Top 5 Best Carbon Steel Pans 2020:
- Mauviel M’Steel Carbon Steel Non-Stick Frying Pan 11 Inch
- De Buyer MINEDRAL B Round Carbon Steel Frying Pan 12.5 Inch
- Matfer Bourgeat Black Steel Round Frying Pan 11 Inch
- Lodge CRS10 Carbon Steel Pre-Seasoned Skillet 10 Inch
- Paderno Heavy Duty Carbon Steel Frying Pan 9.5 Inch
If you are smitten with cooking like I am, I’m sure your kitchen is full of different kinds of utensils and cookware. Some you use often, some frequently, and some you bought by accident just because you couldn’t resist it and now you don’t know how to put it to good use.
However, on today’s agenda is something that every kitchen needs to have.
It is not rare to hear from the meat enthusiast that non-stick pan is a must-have, and a worthy investment if you are a passionate cook.
So I decided to listen to this advice and write a little guideline to help my fellow recreational chefs. Today I’m going to talk about the best carbon steel pan you can purchase for your home.
What Is (And How To Use) A Carbon Steel Pan?
The carbon steel pan is a multipurpose cookware that you can use for all kinds of cooking methods, but usually, they are used for searing and browning meats and veggies. They have a smooth cooking surface, and you can’t use any kind of metal utensils in them because they are prone to scratchings. Also, they don’t preserve odors.
Depending on their construction and how well they can handle extremely high temperatures (some models have handles that can’t handle high heat), you can use them on your stove, oven, grill, and even open fire. They heat up very quickly and retain heat for long periods of time.
There are a few important rules you need to follow when using carbon steel pan:
- Before you use it for the first time, remove the protective layer that manufacturers put it on the pan to keep it rust-free in storage and transportation
- If you didn’t buy a pre-seasoned pan make sure to properly season it (below I will explain to you how to do it) before putting it in use
- Never cook acidic food in them
- It should be used only for dry cooking methods
- Maintain it well to keep it away from rust and store it in a dry place
How To Properly Season Your Carbon Steel Pan
Seasoning your new pan is the most crucial step you need to take. This way, you will create a non-stick layer on your pan that will keep your food from burning, and at the same time, you will enhance the long lastingness to your pan.
There are two ways to season the pan; on the stovetop or in the oven. No matter which way you choose, please follow these steps each time:
- Preheat your pan to 400 °F (204 °C) for about 10 to 15 minutes
- Remove it from the source of the heat to cool off a bit
- Use a paper towel to oil up the pan inside and out with some vegetable oil (coconut or olive oil) or lard
- Place the pan back on the heat source for at least an hour; the temperature should be the same as it was at the beginning and wait until you see fat turning black
- After this turn down the heat and let the pan cool off entirely for a few hours
If you are not sure that your pan is seasoned enough, you can repeat the procedure as many times as you want. I will recommend you to repeat the process a few times so you can be sure that your pan is 100% rust-free.
Things To Consider When Buying A Carbon Steel Pan
There are a few features you must consider before you make the right call. So let’s start:
- First and most important is durability; some models are more durable than others
- Does it come pre-seasoned or not. This is an essential feature especially if this will be your first carbon steel pan
- Size is crucial; some models come in different sizes so you can easily pick the right pan that will fit your needs
- Weight is significant too. The lighter the pan is the maneuvering is easier
- You must know what heat source is safe to use with your model and which one is not
- The ergonomic handle is something you should always look for
- Price plays a prominent role too
5 Best Carbon Steel Pans In 2020: Detailed Reviews
Mauviel is a very popular French brand that will guarantee you long-lasting cookware. This particular product is made from extra-thick black carbon steel. This pan is very comfortable for handling; it only weighs 4 lbs (1.8 kg). Dimensions are 20.5 x 11 x 2 inches (52.7 x 27.94 x 5.08), which makes this pan very versatile for use.
Unfortunately, this pan is not pre-seasoned, which is a bummer, to be honest. But don’t worry; just follow the instructions that come within, and you will season your pan in a flash. With time the pan will create a natural non-stick layer that will go darker and darker with every use. You can even season this pan in the oven.
Before seasoning, the essential thing is to remove the protective beeswax layer with hot water and paper towels, which will not be easy. If you do not do this properly, you will not be able to season your pan effectively so your pan will be prone to rust.
Because it is made from carbon steel and has an iron handle, it is very durable and a great heat conductor. But the thing I like the most is that it can withstand extremely high temperatures. The pan is suitable for use on the grill, oven, induction, gas, or electric stove. You can cook and sear almost everything in it; just remember to not use anything acidic in it because it can harm the seasoning coat.
- Very durable and lightweight
- Great heat conductor
- Versatile use
- Can be seasoned in the oven
- The pan can handle high temperatures
- Suitable for all cooking appliances
- Not pre-seasoned
- The beeswax protective layer is hard to remove
- The pan is prone to rusting if it is not seasoned properly
This pan is also French-made, and it is an excellent choice for both professional and home use. If you are passionate about cooking and you need a pan for more frequent use, purchase this one, and I guarantee you that will be a lifetime investment.
It is a bit heavier; it weighs 6.35 lbs (2.88 kg), but it is still quite easy to maneuver. Dimensions are modest 4.2 x 12.5 x 1.7 inches (10.6 x 31.75 x 4.3 cm), this will not affect the convenience of use.
The pan is built from 99% pure iron; this contributes to durability as well as good heat conduction. You will be able to manage with ease the weight of this pan because it comes with two handles. Both are epoxy-coated. That means it can only withstand 10 minutes in the oven on a temperature no more than 200 °C, so they can’t be seasoned in the oven.
This pan will work its magic on low and high heat. Use it without risk on all kinds of stovetops, as well in ovens and open flame for no more than 10 minutes.
This product is protected from rust with a layer of beeswax that needs to be removed before you use this pan for the first time. You will need to season it on your own because the De Buyer company does not practice to pre-season their products. After you season your pan properly, it will develop the non-stick layer that will go darker with time and will prevent your food from sticking on the bottom.
- Built from pure 99% iron
- Comes with two handles
- Protected from rust with beeswax
- Good heat conductor
- Very durable
- Do not come pre-seasoned
- Handles are epoxy-coated
- Can’t be seasoned in the oven
This model comes in various sizes, but the 11 inch one is the most functional, in my opinion. It weighs 4.2 lbs (1.9 kg), so it is very handy and lightweight.
The pan is heavy-duty, and it is built from durable black carbon steel, which provides great heat conduction. This will make your cooking faster and easier. The handle is robust and made from high-quality steel strip. It is ergonomic and conveniently positioned, so the pan will fit in your hand well.
This model is not pre-seasoned, so you will need to do it to create a non-stick layer and prolong the life span. This pan is the only one on this list that do not use natural beeswax; instead, it comes with an artificial substance coating for post-manufacturing rust protection. This coating is very hard to remove, and it will require hot water and a lot of patience.
This pan can withstand high temperatures so you can use it on most types of stovetops. Because both pan and handle are built from steel, you can use it and season it in the oven. But make sure you always first heat the pan gradually before exposing it to extremely high temperatures.
- Very durable and lightweight
- Built from black carbon steel
- Great heat conduction
- The handle is ergonomic and robust
- Suitable for all types of stovetops
- Can be seasoned in the oven
- The pan comes with an artificial coating
- The coating is very hard to remove
- Can’t be exposed to extremely high temperatures before the previous warm-up
- Not pre-seasoned
This pan comes for an exceptional price, and it is a great option for professional and home use. It is made from high-quality 12 gauge carbon steel so you can be sure it will withstand years and years of use. It is surprisingly light for a carbon steel pan, which is a big plus. This pan weighs no more than 3 lbs (1.4 kg) and the dimensions are 18.9 x 10 x 1.4 inches (48 x 25.4 x 3.5 cm).
Because it is made from 12 gauge steel, the cooking surface is resistant to scratches that can result due to using metal spatulas, knives, and forks. Alas, the cooking surface is not as smooth as on the other models on this list. Also, the pan can withstand high temperatures and will heat up quickly.
You can use this pan for searing, simmering, frying, and roasting. It is suitable for all cooking appliances (except microwave) and for open fire too. The pan is equipped with a high positioned extra-long handle made from iron. If you use this pan in the oven, make sure you use a silicone handle holder or an oven mitt to avoid burns.
This is the only pan that comes pre-seasoned. It is seasoned with natural soy-bean oil, so you can immediately start using it. Naturally, after some time of using the pan, the pre-seasoning will wear-off, so you will need to season it again. You can wash it in the dishwasher, too, but it is highly recommended to wash it by hand.
- Great price
- Made from high-quality 12 gauge carbon steel
- Suitable for almost all cooking appliances
- Equipped with a long handle
- Good heat conduction
- Suitable to use with metal objects like forks and spatulas
- The cooking surface is not smooth
- The handle gets extremely hot when using min oven
- Pre-seasoning will wear off with time
- Not suitable for dishwasher
This one is the smallest pan on this list, but don’t be fooled; it is solid and durable and will get the job done. This pan is made from 3 mm thick carbon steel, so this might make you think it is heavy, but it weighs only 2.65 lbs (1.2 kg), this is more than lightweight. The dimensions of this pan are 19 x 9.5 x 1.5 inches (48.2 x 24.1 x 3.8 cm).
The great thing is that the walls are made from thicker steel; this pan can withstand high temperatures and will retain the heat for more extended periods of time. The heat is evenly distributed. The walls are unfortunately too shallow, so this pan is best to be used for browning and searing meats. You can use it in the oven, gas, and induction stovetops.
The handle is flat and secured with three rivets, so you can be sure that pan will not start wobbling or spinning any time soon. Also, the handle is made from carbon steel, so it will allow you to season your pan in the oven. But be sure you purchase the silicon handle cover, or you will have a hard time using your pan.
This pan does not come pre-seasoned. If you don’t season it properly, it will start to rust before you have time to notice it. This pan is not suitable for the dishwasher.
If you decided to purchase this pan, now is the time to tell you the bad news; this pan can’t be shipped internationally.
- Extremely lightweight
- Solid and durable
- The pan can withstand high temperatures
- Pan can be seasoned in the oven
- Not pre-seasoned
- If not appropriately seasoned will start to rust very soon
- The handle needs silicon handle cover for safe use
- Not suitable for dishwasher
- Walls are too shallow
- Can’t be shipped internationally
Conclusion & Final Choice
There are so many different brands and sizes on the market today; therefore, I can understand how hard it is for you to choose the right pan for your kitchen collection.
The most important thing is to remember that carbon steel pans are very durable, and they will serve you for years to come, so whatever model you choose, you won’t regret it. After all, no one can stop you from buying this amazing pan in several different sizes.
Best Overall Value: De Buyer MINEDRAL B Round Carbon Steel Frying Pan 12.5 Inch
- If you need a professional pan for your kitchen, you found what you were looking for. The pan is heavy-duty, with a large cooking surface, and it has a versatile purpose. It offers you great value for the price you will pay.
Best Budget Option: Lodge CRS10 Carbon Steel Pre-Seasoned Skillet 10 Inch
- If you doubt your abilities and you don’t want to make an effort and season your pan on your own for the first time, this product is great for you. It is already pre-seasoned, and all you need to do is maintain it properly and keep it in a dry place.
- If you have decided to start investing some money in your cookware, this pan should be among the first purchases on your list. It is made from high-quality black steel that will not only provide you durability; it will also guarantee you high performance.