The Essential Guide to Finding the Best Carbon Steel Pan + Reviews
If you are in the market searching for the best carbon steel pan, Grandma Jen recommends the De Buyer De Buyer MINERAL B which is ideal for browning, sealing and grilling. It is 100 percent natural with pure iron and a bee wax finish that prevents oxidation, with no chemicals added. The more you use it, the better its performance becomes. This model has an exceptional construction, as it will not deform over time. The non-stick capability allows you to experience various types of cooking in different environments. The product also comes with two handles for a comfortable grip, regardless of the cooking method. In case you want a second option or cannot find this model, we recommend the Lodge CRS12 Carbon Steel Skillet which is an alternative worth keeping in mind.
Our Top Choice
If you are into using cookware that is made of eco-friendly materials, then you’ll be happy to learn that this De Buyer product includes 99% pure iron and a protective finish made of beeswax. Thanks to its construction, the pan won’t lose its shape throughout time and it’s free of any PTFE or PFOA.
It’s important to note that the handle includes an epoxy coating that doesn’t make this pan suitable for use in an oven, so this type of cooking is not one you should plan.
Thanks to its non-stick properties, the more you use this pan, the better it gets. Don’t worry if the surface gets darker, this is normal, so don’t hesitate to try it.
Ideal for professional or home use, the CRS12 is pre-seasoned with natural soybean oil. This means that the more you use it, the better the pan becomes. Moreover, since it’s made of 12-gauge carbon steel, rest assured it can deal with high temperatures for quick cooking.
The pan has a convex shape that feels unusual for some users, so this is something you need to be aware of if you’re looking for a flat pan to prepare your food.
This pan can be successfully used on the stove and in the oven, and given the high-quality materials used for its construction, it’s also highly durable.
Also To Consider
This Mauviel product is made of carbon steel, a material known for its heat conduction properties, as well as for the fact that it’s lighter than cast iron. The M’steel Black ensures great searing capabilities, while its seasoning allows it to acquire enhanced non-stick properties over time.
The handle is covered in a special material that softens when exposed to high oven temperatures, so this is something you might want to check with the manufacturer.
With a sturdy construction and non-stick properties, this pan is a very nice addition to your kitchen, so do take a closer look at what it has to offer.
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
Finding a good carbon steel pan for sale can be a bit of a hassle, especially because you have to do a lot of research and go through so many carbon steel pan reviews, which takes time, that you might not have. If that should be the case, do not worry, as we have prepared some useful information on this subject that you can read about below.
Why carbon steel?
You might wonder why shift to a carbon steel pan when the cast iron one has worked for your grandmother, and for you as well. Carbon steel is an alloy made from iron and less than 2% carbon, and it is less brittle than cast iron.
It might be more appealing to you to select something a bit lighter and faster reacting to variations in heat.
Weight and size
This aspect is very important when handling cookware. If you are preparing a large meal which is already heavy to lift, at least the pot your food is in should be lighter. To get an idea of what we mean, a 12-inch carbon steel skillet weighs 4.4 pounds, whereas the same-sized cast iron skillet weighs 8 pounds. The difference is noticeable.
The size of the pan is entirely up to you. You need to decide what foods you want to prepare in it and what cooking methods you usually apply.
Heat distribution and retention
In opposition to cast iron, carbon steel is much more responsive to heat. Your pan will heat up much faster, and a high-quality carbon steel unit will distribute heat evenly, leaving no room for hot or cold spots. It will also cool down more quickly than cast iron.
Care and durability
To maintain your carbon steel pan, you need to wash it with hot water, a scouring pad and, if necessary, use mild soap. You should wipe thoroughly and also store it in a dry place.
When you are cooking, season your pan with your choice of fat. The most recommended are flaxseed oil, coconut oil, peanut oil, and even lard.
If cared for correctly, your carbon steel pans can last you a lifetime.
3 Best Carbon Steel Pans (Updated Reviews) in 2020
As we cannot handpick the product for you, we can present you with a shortlist of top-rated products at this moment. Do not worry, we are not recommending any cheap carbon steel pan, as any of the items listed below will perform as described.
And since you are interested in expanding your collection of kitchen tools, you might also be interested in purchasing a pancake griddle or other types of cookware for gas stoves.
1. De Buyer Mineral B Round Carbon Steel
If you want to have eco-friendly cookware, you can start with the De Buyer MINERAL B pan, which is 100% natural with 99% pure iron and a bee wax finish that protects from oxidation. This kitchen item is ideal for sealing, browning, and grilling.
The more you use it, the better its performance becomes due to the non-stick feature. Do not worry if you notice that the surface becomes darker, as this is normal for the natural non-stick properties. You should know that this product does not contain PTFE or PFOA, and it doesn’t have any chemicals added, either.
The design of this pan is truly exceptional as it will not deform in time. For easy handling, the item comes with a riveted handle curved in French-style. Regarding maintenance, you should deglaze, and rinse with warm water, then dry it and oil lightly. You ought to store it in a dry area. Do not use any type of detergents, or clean it in the dishwasher.
The manufacturer shared a few tips for its users — you should season when using the pan for the first time. Another suggestion is to preheat using a little fat.
This choice was entirely made of pure iron, a material that, as the seler argues, contains no PTFE or PFOA and no chemicals.
Besides, this model comes provided with two handles that make it easy to handle and practical no matter the food that you are preparing.
It is perfect if you intend to use it for browning, searing or grilling. It is advisable that you add some fat when preheating it before you use it.
This model is easy to care for. To do so, one has to deglaze it and to rinse it with warm water. Also, be sure to dry it and oil it a bit.
One customer mentioned that this pan is not suitable to be used with an electric cooker. It can be used at 392 Fahrenheit degrees max.
There was one report that stated that the pan corroded after the first use. To avoid this, it is best that you follow the instructions made available.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($59.25)
2. Lodge CRS12 Seasoned Carbon Steel
The pan is extremely tough and can take high heat for searing or browning. The carbon steel performs really well in residential kitchens, but it is preferred by many professional chefs, as well. However, this skillet can also be successfully used with outdoor cooking sources.
The Lodge carbon steel skillet is made of 12 gauge carbon steel, a high-density metal with superior heating properties allowing the pan to reach a high temperature very fast, but it also maintains the heat required for even cooking.
The angle of the handle is conducive for both stovetop and oven cooking, offering a comfortable grip, and still fitting in most ovens. Clean it by hand with mild soap or none at all, and then dry with a lint-free cloth or paper towel. If you take care of it properly, the skillet can last a lifetime.
This skillet measures 12 inches and it is made of carbon steel, a material that heats easily and that retains its heat through the entire cooking process.
Moreover, this choice is easy to care for. It has to be hand-washed after use and dried immediately. You should also rub it with cooking oil.
The handle of the product is made of steel. The skillet can be used on gas, induction stovetops, grills, open fire and electric cookers.
Because of its dimensions, this model is suitable to be utilized when preparing food for an entire family.
One feature that one buyer considered a drawback is the weight of the device. According to him, this model is somewhat heavy.
Some users claimed that they were shipped skillets that had chips and dents. Yet, this issue might have something to do with a mishap in the shipping process.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($29.48)
3. Mauviel M’steel Black Nonstick Fry Pan
The black finish is part of the final heat treatment in the manufacturing process, meaning that it changes color when heated over time. After seasoning, the pan acquires natural non-stick properties. It is safe to use on high heat, and you can use metal utensils. This skillet can be used on various cooking surfaces, like electric, induction, gas, halogen stovetops, or in the oven.
Beeswax is used in order to prevent the product from rusting and also to save time when seasoning. When you use it for the first time, it is recommended to clean the pan with hot water so the beeswax can be removed from the entire surface. If you notice any residue, use a paper towel to clean it. Also, only wash it with water after each use, and keep it dry at all times for long-lasting usage.
If you only cook for one and you need a model that is a tad smaller in size, this 8-inch alternative might be all that you need.
It is made of thick black carbon and steel and it comes fitted with iron handles that are comfy and practical.
Besides, this fry pan works great even when used at high temperatures. Its interior is naturally non-stick.
You can utilize this option on all cooking temperatures, including electric, gas, induction. You can also place it in the oven and on halogen stovetops.
Some buyers pointed out that, when exposed to high temperatures, the interior of the model is no longer flat. This is not an issue that many have reported.
It has been said that the wax that this pan comes covered in is difficult to remove. After the wax is removed, some argue that the product starts to rust. Not many buyers had this problem.
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