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Reviews of the Best Carbon Steel Pan of 2019

Best Carbon Steel Pan
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We selected the De Buyer Mineral B as the best carbon steel pan due to it’s simple and durable design, versatility and high ratings by customers.

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Cooking should be fun and enjoyable, so having the right tools for the job when cooking is very important. Carbon steel pans can provide you with the ease and convenience to cook food just right, and they are right around your budget as well as they are one of the cheapest types of pans that you can find.
Getting the best carbon steel pan is the greatest thing that you can do if you are building up your array of cookware whether it be for business or for home cooking. With what, we would like to present to you our list of the best carbon steel pans in the market today.

Carbon Steel Pan: Our Top Picks

Best of the Best
De Buyer Mineral B Round Carbon Steel Fry Pan
Our Rating:
4 Star Rating
Size (diameter x depth):
11 7/8 x 2 1/8
Weight:
4.11
Handle:
Steel
Pricing ($):
$$$$$
Best Value
Mauviel Made In France M'steel Black Steel Frying Pan, 8-Inch
Our Rating:
4.2 Star Rating
Size (diameter x depth):
8 x 2
Weight:
2
Handle:
Iron
Pricing ($):
$$$$
Best Budget
Paderno Heavy Duty Carbon Steel 9.5 Inch Frying Pan
Our Rating:
4 Star Rating
Size (diameter x depth):
11 x 2
Weight:
2.65
Handle:
Steel
Pricing ($):
$
Best in Versatility
MatferBourgeat Frying Pan
Our Rating:
4.3 Star Rating
Size (diameter x depth):
12.6 x 1.7
Weight:
5.8
Handle:
Iron
Pricing ($):
$$$$$$
Best for Asian Cooking
Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok with Wooden and Steel Helper Handle (14 Inch, Round Bottom) / 731W88
Our Rating:
4.3 Star Rating
Size (diameter x depth):
14 x 5
Weight:
4.39
Handle:
Wood/Steel
Pricing ($):
$$$$

Expert Reviews of the Best Carbon Steel Pan

Here’s our candid review of the selected Carbon Steel Pan.

Best of the Best– De Buyer Mineral B Round Carbon Steel Fry Pan

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This is our selection for the best carbon steel pan when it comes to design and versatility. Ranging from 7.9 inches to 12.5 inches in diameter, the De Buyer Mineral B can be used for a variety of cooking methods and can be used for all stovetops.
The De Buyer Mineral B is designed in a unique French style and shape from the pan itself to the handles. This gives this carbon steel pan its very traditional look.

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Pros:

  • 100% natural products
  • Has anti-oxidative properties
  • Comes with two handles
  • Dishes slide easily in the pan
  • Requires little seasoning
  • Has a sturdy riveted handle
  • Has a traditional yet ergonomic design
  • No harmful chemicals added

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Is not dishwasher safe

Key Stats:

  • 7.9 inches to 14.2 inches
  • Iron Handle
  • Made in France
  • Increased protection against oxidation

The De Buyer Mineral B is an eco-friendly carbon steel pan that does what it promises and more. It is an all-around pan that can really help you cook your favorite dishes with ease. Excellent design and quality will surely make this pan a staple in your kitchen.


Best Value MauvielM’steel Black Steel Frying Pan

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The MauvielM’steel Black Steel Frying Pan is an amazing piece of cooking equipment as it actually gets better over time. Extremely durable and with a naturally developing non-stick property, this makes our list at it is really built to last.
The MauvielM’steel provides good heat conduction which makes it great for searing and any high heat applications.

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Pros:

  • Extra Thick
  • Good heat conduction
  • Builds up non-stick property over time
  • Can be used on all types of stovetops
  • Comes with a lifetime guarantee for home use
  • Riveted steel handles for stability and durability
  • Easy to clean
  • Very easy to season

Cons:

  • Seasoning can be tricky
  • One handle only

Key Stats:

  • 8 inches to 14 inches
  • Iron handle
  • Made in France
  • Gradually darkens over time

The MauvielM’Steel Black Steel Frying Pan is an amazing carbon steel pan that can do amazing things in the kitchen. It is the best carbon steel pan when it comes to withstanding high heat, and its nonstick qualities really build up over time. These attributes make the MauvielM’steelour favorites among the items in this list.

Best Budget – Paderno Heavy Duty Carbon Steel Frying Pan

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Available in a wide range of sizes as well as extremely cheap, getting the Paderno Heavy Duty Carbon Steel Pan is the more affordable way to complete your cooking set. Despite its affordable price, you can expect some great performance from this pan as well as it is great for searing as well as other types of cooking that require high heat for longer periods.
This is due to the Paderno Heavy Duty Pan’s extra thick bottom, which conducts hear beautifully. It is also one of the lightest carbon steep pans around, making cooking with this pan a very easy going experience.

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Pros:
• Can withstand high heat
• Conducts heat well
• Available in multiple sizes
• Very lightweight
• Extremely affordable
• Riveted steel handles for stability and durability
• Great for searing and flipping
• Can be used anywhere
Cons:
• Not dishwasher safe
• The handle is a bit uncomfortable to hold
Key Stats:
• 7 7/8 inches to 19 5/8 inches
• Steel handle
• Made in Canada
• Best for high heat searing

If you want a cheap carbon steel pan that performs well in the kitchen despite the lower price tag, then the Paderno Heavy Duty Carbon Steel Pan is the best carbon steel pan that you can buy. It can be bought at a great price, and you will have the perfect piece of cookware that can be compared to others that are almost twice the cost.

Best in Versatility – MatferBourgeat Frying Pan

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With a wide range of sizes as well as the capability to be used in all kinds of stovetops, the MatferBourgeat Carbon Steel Pan is one of the best buys that you can make as you can use it in virtually any type of situation.
The MatferBourgeat Frying Pan is a great addition to any kitchen, and it is designed for any type of cooking whether it be frying or searing. It also builds up non-stick qualities over time, making this pan better with age.

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Pros:
• Comes in a variety of sizes
• The handle is very durable
• The shape is great for flipping and stir-frying
• Seasoning is very easy for the first time
• Non-stick qualities get better over time
• Interior of the pan is smooth with no rivets
• Can withstand high heat without wobbling
• Can be used for any type of stove top
Cons:
• Pricey
• A bit on the heavier side
Key Stats:
• 8 5/8 inches to 17 3/4 inches
• Iron handle
• Made in France
• Deep cooking area

If you want a non-stick carbon steel pan that can be used in any type of situation, then the MatferBourgeat Frying Pan is the way to go. This will save you a lot of money in the process as you would only need one pan for all of your cooking needs.

Best for Asian Cooking – Craft Wok Carbon Steel Pow Wok

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What better item to use for Asian cooking such as stir-fries than the best carbon steel pan from China? The Craft Wok Carbon Steel Pow Wok provides the size, shape, and performance that will allow you to cook Chinese and other Asian dishes like a professional chef.
With commercial grade carbon steel used in the construction of this product, the Craft Wok Carbon Steel Pow Wok is best for commercial cooking or when preparing food for a large number of people.

View Features and Pros/Cons

Pros:
• The wooden handle is not slippery
• Great for stir fry
• Price is just right for its size
• Large cooking area
• Can be used for steaming as well as for soups
• Can be used in an open fire
• Traditionally Asian design
• Very solid construction
Cons:
• Cannot be used for flat stove tops
• Better used for large volume cooking
Key Stats:
• 14 inches
• Wooden handle
• Made in China
• Traditionally designed and hand hammered

For large scale cooking, the Craft Wok Carbon Steep Pow Wok is the best that you can get. You will certainly enjoy cooking traditional Asian dishes with this pan, and it will also look great in your kitchen as well.

Carbon Steel PanRatingSize (diameter x depth)Weight
Handle
Price
Matfer Bourgeat Frying Pan411 7/8 x 2 1/84.11Steel$$$$$
Mauviel M'steel Black Steel Frying Pan4.28 x 22Iron$$$$
Paderno Heavy Duty Carbon Steel Frying Pan411 x 22.65Steel$
De Buyer MINERAL B Round Carbon Steel Fry Pan4.312.6 x 1.75.8Iron$$$$$$
Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok4.314 x 54.39Wood/Steel$$$$

Buying Guide for Selecting the Best Carbon Steel Pan

There are a lot of carbon steel pans in the market, and finding the right one can be a very tedious task. Knowing what to look for in the best carbon steel pan can be really difficult, especially if you do not know the factors that you would need to consider. Here are just some of the things that you should look for when deciding to purchase a carbon steel pan of your own.

Ease of Seasoning

A well-seasoned pan will have non-stick qualities which will make cooking a lot more convenient. This is actually the main selling point of most carbon steel pans. As such, the best carbon steel pan must not only be actually non-stick when seasoned, but it should be easy to season as well.

How well you season your pan for the first time as well as for the succeeding ones will determine the difference between an enjoyable cooking experience or the culinary equivalent of hell. Find a carbon steel pan that has clear seasoning instructions, and you can also look into expert advice and reviews to see how well these pans actually season before you make a purchase.

Size

The size of the carbon steel pan that you would like to purchase will depend entirely on where you would use it. Would you be usually serving one to two people, or will you be using it to cook for your entire family? Of course, the larger the size, the heavier its weight would be as well. Take these into consideration when choosing the right pan that will fit your specific needs.

Handles

Handles from carbon steel pans will range from iron, steel, to wood. Sometimes, they will also have two handles, especially for bigger and heavier ones. While you can buy silicon sleeves for most iron handles, some people prefer to use them bare.

Iron handles typically do not conduct heat, but you should still be careful, especially when working under very hot cooking conditions. Handles of good carbon steel pans should also carry weight well, and you should tighten screws if they are feeling loose.

Usability

Some carbon steel pans can be used for all stovetops, while others cannot be used for others due to their shape. As such, you should always check if the pan that you intend to buy can be used for the type of stove that you have. Typically, gas, electric, and induction stoves are the options for cooking available, while others will also need that their pans can also be used for open fires and ovens.

Price

Of course, the price will always be a factor when choosing a carbon steel pan. As these types of pans are less expensive than those made out of cast iron, you can definitely find the best pan that will be able to fit your budget. A versatile pan can also be chosen as it can be used for different methods of cooking, so you will get the most value out of your money.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Best Known Brands for Carbon Steel Pans?

Answer: Some of the most well-known brands when it comes to quality carbon steel pans are De Buyer, MatferBourgeat, and Mauviel. Paderno and Lodge are also known for making good carbon steel pans. These are the brands that are usually seen being used in restaurants as well as desired by those that like quality cookware for home cooking.

What is Seasoning?

Answer: Seasoning is a process by which oil is bonded to the pan so that it will have non-stick qualities. Initial seasoning upon acquisition of the pan should be done unless it comes pre-seasoned, and it should also be seasoned prior to every use. Typically, oil is the main ingredient, when seasoning, usually in the form of flaxseed or sunflower oil.

Should Carbon Steel Pans be Cleaned with Soap and Water

Answer: It is not recommended that carbon steel pans be cleaned with soap and water. Typically, you should only wipe away any residue using a paper cloth. Scrubbing may also be done using just a little water. Using soap will cause this to seep into the coating which would, in turn, get into your food, while water may cause your pan to rust. Most carbon steel pans include instructions on how to properly clean them after use.

Are Carbon Steel Pans Great for All Types of Cooking?

Answer: While carbon steel pans can typically be used for all types of cooking, it is generally designed for stir fries, searing, and general frying. Carbon steel pans are great for the aforementioned cooking styles due to their sloping sides as well. Some can also be used for steaming foods. However, water, as well as acidic foods such as tomatoes and vinegar, can strip the pan of its non-stick coating, which means that you will need to heavily season it again for optimum performance.

Why are New Carbon Steel Pans Covered in Beeswax?

Answer: Unfortunately, carbon steel rusts very easily. Without a covering, it can rust pretty much even during transport, especially when exposed to moisture and air. As such, the beeswax or another similar type of coating is present to ensure that you are getting the product in as pristine a condition as possible. As a consequence, though, you will need to remove the protective coating before first, which can be a bit of a chore.

What is the Difference Between Carbon Steel and Cast Iron?

Answer: Carbon steel and cast iron are almost similar in composition. However, carbon steel is a bit lighter and less expensive to make. However, both types of pans do not conduct heat evenly, although carbon steel does perform slightly better when it comes to heating and cooling at a faster rate. Both are also extremely durable and can last for a very long time.

What is Blue Steel?

Answer: Blue steel has nothing to do with the composition of your pan. Rather, blue steel is a special type of treatment done to metal in order to help reduce oxidation. This means that a blue steel pan will not rust easily. Blue steel is named as so as pans composed of blued steel will have a bluish tinge once it has been heated.

Maintenance Guide for Carbon Steel Pans:

Carbon steel pans require a lot of care and maintenance in order for them to work at peak performance. Care and maintenance fall into two main categories, namely seasoning, and cleaning. This section discusses each category in detail so that they can serve you well for the longest possible time.

Initial Seasoning

A brand new carbon steel pan will usually have some form of cover, usually in the form of beeswax. This can be removed using hot water and soap. Along with this, you will need to scrub the covering with a steel brush. Do not worry about any remnants as the second step will remove the remaining particles still clinging to the pan.

Different carbon steel pans will have different instructions for initial seasoning. However, the typical method is to heat the pan after scrubbing in order for it to dry. Once that has been done, you can then add salt, oil, and potato peels and cook the mixture over medium heat, allowing the mixture to touch all surfaces of the pan. You will then see changes in the color of the pan.

Once this has been completed, remove the contents of the pan and let it dry. After that, wipe the surface dry with paper towels and you are now ready to use your pan for the first time.

Regular Seasoning

The seasoning should be done before you start to cook in order for it to become non-stick. This can be accomplished by applying just enough oil to cover the surface of the pan and heating it until the oil starts to bead up. Wipe away beaded up oil and heat again. Repeat the process until the pan starts to emit smoke.

If the coating does not seem to be to your liking, you are free scrub it away just like you would in the above section. This will give you a clean surface that you can season again.

As mentioned, different carbon steel pans may have different instructions on how to properly season. Check out their instructions first and try with your own method should you feel that the results are not acceptable.

Cleaning

Cleaning can be done with water, but avoid using soap due to the reason stated above. Soak the pan in warm water to loosen any residues. You can then scrub the surface with a mildly abrasive sponge. After this, dry the surface with a clean cloth or with paper towels.

Once this has been done, you should lightly cover the surface of the pan with oil. Wipe excess oil with paper towels and store the pan in an area with little moisture in order to avoid rust.

Verdict

A carbon steel pan will greatly enhance your cooking experience, and it is a great alternative to other cookware options as it is a healthy and natural choice if you want a non-stick surface in your pans. Carbon steel pans also have a classic look and design, so traditionalists would love to have one or more of these in the kitchen.

Our choice for the best carbon steel pan is the De Buyer Mineral B Carbon Steel Pan because of its appeal and usability. It can be used in a variety of ways and is pretty versatile as well. For the price, it is very much worth it as there are also other carbon steel pans that are more expensive but provide similar or even inferior qualities.

Look into a carbon steel pan that will be able to serve your needs. Your options may not necessarily be the most expensive or the cheapest. By finding the right combination of usability and size, you will greatly enjoy cooking every day with your carbon steel pan, whether it be for commercial or personal use. Happy cooking!

Colin Matthews

Colin Matthews

Colin is an aspiring chef having completing his degree in culinary arts in California. His guilty pleasure is buying the latest & greatest (and sometimes, useless) in kitchen cookware and gadgets.

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