Best Carbon Steel Pans of 2021

By Heloise Blause Updated July 15, 2021

Cook like a pro with carbon steel pans.

Best Carbon Steel Pans of 2021

Imagine you could cook like a chef? Well, not exactly like a chef but with the same tools? Yes, you can. Carbon steel pans are the right cookware for you!

These pans are sturdy and durable. Best of all, they don’t have high-maintenance or non-stick coatings.

We’ll share the best carbon steel pans on the market so you can find the right one for you.

Our Top Picks

Best Carbon Steel Pans of 2021 
De Buyer - Frypan - Mineral B Element 9½''Best Overall

De Buyer Mineral B

De Buyer - Frypan - Mineral B Element 9½''

  • Easy to clean and reseason.

  • Doesn’t warp.

  • Build to last.

IMUSA USA Inch, Red PAN-10046 12' Nonstick Carbon Steel Wok, HandleBest Budget-Friendly

IMUSA Red Non-Stick

IMUSA USA Inch, Red PAN-10046 12' Nonstick Carbon Steel Wok, Handle

  • Easy to clean

  • No seasoning needed.

  • Lightweight.

SKY LIGHT Wok Pan with Lid, No Chemical Stir Fry Pan 12.5-inch, 100% Carbon Steel Chinese Iron Pot with Detachable Wooden Handle, Scratch Resistant Flat Bottom for Electric, Induction & Gas StovesBest Wok Pan

Sky Light Wok Pan

SKY LIGHT Wok Pan with Lid, No Chemical Stir Fry Pan 12.5-inch, 100% Carbon Steel Chinese Iron Pot with Detachable Wooden Handle, Scratch Resistant Flat Bottom for Electric, Induction & Gas Stoves

  • Excellent quality

  • Handles fit securely.

  • perfect for small kitchens.

Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet, Pre-Seasoned, 15-inch,BlackBest Paella Pan

Lodge Carbon

Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet, Pre-Seasoned, 15-inch,Black

  • Perfect for dinner parties

  • Perfect for outdoor cooking.

  • Cooks uniformly and evenly.

Matfer Bourgeat Black Carbon Steel Fry Pan, 11 7/8'Best Frying Pan

Matfer Bourgeat

Matfer Bourgeat Black Carbon Steel Fry Pan, 11 7/8'

  • Wide range of sizes

  • Easy to season.

  • Handle stays cool while cooking.

Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet, Pre-Seasoned, 8-inchBest Pre-Seasoned Pan

Lodge Carbon (Pre-Seasoned)

Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet, Pre-Seasoned, 8-inch

  • Only needs a little oil while cooking

  • Easy to clean.

De Buyer - Round Grill Pan - Mineral B Element 10¼''Best Grill Pan

De Buyer Grill pan

De Buyer - Round Grill Pan - Mineral B Element 10¼''

  • Sturdy

  • Comfortable handle.

  • Uniform heat distribution.

Lodge Manufacturing Company carbon steel skillet, 10-Inch, Black/OrangeBest Egg Pan

Lodge carbon steel skillet

Lodge Manufacturing Company carbon steel skillet, 10-Inch, Black/Orange

  • Great for large meals

  • Removable handle cover.

  • Easy maintenance.

De Buyer - Round Pancake Pan - Mineral B Element 12''Best Crepe Pan

De Buyer Pancake Pan

De Buyer - Round Pancake Pan - Mineral B Element 12''

  • Easy seasoning process.

  • Makes incredible crepes.

What Is a Carbon Steel Pan?

A carbon steel pan is a pan that’s made out of a specific alloy of 99% iron and 1% carbon (1).

The result is a cookware that performs well, is durable and therefore not easy to damage. That’s why professional chefs love it.

And chefs also love them because they can use them with high temperatures for long periods of time.

Types of Carbon Steel Pans

There are two different types of carbon steel pan: pure and enameled. Let’s take a look at them.

Pure Carbon Steel Pan

De Buyer - Round Grill Pan - Mineral B Element 12½''


Pure carbon steel pans for stovetop use do exist: they’re mainly woks and small frying pans.

We say “pure carbon steel” because these pans don’t have a coating on them. So you have to season them with oil.(2)

But, most carbon steel pans do go through an annealing process. This process leaves behind a layer of carbonized vegetable oil and gives the cookware its rich black or blue oxide finish. This is what we call a “blue carbon steel pan”.

Warning


We don’t recommend you cook acidic foods like tomatoes, vinegar or red wine in carbon steel pans. That’s because the seasoning may strip away.

Do not worry though! Nothing serious will happen: you’ll just have to re-season your pan.


Pros


  • Safe

  • Inexpensive


Cons


  • Reactive to acidic foods

  • Seasoning needs to be maintained



Show More

Enameled Carbon Steel Pan

Garcima 13-Inch Enameled Steel Paella Pan, 32cm


Carbon Steel Cookware is prone to corrosion, so some are coated with enamel. This way, the pan resists corrosion and doesn’t need seasoning (3).

We find these carbon steel pans attractive. But they’re not common. Still, you can find them in specialty cookware, like paella pans. On the other hand, you can find many enameled dutch ovens on the market.

For a sampling of enameled Carbon Steel Cookware, see the following.


Pros


Cons


  • Enamel coating will peel and chip



Show More

Why Invest in a Carbon Steel Pan?

If you’re on the fence about buying a carbon steel pan, here are the reasons that might convince you.

versatile icon

It’s Versatile


Carbon steel pan is one of the most versatile cookware. You can use it to cook a variety of foods, like pizza and pasta. You can also bake dishes like apple pie and cornbread.

Not only can a carbon steel pan make different types of food, but it’s also used for different types of cooking. Carbon Steel Cookware is safe to use to brown, cook, fry, and sear food. It’s also used to braise, boil and bake with.

frying pan icon

It Gets More Non-stick With Time


By simply using oil and cooking with a carbon steel pan, you’ll season it. This is because the oils you use while cooking will build up in the pan.

So, the more you use your carbon steel pan the better it will become non-stick.

lightweight icon

It’s Lighter Than Cast Iron


People often say that carbon steel is lighter than cast iron. This isn’t actually true: a cast iron pan weighs less than a carbon steel pan if you compare the same size inch by inch.

That’s even logical because there is more iron in carbon steel than in cast iron.

If you find a difference in weight, it comes from the thinness of carbon pans. Because they use less material to make a carbon steel pan, these pans tend to weigh less than cast iron ones.

Consider the difference in the two products listed below.

seasoning salt icon

Easy Seasoning Process


Even if you haven’t seasoned a pan before, it’s easy to do with a carbon steel pan. It only takes about 15 minutes to season your pan because it isn’t porous.

All you need to season your pan is some high-quality oil, those 15 minutes, and some heat.

Note


You should know that your carbon steel pan will continue to darken as you cook with it (4).

This is a normal part of the process and happens as your pan develops better seasoning.


resistance icon

It’s Resistant


Like other steel, carbon steel is ferrous, meaning that these pans are durable and incredibly strong. Plus, the carbon in Carbon Steel Cookware increases the strength and durability (5).

As a consequence, they’re difficult to bend or dent and are very hard.

Finding The Best Carbon Steel Pan

Still in the market for one of these? Let’s look at the most important details you need to consider before buying.

Height icon

Height


First consider the height of the sides.

The height of your carbon steel pan for you will depend on what food you want to make. Crepe pans, for instance, don’t have tall sides at all. Woks and some frying pans, though, can have tall sides. The taller the sides, the more food the pan can hold.

Taller sides on a carbon steel pan are also helpful if you’re working with grease or oil. The extra height helps to limit splashing and cuts down on cleanup.

Compare the heights of the following cookware products.

feature icon

Specific Features


Then, take a look at specific features like pre-seasoning or protective silicone wax.

Pre-Seasoned

Some carbon steel pan models are pre-seasoned. These pans already have a layer of food-grade oil on them. This means your pan is ready to use (with a quick cleaning) straight out of the box. That way, you won’t have to season it.

For example, Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet is pre-seasoned with soy vegetable oil.

Protective Silicone Wax

Some carbons pans have a beeswax coating. This is to protect the cookware before it’s purchased and during shipping.

Note that these coatings should be thoroughly scrubbed off before using the cookware. Once you’ve cleaned the pan, you’ll need to season it. Then, you can cook with it!

Here is an example of a carbon steel pan with a protective coating: Misen Carbon Steel Pan

A detailed explanation of the process and a video tutorial is available here.

handle pan icon

Handles


Now consider the handles. You have different types and coating.

Types

Carbon steel pans feature three different types of handles

Rivetless

A rivetless handle doesn’t have rivets connecting the handle to the pan. Since it’s easy for food debris to get trapped, a rivetless handle design will leave the inside of the pan smooth and quick to clean.

For an example of a rivetless carbon steel pan, take a look at BK Nature Carbon Steel Pan

Welded

Some carbon steel pans have welded handles. Like the rivetless handle, these are smooth on the inside of the pan.

Welds are created by melting metal pieces together.

Warning


We don’t recommend this kind of handle. With other handle styles, you may have some warning if there’s a problem with the connection.

Unfortunately, with welded handles there may be no warning at all if there’s an issue. You may be using your pan one minute and holding a detached handle the next if the welding breaks. Here is an example of a welded Restaurantware Carbon Steel Frying Pan 

Rivets

Finally, you have a carbon steel pan handle with rivets. A pan with rivets is not smooth on the inside as this is where the handle attaches.

But, the nice thing is that you can repair them if the connection becomes loose. For a product that has a handle attached with rivets, see the following De Buyer Mineral B Round Grill Pan.

Coating

Handles can have different types of coatings:

  • Wood: wood handles are comfortable. See this COUNER Traditional Carbon Steel Wok. But they have limited use. If you need a pan that can go in the oven, then consider another coating. Exposed to heat, you’ll need to take them off or to wrap them with a wet towel.
  • Painted handles: it’s in fact steel handles with an enamel or epoxy coating like this De Buyer Mineral B Element Frying Pan. Same thing here: if you plan to use your oven, then consider another model. These kinds of handles can melt.

Compatibility icon

Compatibility


Now, consider the different compatibilities: stove, oven, grill or campfire.

Stove

Different stove types need different cookware. For instance, only certain pots and pans will work on an induction stove. Likewise, only pans with a flat bottom should go on a glass top stove.

Always check the manufacturer’s information to make sure your new pan will work on your stove.

For example, the Mauviel Frying Pan is suitable for induction stovetops.

For a glass top stove, look for a pan with a similar bottom to this KRX Flat Bottom Wok.

Oven-Safe

If you want to use your carbon steel pan in your oven, you must choose a product that’s oven-safe.

Some cookware has materials in it that are not for use with high heat. And even those pans that are oven-safe often have a temperature limit.

So if you need a pan that can go in the oven at high temperatures double-check the manufacturer’s notes on use.

For instance, this Merten and Storck Frying Pan has an in-oven temperature cap of 600 degrees.

Outdoor Grill

You should check if your carbon steel pan is suitable for grilling. Outdoor grilling pans must be sturdy and should be safe to use over open flames.

The BK Steel Skillet is a good example if you like barbeque or to cook outside.

Campfire

If you’re cooking outside, you may also need cookware to use while at a campfire. The Merten and Storck Frying Pan s also safe to use with a campfire.

brand icon

Brand


Before making your final selection, take into consideration the cookware brand.

De Buyer

De Buyer has been an innovator in kitchen cookware for 200 years. Based out of France, they’ve even been awarded the “Living Heritage Company” label. De Buyer prides itself on quality products that are environmentally-friendly and made to last.

De Buyer makes a wide variety of kitchen products:from utensils, cookware, cutlery to bakeware.

See the following De Buyer Mineral B Element Frying Pan

Lodge

Originally a cast iron company, Lodge Cast Iron was established in 1896. Based out of Tennessee, this company is a fifth-generation family-owned business. Their legacy includes quality cookware and innovative products.

Lodge was one of the first companies to ever sell pre-seasoned cookware. Then, they introduced enameled cookware to their product line in 2005. And in 2013, they expanded from there to carbon steel cookware.
For an example, see the Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet

Made In

Made In makes professional-quality kitchen tools. Though they design with the professional in mind, their goal is to bring that same product to home cooks as well. Knives, bakeware, cookware, and other kitchen accessories are in their product line.

Part of Made In’s mission is to bring quality products to you at a great price. They’re able to do this by cutting out the middleman. They don’t have resellers, retailers, or distributors. Any purchases made come directly from Made In, guaranteeing you get the best price.

Winco

In business for nearly 30 years. Winco set out to create high-quality products for professional kitchens. Winco offers a complete range of products to keep commercial kitchens running smoothly. Now, Winco is a leading name in the foodservice industry. They strive to make great, reliable products at an affordable price.

Winco has quality control and consolidation centers in the United States. But, they also have locations overseas. This allows Winco to save on production cost, and customers to save on purchase costs.

For an example of Winco’s products, see the Winco Carbon Steel Frying Pan

Mauviel

Based out of France, Mauviel has been in business since 1830. Seven generations later, this business is still family-owned and operated. They make traditional kitchen tools like cast iron skillets. In addition, they use new materials to continue innovating in a changing industry.

Mauviel is known for their beautiful cookware. Many other companies have moved to automated machinery to make their products. Instead of doing this, Mauviel takes great pride in their handcrafted pieces. Many of their products are hand-hammered and finished for heirloom-quality cookware.

To explore part of the Mauviel M’Steel carbon steel line, see Mauviel M’Steel Black Steel Fry Pan

Vollrath

Vollrath offers cookware, bakeware, and kitchen accessories. These products are designed with professional chefs in mind. With their many different cookware series, they have everything a commercial kitchen needs. They also offer specialty pieces and hard-to-find items like silicone handle covers.

Vollrath operates out of the United States and many of their products are made in the U.S.A.

For an example of a Carbon Steel Cookware option from Vollrath, see the Vollrath Carbon Steel Fry Pan

Solidteknics

Solidteknics arrived on the scene in 2014. After years of research and development, they released their first product. Two decades of research went into that first release. One of Solidteknics core values is creating cookware that’s less harmful to our planet.

Each piece of cookware from Solidteknics features a rivitless design. In fact, the pans are seamless and made from a single piece of iron. They are durable and made to last for centuries. They’re also free from toxins, heavy metals, and synthetic materials.

Solidteknics is based out of Australia. They now manufacture in both Australia and the United States.

Blanc Creatives

Established in 2011, Blanc Creatives is based out of Virginia. This company specializes in hand-crafted cookware pieces with a refined design. Blanc Creatives includes a team of designers, artists, and chefs. The result is products that are much more than standard cookware pieces.

Beautiful statement pieces, Blanc Creatives cookware also comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Misen

Misen brings high-quality kitchen tools to home chefs. And, they do it without the markup of a premium brand. This happens by removing the middleman. When you buy a Misen product, you don’t purchase it from a retailer or distributor. Instead, shoppers buy directly from Misen.

Products from Misen are rigorously tested and made of premium materials. Each product has a thoughtful design created by a team of engineers, chefs, and home cooks. Misen is based out of the United States.

The following product is an example of Misen’s Carbon Steel Cookware.

warranty icon

Warranty


Many times a carbon steel pan comes with a warranty. But, not every warranty is the same. A warranty can be great to have in case there’s an accident or defect with your product.

Take a good look at the manufacturer’s website for information about your product’s warranty.

Some companies, like Mauviel, offer a lifetime warranty. Others, like Solidteknics, offer a multi-century warranty. Still others may have much less comprehensive warranties in place.

Don’t forget to factor in the cost of your carbon steel pan when looking at the warranty. An item that’s a little less expensive may cost you more in the long run if it doesn’t have a good warranty.

But, items that cost more up front often offer more protection if there’s a problem with the product later.

The Best Carbon Steel Pans Of 2021

There are a lot of options out there when it comes to carbon steel pans.
We’ve sorted through the products, and consulted experts and real-world users. We’ve weighed important factors like ease of use, value, and quality.

Here’s our list of the top eleven candidates for the title of Best Carbon Steel Pan.

1. De Buyer Mineral B Element Frying Pan


This carbon steel pan from De Buyer is one of the most renowned on the market, with thousands of happy customers.

Because it heats quickly and evenly, it’s excellent at searing meat.

You can also use this pan for grilling cheese sandwiches and browning ground beef. It can even go into the oven up to 400 degrees for short periods — up to 20 minutes. . So consider recipes with a short baking period like pizzas.

Due to the metal content, it’s also for use with induction stovetops.

This product does not have a coating, but it does arrive with a layer of beeswax preventing oxidation. So, once you have the pan, just clean the layer away and you’re ready to season the cookware.

Like other De Buyer products, this pan comes from France. It features a riveted handle that’s ergonomic and with an epoxy layer, making it comfortable to use. Though the small pan does not have a second handle, customers say it’s easy to maneuver.

However, they regret that this pan isn’t for electric glass range. Some of them experienced the pan warping the range at first use.


Pros


  • Build to last for several generations of use

  • Easy to clean and reseason

  • Doesn’t warp — even at high temperatures


Cons


  • The pan is heavy

  • The beeswax layer takes time to remove


Additional Specs







Brand De Buyer
Available Sizes 8”, 9.5”, 10.25”, 11”, 12.5”, 14”
Dimensions 17.25 x 9.5 x 1.5 inches
Compatibility Stovetop, grilling, oven
Country of Production France

2. IMUSA Red PAN-10046 Non-Stick Carbon Steel Wok


You don’t need to spend a fortune on a carbon steel pan. This wok is versatile enough to allow you to fry, deep fry, poach, braise, stew and even steam for such a little price.

This carbon steel pan is made with a practical non-stick coating. This allows for ease of use since you don’t have to season it. It’s also easy to clean. Still, you need a little oil when cooking.

Another awesome feature is that it’s a lightweight pan. It only weighs 2.25 pound, so they’re easy to maneuver, especially for long periods of time.

This wok features an attractive red bakelite handle. The handle also sports a small ring at the top that’s perfect for hanging storage. But, due to the bakelite, you shouldn’t use it in your oven.

Also, it’s not suitable for use on a grill or over a campfire where the handle may encounter high heat.


Pros


  • Easy to clean

  • No seasoning needed

  • Lightweight


Cons


  • Heats unevenly

  • May smell like chemicals

  • The non-stick coating is easy to damage


Additional Specs







Brand IMUSA
Available Sizes 12″
Dimensions 4.72 x 11.81 x 19.69 inches
Compatibility Not oven-safe
Country of Production China

3. Sky Light Carbon Steel Wok Pan With Lid


You can use this wok to stir-fry your veggies thanks to 100% carbon steel construction. This sturdy material makes it wear and scratch-resistant.

This means you can use it for any type of utensil. You’ll probably find this yields amazingly fast and consistent results — but without worrying about warping it!

We also love the wood accents on both the glass lid and the handles. Also, the engineered wood resists getting hot and it’s comfortable to hold while cooking.

Reviewers enjoy the smaller helper handle to cook larger meals. They say it makes the wok more manageable when it gets heavy.

But Since these handles are wooden, they’re not oven safe. Thankfully, you can remove them, making it convenient for the oven as well as for storage.

Finally, we love that this wok has a flat bottom. That’s usually not the case of woks, known for their rounded bottom. This means that you can use it on glass top stoves or on induction stovetops.


Pros


  • Excellent quality

  • Handles fit securely

  • At 12.05”, it’s perfect for small kitchens


Cons


  • Heavy

  • Needs to be seasoned


Additional Specs







Brand Sky Light
Available Sizes 12.5″
Dimensions 17.64 x 13.86 x 5.31 inches
Compatibility Stovetop, oven
Country of Production China

4. Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet


Lodge is known for its quality cookware made in the USA and this paella pan is no exception.

This paella pan is versatile, allowing you to use it on the stove, grill, in the oven, or on an open fire.

So you can cook it the traditional way! It’s also perfect for searing foods as the pan heats quickly.

And thanks to its good heat retention, you can keep freshly made food warm.

These paella pans come pre-seasoned using soybean oil. But, they can easily be re-seasoned at home. And even if it has a 15” large size, it’s still a light paella pan, easy to maneuver.

Plus, the two riveted handles make moving the pan easy, even when it’s loaded with food.

One more thing — this paella pan is heavily textured. Some reviewers loved the texture because it was more like using cast iron. Others said the texture made the pan harder to season well.


Pros


  • Perfect for dinner parties or large families

  • Perfect for outdoor cooking

  • Cooks uniformly and evenly


Cons


  • The seasoning needs to build up before it’s non-stick

  • The textured cooking surface is hard to season


Additional Specs







Brand Lodge Manufacturing
Available Sizes 8”, 10”, 12”, 15”
Dimensions 19.88 x 15 x 2.5 inches
Compatibility Stovetop, grill, campfire, oven
Country of Production USA

5. Matfer Bourgeat Black Carbon Steel Fry Pan


Frying pan is a must-have in a kitchen because of its versatility for many different cooking needs.

So it’s no surprise to include this black carbon steel pan on our list.

It heats well and users say it provides good temperature control. They love to use it for browning and searing food.

Unfortunately, this pan doesn’t have a helper handle, even in the larger sizes. So, if heavy pans are hard for you to use, you may want to look for an option that has a second handle. Plus, the handle is quite long. While this is great for cooking, it can make storage challenging.

This black carbon steel pan is compatible for use with all kinds of appliances. But, the larger-sized pans are prone to warping, especially on electric ranges. And, if you cook on an electric cooktop or portable electric stove, be sure to avoid high temperatures with this pan.


Pros


  • A wide range of sizes

  • Easy to season

  • Handle stays cool while cooking


Cons


  • Can warp over high temperatures

  • The pan is heavy


Additional Specs







Brand Marfer Bourgeat
Available Sizes 8 ⅝“, 9 ½“, 10 ¼“, 11”, 11 ⅞“, 12 ⅝“, 14 ⅛ ”,15 ¾“, 17 ¾”
Dimensions 11 ⅞ x 2 ⅛ x 9 ⅛ inches
Compatibility Stovetop, oven
Country of Production France

6. Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet (Pre-Seasoned)


For the most part, carbon steel pans are made of pure material and don’t come with a coating.

They need to be seasoned. If you don’t know where to begin, you may need a pre-seasoned pan such as the Lodge.

What makes it special is that it’s been pre-seasoned with soybean oil. And since no peanut oil is used during seasoning, it’s also safe for people with allergies.

Plus, this pan is multi-functional. For instance, this pan is designed to work well on a cooktop. But, the handle has been intentionally created to work well over an open fire or in the oven. So you need to invest in only one piece to do many cooking tasks.

Great for browning and searing, this pan also sautés, simmers, bakes, roasts, and braises.

Though this pan comes seasoned, some buyers found it needed more seasoning to cook at its best. Still, others were happier removing the initial seasoning altogether. After re-seasoning from scratch, they reported great non-stick properties and easy cleanup.


Pros


  • Perfect for professional kitchens

  • Only needs a little oil while cooking

  • Easy to clean


Cons


  • Needs additional seasoning

  • Expensive


Additional Specs







Brand Lodge Manufacturing
Available Sizes 8”, 10”, 12”, 15”
Dimensions 17.2 x 8 x 1.3 inches
Compatibility Stovetop, oven, grill, campfire
Country of Production USA

7. De Buyer Mineral B Element Round Grill Pan


If you dream of a perfectly cooked steak, this is it! The cooking surface on this grill pan is ridged, preventing meat from getting stuck to the pan.

These ridges also give the grease and fat a place to go so your meat isn’t cooking in it. As a result, you have a better-tasting (and healthier) piece of meat.

We love the signature shape, making cooking easy and comfortable. Plus, it can help make sautéing and flipping, and

With its 10 ¼” size, you have enough space to cook chops and burgers. You can also let your creativity flow and create grill marks on vegetables.

However, some reviewers were disappointed by the side of the cooking surface. Due to the shape of this pan, the cooking surface is much smaller than the listed pan size.


Pros


  • Sturdy

  • Comfortable handle

  • Uniform heat distribution


Cons


  • Heavy


Additional Specs







Brand De Buyer
Available Sizes 10 ¼”, 12 ½”
Dimensions 4.2 x 12.6 x 1.7 inches
Compatibility Stovetop
Country of Production France

8. Lodge Manufacturing Company Carbon Steel Skillet

You don’t necessarily need to invest in a non-stick pan to cook a perfect omelet. This Lodge omelet pan is already seasoned, making it 100% non-stick.

With a 12” size, this omelet pan is large enough to make a family-style omelet.

Though it’s advertised as an omelet pan, reviewers also say this pan is also great for sautéing and roasting.

We love that the handle on this pan comes with a silicone cover. It protects your hand from temperatures up to 500 degrees. And since it’s removable though, it can go in the dishwasher if needed.

This egg pan features the signature Lodge Manufacturing texture. The bottom of the pan has the same texture as the inside of the pan. But, users report that this hasn’t affected their ability to use the pan on induction or glass top stoves.

Finally, even if this pan is much lighter than a cast iron pan, it’s not lightweight. If you struggle with heavier cookware, this may not be the best carbon steel pan for you.


Pros


  • Great for large meals

  • Removable handle cover

  • Easy maintenance


Cons


  • It’s not oven-safe

  • It’s heavy


Additional Specs







Brand Lodge Manufacturing
Available Sizes 8”, 9.5”, 10.25”, 11”, 12.5”, 14”
Dimensions 19.3 x 10 x 3.5 inches
Compatibility Stovetop, grill
Country of Production USA

9. De Buyer Mineral B Element Round Pancake Pan


Made in France by a well-known brand, this pan is designed specifically for making great crepes and pancakes.

The short, angled lip makes it easy to flip pancakes. Its unique shape allows for crisping sandwiches on the stovetop.

But, the handle on this pan does have a coating and it shouldn’t go in the oven. So, it’s not a good choice for toasting sandwiches.

Reviews say it heats well edge to edge, so you can use the entire pan while cooking. They also mention that the pan warms quickly, but the handle stays cool to the touch.

This handle is also long, which helps with maneuverability.

You can use this carbon steel pan on all types of cooktops. That said, it is a lighter-weight pan and reviews mentioned it doesn’t work on every induction stovetop.

If you cook on an induction stovetop and your stovetop needs a heavier pan to heat properly, this pan may not be for you.


Pros


  • Easy seasoning process

  • Makes incredible crepes

  • Perfect for eggs, too


Cons


  • May stick


Additional Specs







Brand De Buyer
Available Sizes 8”, 9.5”, 10.25”, 11”, 12.5”, 14”
Dimensions 21.8 x 12 x 3.25 inches
Compatibility Stovetop, grill
Country of Production France

Carbon Steel Pan Comparison Chart


ProductAvailable Sizes DimensionsCompatibilityCountry of Production
De Buyer Mineral B8”, 9.5”, 10.25”, 11”, 12.5”, 14”
17.25 x 9.5 x 1.5 inches
Stovetop, grilling, oven
France
IMUSA Red Non-Stick Pan12″
4.72 x 11.81 x 19.69 inches
Not oven-safe
China
Sky Light Carbon Steel Wok12.5″17.64 x 13.86 x 5.31 inches
Stovetop, oven
China
Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet8”, 10”, 12”, 15”
19.88 x 15 x 2.5 inches
Stovetop, grill, campfire, oven
USA
Matfer Carbon Steel Fry Pan8 ⅝“, 9 ½“, 10 ¼“, 11”, 11 ⅞“, 12 ⅝“, 14 ⅛ ”,15 ¾“, 17 ¾”
11 ⅞ x 2 ⅛ x 9 ⅛ inches
Stovetop, oven
France
Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet8”, 10”, 12”, 15”
17.2 x 8 x 1.3 inches
Stovetop, oven, grill, campfire
USA
De Buyer Grill Pan10 ¼”, 12 ½”
4.2 x 12.6 x 1.7 inches
StovetopFrance
Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet8”, 9.5”, 10.25”, 11”, 12.5”, 14”
19.3 x 10 x 3.5 inches
Stovetop, grill
USA
De Buyer Pancake Pan8”, 9.5”, 10.25”, 11”, 12.5”, 14”
21.8 x 12 x 3.25 inches
Stovetop, grill
France

What Are the Drawbacks of Using a Carbon Steel Pan ?

Carbon steel pans are the most versatile cookware. They’re incredibly durable and the chef’s favorative. But, they’re not for everyone.

Keep these points in mind before committing to a specific pan:

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Low Thermal Conductivity


Thermal conductivity is the measure of how energy (heat) moves through a material. For carbon steel, that measurement is actually quite low. In fact, carbon steel has a thermal conductivity of just 51 W/(mK). This means a carbon steel pan takes longer to heat up than some pans made of other metals (7).

For instance, cast iron has a thermal conductivity measurement of 80 W(mK). This means cast iron will heat more quickly than carbon steel cookware.

But, carbon steel has enough thermal conductivity that it doesn’t need another metal added to it. This is not the case for stainless steel. It’s often paired with aluminum to increase its thermal conductivity.

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It’s Vulnerable to Rust and Corrosion


Since there is no chromium in carbon steel, it takes very little for carbon steel to rust (8). In stainless steel products, there’s usually 10-12% chromium.

But you can simply remedy this. All you need to do is dry it thoroughly after it’s been washed. Then, you can re-oil it to maintain its seasoning.

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It’s Not Dishwasher Safe


After reading many customers’ reviews, we don’t recommend you put your carbon steel in the dishwasher. And this, even if the manufacturer’s user guide says it’s safe.

Why? Simply because it will make more work for you. The seasoning will be removed and then, you’ll need to redo the seasoning process.

It’s also likely your pan will rust during its washing. Again, this can be fixed with a cleaning and thorough drying. But, it will create more work for you than just washing the pan by hand in the first place.

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It’s Reactive to Acidic Food


One downside to using a carbon steel pan is that it’s reactive to acidic foods. Because of this, we recommend you to avoid cooking these foods with carbon steel pans. Doing so will actually destroy the pan’s seasoning.

Cooking acidic foods with reactive pans can also change the taste of the food. While this won’t hurt you, it can leave your food tasting metallic. We find this unpleasant.

The good news is the more you season your skillet, the better it will resist acidic foods (9). Simply, we don’t recommend cooking acidic food in a carbon steel pan every day.

Care And Maintenance Tips

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How to Clean After Each Use ?


As explained, cleaning your carbon steel pan may remove its seasoning (10).

So, to properly clean your carbon steel pan, do the following:

  1. 1. Wash your pan with warm water after use.
  2. 2. If necessary, you can use a small amount of soap in your pan.
  3. 3. If needed, you can use a scraper, scrub brush, or non-scratch pad.
  4. 4. For stuck-on-food, simmer plain water for five minutes. This can dislodge any sticky remnants and make clean up easier.
  5. 5. Finally, dry your pan with paper towel

Once your pan is clean, you’ll need to follow up with a seasoning. Most manufacturers recommend quickly seasoning after each use to maintain a good finish.

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How to Season a Carbon Steel Pan?


Follow these simple steps to season your pan:

  1. 1. Place your pan on high heat
  2. 2. Add some oil
  3. 3. Spread the oil throughout the pan using a paper towel
  4. 4. Heat the pan until you reach the smoke point
  5. 5. Wipe away excess oil
  6. 6. Remove your pan from the heat and allow to cool

You can repeat this process until you’re satisfied with your pan’s seasoning. For a step-by-step video of the process, see the following:


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How to Strip a Carbon Steel Pan?


To strip away the seasoning layer, you’ll need to begin by scrubbing your pan (13). If the pan hasn’t been used in a while, this step may be easy. Scrub with an abrasive sponge for the best results.

If your pan wasn’t cleaned properly the last time it was used, your job may be harder. The following steps can help you get your pan properly cleaned.

  1. 1. Heat your pan over medium heat until the pan is hot
  2. 2. Remove the pan from heat
  3. 3. Add two tablespoons of salt mixed with one tablespoon of oil to the pan
  4. 4. Work this mixture into the pan using a paper towel
  5. 5. Rinse with hot water and dry thoroughly

After you’ve completed the cleaning process, it’s time to re-season the pan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions we came across during our research.

What Is the Best Oil for Seasoning a Carbon Steel Pan?


Choose an oil with a high smoking point (11), such as:

  • Avocado oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Rice Bran oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Almond oil
  • Grapeseed oil

Just, keep in mind to avoid olive oil since it has a low smoke point.

Same remark for coconut oil. While coconut oil can be good for seasoning, it has a strong flavor. Depending on the type of meals you make, it may not be the best choice for seasoning your pan.

How Often Do You Reseason a Carbon Steel Pan?


Simply when food starts to stick to it. Or when the seasoning has been removed (12).

But, most manufacturers recommend adding some oil after each use. This way, you’re maintaining the seasoning and don’t need to do a full re-seasoning.

Are Carbon Steel Pans Safe?


Yes, they’re safe. Carbon Steel Cookware is made out of 99% iron and 1% of carbon. Both materials are completely safe to cook with and eat off of (13)(14).

Also, carbon steel pans don’t have a coating. This means they haven’t been exposed to questionable chemicals or toxins.

There are some carbon steel pans covered with porcelain enamel that are also 100% safe for cooking.

Since each individual component in a carbon steel pan is safe, we do consider them safe to use.

Buying The Right Carbon Steel Pan for Your Kitchen

With the best carbon steel pan recommendations, you can cook like a pro, too!Finding the right pan can make all the difference to your cooking session.

Of course, our recommendations vary depending on your personal needs. So, take the time to determine where you want to use your pan and what kind of foods you want to make, whether it’s crepes, pizza, or stir fries. And don’t forget to check the pan’s compatibility.

Do you have anything to share about your experience with carbon steel pans? We’d love to hear about it in the comment section below.

About the Author

Heloise Blause

Since always, I am passionate about food; I enjoy writing and want to share my passion and offer quality articles to my readers. On Homekitchenland, I like to research, review, and compare kitchen appliances, write product reviews, and develop recipes.

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