There are many benefits to seasoning pizza steel, so knowing how to season a pizza steel is crucial.
This will make your pizza better with that delicious crispy crust that we all enjoy. Pizzas made in pizza steeks are crunchy and airy on the inside.
While most people think that the main purpose of seasoning pizza steel is to create a non-stick cooking surface, there are also other benefits that you can get when you season the pizza steel.
I can give you one quick reminder, you do not need to season or re-season the pizza steel every after you use it. It just needs re-seasoning when it starts to rust or degrade.
Seasoning pizza steel increases the durability of the pizza steel and makes it last longer without rusting or any other damage, if you remove rust, it will also slow the degradation process.
When you season pizza steel, you get an extra layer of protection to prevent and remove rust as well as other contaminants from entering the pizza steel.
Even if you are using the best pizza steel, it is a good practice to season it so the pizzas you made in it will not affect the next ones.
So maybe you have seen that rust has started to develop on the edges of the pizza steel that you use or you think the coating is starting to peel off. That is when need to remove rust and season the pizza steel.
It is best to season pizza steel when you first get it. That way it gets a protective coating before you start using it.
If you are done seasoning pizza steel once when you bought it, then you can be stress-free because you might need to re-season it after a few years depending on how often you wash it with water.
Cleaning pizza steel has some dos and don’ts of its own. I usually never clean my pizza steel with water, simply because it doesn’t need to be cleaned that often.
Seasoning pizza steel can be confusing if you are a beginner and if you have questions like do you season both sides of pizza steel, then do not worry, you don’t.
If you are someone who thinks -do you need to season both sides of pizza steel, then you should not worry as the cooking side of the pizza steel is the side your season.
This is a common question and I’m glad we got that out of the way before getting into how to season pizza steel for the first time.
My Pizza steel barely has any remains from cooking pizzas and I brush off all the crumbs that might be on it and wipe it with a cloth and store it until the next use.
One way to make sure that the pizza steel does not degrade or rust out that fast is to use it regularly. constant reapplication of oil through cooking removes rust or prevents it from developing.
So, if you just got your pizza steel delivered then this is how you season pizza steel-
How To Season A Pizza Steel
1. Clean The Pizza Steel
Before you think about how to season a pizza steel, you need to make sure that it is clean and dry. So, how to clean baking steel?
Cleaning a baking steel is simple and when you get it new all you have to do is just run it underwater and you are done. But if you are baking on it already then how to clean baking steel has a slightly different answer.
There are residuals left on the pizza steel whether from cooking or when you stored it away. Even the non-stick ones like the Blue steel pizza pan or Nerdchef pizza pan can get dirty enough so cleaning them is as important.
The first part of cleaning is to burn them off in the microwave by heating them for 10-15 minutes at 200 degrees celsius and then wash them off with water and a soft-bristled brush.
The hard bristles made in brushes might scratch off the surface of the pizza steel which means that the non-stick surface made in the pizza steel that you have worked hard to maintain will be removed.
If you have a newly bought pizza steel then you just need to wash it under water since it has never been used for cooking, there is no possibility of finding any food residuals on it.
If you are re-seasoning then the food residuals can damage the pizza steel by sticking to it and develop a nasty smell from the smoke plus it will make the pizza steel sticky which in turn make it really hard to use.
So make sure to burn them off and wash the steel with water. NEVER use soap to clean the pizza steel, just plain water will do. it can absorb the chemicals and even make it sticky at worst.
Whenever you clean baking steel never use soap or dishwasher. Make sure to remove rust and other debris apart from the food residuals.
This guide on how to clean pizza steel properly is a must read, so make sure to check that and do as the guide says to clean your pizza steel properly.
2. Apply The Oil
At this point onwards we are going to answer how to season a pizza steel. Once the pizza steel is clean and dry, apply a high smoke point oil on the pizza steel, there are a lot of best oils that you can use.
A high-smoke point oil is any type of oil that can handle high temperatures before it starts to smoke. You can also do this with pizza pans like the Blue steel pan and Nerdchef.
This type of oil will also be the main coating material that makes the pizza steel non-stick even when it is sticky from residuals. That is why you need the best oil and I figured that the best oil for seasoning is vegetable oil.
You only need to use a thin layer as any excess oil will create fumes and smoke. If you do not use the best oil with high smoke point, you can also suffer from this.
A teaspoon of the best oil you can get on each side of the pizza steel will be enough to coat the entire pizza steel. Use a lint-free towel or a paper towel to spread the oil evenly on the pizza steel.
I usually use a brush that has bristles made in soft materials and that works well for me.
Some good high smoke point oils are:
- Canola oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Sunflower oil
- Coconut oil
- Grapeseed oil
3. Bake the Pizza Steel
Once you have spread the thin layer of oil on the pizza steel, it is time to bake it. If you do this with pizza pans like Nerdchef and Blue steel, you need to make sure that the Nerdchef or Blue steel are thick enough.
Place the pizza steel in a cold oven and set the temperature to 350 or 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Leave the pizza steel undisturbed in the oven for an hour.
This will create a protective layer on the pizza steel as the oil starts to stick or get incorporated into the surface of the pizza steel. This will remove any sticky surfaces on the steel.
You might have noticed that the pizza steel changes in color.
The surface becomes darker, which is good since the pizza steel has a coating.
This is a natural occurrence and you will notice that the longer you use the pizza steel, the darker it will get.
4. Let The Pizza Steel Cool Down
After baking the oil onto the pizza steel, leave it in the oven to cool down.
Do not leave the oven open while letting it cool down as dust and other contaminants might enter. The same goes with pizza pans like the Nerdchef pizza pan.
Just leave it to cool down completely before you open it and check the pizza steel.
Avoid handling the pizza steel right away as it can be very dangerous as it will be very hot.
5. Store The Pizza Steel
Once it has cooled down completely, remove the pizza steel from the oven and store it in a dry place. Once you know how to season a pizza steel, it is important to know how to clean a pizza steel and store the pizza steel.
Make sure that the storage area has enough ventilation but is not too humid.
Moisture can cause rust, so make sure that the storage pace you put the pizza steel in is dry and, of course, clean. You can also store it in the oven when it is not in use.
The pizza steel is really heavy so if you store it with other kitchen tools, make sure that you do not put it on top to not damage the other tools, especially if they are of glass or plastic.
You should also avoid storing the pizza steel with other steel utensils or sharp objects.
Your goal is to keep it from rusting and damages such as scratches and dents on the cooking surface.
Make sure to keep it in a dry place as humidity can cause it to rust sooner.
How Often Should You Season The Pizza Steel?
If you understand the process of how to season a pizza steel then you should know that you need to season it often depending on when you clean it. On average, I season my pizza steel twice or once a year because I often use it.
If you do not use it often, then three times a year is good, because you need to season it even if you do not plan on using it anytime soon.
You can season your pizza steel up to four times a year. Seasoning pizza steel depends on how often or how frequently you use the pizza steel for cooking.
Even if you own the best pizza steel, I would highly recommend that you season it every now and then.
If you use your pizza steel at least once a week, I recommend re-seasoning it every 3 months.
This will help keep the non-stick coating so any sticky residue will be removed and prevent it from rusting too easily.
I have not come across anything called over seasoning, so I do not think there is anything to worry about, just season pizza steel when you think the coating is gone.
Do not use water on your pizza steel every time you are cleaning the pizza steel, as that might call for more re-seasoning sessions.
How to use baking steel for pizza?
If you are wondering how to use baking steel for pizza then it is very easy. You need to place the baking steel in the oven and preheat it.
Make sure the baking steel reaches a 500 degree Fahrenheit temperature and then you place a pizza on top of the steel using a pizza peel or anything that works like one.
It is very easy to use baking steel for pizza and it makes a big difference considering that you a nice crispy crust.
Do I Need To Season My Pizza Steel The First Time?
Most pizza steels come with instructions on how to season or use them for the first time. Most of them are also pre-seasoned which means that there is no need for you to season them.
Like I mentioned earlier, if you are using the best pizza steel then it is better to season it so that it lasts longer and well, every pizza steel needs seasoning.
So, I recommend seasoning the pizza steel before you use it for the first time. There might be contaminants from the factory or when the pizza steel was being shipped.
I always season new pizza steel and I highly recommend doing the same.
Plus, there is no harm if you season the pizza steel for the first time before using it. If you are looking for some of the best pizza steels then check out this post.
It is one way to make sure that it is clean and ready to cook any recipe without the food sticking to the pizza steel.
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