Best Carbon Steel Pans

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Great for frying, sautéing, and other methods of stovetop cooking. The best carbon steel pans feature a durable stainless steel base designed to handle the high heat associated with frying and searing. These pans are great for everyday use, wear well, and can be used in the oven if you were so inclined. You’ll want to use this lovely piece in your own kitchen.

How We Tested It

We’re always working to find the best carbon steel pans to recommend — we want to make sure they’re actually worth your money. We also rated each pan on its appearance and construction.

We tested:

  • How well, are carbon steel pans browned, sautéed, seared, and fried foods?
  • How evenly do the pans distribute heat across the cooking surface?
  • How efficiently do they heat up and cooled down?
  • How well do they retain heat?

In this case, we looked at carbon steel pans priced between $25 and $85. That’s the basic range, with the most expensive items sporting some extra features. The most expensive of those was a whopping $150.

In testing 10 popular carbon steel pans, we focused on four main criteria:

1. Functionality

The pan should heat up evenly, distribute heat well, and have enough surface area for its intended tasks. It should also be comfortable to use, with a handle that stays cool to the touch and doesn’t make the pan too heavy or unwieldy.

2. Look and Feel

The second and most important quality of a good carbon-steel pan is its weight—it should be heavy enough to heat evenly, but light enough to handle easily. Carbon-steel pans lose their seasoning and rust with time, so they must be maintained properly. Most are dishwasher safe, but some manufacturers recommend hand washing. We tested each pan to ensure that it was well seasoned before use.

3. Durability

A good carbon steel pan should be able to handle the heat of the stovetop and oven without any distorting or warping. It should also have a smooth, even exterior finish without any nicks or scratches that could affect its performance.

4. Brand Promises

The best carbon steel pans will come with a warranty from their manufacturers, and some will even offer lifetime warranties. If you’re considering buying a more expensive carbon steel pan, make sure you know what guarantees it comes with before making your purchase.

Top 10 Best Carbon Steel Pans Reviews In 2022 For Perfect Browning And Searing

#1 De Buyer Mineral B Frying Carbon Steel Pan

The French maker of premium kitchen accessories. With de Buyer Mineral B Frying Carbon Steel Pan has 99% iron and 1% carbon. It is made with mineral oil, so it is 100% non-toxic and non-stick. The handle of the de Buyer Mineral B Frying Carbon Steel Pan is riveted so you don’t have to worry about it falling off when you are cooking at high heat.

It gets hot quickly and the pan will maintain a consistent temperature. It also retains heat for longer periods of time, which means that the food you cook in this pan will have more flavor than if you used another type of pan on your stovetop or grill.

You can use this pan on any type of cooking surface including induction, gas, electric, ceramic glass top, and an open flame without damaging it as long as you follow the seasoning care instructions that are included with the pan.

What we liked:

  • Made in France by Matfer Bourgeat which is well known for producing high quality kitchen appliances.
  • It is extremely versatile and can be used on all cooking surfaces.
  • It is safe to use because it doesn’t have any chemicals in it.
  • Stays at a consistent heat.
  • The handle is riveted, so you don’t have to worry about it coming off during the cooking process.

#2 Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet Pan

If you are looking for a carbon steel pan that is lightweight and durable, then Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet Pan can be the best solution. It heats quickly, retains heat, and ensures the even cooking of foods. The product allows you to cook various food items including meat, veggies, and even baked goods with ease. It works on all cooking surfaces including campfires, grills, and stovetops with convenience.

The carbon steel pan is made in the US by Lodge Manufacturing Company. It has been pre-seasoned with oil for a naturally nonstick surface for easy release of food items without sticking or burning the dishes. Lodge provides an assurance of quality craftsmanship as well as superior materials so that the pans last long years after years without any issues.

The handle is ergonomic to offer comfort while using it on stoves or grills. The handle remains cool during cooking due to its unique design and allows you to hold it comfortably while cooking different dishes in it easily.

What we liked:

  • It can be the best cooking utensil for your desired purpose
  • Heat retention is a major feature of this pan
  • It is lightweight and can be moved easily.
  • The handle is ergonomic and adds a lot of comforts while using it.
  • It heats quickly.

#3 Matfer Bourgeat Black Carbon Steel Fry Pan

The Matfer Bourgeat Black Carbon Steel Fry Pan has the same material and construction as the first one, but its handles are riveted. The handle is made of cast iron with a black finish. Like the French skillet by De Buyer, its riveted handle is a great feature. You can easily grip it without feeling any heat. The cast-iron handle also adds extra weight to the pan, which makes it perfect for tossing or flipping food around – especially stir-frying and sautéing.

Because of its shape and construction, this pan is excellent for searing meats and browning omelets. It can also be used in grilling fish or cooking a wide range of dishes even desserts! I like how versatile this pan is so I gladly recommend it to anyone who wants an all-around carbon steel pan that’s safe to use not only on high temperatures but on low-temperature settings too (unlike a nonstick frying pan).

The manufacturer claims that this product is PTFE-free and PFOA-free so you won’t have to worry about exposure to harsh chemicals while cooking with these pans! This product can be used on all hob types from gas, electric ceramics, halogen, and induction hob too!

What we liked:

  • It is safe to use on all cooking surfaces.
  • The handle can be held comfortably while using it over a stove.
  • Pre-seasoned with oil.
  • Heavyweight with a cast iron handle.
  • The riveted handle prevents the heat from affecting the hands and fingers by holding it close to the stove.

#4 Uno Casa Carbon Steel Pan

Ranking as the fourth-best carbon steel pan on our list, this 12-inch frying pan by Uno Casa is compatible with any cooktop. It features a non-stick blue carbon steel pan surface to ensure your food will never stick to it (with proper care). The silicone handle protector not only lets you easily maneuver the pan but also protects you from the heat.

In addition, this carbon steel fry pan is heat and scratch-resistant and comes in different sizes and shapes so that you can pick out the one that best fits your needs. Lastly, each Uno Casa carbon steel skillet comes with a lifetime warranty in case of any damage or malfunction.

What we liked:

  • It is an inexpensive option.
  • The silicone handle protector prevents burns by holding on to the handles when cooking.
  • It is lightweight and easy to clean as well as store.
  • A nonstick surface ensures that no food will stick to the pan even with proper care while cooking at high heat settings.

#5 BK Black Steel Seasoned Carbon Steel Pan

The BK Black Steel Seasoned Carbon Steel Pan with Winner of the 2019 Red Dot Award is a pan design that focuses on utility, easy care and cleaning, and usability.

It’s seasoned with flaxseed oil which gives it a patina layer that helps prevent food from sticking to the surface. As such, you won’t need to use oil every time you cook in this pan. The handle has a helper handle to make it easier to move heavy foods around in the pan and lift them out too. It can also be used in ovens up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit as well as on grills or over campfires if you prefer cooking outdoors.

This product is induction safe too which makes it suitable for any type of cooking space or cooking style required by your family! Hand wash only, dry completely before storing

What we liked:

  • It doesn’t have to be seasoned with oil before use.
  • It can be used on all cooking surfaces.
  • It is affordable for anyone shopping for a carbon steel pan.
  • The silicone handle guard allows you to hold it closely without getting burned by the heat from the stove yourself!
  • You can use it safely in an oven or even on a grill or campfire.

#6 Merten & Storck Carbon Steel Pan

If you’re looking for a pan that can be used on all stovetops, including induction, electric, gas, ceramic, and halogen stovetops. Then this is the one to get. It has high heat tolerance with no chemical coatings or harmful substances. The Merten & Storck Carbon Steel Pan is made of Pure carbon steel and it’s naturally nonstick. Also, it’s PTFE and PFOA-free without any coating or added chemicals. It is perfect for a variety of recipes, including searing meat and browning eggs, grilling seafood, and even baking sweets.

One thing to know about this product is that it does require seasoning which is not difficult to do but keep in mind that you need to maintain seasoning by oiling regularly after use. Just make sure you hand wash only and dry completely before storing

What we liked:

  • It can be used on all cooktops.
  • It is affordable for anyone shopping for a carbon steel pan.
  • It is made of pure carbon steel with no chemical coatings or harmful substances added.
  • There is no need to season it before use, which makes it hassle-free!
  • It’s naturally nonstick so there is no need to add fat and oil with each use.

#7 Delihom Carbon Steel Pan

Why Delihom Carbon Steel Pan has brought you their lightweight carbon steel pan with a flawless cooking surface that requires little to no oil or butter during cooking and clean-up is a breeze because of its high-quality non-stick surface. The excellent heat distribution allows your food to cook evenly and quickly, retaining more of its natural flavors and nutrients.

It has an ergonomic handle that provides a sturdy grip. The ceramic coated interior is scratch resistant while providing effortless cleaning after each use; simply clean it with warm water or put it in your dishwasher. This pan heats up quickly so when you want to sear some meat or grill fish this will be perfect for all those tasks! The flat bottom can also be used on electric stoves by removing the induction plate underneath the plate before cooking so there are no worries about where you cook them either, just wipe dry completely after washing by hand (since this is only meant for gas stovetop use).

What we liked:

  • It is perfect for searing meat or grilling fish.
  • Good for all stovetops including induction, electric, and gas stoves.
  • It can be used on a flat bottomed electric stove.
  • It is effortless to clean because of the ceramic coating and easy to wash with warm water after use.
  • The flat bottom can be used for other cooking tasks too.

#8 BALLARINI 75000-891 Carbon Steel Fry Pan

The BALLARINI 75000-891 Carbon Steel Fry Pan is made of carbon steel, which provides even heat distribution and prevents hot spots from forming. The handle is made from cast stainless steel, so it’s comfortable to hold and remains cool during use. Being dishwasher safe makes this a great choice for those who want to keep their cooking utensils clean but don’t want to spend all day doing it! This pan also comes with a limited lifetime warranty that can be used in case anything ever goes wrong with your purchase.

A good carbon steel pan should last you years, so if you’re looking for something durable then the Ballarini 75000-891 Fry Pan might just be what you need! We love that this product has a copper core that ensures even heating while cooking—no more hot spots or burnt food! The handle on this frypan fits comfortably in anyone’s hand, making it easy to maneuver around as needed without worrying about slipping out of control; plus its ergonomic design means there won’t be any unnecessary strain placed on your wrist either

What we liked:

  • It heats up quickly, so food cooks evenly and retains more flavor and nutrients.
  • The handle is made from stainless steel so it stays cool for hours!
  • It has a good weight to it and feels solid in your hand.
  • The copper core ensures even heating.

#9 Yosukata Coating Free Carbon Steel Pan

The YOSUKATA Coating Free Carbon Steel Pan is perfect for anyone looking for a non-stick cooking experience. You can use it on all kinds of cooktops and in the oven as well as on the grill. The YOSUKATA Coating Free Carbon Steel Pan is made from a single piece of steel, ensuring that there are no weak points where cracking or leaking can occur.

The even heat distribution provides you with a reliable cooking process every time. The handle is heat resistant and will not burn your hand when transporting the pan or removing food from it after cooking.

While this product does not require seasoning, some buyers report that if you want to get the full benefits of using this pan you will need to season it before using it for the first time.

What we liked:

  • It is light and easy to lift.
  • The handle is heat resistant and won’t burn your hand.
  • It evenly cooks every time, so you know it’s safe to eat as well!
  • The pan is made from a single piece of steel for strength and longevity.
  • Non-stick surface for effortless cleaning when done with cooking.

#10 Oxo Obsidian Pre-Seasoned Carbon Steel Pan

The OXO Obsidian Pre-Seasoned Carbon Steel Pan is a great product that comes with many benefits. You do not need to season it because the manufacturer pre-seasoned it and you can use it right out of the box with your current stovetop and oven. This carbon steel pan comes with a specially designed ceramic non-stick coating that is oven-, dishwasher- and freezer-safe. It’s made of a single piece of steel, ensuring that there are no weak points where cracking or leaking can occur. Thanks to the nonstick surface, you won’t need to use cooking oil or grease while using this product.

When you buy this product, OXO provides you with a limited lifetime warranty that covers any defects in workmanship or materials. It is made of carbon steel that maintains a standard temperature throughout the whole pan.

What we liked:

  • It’s pre-seasoned, so you can use it right out of the box.
  • It has a specially designed ceramic non-stick coating.
  • It can be used on all kinds of cooktops and in the oven as well as on the grill.
  • The nonstick surface makes cleaning up effortless because there is no need to use oil or grease while cooking!

Features To Keep In Mind When Shopping For A Carbon Steel Pan

If you are looking for a pan that is going to last, look no further than carbon steel. This material is highly durable and conducts heat exceptionally well. There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for carbon steel pans.

1. Material – High-Quality Carbon Steel.

The best carbon steel pans are made of 100% carbon steel — not stainless steel with a nonstick coating.

2. Thickness

The thickness of your carbon steel pan also plays an important role in determining which plan you buy. A thick pan will hold heat better than a thin one and will distribute heat more evenly across its surface, allowing you to get more consistent results when cooking. A thick pan also carries less risk that the bottom will warp over time due to heat damage. The handles on a thick pan are also less likely to bend or break while cooking.

3. Construction

The best carbon steel pans have riveted handles that won’t come loose over time and lids that fit snugly on the pan. They should also be relatively thin — no more than 1/8 of an inch thick — to help them heat quickly and evenly.

4. Heating Capacity

Carbon steel has its limits. It can handle temperatures up to about 600 degrees Fahrenheit, but it’s not ideal for use under the broiler or on an open flame, where the high heat can warp the pan or even cause it to crack. If you want something that can handle these conditions, it’s better to go with cast iron.

5. Versatility

A carbon steel pan can be used on stovetops, grills, campfires, or ovens. It’s thin enough for delicate foods like eggs but can also stand up to high-heat cooking. Carbon steel pans are a good fit for searing meats or making pizzas, stir-fries, and flatbreads.

Carbon steel pans come in different shapes, from small frying pans to large paella pans. However, most models are round and have a long handle on one side with a helper handle on the other side.

6. Brands

Lodge

The lodge is an American manufacturer of cast iron products. They make a line of carbon steel skillets that comes preseasoned and with flaxseed oil, which helps to season it even further.

 De Buyer

De Buyer is a French brand that makes professional-grade carbon steel cookware for home cooks. The company’s Prima Matera line has multiple layers of polymerized oil (a technique that De Buyer patented). This coating makes the pans nonstick right out of the box and results in cookware that’s resistant to corrosion and easy to clean.

Made In

The Made In model is the most affordable of our top three picks. It was the third heaviest pan we tested and the second heaviest we would recommend, but it isn’t so heavy that it’s unwieldy. Its weight provides a good amount of stability when cooking foods on the stovetop and browning foods in the oven.

Mauviel

Mauviel has been producing professional cookware for over 150 years in their factory in Normandy, France. They are one of the most prized cookware manufacturers in France and offer products for both home chefs and professionals alike.

7. Maintenance

In general, carbon steel pans require more maintenance than stainless steel. If the pan is not properly seasoned, food may stick to it. In addition, because these pans have no chemical coating, they should be washed immediately after use (or at least rinsed) and dried completely before storage.

8. Price And Warranty

Carbon steel pans are more expensive than nonstick pans and some stainless steel pans but less expensive than good quality cast iron or copper. A good quality pan should last you a lifetime with proper care, but it’s best practice to check the warranty on any product before buying it. Some manufacturers offer warranties of up to 25 years.

7 Important Things To Care Carbon Steel Pans

Carbon steel pans have excellent heat conduction, which is why they’re so popular. It’s easy to sear meat and veggies in them! However, there are some important things to know about them:

1. Seasoning is important!

Seasoning a carbon steel pan is essential. Carbon steel pans have a naturally nonstick surface, but they need to be seasoned first. To season your pan, heat the oven to 350°F and then rub the pan with vegetable oil, making sure to coat the entire cooking surface, including the bottom and sides. Place it in the oven for one hour, remove it from the oven, let it cool completely and then wipe out any excess oil with a paper towel. You should also dry it with a towel after each use to prevent rusting (more on that below).

2. Need To Be Washed Carefully

Carbon steel pans are wonderful to cook with, but they need to be washed carefully. They’re not meant to be soaked and scrubbed like cast iron. Instead, wash them with a stiff brush and hot water. If you do this after every use, you’ll rarely need soap (soap will wear out the seasoning).

If a food does stick, preheat the pan and add a little oil before trying to dislodge it again. If that doesn’t work, boil some water in the pan for a minute or two until the food loosens on its own. You can also use a combination of baking soda and vinegar to help break up any stuck-on bits of food.

3. Don’T Heat An Empty Pan

Never preheat an empty pan on high heat (or any other high temperature). This will cause the oil to break down at a molecular level and create acrolein, which is toxic. Even if you don’t smell anything burning, that doesn’t mean your pan isn’t experiencing damage. To avoid this problem, preheat on low or medium-low heat until the oil reaches its optimal smoking point (around 350-400 degrees F).

4. They Can Rust If You Don’T Store Them Properly

There are two ways of storing a carbon steel pan:

One is to hang it, which allows it to dry after use;

The other is to keep it on the stovetop while still wet, which forms a protective patina of rust that keeps it dry.

If you’re going to hang your pan, remember that metal hooks can scratch the surface where they contact the pan, so I recommend using soft loops of cotton twine instead.

5. It Can React With Acidic Foods.

They can react with acidic foods, so don’t use them to cook tomatoes or other acidic ingredients. You should never leave acidic foods in carbon steel pans for very long because they can cause the pan to rust. (This is a non-issue for cast iron.)

6. They Don’T Work Well With Induction Cooktops

If you have one of these, stick with an aluminum pan or stainless steel pan that has a thick bottom.

7. Need To Be Washed By Hand And Dried Immediately After Use.

Wash by hand with warm water and a sponge. If your pan has developed a patina, you don’t want to wash it away. In fact, steel wool or other harsh scrubbers can remove more than just the gunk. When washing your pan, simply use warm water to rinse out any stuck-on food particles and wipe down the surface with a sponge or soft cloth. If you insist on using soap, use as little as possible and make sure to rinse it off thoroughly.

Things To Avoid When Using Carbon Steel Pans

There are a few things you shouldn’t do when using carbon steel pans. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Don’T Overheat The Pan Or Use It For Dry-Frying Or Deep-Frying.

The surface may become discolored and is likely to warp if heated beyond 450°F.

2. Don’T Store Food In The Pan For Long Periods Of Time

There’s no need to wash your pan immediately after every use; just let it cool down and then wipe out any excess oil or food residue that may have accumulated. However, if you’re going to store food in the pan overnight (or longer), wash it out first to prevent any potential foodborne illnesses from occurring.

3. Don’T Soak Your Carbon Steel Pan For Long Periods Of Time.

Cast iron skillets shouldn’t be soaked in water for more than a few hours (ideally overnight), as it can cause rusting, so the same goes for carbon steel pans. If you’ve been soaking your pan overnight or longer, go ahead and dry it out.

4. Don’t Put Cold Foods Directly Into A Hot Pan.

This is the mistake I see most often: someone heats up their pan and then puts the food into the hot pan. This causes the food to stick, which will ruin your seasoning and cause the food to burn.

Instead, start by heating up an empty pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add oil or butter and allow it to heat up before adding your food to cook (this usually takes about 30 seconds).

5. Do Not Put Carbon Steel Pans In The Dishwasher.

The dishwasher will damage the patina that protects carbon steel pans from rusting, so always wash them by hand. You should also avoid treating the surface of carbon steel pans with cooking spray, as this can also damage the protective layer.

FAQs

1. What Is Seasoning?

Seasoning is a build-up of oil on the surface of the pan that creates a dark patina. It’s this patina that gives the pan its nonstick qualities. But before you can season your pan, you have to cure it first by coating the surface of your new pan with oil and baking it in an oven at 400°F for one hour. This seals any pores in the metal and prevents rust from forming when you wash or use the pan.

2. Is Carbon Steel Good For Cooking?

High-quality carbon steel pans are great for cooking as they heat up quickly, and evenly, and retain heat well. Carbon steel is also less reactive than other types of metal so it’s less likely to leach metal ions into your food (though this doesn’t mean you should use metal utensils in your pans).

3. How Do I Cook With A Carbon Steel Pan?

Cooking with carbon steel is very similar to cooking with cast iron – but better! A carbon steel pan has the heat retention and nonstick properties of cast iron without the weight. Carbon steel heats up faster than cast iron and requires less maintenance, resulting in less effort to create your favorite dishes. A quick wipe after washing is all you need to keep your pan in tip-top shape.

4. Can I Cook With Oil?

Yes. Seasoning your pan with oil is an important step in the care of your carbon steel pan. Please see the section below for specific instructions.

5. Can I Use Metal Utensils In My Pan?

Yes. Metal utensils will not harm your pan and are the best choice for cooking in any pan, as silicone and wooden utensils may cause damage to nonstick finishes. We recommend using wooden or bamboo utensils when possible, as they are gentler on the seasoning of cast iron pans.

6. What Is The Difference Between Carbon Steel And Cast Iron?

Simply put, the difference between these two metals lies in their durability. Cast iron skillets are usually thicker, heavier, and stronger than carbon steel frying pans. This makes them more difficult to work with but also makes them last longer. Carbon steel skillets are usually lighter and easier to handle than cast iron skillets, but they will need some extra care to keep from rusting or getting damaged.

In Summary

Carbon Steel Pans are an excellent set of cookware that’s been around for over a century. They have consistently been part of the professional chef’s arsenal and will likely remain there for as long as there are kitchens in need of great cooking pans. Chefs everywhere should take a moment to acknowledge what their predecessors have done to bring us the Carbon Steel Pan, and if you’re looking for a great addition to your own kitchen, look into getting yourself some of these great cooking pans!

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