears dull between uses. Stovetop allows looking for oil smoking points. Oven is more hands-off.
Maintaining the Seasoning
While the initial seasoning primes your Calphalon pan, the patina continues to build and improve with ongoing use. Keep these tips in mind to maintain the nonstick surface long-term:
• Always preheat pans low and slow – rapid temperature changes can damage the seasoning.
• Don’t let oil smoke – Turn down heat if it starts smoking. Burnt oil flakes off the seasoning.
• Deglaze stuck bits with salt/water – Avoid abrasives that scratch the surface.
• Quickly dry after washing – Immediately wipe away droplets to prevent rust spots.
• Routinely re-season after many uses – Refresh whenever the surface loses its luster.
• Store cookware safely – Nesting pans can damage surfaces. Use protective inserts if stacking.
• Remove oil residue before reheating – Burnt oil that turns black indicates the need to re-season trouble spots.
By being mindful of oil heating, cleaning methods, and storage habits, your Calphalon pans will maintain their nonstick surface for years before needing re-seasoning again.
Troubleshooting Seasoning Issues
If your seasoned Calphalon pan has issues like sticking, spotting, flaking, or foggy appearance, try these troubleshooting tips:
Problem 1 – Food Sticking
- Oil not bonding – Season needs repeating
- Insufficient oil coats – Wipe on micro-thin layers
- Overheating oil – Don’t let it smoke
- Pores need sealing – Repeat seasoning
Problem 2 – Rust Spots
- Water droplets left – Fully hand dry after cleaning
- Heat too high – Gradually preheat pans
- Cooling too fast – Let it cool down naturally
Problem 3 – Patchy Seasoning
- Incorrect oil – Use high smoke point oil
- Uneven application – Oil entire cooking surface
- Moving pan too much – Allow pan to heat evenly
Problem 4 – Flaking Seasoning
- Overheated oil – Never let oil smoke
- Unable to expand – Avoid thermal shocks
- Too thick application – Wipe ultra thin coats
Problem 5 – Foggy/Cloudy Appearance
- Hard water residue – Use filtered water for cleaning
- Soap residue left – Avoid dish soaps when possible
- Needs removal/reapplication – Use salt scrub then re-season
By identifying the specific issue, you can target the troubleshooting steps needed to get your Calphalon pan’s seasoning back on track!
Having a perfectly seasoned finish will make cooking in Calphalon pans an absolute delight. Correct seasoning fills microscopic pores, smoothens the cooking surface, enhances release performance, and gives durable protection.
Remember these key points for seasoning success:
• Wash/dry pan before starting
• Use the right oil in thin coats
• Heat slowly and gradually
• Layer seasoning for durability
• Maintain after each use
With the proper technique and care over time, you’ll enjoy slick release and easy cleanup when cooking in your Calphalon pans for years to come!