fbpx

Best Carbon Steel Pans Review – Our Top 6 Picks

Carbon Steel Pans Review
Carbon Steel Pans Review

This guide will give you enough knowledge regarding carbon steel pans. To understand this cookware better we have discussed carbon steel pans review in detail along with some of the best carbon steel pans including pros and cons.

For someone who is not good at keeping food from sticking to the surface yet doesn’t want to risk their health in the hands of Teflon coatings; Carbon steel pan is a great option to avail.

Carbon steel pots and pans are known for their natural non stick non toxic capabilities.

Product Features Buy On
1. MatferBourgeat Fry Pan

Durable black carbon steel.

Non toxic coating.

Welded and grip handle.

All Induction compatible.
Amazon
2. BK Carbon Steel Pan

Made of alloy steel.

Very lightweight.

3xtimes denser than aluminum.

Cast iron handle.

Oven and Grill safe.
Amazon
3. Lodge Carbon Steel Pan

Made of carbon steel.

Compatible induction, grill and open fire as well.

Long lasting.

Pre-seasoned ready to use.
Amazon
4. De Buyer Carbon Steel Pan

Made of 88% iron.

Signature beeswax finish.

Easy to handle.

PTFE and PFOA free.

Durable and Long lasting.
Amazon
5. Coating Free Carbon Steel Pan

High quality black carbon steel pan.

Detachable handle.

Natural non stick polish.

Lightweight.

Ergonomic design.
Amazon
6. BelleVie Black Carbon Steel Pan

Thin gauge design.

Carbon steel skillet.

Heat resistant up to 900F.

Riveted iron handle.

Induction ready.
Amazon

What is Carbon Steel?

Carbon steel cookware is a lightweight, sturdy cookware that conducts heat more quickly and evenly than any other cookware material.

Practically it is more versatile and easy to maneuver compared cast iron, stainless steel, copper and other regular non stick pots and pans.

It is a great choice for those who seek reasonably priced non toxic, eco friendly cookware.

Carbon steel is quite affordable even the best carbon steel cookware is relatively cheap.

It is quite durable and long-lasting; if you buy one then it can serve for years so there is no need to invest in a carbon steel pan set.

Carbon steel is not good with acidic ingredients, so if you are going to some something acidic or sour it’s better not to keep the ingredients for too long in the pot as it may react.

Mostly Carbon steel pots and pans are covered with porcelain-enameled, glass or ceramic; however hardwearing raw carbon steel covered with heavy gauge steel is much sturdy and long-lasting but susceptible to rust.


Pros and Cons of Carbon Steel Pan

Pros

Naturally Non Stick: Though it is not like non stick as the Teflon coated pans; however, it is pretty non stick when experienced. If you are an individual that do not like to use Teflon coated pans then Carbon steel pan is the right option for you.

High Temperature Tolerance: Unlike other traditional cookware, carbon steel is highly durable to withstand high temperatures. Teflon is safe and sound at lower temperatures but gives up at 500F and starts to produce toxic fumes. However, Carbon steel is a lot safer at extremely high temperatures. It can tolerate heat up to 800 to 1200F. So if you like to prepare burgers frequently or cook steaks then a carbon steel pan is good to go option.

Better Temperature Conductivity: Unlike cast iron, carbon steel cookware heats up quickly. Its heat structure allows heat to transmit heat from the stove to the surface at a much faster speed. In case, you are short of time, a carbon steel pan helps you cook in a small span of time. Just like, it heats up quickly, the same way it cools down. So if you are a new cook who is not an expert at maintaining the temperature you can still save your food from burning or sticking by slowing down the temperature immediately.

Healthy and Safe Cooking: One deniable fact about non stick cookware is that it reduces the need for using much oil or grease while cooking. Though carbon steel cookware is not like the traditional non stick cookware but it is considered the best alternative to traditional non stick pans; however, they need to be seasoned regularly and properly. It means that the amount of oil or perhaps butter is needed in drastically less quantity.

Affordable Price: Carbon steel pots and pans are comparatively inexpensive and durable compared to high-quality kitchen utensils and pots. If seasoned properly a carbon steel pan can be used instead of Teflon coated non stick pans. Seasoning of carbon steel cookware is also not rocket science and can be done easily at home without expending much.

Lightweight: Carbon steel pots and pan are extremely light in weight; that is why it is quite easy to maneuver and handle with carbon steel. This cookware is easier and lighter to lift up, flip and turn. Comfortable to handle securely with weak hands; diminishing the chances of any mishap.


Cons

Not Dishwasher Safe: It is always good to care for your carbon steel pans; it includes avoiding harsh chemicals, abrasive washing pads or steel wool, and a tough cleaning cycle of your dishwasher. The non stick coating is going to break down from hot temperature, hot water splash, and the chemical detergents of the dishwasher. The safest way is to clean your carbon steel pans with your hands right after they are cooled down. Even the best carbon steel cookware is not dishwasher safe.

Regular Seasoning Required: In the start, you will find that your carbon steel cookware has a preseason non stick coating which later would start to lose its seasoning with the passage of time and frequency of use. In such a case, you need to season your carbon steel pan. Seasoning is not as difficult; however; it needs due diligence and timeliness.

Avoid Cooking/ Preserving Highly Acidic Foods: Foods and sauces with a high quantity of acids are potentially harmful to the organic non stick seasoning and may cause the layer to breakdown. This does not imply that no acidic foods can be prepared; it’s just that you should avoid cooking sauces and acidic foods preserving for the long term or cooking them too often. If you prepare heavily acidic foods often then you have to be prepared to re-season your cookware surface regularly. It has nothing to do with the quality, even the best carbon steel cookware cannot resist reacting to acids.

Not Good for Uniformly Cooked Food: When it comes to cooking, Carbon steel is a better choice for providing consistent heat so that the food gets cook properly. However, when it comes to uniformly cooked food; it is not the best option and needs an aluminum core to evenly distribute heat across the cooking surface.


Carbon Steel vs Stainless Steel Pan vs Cast iron: What’s the Difference?

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel pans are bright and shiny; however, they get tarnish easily if not seasoned properly.

Carbon steel frying pans are best for grilling, browning, or searing as they can withstand extremely high heat; however they are not suitable to cook acidic food and can react.

Since they are naturally non stick, they require less grease or oil for cooking.

Carbon steel pans are not good to put in the dishwasher that is why the best is to simply wipe them with a paper towel or soft cloth using warm water.

The thing which is quite irritating is that it requires regular seasoning.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel pans appear to be the same as carbon steel; however, they are much better in appearance.

As the name suggests stainless they don’t rust or corrode. There different kinds of stainless steel pans are available; however clad stainless steel pans that are made with a combination of aluminum or copper are relatively much better in performance.

They are good at even distribution of heat without scorching; however, they are not good at heat conductivity so you will find them cladded between copper and aluminum for improved heat conductivity.

Stainless steel cookware is known for its sturdiness, versatility, and durability and often comes with a lifetime warranty.

They are safe to be used in dishwasher and oven and unlike carbon steel or cast iron they don’t require seasoning.

Cooking with stainless steel is tough if you are not professional as it does not have a non stick surface; that is why it gets hard to keep food from sticking.

Cast Iron

It is nearly impossible to damage cast iron pan as they are highly sturdy and durable.

The porous cast iron surface is efficient at delivering a lot of flavors when maintained properly.

Just like carbon steel cast iron cookware is affordable and known for its heat resistance and versatility.

They are compatible with almost all cooktops. If not properly maintained or seasoned, it can get rusty.

It is not at all ideal for cooking acidic foods and may react. According to cast iron and carbon steel pans reviews, carbon steel is comparatively light in weight.

To make the most out of cast iron enameled cast iron is introduced which is covered with a porcelain coating that is easy to clean and keeps it from rusting.

It has a durable non stick coating that adds extra price and weight, however it doesn’t react with acidic foods. 


How To Clean Carbon Steel Pan?

When you finish cooking, gently wipe off the food that remains with a paper towel or wash it with warm water.

Wiping with a paper towel will help absorb excess soil into the pan’s surface. Try not to use soap unnecessarily; it will damage the seasoning.

Always use a soft sponge instead of abrasive cleaning pads to scrap off the stuck food particles.

You can simmer some water for 5 minutes, and then scrape off the ingredients later when the pan gets cooled.

When you’re done washing, dry your pan thoroughly with a paper towel or soft cloth.

If you cannot do this you can heat it over medium or low heat to dry just to make sure there is no moisture left that can later cause rust to build.

After drying your carbon steel pan rub a slight layer of vegetable or canola oil onto the surface of your pan.

Do not be harsh; gently rub it against the surface so that it gets to absorb. Massage


How to season carbon steel pan?

  1. Most carbon steel pan sets arrived unseasoned, with a protective covering that guarantees the blank metal does not rust. In order to find out whether the pan is preseason or not, you need to take out that coating. Follow the directions given in the manual for removing that coating.  After you are done that clean the pan well.
  2. Once you have eliminated the protective covering and finish washing the pan, dry it using a soft cloth; don’t let it dry on its own it may cause it to rust. A gentle fast towel dry is fine; you can dry it over the stove as well.
  3. Now apply the first layer of seasoning, and heat the pan slowly so that the oil turns into a thin greasy layer. You can do this over a burner but it can be done in the oven as well as carbon steel pans are oven safe.
  4. Now slightly grease a kitchen towel with vegetable, canola, or grape seed oil. Now rub that oil onto the pan’s surface inside out with a gentle hand; if you rub it too hard then it will ruin the seasoning. Buff it until it dries.
  5. Now expose the oiled pan to high heat; you can use the stove or place it in the oven. Beware, the pan is going to smoke a lot during this procedure, so keep the windows and doors open. The stove would be much convenient as you can move the pan back and forth to ensure that the oil has formed the polymer everywhere. The areas where you buffed the oil would turn into a faded shade of brown. This brown slight rusty brown shade is your shading.
  6. You will find that after some time the smoke is stopped which is a sign that the oil coating has transformed finally. This procedure takes time and dependent on the size of your burner and how much heat you choose to provide.
  7. Continue applying thin levels of oil and keep warming them until the pan’s surface achieves a deep dark brown or black shade.
  8. Now from this time onwards, maintain the seasoning of your carbon steel pan, and if find losing it then re-apply the process to re-season it again.
  9. If you own a carbon steel pan set then it is better not to season both at once.

Top 6 Best Carbon Steel Pans

1. MatferBourgeat Black Carbon Steel Fry Pan

MatferBourgeat Black Carbon Steel Fry Pan

Constructed of durable black carbon steel, that is free from toxic chemicals and chemicals such as PFOA, PTFE, Lead, or Cadmium.

Once seasoned, it gets an extremely non stick and becomes more efficient than any other traditional Teflon non stick pans.  

This carbon steel pan can be used on a variety of cooktops and hobs including induction and can withstand extremely high temperatures.

Promising a perfect combination of heat distribution and temperature control it ensures the preservation of all the nutrients included in your food, making it an excellent choice for sautéing veggies, frying omelets, searing meats, grilling fish, and preparing a variety of desserts. 

The welded steel handle adds extra strength and durability to the handling of this carbon steel frying pan without any risk of mishandling.

Being free of rivets, it keeps the pan from any possibility of bacteria trapping inside; the angled design is constructed purposely for ideal sautéing, stirring, and frying.


Pros
  • Durable black carbon steel.
  • Non toxic ecofriendly coating.
  • Welded handle.
  • Induction compatible.
Cons
  • Warp easily if not re-season

2. BK Carbon Steel Pan

BK Carbon Steel Pan

Made with sturdy and durable black carbon steel that is three times denser than any heavy gauge aluminum pan;

this BK skillet is corrosion yet scratch resistant that is incredibly capable to withstand temperatures up to 600F on almost all heat sources including grill, induction, and open flame.

This lightweight pan has been awarded Red Dot Award 2019 for its design.

The preseason carbon steel efficiently develops a healthy and safe non stick patina over time and gets better the more you use it.

The riveted cast iron handle highly tough and reliable for a quick tossing and turning over the cooktops without compromising your handling.

Overall, it is safe to be used with metal utensils delivering the restaurant-styled searing and frying results.


Pros
  • Made of alloy steel.
  • Durable and lightweight.
  • 3xtimes denser than aluminum.
  • Cast iron handle.
  • Oven and Grill safe.
Cons
  • The bottom is not flat.

3. Lodge Carbon Steel Pan

Constructed with 14 gauge carbon steel this incredible pan heats up quickly and retains the temperature for even cooking.

The Carbon Steel Skillet is pre-seasoned and ready to offer professional-grade cooking results.

This multi-functional heavy gauge carbon steel pan is perfect for baking, searing, roasting, and browning.

The thick and sturdy cooking surface heats up quickly and retains it for a longer time.

The strong yet comfortable angular handle is conductive for both oven stovetop cooking.

It efficiently works with a variety of heat sources including induction; however not compatible with dishwashing.

The brutally tough yet smooth non stick surface is metal utensil safe. The lodge carbon steel skillet is perfect to offer results even with outdoor cooking resources.


Pros
  • Made of 14 gauge carbon steel.
  • Supports induction, grill and open fire as well.
  • Long lasting.
  • Pre-seasoned ready to use.
Cons
  • The bottom is not flat.
  • Heavy in weight.

4. De Buyer Carbon Steel Pan

De Buyer MINERAL B is a pan that is perfect for both household and commercial kitchens.

Though it lacks the finish just like the other big names however it’s design and durability last for a long time.

Not only this, its price is comparatively affordable when it comes to its features and ability to fulfill the demands of a versatile kitchen.

Made of 88% iron and protected with a signature beeswax finish; the best thing is that it is completely free of toxins and chemicals that are potentially harmful to the environment and human consumption.

Cleaning this De Buyer pan is relatively easier as it doesn’t need to be washed with detergents or soap; you can simply use hot water with a simple rub of a soft sponge.

The ergonomically designed riveted handle is made with consideration to provide easy grip and balance incorporating with the French curve design that is ideal for stirring, frying, sautéing, and flipping.


Pros
  • Made of 88% iron.
  • Signature beeswax finish.
  • Ergonomic French handle.
  • PTFE and PFOA free.
  • Long lasting.
Cons
  • Regular seasoning required.
  • Not suitable with electric or glass cooktops.

5. Coating Free Carbon Steel Pan

Coating Free Carbon Steel Pan

Unlike traditional nonstick skillets, this black carbon steel pan is free from artificial coating and chemicals that can leach into food while cooking.

Along with the ability to serve a proper healthy meal, this 11-inch pan heats up quickly and distributes heat evenly across the surface within no time to ensure food is uniformly cooked and seared.

Moreover, this practical yet professional carbon steel frying pan is suitable for all stovetops.

The thoughtfully designed ergonomic pan is highly efficient and responsive to temperature so that you can easily avoid the food from getting burn until it gets cooked evenly inside out.

The removable wooden handle offers a string and convenient grip reducing the risk of any accidental injury.

You can easily remove the handle by twisting it few times before placing it in the oven and can attach it later after baking your meal.

The premium quality professional skillet is able to tolerate intense heat from all heat sources including, the oven, broiler, and grill.

As per the carbon steel pans reviews, people admire the detachable handle feature. It is extremely light in weight and quite easy to maneuver.


Pros
  • High quality black carbon steel pan.
  • Detachable handle.
  • Natural non stick polish.
  • Lightweight.
  • Ergonomic design.
Cons
  • Warp quickly on high heat.

6. BelleVie Black Carbon Steel Pan

Made of durable yet polished carbon steel this warp-proof black pan consists of 99% iron and 1% carbon.

The 16 gauge heavy-duty built facilitates, easy frying, browning, searing, or flipping without sticking the food to the surface.

The heavy gauge body ensures better heat distribution throughout the pan so that you get to experience a perfectly seared and sautéed meal. 

This BelleVie skillet is all set to tolerate extreme heat from various cooktops and hobs including induction as well.

Before start using read the manual so that you learn to season the pan correctly. This heavy gauge pan features safe and healthy non stick properties that do not leech or flake even in a dishwasher or oven.

The manufacturer suggests washing it with warm water and a sponge; eliminating the need for chemicals detergents unnecessarily.

Pros
  • Thin gauge design.
  • Blackened Carbon steel skillet.
  • Heat resistant up to 900F.
  • Riveted iron handle.
  • Induction ready.
Cons
  • Easily warp.

What is the Best Carbon Steel Pan and Should I Buy It?

In our opinion, Matfer Bourgeat [Buy on Amazon] stands tall in the list of best carbon steel pans in the market and the other pans we discussed in the carbon steel pans review.

It is a lightweight and highly affordable option that offers a unique non stick performance just like any other traditional non stick pan.

It is great at responding to various temperatures and distributes heat evenly. The size can generously hold a mound of food and versatile enough to be used on different heat sources.


Frequently Asked Questions

Carbon Steel Vs Stainless Steel: Which Is Better?

Carbon steel cookware is considerably much better than stainless steel as it can withstand extreme temperatures and able to hold it for a longer time. They are reasonable in price and needless fat for food preparation. Carbon steel is best utilized for frying, searing, brewing, and grilling food.

Also read this: Stainless Steel vs Nonstick Cookware – Pros & Cons

Are Carbon Steel Pans Non Stick?

Carbon steel pans are not non stick just like traditional non stick cookware; however, they can be great and serve nearly like a non stick pan if seasoned properly.

Which is Better Cast Iron or Carbon Steel?

Both have their own qualities, carbon steel is lightweight cookware that is best for stirring, sautéing, frying, or browning foods smoothly with less grease. However, as per the carbon steel pans, reviews and the comparison people made cast iron is much impressive at heat retention.

What Is the Best Carbon Steel Pan?

According to the research we made on the best carbon steel pans and the skillets we discussed in our carbon steel pans review MatferBourgeat is the best carbon steel pan.

Do carbon steel pans have Teflon?

Carbon steel pans are not Teflon coated; however, a naturally nonstick patina develops after a proper oil seasoning. The smoother surface of carbon steel is much safer and healthy than Teflon-coated pans.