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Most of us overlook the importance of having the right pan in the kitchen. We assume that any pan will do as long as it is flat and it can fry.
Well, here’s the reality check! Some pans are not just good enough for the job, as they may be made from materials that could be harmful to your health. Besides, the so-called non-stick pans tend to lose their functionality with time as the coatings begin to chip out.
To AVOID all these problems and the potential risks involved, it is always a good idea to invest in a carbon steel pan.
Why carbon steel pans?
The answers are simple:
- Carbon steel is a great heat conductor
- It develops a natural non-stick coating
- It is compatible with all heat sources
- It is durable
- It is inexpensive
This write-up highlights 9 of the best carbon steel pans you should consider this year. Our top pick is the De Buyer Mineral B Round Carbon Steel Pan followed by Lodge Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet in second place.
Let’s dive into it………
Here are the best carbon steel pans you can buy:
- Best Overall Pan - De Buyer Mineral B Round Carbon Steel Pan
- Runner up - Lodge Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet
- Best Heavy Duty Pan - Paderno Heavy Duty Carbon Steel Frying Pan
- Best Paella Pan - Magefesa Carbon Steel Paella Pan
- Best Homemade Pan - Matfer Bourgeat 62005 Frying Pan
- Best Wok - Joyce Chen Pro Chef Flat Bottom Wok
- Best Crepe Pan - Mauviel M’steel Black Steel Crepe Pan
For the complete product list, please continue reading...
Top 9 Best Carbon Steel Pans Reviews
1. Best Overall Pan - De Buyer Mineral B Round Carbon Steel Pan
Dimensions: 4.2 x 12.6 x 1.7 inches
Weight: 5.8 lbs
There’s no better way to start this list than unleashing the very best carbon steel pan in the market. This is none other than De Buyer Mineral B Round Carbon Steel Pan.
De Buyers were supposedly the first people to discover the use of beeswax as a protective coating against the effects of rusting and oxidation. Using this innovation, they have managed to produce high-quality pans and cookware, with this carbon steel pan as one of their flagship products.
Handcrafted in France, the De Buyer Mineral B pan is 100 percent natural and 99 percent pure iron for enhanced durability and excellent heat distribution. Besides, it does not contain any harmful chemicals, and it’s certified as PTFE and PFOA-free.
The perfectly flat bottom ensures that the pan stays in place steadily on your stove or grill, for fast and even heat distribution. It also has a long, triple-riveted handle with an ergonomic design for seamless and comfortable handling.
Furthermore, the pan is available in SIX different sizes, with the larger pans boasting of an extra handle for enhanced comfort and safety.
Interestingly, this carbon steel pan is as non-stick as Teflon. After the first seasoning, the pan will develop a natural non-stick coating every time you use it.
2. Runner up - Lodge Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet
Dimensions: 20.2 x 12 x 1.4 inches
Weight: 4.1 lbs
The Lodge Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet is a multifunctional pan ideal for frying, roasting, simmering, baking, braising, sautéing, and searing.
The fact that it’s manufactured with 12-gauge carbon steel means that this pan can withstand very high temperatures. You can use it with a variety of heat sources, ranging from electric and induction stovetops to campfires and charcoal grills.
On the other hand, this pan retains low heat for longer, making it highly effective when cooking in low temperatures.
The long, triple-riveted handle literally comes in handy if you want to flip or toss your food. It also remains cool throughout the cooking duration, for enhanced comfort and safety.
This carbon steel pan comes pre-seasoned, meaning that you don’t have to struggle following tedious seasoning instructions every time you want to cook. Moreover, the pan develops a natural non-stick cooking surface every time you use it.
Since the pan comes coated with natural soybean oil rather than beeswax, you can use it right away, straight out of the box.
3. Best Heavy Duty Pan - Paderno Heavy Duty Carbon Steel Frying Pan
Dimensions: 15.75 x 7.88 x 1.25 inches
Weight: 4 lbs
If you are looking for a simple, heavy-duty pan, then look no further. The Paderno Heavy Duty Carbon Steel Frying Pan fits this description perfectly. It is available in 10 different sizes, with the smallest pan measuring 7 1/8 inches and the largest 19 5/8 inches in diameter.
The thick gauge construction makes it one of the most durable in the market. In fact, you’ll never need any other frying pot once you have this pan in your kitchen inventory.
Even though the pan is made from heavy-duty gauge, it conducts and retains heat exceptionally well. Besides, it develops a non-stick coating after seasoning, for easy food release.
We also loved the fact that this pan is warp-resistant; it will never bend or warp when subjected to extreme heat. Furthermore, it is compatible will all types of stoves and grills. You can also use it in your oven for different types of cooking.
The pan has a long, triple-riveted handle that remains cool even when cooking at very high temperatures. The only problem is that the pan does not have a helper handle, which could prove useful when handling larger pans.
4. Best Paella Pan - Magefesa Carbon Steel Paella Pan
Dimensions: 18 x 18 x 5.5 inches
Weight: 3.65 lbs
If you are a fan of Spanish frying pan cuisines such as paella, then it is only logical to buy a pan well suited for these types of dishes. No other pan fits the bill like the Magefesa Carbon Steel Paella Pan.
This paella pan is one of the largest you’ll ever encounter as it measures 17 inches in diameter. The expansive size, however, makes it the ideal choice for Spanish style cooking, since it can hold all your ingredients at a go without spilling.
It also has a dimpled bottom that improves the cooking process and makes it easy to produce socarrat – which is the crunchy, crusty bottom layer of your paella. Besides, the dimples on the pan prevent your food from sticking at the bottom when cooking.
This carbon steel pan features dual-riveted-looped handles located on opposite sides, for easy and secure handling when frying your favorite meal.
The handles also come in handy when you want to toss your food, carry the pan around, transfer food or serve your guests directly from the pan.
And the best part is that the Magefesa carbon steel paella pan is compatible with all types of stoves, open flame grills, and charcoal grills.
So, if you are hosting a party or a BBQ of more than 10 people, by now you know which pan to use!
5. Best Homemade Pan - Matfer Bourgeat 62005 Frying Pan
Dimensions: 0.2 x 0.2 x 0.2 inches
Weight: 4.11 lbs
For those who love homemade products, then this frying pan is for you. Proudly made in America, the Matfer Bourgeat 62005 is one of the best carbon steel pans for the money.
Firstly, the pan is 11 7/8 inches in diameter, but it is also available in a range of NINE different sizes, making it the perfect choice for all your frying needs. Whether you want to fry some eggs for breakfast or sear meat for your BBQ, you can count on this pan to deliver splendid results.
Beyond that, this carbon steel pan has a very long and ergonomic strip handle. The handle also has a loop that you can use to hang your pan on the wall, thus saving space in your kitchen cabinetry.
The pan has an excellent response time. This means you don’t have to wait any longer to cook your favorite meals. Moreover, it not only distributes heat evenly but also retains it for a longer time – this helps to ensure fast and efficient cooking.
We are not done yet….
The pan is stovetop compatible, and it works well in the oven as well. Nonetheless, you still have to wash it thoroughly prior to your fast use to remove that protective beeswax coating.
Sounds, good. Right?
6. Best Wok - Joyce Chen Pro Chef Flat Bottom Wok
Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.4 x 3.6 inches
Weight: 4.1 lbs
Here’s another great carbon steel pan that you should consider. This time it’s the Joyce Chen Pro Chef Flat Bottom Wok. As suggested by its name, this high-quality pan was the brainchild of popular restaurateur Joyce Chen.
The pan is exceptionally large, measuring 14 inches in diameter. This makes it ideal for all types of cooking techniques, ranging from steaming and poaching to stir-frying and deep-frying. You can also use it for making soup, roasting nuts and even searing meat.
The fact that it has a flat bottom means that it can “sit” comfortably on your stovetops, outdoor grills or even in your oven. Furthermore, it can withstand temperatures of up to 450°F.
The ergonomic handle makes it very easy to use. What is even more interesting is that it comes with a helper handle, which you can use to remove the pan from the stovetop or when serving your dish.
Notably, these handles stay cool throughout the cooking process, making it easy to carry the pan around. Moreover, one of the handles has a loop for easy storage.
The only possible setback is that the Joyce Chen Pro Chef Flat Bottom Wok could prove to be too heavy, especially if you want to flip your food directly from the pan.
7. Best Crepe Pan - Mauviel M’steel Black Steel Crepe Pan
Dimensions: 18 x 9.5 x 0.8 inches
Weight: 2 lbs
This flat, crepe pan is quite popular with professional chefs and amateurs cooks alike due to its durability. The pan is manufactured using commercial-grade materials capable of lasting a lifetime. With that said, it’s not surprising that it comes with a lifetime warranty.
When it comes to functionality, this pan is so easy to use. It has a long, riveted, ergonomic handle for maximum grip and ease of use when cooking. Besides, the iron handles are commercial grade, meaning that they won’t bend easily.
It also measures 9.5 inches in diameter, but you have the option of choosing smaller pans than this depending on your needs.
The fact that it has lower walls makes it the ideal crepe pan. However, this does not mean you cannot use this carbon steel pan for your other cooking needs. You can use it for searing meat, making flatbread, frying eggs and other cooking techniques that do not require high-sided pans.
Make sure you clean the pan with very hot water before first use to remove the beeswax coating.
8. Best Budget - Garcima Carbon Steel Paella Pan
Dimensions: 19.5 x 19.5 x 1.8 inches
Weight: 2.3 lbs
If you want a strong, durable, multipurpose pan at a pocket-friendly price, then look no further. The Garcima Carbon Steel Pan is the perfect choice for you.
This carbon steel paella pan has a 15-inch diameter, making it one of the largest and widest frying pans in the market.
Considering its expansive size, you can use it for all types of cooking other than just frying. After all, it can hold both larger and smaller quantities of food, for seamless cooking.
Additionally, this pan is stovetop compatible, and it is safe for your oven and outdoor grills. You can place it on top of your grill or in your oven as well when cooking other culinary delights.
Just like other paella pans, this cookware tends to distribute heat evenly when cooking. The pan also seasons naturally with each use.
We are not through yet….
You’ll receive a recipe pamphlet from Garcima when you buy this pan. The pamphlet has plenty of fry pan recipes that you can cook to impress your family and friends.
9. Best Pre-Seasoned Pan - BK Cookware Black Carbon Steel Skillet
Dimensions: 11 x 5 x 5 inches
Weight: 3.45 lbs
One of the reasons why some people don’t like carbon steel pans is that seasoning these pans takes a bit of time. Fortunately, this is not the case with this Black Carbon Steel Skillet from BK Cookware.
This steel pan comes pre-seasoned with oil, meaning you don’t have to go through the trouble of seasoning it yourself – you can start frying your favorite dishes right away!
You only need to wash it with soap to remove the silicone coat waxing before your first use.
Besides, your chops, fish and other dishes will never stick at the bottom of the pan, as it tends to develop a natural nonstick layer the more you use it.
The pan is 11 inches wide and it comes with high walls to prevent your food from splattering. With these dimensions, you can use your pan for all types of frying techniques, ranging from shallow to deep-frying.
What is even more appealing is that this carbon steel pan is lightweight and highly responsive to heat. At the same time, it has an ultra-durable, oven-safe design that can withstand heat up to 600°F. This heat-responsive design guarantees that you’ll enjoy faster cooking times without burning your food.
We know you’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time. Well, the best carbon steel pan is undoubtedly the De Buyer Mineral B Round Carbon Steel Pan. This French-made carbon steel pan has all the qualities you might need in a cooking pan.
Firstly, the pan is made using the finest materials available. Then again, it comes pre-seasoned, meaning that you don’t have to struggle with seasoning the pan yourself. In fact, you can start using it right away after the first wash.
The De Buyer Mineral B Round Carbon Steel Pan is also popular due to its excellent response time. The pan responds and retains heat quickly for fast cooking times. In addition, it develops a non-stick surface every time you use it.
So what are you waiting for? Get one today!
How to Choose the Best Carbon Steel Pan
When shopping for the best carbon steel pan, here are a few things you need to consider:
Cooking pans can be classified into different categories, depending on what they can cook and the cooking techniques they support. Examples include paella pans, wok pans, crepe pans, tart pans, stir-fry pans and skillets. With this in mind, you should buy a pan that fits your exact cooking needs to enjoy desirable results.
Size does matter when buying kitchen utensils such as pans. If you buy a smaller pan, it might not be able to hold your ingredients appropriately when cooking. Considering this, always check the diameter and the height of the pan to determine if it is a good fit for your cooking needs.
Check how long the pan takes to respond to heat. Even though the manufacturer may not indicate the heat response time on the package, you can easily find out by checking the thickness of the pan. Thinner pans conduct heat much faster than thicker pans do.
You should also check and confirm whether the pan you are buying is dishwasher safe, oven safe, and stovetop compatible
The weight of the pan determines its ability to withstand extreme heat. In addition, heavy duty pans tend to be more durable and warp resistant than their lightweight counterparts.
The only shortcoming about heavy pans is that they are somehow difficult to manage, and they require an extra handle.
The main difference between carbon steel pans and other types of pan is the appearance. Carbon steel plans are sleek and shiny, making them the perfect match for any kitchen accent.
However, some steel pans tend to change their appearance after seasoning, but this should not be a major concern since it does not affect the functionality of the pan.
Some manufacturers are renowned for producing higher quality carbon steel pans than others. Therefore, before buying any pan, make a point of researching the brand and its history.