carbon steel fry pan?

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by bscepter, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. bscepter

    bscepter

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    i've seen these de buyer carbon steel fry and crêpe pans around.  i always thought that steel was a terrible conductor of heat (hence the aluminum and/or copper cladding in SS pans). what are the advantages of these pans?
     
  2. french fries

    french fries

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    Stainless Steel is a terrible conductor of heat. Carbon steel is great.

    The advantages are that you can get an almost non stick surface (a black "patina") with proper seasoning and use.
     
  3. schmoozer

    schmoozer

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    I love my  Matfer Bougeat carbon steel skillet.  It's the perfect shape for omelets and eggs, thick enough to hold the heat well, inexpensive, and virtually non-stick.  For certain tasks, it's unbeatable.  I have SS skillets, non-stick skillets, and cast iron skillets as well.  I use the carbon steel skillet only for eggs.
     
  4. french fries

    french fries

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    Definitely great for eggs, pancakes, crepes, tortillas etc... also great for sauteed potatoes, steak, deglazing and building a pan sauce, pork chops, fried rice, stir fry etc....
     
  5. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    I have four, in sizes ranging from 8" to 14" and will be getting more of them over time.

    Advantages? All the benefits of cast iron, at about half the weight. Handles that do not heat up on the stove.

    I sometimes wish the 14 incher had a helper handle, but that's about the only downside to carbon steel.
     
  6. bscepter

    bscepter

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    bought a 12" de buyer carbon pan right after i posted this. so far, it's been excellent. very non-stick. and the handle stays relatively cool. still, it's a heavy sumbitch...
     
  7. french fries

    french fries

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    Yup, 12"+ carbon steel pans can get quite heavy... /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    May I ask, how did you season yours? What have you cooked in it so far?
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
  8. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    I reckon "heavy" is a relative term, much of which relates to what you're used to.

    My 12" de Buyer comes in at 93 ounces. A similar cast iron skillet (titularly 12" but actually closer to 11") weighs 116 ounces.

    In other words, almost a pound and a half difference.

    By an interesting coincidence, my 14" carbon steel skillet weighs the same as the 12" cast iron. But in addition to the weight it's more awkward to use, which is why I'd love one with a helper handle.  

    Compared to stainless there's just no comparison at all. My 12" Cuisinart weighs 54 1/2 ounces. But it's not as deep as the other two, and, for many applications, not nearly as efficient. Just guessing, if it had the same depth it would likely come in at about 60-62 ounces---close enough to half the cast iron to make no never mind, and about 2/3rds the carbon steel. 
     
  9. bscepter

    bscepter

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    the instructions said to boil potato peelings for 15 minutes, which i did. seemed to work. so far, i've cooked primarily eggs, but i did pan-roast a couple of steaks, deglazing with some brandy and veal stock to make a sauce. it worked very well.
     
  10. plasticman50200

    plasticman50200

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    Carbon steel is not as thermal efficient as aluminum but better than Stainless steel. Once seasoned food won't stick as bad as stainless. Stainless steel,is a non porous material so fats and oils can not penetrate its surface to help food release. One of the best advantages of Carbon Steel is foods can be cooked at much higher heat without the pan warping. Carbon Steels melting point is around 2500 degrees versus around 750 to 900 degrees for aluminum. Most people shy away from Carbon steel because you do have to take special care to keep it oiled after washing or it will rust.
     
  11. iceman

    iceman

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    HEY ... Welcome to
    Nice statement. Good factuality. Just be aware though ... that the last post before yours in this thread was 4+ years ago.

    It's all good though. I've made a whole buncha continuation posts to really old threads. So have a lotta others. You're in a good crowd. LOL.
     
  12. rick alan

    rick alan

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    I cannot overdo the praise I have for the heavy aluminum ceramic coated Calphalon Unison pans.  Absolutely nothing sticks to them and others say they last forever.

    Rick