Using the best carbon steel pans, you’ll enjoy a more rewarding kitchen experience because they let you create sumptuous and healthy dishes for your loved ones. They’re also made from durable and heavy-duty materials, ensuring lasting for many years and cooking decades. These pans are also safe without toxic and harmful chemicals.
Selecting the best among them, you can be more satisfied of your purchase. For this reason, it will pay off to spend some effort and time in finding the right cookware. In the following, we’ll help you make an informed choice.
We’re featuring the top five carbon steel pans, each with strong and weak points as well as special qualities. If you want to get started, let us begin and review the excellent carbon steel pans and discuss what you need to know about a carbon steel pan, such as its uses and differences between a cast iron pan and carbon steel pan.
- I. Our Top 5 Picks for Carbon Steel Pans
- II. Is Carbon Steel Pan Safe to Use?
- III. The Difference Between Carbon Steel and Cast Iron Pan
- IV. What is a carbon steel pan used for?
- V. Top 5 Best Carbon Steel Pans
- VI. How to Season Carbon Steel Pan
- VII. Conclusion
I. Our Top 5 Picks for Carbon Steel Pans
II. Is Carbon Steel Pan Safe to Use?
When it comes to cooking, it is every chef and homeowner’s priority to prepare the food safely and quickly. As such, safe, non-toxic and effective cookware is needed to achieve that purpose.
One of the most effective and safest cookware is carbon steel. It remains a staple in most households and restaurants because of its durability and versatility. In fact, a simple carbon steel pan is enough to suit your needs. You can already fry, braise, and sear, sauté, broil and bake.
They are also the lighter cousin of the cast-iron cookware. As such, they are easy to maneuver and use in the kitchen.
This cookware is also a good heat conductor and gives an even amount of heat. They heat up fast which is useful if you are on the go. These pans can also withstand high temperatures and even retain this heat for a period of time.
They are also really durable, provided that you take care of them properly. Some users have stated that their carbon steel cookware have lasted them for a long time. You just need to scrub and wash them after every use.
It is also relatively cheap compared to other types and brands of cookware.
Aside from that, they are known to be one of the safest, non-toxic cookware among all the types and brands. This is because this is made out of iron and carbon. Both of these are natural components that do not have any harmful or toxic substances.
You also do not have to worry about these components sticking into your food. For one, the cookware is typically non-stick. Even if it is not, they are also relatively easy to season because of its smooth and even surface. You just need to add oil and bake the pan. Once you do this, the carbon steel pan becomes non-stick.
Non-stick carbon steel pans also give you a healthy advantage. With this, you do not have to add any oil or butter to cook your meals.
However, while it is not toxic, it is not recommended when you are cooking acidic or salty such as soups and the like. These dishes might react with the iron component of the pan. As such, iron might leach into the foods.
Small doses of iron are healthy for the body; however, too much of it can have adverse effects.
III. The Difference Between Carbon Steel and Cast Iron Pan
Carbon steel cookware and cast iron cookware are typically compared since they have more or less the same components. Both of them are made out of iron and carbon, albeit in different percentages.
Carbon steel cookware boasts more iron at 99% while carbon only comprises 1% of the pan. Whereas, cast iron cookware has 2% to 3% carbon while having 98% iron.
With this, cast iron is more brittle due to the presence of more carbon. Hence, you need to be careful not drop it or else it may shatter. Carbon steel, however, is uniform and has an even surface.
In terms of size and weight, carbon steel is the lighter cousin of cast iron, weighing only about a third of cast-iron cookware. With this, carbon steel pans are easy to maneuver and use for cooking. Because of their weight, they are also easier to clean and dry.
Carbon steel also heats up faster since they are thinner compared to cast iron cookware. While they may heat up faster, they also cool down faster. Cast iron retains heat for a longer period of time. With this, you are sure that the food is thoroughly cooked. However, do take extra care since cast iron pans can get extremely hot.
Despite their differences, both cookware is durable and last for a long time provided that they receive proper care and maintenance. To do this, you just need to scrub it and make sure that you wash it after every use. Otherwise, they will corrode and break down easily.
Moreover, both are also naturally non-stick provided that you season them properly. With this, you get to cook healthier meals since you do not have to use that much oil or butter to make sure that the food does not stick into the pan.
In terms of safety, both the types of cookware are relatively safe to use since they do not emit or release harmful or toxic substances. However, it is best to refrain from using either of these types when cooking certain food.
Cast iron cookware is best used for searing, frying, baking, stewing, braising and roasting. However, cast iron is not recommended for stir-frying since it will overcook your vegetables. Moreover, it requires you to exercise extra care since it can get very hot.
On the other hand, carbon steel cookware is best to use for searing, roasting, stir-frying, baking and frying. However, they are not good to use when cooking stews or other moist dishes.
IV. What is a carbon steel pan used for?
Carbon steel is probably one of the most popular kitchenware. If you have a carbon steel pan, you have more flexibility as it is lighter than cast-iron and the walls of the carbon steel pan are more sloped instead of straight
up-and-down, so it is much more durable and it is non-stick.
Carbon steel pans are preferred by professionals because you can go from stovetop to oven without any issues. The sloped walls of the carbon steel pans can help when you sauté, toss and flip your food. With just three to four pounds of weight, carbon steel pans are easy to lift. It is also more durable than cast-iron skillets because if you accidentally drop it, it will not break or crack.
So what is a carbon steel pan used for? Carbon steel pans are used to cook foods that will usually stick on cast-iron skillets and other types of pans. It can also be used for foods that need tossing and flipping, as its sloped sides can help prevent any food from falling out.
One of the most popular dishes that you can cook by using a carbon steel pan is steak. Steaks are cooked fast on medium-high to high heat so that you can get that perfect brown sear on the outside, while the inside of the steak remains pink and juicy.
Once the pan is preheated, the carbon steel pan will retain the heat and it makes it perfect for the sear that is needed for an amazing steak. If the steak is thick and the center is not done, you can put the pan in the oven to cook it the way that you want it.
Eggs are also best cooked in carbon steel pans. This is where the sloped sides come in handy as you can flip your eggs properly.
By using carbon steel pans, you can cook your eggs at a high temperature and add oil; your eggs will have crispy browned bits around the edges. No matter how you want your eggs done, carbon steel pan is the perfect tool to use. Since it has a nonstick surface and the heat is distributed evenly, you can cook your eggs the way that you want to.
And of course, if you wish to make stir-fries, you can use carbon steel pans. Carbon steel is the same material that is used in woks, so you can toss your vegetables and other ingredients. A well-heated carbon steel pan gives you blistered vegetables that make for a very good stir-fry.
There are many types of kitchenware that you can use to be able to cook the perfect meal, but if you are looking for kitchenware that will give you the texture that you want, the carbon steel pan is the perfect tool for you.
V. Top 5 Best Carbon Steel Pans
1. De Buyer 5610.26A Mineral B Frying PanOur Pick
De Buyer is a reputable name in the pans space. Through the years, it’s been a trusted choice by many households looking to buy quality and durable pans. One of their best offers is the De Buyer 5610.26A, which is with solid features that many mothers appreciate.
For one, this product is 100% natural as well as made from 99% iron. You can have peace of mind you’re buying an item that can last long.
You can also rest assured that it contains no harmful chemicals. It does not also contain PTFE or PFOA. That said
you could worry not about the health of your family. Naturally, this item is non-stick after seasoning it.
It is also a good choice if you want a non-stick product for improved cooking. The more times you use it is the more it becomes darker.
It is also worth noting that this pan reaches high temperature and can sear food easily. This item can work well while preserving nutrients and vitamins.
Overall, this item can last a lifetime that it gives you more out of your spending. It is also hard riveted, adding to its heavy-duty performance.
- Durable and affordable
- Even heating for better cooking
- Ideal for smaller families
- 99% pure iron
- PTFE or PFOA free
- Flimsy handle
2. Mauviel 3651.2 M’Steel Fry Pan
Mauviel is a trusted name in the category. This product is one of their best offerings that prove that once more. One of the things that make it a good choice is its lovely appearance. It is black steel, which adds to its aesthetic appeal matching any kitchen utensils and design. It is also with iron handles, which add to ease of use.
It is also notable that it offers excellent heat conduction. With it, there is no uneven cooking surface and less burning instances.
In addition, this pan is versatile for use in many surfaces that include electric, gas and halogen stovetops. It is also good for the oven, giving you more value for your money.
This item is also ideal for searing, so it really offers more than just for frying. In addition, this frying pan is made from commercial grade materials, offering high performance no matter the level of abuse and use.
In addition, this frying pan allows for excellent searing and longer preheating. This item is also a natural nonstick, giving you better convenience.
- Can be used on different cooking surfaces
- Nonstick pan for healthier cooking
- Elegant black steel
- Commercial grade durability
- Heavy duty performance
- Small cooking surface
3. Lodge CRS10 Carbon Steel Skillet
When shopping around for a skillet, you should look for its brand name and features that make it valuable for your kitchen. A good choice is this Lodge CRS10 Carbon Steel Skillet. For one, it is offered at an affordable price, yet it has that quality to expect from a Lodge.
If you plan to do more searing or browning, you might also want to take a look at this item that can take high heat for these cooking methods.
For durability, this item is made from tough materials so that you can look forward for years of cooking.
This product is also versatile that it can be used for open fire and most stovetop types. So if you’re looking for more versatility, you might want to check out this skillet.
It is also made from a thick metal of 12-gauge carbon steel, promoting even cooking. It can retain heat well and heats fast, too.
Overall, the Lodge Pre-Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet is one of the best choices in the category to look into if you want a superior option.
- Larger cooking surface
- Even cooking
- Elegant design and appeal
- Versatile, ideal for outdoor grills, induction and others
- Handle might easily break
4. MINERAL B Round Country Chef Carbon Steel Fry Pan
De Buyer is another reliable brand to look into if you are finding a durable and quality fry pan. It has the compact features, which make it a top rated pick in the category.
For one, this item is made of pure iron, adding to its heavy-duty performance. It also has no harmful chemicals but 100% natural. You can check it out if you want to choose cookware that will not harm the health of your family.
It is also worth noting that it contains no PFOA or PTFE, ensuring it’s safe to use. Plus, you can expect a nonstick performance that it can offer after seasoning.
The Mineral B Line is made from only natural materials and no toxic materials. It has a safe coating that contains no PTFE or PFAO.
This item is also impressive that it can sear food quickly and promote even cooking. It is also ideal for many types of cooking, including grilling, browning and searing.
In addition, the item is built to last long and is with hard riveting. It’s also induction ready and thick at 2.5 – 3 millimeters. More so, the Mineral B skillet is also warp resistant for added durability.
- Contains no harmful chemicals or substances
- Durable for decades of cooking
- Heavy-duty performance materials
- Naturally nonstick surface
- Ergonomic handle
- Smaller cooking surface
5. MatferBourgeat 62005 frying pan
This MatferBourgeat frying pan is another top pick to take a look at if you are shopping around for a superior product to get more out of your spending.
This gray pan has a larger cooking surface versus the others do have, meaning it might be better for a larger bath of cooking.
The 11 7/8-Inch pan is also with a strong handle that can offer you more convenience in cooking. It is also worth noting that it is made from steel that can distribute heat evenly for faster cooking and even heating.
This product is also ideal for all hob types, making it more versatile than the rest are. If you want a nonstick performance, however, you might want to season it. Doing so, you will also be able to extend its life.
In addition, the frying pan has a heavy-duty construction, giving you many years of service to look forward. Overall, the frying pan is one of the best choices not to miss when finding a similar product. Check it out for yourself.
- Ergonomic handle
- Strong steel for durability
- High quality and long lifespan
- Even heating for easy cooking
- No harmful elements or chemicals
- For all hob types
- Not yet seasoned
VI. How to Season Carbon Steel Pan
There are many uses for a carbon steel pan, so it is almost always a staple in many kitchens worldwide. Even professional chefs trust carbon steel pans and skillets. To make it more valuable, this cookware can also be seasoned.
In the following, we’ll discuss the instructions on how to season the carbon steel pan using several methods. Let us begin. Learning how to season your carbon steel pan, you can make it more useful and beautiful. But then, you might be thinking it is hard to do but actually not.
It is a popular method of seasoning the cookware. However, you might be thinking it is hard to do but actually not. So if you’re ready, here is how.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F so that you can heat the pan. Place the pan inside the oven for 10 minutes. Wear your oven mitt and then take the pan out the oven.
- Coat your pan with oil on a paper towel or dishcloth. You can use your mitts in order to hold your frying pan, while a pair of tongs for holdings the paper towel or dishcloth. Start spreading oil over your pan’s interior and then exterior. Coat them completely.
- In your oven, put a foil-lined baking sheet and then layer it with tinfoil. Put it on the bottom rack of the oven.
- Put your coated cookware in the oven, ideally on the rack just above your baking sheet. Your baking sheet will catch the oil drips. Leave your pan in the oven for an hour. After, you can turn the oven off to let your pan cool before removing it once cool.
First, make sure that you’re working in a ventilated space. You can use this method if you don’t have an oven so that you can season your cookware. Here’s how.
- Put the pan on the stove, which is at medium to high heat. Make sure that you heat your pan until it is hot. You can then notice smoke wisp that will rise while your pan will start browning. Once done, you can take the pan out from the stove.
Start greasing your pan! You can use a paper towel or dishcloth to coat with oil or lard. Spread it over the pan until completely coated. Put the pan back onto your burner and then set it to high heat this time in order to liquefy the fat that will turn black.
- Take your pan from the heat and then start removing excess oil using paper towel.
- Cool your pan completely.
Notice that your pan is going to discolor, but that’s not a problem. It happens during seasoning. You can repeat the same process if you notice rusts or food starts sticking to the surface.
Over time, you need to re-season the pan because its cooking surface feels sticky or bumpy or you start noticing any residue, which is partly due to polymerized oil. It also happens if the patina is chipped.
Apply up to two teaspoons of oil according to the size of your skillet. Be sure to coat the entire surface of the skillet or pan on the exterior and interior. Then, you can wipe away the oil using paper towel. Otherwise, too much oil will cause tackiness. Put the paper towel aside.
Turn the stovetop on medium heat, and put the pan over it. You can notice beaded oil that you can wipe away with the paper towel set aside. Use the tongs to hold this towel, and then keep heating and wiping away the excess oil.
Next part is you will notice the smoking of the skillet or pan. It shows that the oil is breaking down. Just let the smoking continue for two minutes before turning the heat off. Completely cool the skillet.
Even if you have already seasoned the cookware, you still have to repeat the process from time to time to ensure of the benefits to get from it. However, you don’t have to worry because it is not hard to do at all. In fact, you can perform the maintenance process in minutes.
To do it, you can rinse with water while scrubbing the pan gently. Use a sponge or soft bristled brush if needed. Do not use abrasive scrubber or harsh soap in the process. You can dry your pan over a warm burner. Finally, you can prevent the rusting of the pan by applying thin oil coating to the surface.
Seasoning the pan can be done using the oven or stovetop method. You can use whichever works best based on your situation. You can follow the steps above to start and finish the process. Nevertheless, it does not take rocket science to season the cookware like the pros. Just follow the steps above and do it excellently.
Selecting the best carbon steel pans can be easier and faster if you have an idea on what makes them special as well as their pros and cons. Using such information, you can make an informed decision and a good choice.
In the process, you will have a satisfying purchase and have peace of mind of using the right carbon steel pans that match your needs and situation.
With your choice carbon steel pan, you will be able to take advantage of benefits that include preparing a wide range of meals and using different cooking methods.To get started, refer to our reviews above, weigh your options well and find a good quality carbon steel pan that’s right for you. Buy a carbon steel pan today!