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Carbon Steel & Cast Iron Cookware User Guide

The guide covers all carbon steel and cast iron cookware, including woks, frypans, pots, and deep fryers.

Known for safety and purity, Japanese carbon steel can last 10 years. But it will rust and form pits quickly without proper care.

The difference?

Oil. Apply two spoons post-wash, EVERY TIME.

Oil seasoning and consistent are key. Please read the full manual to get the most out of your carbon steel cookware.

Section 1: Carbon steel's limitations

Carbon steel and cast iron can damage without care. They are not rust-proof and need maintenance.

  • Do not store food. Clean after use to avoid corrosion and pitting.
  • Season with SUFFICIENT OIL after cleaning.
  • Expect marks and patterns; carbon steel is not nonstick.
  • Use oil with a high smoke point. Do NOT use olive oil. 
  • Ensure stability on the stove, use medium heat, and never leave unattended.
  • Not dishwasher, microwave, or oven safe.
  • Keep out of reach of children.

Section 2: Nitrided vs. non-nitrided

The nitriding process makes the cookware resistant to rust and also increases durability. That is why non-nitried cookware requires addtional care. If your cookware is non-nitrieded, please carefully read the addtional information in section 5.

Before first use: oil seasoning

Section 3: Starting with your carbon steel cookware

Special heat treatment makes Japanese carbon steel ready for use post-seasoning. Please note these steps and refer to the video below.

Before use: oil seasoning

  • Wash the cookware's inner and outer surfaces with dish soap.
  • Dry completely with paper towels, or lightly heat to dry.
  • Pour in enough oil to fill about 1/3 of your cookware.
  • Heat it on low for about 5 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and return the oil to a suitable container.
  • Use paper towels to spread the remaining oil fully around the inner surface.
  • Your cookware is now ready for use!

Cleaning and maintenance

  • Wash with warm water and a sponge.
  • Do NOT wash it in the dishwasher.
  • Dry thoroughly.
  • Season with sufficient oil before storage.
  • Blackish colour from oxidation is normal.
  • For stubborn stains, Bakers Friend and steel wool are safe to use on nitrided carbon steel, but not on non-nitrided carbon steel.

Carbon Steel FAQ

Section 4: How to maintain your carbon steel cookware

  • Pits: Occur due to insufficient oiling or storing food in the cookware. To prevent pits, always clean and apply 2 full spoons of oil after each use. If pits form, re-season to continue using.
  • Proper Oiling: Aim for a shiny appearance to indicate sufficient oiling.
    Wok without oil seasoningWok with oil seasoning
  • Burnt Food: Soften burnt food by boiling water in the cookware.
  • Cooking Temperature: Use medium to medium-high heat for cooking. Do NOT use olive oil.
  • Colour Changes: A yellowish colour may develop from using low smoke point oils; switch to oils with a high smoke point to avoid this. Blackish colour is a sign of normal oxidation.
  • Handle Maintenance: Tighten any loose handles by turning the bolt clockwise for stability and safety.
  • Food Colour Changes: Some foods may turn blackish due to iron absorption. This is normal and safe.
  • Surface Appearance: Heat treatment can cause uneven surfaces or discolouration, which do not affect cookware performance.
  • Care Tips: Never use carbon steel cookware in a microwave or dishwasher. Do NOT use dishwasher.

Maintaining a non-nitrided carbon steel wok Section 5: Non-nitrided care
  • Non-nitrided carbon steel cookware has a food-grade resin layer that wears off with use. Regular oil seasoning is essential to prevent rust.
  • For burnt-on food, boil water in the cookware to loosen, then gently scrub off without scratching the surface too hard.
  • Protective layers wearing off is typical for non-nitrided cookware. To avoid black residue, consider nitrided options like Yoshikawa, Tsubame, or Riverlight.
  • If the cookware's oil layer is removed, re-season it. With use, carbon steel will absorb oil and develop a protective, oxidised layer, turning black over time.

Section 6: Deep fryer guide

The video demonstrates assembling, cleaning, and using a deep fryer, similar to carbon steel woks and frypans. For best results, familiarise yourself with all provided instructions.

Initial Setup & Oil Seasoning:

  • Clean the deep fryer with dish soap and dry thoroughly.
  • Season with oil by heating it on low. This initial oiling prepares it for use.
  • Fill at least half the fryer's capacity for the first cook.

Care and Maintenance:

  • Wash with a sponge and warm water; dry completely with paper towels, or lightly heat to dry.
  • Clean the thermometer's probe carefully, avoiding the meter.
  • Re-oil before storage to maintain condition. A blackish colour indicates normal oxidation.
  • Use Bakers Friend and steel wool for tough stains. Be gentler with non-nitrided models to avoid damage.
  • Remember, it is not for food storage. Transfer leftovers to a suitable container.

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