There are pans made of several materials, but the best ones are made of carbon steel. These pans are very environment-friendly and affordable compared to other pans, yet many people think using these pans are not safe.
Well, in today’s article, we will not only explain whether these pans are safe or not, but also review the best pans in the current market. This article will cover everything you need to know before buying the best carbon steel pan.
So, let us begin!
Is Carbon Steel Pan Safe For Cooking?
Contrary to popular beliefs, carbon steel ones are perfect for cooking. First of all, they are very lightweight and made of a mineral that can conduct heat very fast and evenly on the surface. All these qualities make these pans versatile in usability.
Most people are concerned about the material used to make these products.
Well, a carbon steel pan is made up of mostly iron, and if this iron is fortified to your food, it will not necessarily be a bad thing. Why?
Because iron is really good for your health and according to research, the little bit of iron that may get mixed in your food from these pans will be better for you, if anything.
Other than that, they are easy to use and can keep the heat under control. Although they heat up pretty easily, the heat does not disrupt the comfort of holding the handle. Some are even designed with a wooden handle, so it is most unlikely to conduct the heat.
So overall, to answer your question: Yes! A carbon steel pan is most certainly safe to be used.
The Advantages of a Carbon Steel Pan
There are many advantages of a carbon steel pan which you may be unaware of. When it comes to the pans in the market, if we think of the material, carbon steel is much better than most regular iron pans. But for some reason, they are very underrated.
Now, some people think that carbon steel pans are not safe to be used. Others think that these are not long lasting and cannot do the job of a pan well. But in reality, these pans are much better than other pans.
Today, we have listed 4 main reasons why carbon steel is a great choice.
Unlike most other pans, carbon steel made pans are much lighter and comfortable to move around. Some of these pans are made with a flat bottom while others with a round one.
Either way, all carbon steel units are way lighter than the regular iron pans that we use every day. As a result, these are more comfortable to use and easy to handle!
- Heating Mechanism
The ability to take in heat is impressive for a carbon steel pan. Having a large surface and not having too much weight, the pan can get the heat on its surface spread evenly, letting every bit of food cook well and at the same amount. This leaves no room for inconsistencies.
- Heating Time
As these pans can heat up pretty quickly, the heating time is reduced by a lot. As a result, the overall heating time can be cut down by a lot and the cooking time as well! Fast heating also means that the pan will not need to be used for too long or kept in the heat. This actually will increase the lasting ability of the pan.
- Searing Ability
A carbon steel pan is very efficient when it comes to searing. Unlike regular pans, these will give you a much better result when it comes to searing. Not only that, being portable it can be used for other things like grilling and browning.
So overall, it can be said that these pans are perfect if you are looking for a product that can function in multiple ways.
Our Carbon Steel Pan Reviews
Despite there being countless pans in the market, we have gathered our top 10 favorite pans for you! So, let’s start the carbon steel pan review, shall we?
1. Mauviel Made In France M’steel Black Steel Frying Pan
The Mauviel pan has some very good features that make it a great product in today’s market. Along with the material used and the durability of the pan, it can be used on all types of stove.
It has beeswax as an outer layer. This makes it pretty tough and makes sure it does not wear off easily. This one layer can do magic. It can prevent rust and even save time on seasoning. But remember to wash the pan with hot water before use.
The brand ensures that this pan gives you high performance and durability. They claim that it is the best carbon steel pan in today’s market. Well, we will not deny that. This pan is very light in weight and durable too! It is a non-stick pan, and it can be used on all cooking surfaces.
Although an issue most users face is that Mauviel pans are pretty small. At only 8 inches, this variety is the smallest pan on our list. Now keeping the fact in mind that its small size also makes it lightweight and easy to use, is this even an issue?
This pan, in general, is a pretty good product and the durability factor makes it a top contender.
- Beeswax layer prevents rusting
- Durability and excellent performance
- Is a non-stick pan
- Can be adaptive to all kind of cooking surfaces
- Very light in weight
- Very small
- Even after seasoning, the pan sticks sometimes
2. Lodge 12 Inch Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet
The Lodge skillet is a 12-inch carbon steel unit. This brand is very well known and have been around for a long time. Made of carbon steel, this specific skillet is lighter and much easier to use.
This product can be used for searing, browning and many other cooking techniques. Being a heavy duty carbon steel, 12 gauge multifunctional skillet it can last for ages! Not only that, the surface is very tough and is already pre-seasoned. Amazing right? The Lodge skillet has a lot to offer, so much that many consider it to be the best carbon steel skillet.
It is very safe to use with other metal objects, unlike most regular pans out there in the market. Other than that, it is also non-stick making it much easier to clean. If we talk about the price, it is fairly cheap as well.
However, some have complained about how the surface of the skillet is a little too rough. This has caused many owners to spend too much time cleaning this product. Now, as much as they show reasons for having a sturdy surface, if it causes cleaning issues, then it will not seem to worth it.
Other than that, some have noticed that there are small hairline like cracks on the surface and on the edge of the product. Although this product does not exactly break down, it gives off the vibe that it will not be too long-lasting.
If we consider the pros and cons, the overall performance of this pan is not that bad. But some of these drawbacks might make it not worth the money.
- Can be used for multiple purposes
- Made of heavy-duty 12 gauge steel
- Very safe to use along with metal materials
- Flexible when it comes to the sources of heat
- Already pre-seasoned
- The surface is rough and very long lasting
- The rough surface is hard to clean
- Hairline like cracks on the surface
3. De Buyer Carbon Steel Frying Pan
The De Buyer has given us innovative products for a long time. And they also have the best line of CS pans to offer as well. So if you are looking for the classic features of a carbon steel pan along with a touch of innovation and style, this is the way to go!
There are many advantages to buying this pan. For starters, the surface is a standard 12 inch which makes it very multifunctional when it comes to the kind of food it can cook. If you need a big surface, this will do. But it will also work well if you need a small surface.
It is a perfect size, and this surface comes with innovative thermal properties which allows it to work at high temperature but still have command over how hot it gets. Being non-stick is always a plus point, and since it is pre-seasoned, you don’t need to worry about seasoning the pan before use.
The main feature of this product is the white iron surface that has a heat diffusing property, which means, you don’t have to worry about handling the heat! The surface is so amazing, it allows moisture and flavor to soak in and season the pan as well.
Some issues you might face with this product is that it does seem a little too heavy for a CS pan. As a carbon steel pan’s main feature is being lightweight, this is a drawback. You might also face some warping issues.
Overall, the pros outweigh the cons of this product. Take a look and see if this product is the one you’ve been looking for!
- The surface is 12 inches
- Amazing thermal properties
- Non-stick pan that is already seasoned
- White iron surface makes it unique
- The surface allows moisture to soak in
- White iron triggers the diffusion of heat
- Has a French style handle
- Very heavy for a carbon steel pan
- The bottom gets warped very easily
4. Lodge CRS10 Carbon Steel Skillet, Pre-Seasoned
This product from Lodge has a 10-inch surface which is comparatively smaller than its competition. It manages to get the work done correctly! This carbon steel model is fairly lightweight and pretty cheap when it comes to the price.
The surface of this one is pre-seasoned as well. It is multifunctional in the sense that you can use it for experimental cooking, home cooking or even for preparing dishes involving techniques used by professionals. It can do it all! The CRS10 is also amazing when it comes to temperature control.
It can work in low as well as high temperature and does not have any side effects either. This pan is perfect for outdoor use, be it camping or a simple outdoor party. The grip on this skillet is also really great.
Most products forget to take into account the fact that you need to be comfortable holding the pan before anything else but not the CRS10. Lodge made sure to make a handle that is comfortable to use and does not heat up too quickly. So you can stay comfortable while working.
Now unlike its handle, the surface of the skillet heats up very quickly. Within a few seconds, you will realize that it has heated up more than any regular iron pan ever can. It truly is amazing. However, if you need to retain the heat, you can do so as well. So yes, this is an amazing product overall!
But does this mean it has no flaws? Sadly, no. You may face some issues with warping. So keep that in mind before you buy this one.
Eventually, the pros and cons make it much easier to understand better. Is this the best carbon steel skillet in the market? Let’s see.
- The surface is pre-seasoned
- Perfect for outdoor using
- Can be used for professional cooking as well as household cooking
- Can work with both low and high temperatures
- Can retain heat very quickly
- The grip is highly comfortable to work with
- Might have warping issues; not non-stick
5. Garcima 15-Inch Carbon Steel Paella Pan
The Garcia Carbon steel pan is a paella pan that has a pretty big surface diameter. As a paella pan, it can conduct heat from the stove very quickly and heat the surface very fast. Is this pan thin? Yes, but it is more durable than most of its thicker competitors. Don’t believe it? Try it out first!
The steel handle that this carbon steel pan has is also comfortable to use. It does not get damaged quickly either. So overall, this product is also very long lasting. The surface area of 15 inches makes it big enough to cook food for almost 3 to 6 people.
As compared to other pans, this pan cuts the usual cooking time to half and is lightweight due to having a thin surface. Overall, this product is very well made and serves its purpose better than all of its competition.
Lastly, the manual has some great perks that others do not even consider. It has a well-written instruction on how to season the pan as it is not pre-seasoned and even has two full recipes of how to cook paellas. I don’t know about you, but I would buy it just for this!
Anyway, there are some things you should look out for when and if you buy this pan. As the surface is thin, the food might heat up more easily than your estimation. Also, as it is not pre-seasoned, it might rust easily if not properly maintained.
This paella pan is a fairly good product if you consider it to be exclusively for paellas. However, as a CS pan, it probably is not the best one in the market.
- The surface is very wide, thin and rigid
- Very lightweight
- The pamphlet has recipes and carefully written instructions
- Big enough to serve almost three to six people
- The handle is made of steel and is very comfortable to handle
- Food might burn very easily
- Rusts after usage for a definite time
6. De Buyer MINERAL B Round Carbon Steel Fry Pan
This other product from De Buyer is a mineral B fry pan that has a layer of beeswax on it. It is said to be very eco-friendly. Why? Read more to find out.
This pan from De Buyer has some interesting features that have turned heads. For starters, apparently, the brand uses 99% iron and 1% beeswax to make this pan. It is environment-friendly and stylish thus many people prefer it over the regular CS pans.
These pans have a great curved style French handle which makes it easy to hang and also hold while cooking. The surface also makes sure to give protection against any sort of oxidation that might occur.
However, at the end of the day, it depends on whether this product is long-lasting or not. And it is! The brand assures you that this pan will give you a much better performance after every use. So why not buy it already?
There may be some issues with this pan because it is not seasoned. But apparently, some users have noticed the first seasoning itself is enough to ruin the surface.
Now, is this product worth it or not then? Take a look at the pros and cons of buying this to know.
- Good for searing, browning, and grilling
- The coating is of beeswax
- The surface has minerals that protect it against oxidation
- The handle is curved in a French style, making it a stylish yet useful product
- Gets better as you use it
- Has two handles
- Is non-stick
- When you start seasoning it, the surface gets ruined
- The product is not too versatile in general
- The price is a bit too high
7. Paderno Heavy Duty Carbon Steel Pan
The Paderno pans are one of the best pans in the market. Let’s go through the specifications of these pans.
Although the size is smaller than the standard, Paderno pans are perfect for ] everyday home cooking. This pan is definitely worth the price and can work for people who like to work with an averagely sized surface.
This pan has a very thick surface which apparently might seem to be bad quality, but this feature enables preheating and conduction of more temperature. Your food will be done cooking before you know it!
Other than that, these pans are perfect for searing. The size is really good for someone who wants to make stuff like hamburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, and even a simple egg.
The size is convenient for everyone. It also has a flat handle that makes it comfortable to use. These pans are really good if you are someone who likes to flip things on your pan.
A major downside, however, is the fact that this pan is very heavy. If you do not season the pan well, it will not give you a good performance.
Is it worth it then? Maybe seeing the pros and cons will make it easy to understand.
- The surface is very thick
- Can cook at a high temperature
- Has a flat handle
- Is non-stick
- Amazing as a flipper pan
- Extremely heavy for a carbon steel pan
8. Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok
When buying a carbon steel pan The Craft Work is another brand that can be kept under consideration. They make their pans based off of traditional manufacturing principles that make every single product special for this particular one. However, there is more to it than what meets the eye.
The 14-inch surface diameter of this product makes it very spacious. This will also make it easy for you to serve more people at one time and reduce the time you need to cook.
Not only that, the round bottom makes it very easy to try out stir fry, meaning you can fry much faster than you could in a regular iron pan. Being a traditionally made pan, it is also the perfect option if you are someone who likes to eat and cook Chinese food.
The steel handle is a great addition to this little pan. The overall appearance will make it seem a little old and maybe not exceptional but do not let your eyes fool you! The wooden handle which is the main handle is very innovative because the wood will not conduct heat in any way.
But some have noticed that seasoning ruins the surface and the pan itself came defective for some customers. Below are the pros and cons of buying this pan. We hope this helps you understand if it is the one for you!
- The surface is 14 inch, so it is pretty big
- Has a round bottom which makes deep cooking easy
- The handle is made of wood, so no heat is conducted
- There is another steel helping handle on the opposite
- Perfect for all types of Chinese traditional recipes you might want to try out
- The refund policy is very flexible in case this is not your cup of tea
- Amazing for stir-frying which is a way to fry faster than usual
- The work might come a little defective
- A little expensive considering the size and weight
9. Carbon Steel Wok with Helper Handle
The title might make you think that this pan has no other feature but the additional helping handles. But trust me, there is much more this product has to offer.
Firstly, the surface is pretty big at about 14 inches meaning you can serve more people at once. It is flat at the bottom and can sit on a direct grill or an electric one very easily. You can say it is easy to move around.
It is pretty flexible when it comes to the source of heat as it can sit on gas stoves or even work with induction cooking although the manual states that it will give you the best performance on a gas stove. This product also has the capability to work incredibly well at a high temperature.
Now, what are you missing here? Well, the thing is that most pans that are not pre-seasoned seem to get worse when seasoning is applied, so this is something you might want to keep under consideration.
Other than that, there are also complaints about the helper handle that is not durable and might not be as comfortable as it is said to be.
Keeping these conditions in mind, it is essential that you make a smart choice. Because almost every product will have some flaw, and it is up to you to know what is both affordable and user-friendly for you and what isn’t. So, without any delay, let us check out the pros and cons.
- Helping handle gives you full control over than placement of the pan
- Very easy to use
- Helps to cook at a high temperature
- Has a flat bottom
- Is not pre-seasoned so you can use your chosen oil for seasoning
- The flat bottom is good for stoves and can easily sit on grills
- The helping handle was not made from good materials and might get damaged
- Comparatively heavier than other counterparts
10. Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen Carbon Steel
Made by Helen Chen, this carbon steel pan can do the magic if given a chance. It is consistent when it comes to heat usage and frying. Much like craft work, it can be used for deep frying as well. But why pick this over the others?
This pan has a flat bottom which is perfect for regular cooking. But although the bottom is flat, it can be used for stir-frying. This means you can deep fry and fry much faster than with other pans. It is a standard size of 12 inches, so it is perfect for foods that need big or small surfaces for cooking.
When it comes to the cost, it is very low. Trust me, it will make you wonder why the others are so high. The handle for this one is also pretty well made. It has a sort of loop-like attachment that makes it very easy to handle. The weight of this pan is only 4.39 pounds, which is very light for a carbon steel pan.
But the surface is most likely not too well developed because users have been complaining about the food having a metal like taste. Not only that, the surface is prone to germs and becomes very tough to clean.
In general, the pan does have potential but does it have enough potential to be the right one for you? Check out the pros and cons to make your decision.
- Has a flat bottom
- The surface is a standard 12 inch
- The price is very low
- Although it has a flat bottom, you can try stir-frying in this pan
- There is a loop on the handle that makes it easy to hang
- Very lightweight despite the surface being fairly thick
- Heating is very quick and even on the surface
- Food has a sort of metallic taste
- The surface is a little hard to clean
The Perfect Carbon Steel Pan – Buyer’s Guide
Now that we have given you a carbon steel skillet reviews as well as a carbon skillet pan review, it is time for you to brainstorm what sort of criteria you need to look out for when buying any one of these pans.
You should keep these categories in mind when you go to buy your carbon steel pan.
Although some think pre-seasoning is a good thing, that is not always the case. While pre-seasoning is a great feature, brands use it to increase their prices. Seasoning is required for every time the pan is used. Keep this in mind before you decide whether or not you want this feature.
When you go to buy a pan, you should check whether you are comfortable with it. If the pan seems too heavy or too large for you to handle, then do not buy it. Do not let the salesperson convince you to buy something you are not comfortable with.
At the end of the day, you are the one using it. So make sure to buy something you are comfortable working with.
- Price Point
It is essential to stay within your budget. Some pans are unreasonably priced, and then there are pans that are cheap but not well made. So keep both of the things into account and buy an affordably priced pan which is made of good material.
- Special Features
There are other special features like the round bottom or flat bottom, thermal properties, additional handles and so on. Although these are usually great features, it might also be the reason the product is being sold at a high price.
So, before making an irrational decision, know what features you need and then buy that pan.
Easiest Way To Season A Carbon Steel Pan
Seasoning is very important when it comes to a carbon steel pan. Even if you use the best in the market, you will need to season it. But how do you do this? What happens when a pan is pre-seasoned. Well, this section will answer all questions related to seasoning along with an instruction of how to do it.
Even when pre-seasoned, a pan or skillet will need seasoning every time it is used. But how do you season a pan?
Here is a step by step instruction. Follow these to season your pan well!
- Preheat your pan. You can do this in an oven or a stove.
- Keep the temperature at a medium-high type of range. Usually, keeping the temperature at 400F for about 10 minutes is enough.
- Turn off the heat and let the pan cool off.
- Apply a layer of oil. You can use any oil such as vegetable, olive, lard or even coconut.
- You can apply this oil using a paper towel, so it is even.
- Apply the oil evenly on both and inside and outside surface of the pan.
- Put it back on the stove and let it heat.
- Turn off the stove but do not take the pan off it.
- Let the pan cool down slowly. And you’re done seasoning your pan!
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the difference between a carbon steel pan and a regular cast iron made pan?
A carbon steel pan is much lighter and thinner than other pans. It is also safe to use in the oven and can hold heat longer than a regular cast iron pan.
- What kind of lids works on this pan?
It is recommended to not use any lids on this pan.
- Does the handle stay hot or cool?
The handle usually stays hot unless it is made of a material that does not conduct heat.
- Can it be used under the broiler?
Yes, it can be used under a broiler surface.
Pans made of carbon steel are highly underrated. These are lighter in weight and can get the job done way faster than a regular pan. So why not switch to pans made of this material?
We have reviewed the best pans and added all the necessary information to find the best carbon steel pan. Now, it is time for you to go out there and get yourself one of these beauties. Good luck!