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Fortunately, we can help you with that. This well-made pan is not pre-seasoned, but the instructions on how to perfectly season it are simple, clear, and included free of charge. It certainly doesn’t have any “bells or whistles,” but in terms of being a good, solid pan that you can count on, it gets the job done. The impressively deep, even browning these pans produced was easily on a par with cast iron, but because carbon-steel pans are lighter and thinner than cast-iron skillets of the same size, the carbon-steel pans were able to heat up in nearly half the time. If you are looking for a frying pan that will last and last, maybe even for the rest of your life, this is the one. Among the three carbon steel skillets on our list, we couldn’t help but give extra points to the Matfer Bourgeat 62005 frying pan for its excellent quality and price. After scrubbing off this temporary coating (which was sometimes easier said than done), we followed each manufacturer’s seasoning instructions. And as long as we cleaned it following manufacturers’ instructions—no soap and a light coat of oil after drying, like cast iron—the nonstick surface kept gradually improving. We recommend using Amazon for all sorts of home cookware and appliances. Your email address will not be published. This is another excellent carbon steel skillet. So, now that you understand where our opinions and our ratings are coming from, we invite you to sit back, read through the ratings, and use them, plus the other information we provide, to help you make a smart decision about which products to buy and which ones to avoid. In fact, many of us would happily opt for just a carbon-steel pan in our own home arsenal. But it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. For this reason, you need to think about what type of oven or stove you will most often be cooking with. If it’s too heavy, this could make your job difficult. Even Julia Child had a few carbon-steel pieces alongside her familiar rows of copper cookware. This pan comes in a wide variety of sizes ranging from 8.5 inches to 17.3 inches, which is a great deal. However, its high price means it’s not for everyone, and because the pans are made by hand one by one, wait times can be weeks long, depending on demand. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Other design features—issues that have come up in every skillet testing we’ve done—mattered, too. That way, you can narrow your selections down by price and you won’t find yourself tempted into buying something that you can’t actually afford. It is made of carbon steel that is 12 gauge and can withstand a serious beating. Washing the pans after every test would let us judge how easy they were to clean and maintain. Omelets slid out in perfect golden oblongs, and tarts popped out intact, with few exceptions. The carbon-steel pans trumped both. You can fry, roast, braise, simmer, and do just about anything with this type of pan. Compiling and going through this information enables us to give you accurate, honest opinions on the best products available. Finally, it got a bit scratched after extensive use. We also look deep into the companies that make those products. First, there’s what we like, which is a lot. The distribution of heat is impressive, which made us put it on the top of the list. The impressively deep, even browning these pans produced was easily on a par with cast iron, but because carbon-steel pans are lighter and thinner than cast-iron skillets of the same size, the carbon-steel pans were able to heat up in nearly half the time. An acrylic guard made this model extra-safe but also made it a little trickier to insert knives and to clean; the wood block itself showed some minor cosmetic scratching during use. Even if you’ve never heard of a carbon-steel skillet, you’ve almost certainly eaten a meal made in one. That, however, is not the only reason it made it onto our list. This is a skillet worth owning if only for pan frying and sautéing, besting our favorite traditional skillet and equaling the best cast-iron skillet in terms of results but with less weight to lug. However, it is important to understand that not all carbon steel cookware is created equally. If you simmer an acidic tomato sauce in a carbon-steel skillet, as we did when we made a batch of skillet lasagna in our winning pan, the acid will strip off most of the pan’s dark patina and the shiny silver interior of the skillet will reappear. Finally, pay attention to shipping costs and factor these into your budgeting if you’re ordering online. We bought seven carbon-steel skillets, all as close as possible to our preferred size of 12 inches for a primary skillet, priced from $39.95 to $79.95. It contains slightly less carbon than cast-iron, which makes it less brittle; as a result, it can be made relatively thin and lightweight but still be plenty durable. And, in our book, that means carbon steel cookware. Bear in mind, too, that not all skillets, pots, and pans will work with all kinds of cooking methods. Our first test was to fry an egg in a teaspoon of butter. All rights reserved. Quick Navigation. If you can deal with these minor issues, though, this is a really good piece of carbon steel cookware for the price. You can rest assured that we do not just make them up out of thin air. In fact, you can tell that it is well made from the moment you take it out of the box. In fact, many of the reviews we read mentioned getting many years of use out of this super durable pan. And unlike cast iron, which is so rough that it requires multiple rounds of seasoning to become truly nonstick, the smooth surface of carbon steel makes it easy to acquire a slick patina of polymerized oil during seasoning. Comparison Table. However, this pan can be used for a whole lot more. All pans were purchased online and appear in order of preference. This skillet is versatile and can work on both gas and electric ranges. You can also choose to season it regularly for non-stick use, as well. But if you want a pan that’s a showpiece as well, we also loved our runner-up. We preferred the thicker skillets. That way, you can have a fully stocked kitchen that is ready to carry you into the years to come. It is also compatible with all types of hobs, including induction cook tops. A lot of people think that the heavier a pot or pan is, the better its quality. Before we jump in and start sharing our picks for the best carbon steel cookware, let us tell you a little bit about how we arrive at our ratings. Worse, we couldn’t take it apart, so splatters that hit the interior were there to stay. Plus, once seasoned, we found that it held on to its new coating for a very long time. Many manufacturers actually provide instructions on the best way to season their particular products. Cooking with acidic ingredients will take away some of the seasoning, but it can be easily restored. Plus, we don’t like how hot the handle gets. Plus, even if it was, heavier is not always better, especially when you think about lifting that steaming pot or pan full of food. So, if you don’t want to take this risk or mess around with seasoning, you may be better off just buying a pre-seasoned model. At first we wondered if the need for seasoning might end up being a deal breaker. While our initial skepticism was well deserved given its price, we were surprised by what a great pan it was. This pan does not come pre-seasoned unfortunately, but it does come with easy instructions for seasoning it yourself. Hopefully, we have given you a lot to think about. If you are a cook of degree, a good quality carbon steel skillet is a must in your arsenal. Others had too-high sides that impeded access to the food or too-low sides that let liquids (like the egg for omelets) splash out. Also, they are not designed to get you to think a certain way or to get you to buy a particular product or line of products. Also, good cookware should last you for many years to come and should aid you in making many delicious meals. Now that you hopefully understand carbon steel cookware a little better, you might feel ready to rush out and buy a nice piece of cookware for yourself. Get FREE ACCESS to every recipe and rating from theis season of our TV show. You will love cooking all your favorite dishes with this skillet. The only caveat? Somehow, though, despite their prevalence in restaurants, carbon-steel cookware never really caught on with home cooks in the United States. The composition of carbon steel, an alloy made of about 1 percent carbon and 99 percent iron, makes it a particularly functional material for cookware.

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