Carbon steel may not be as famous as cast iron, but it’s getting more and more recognition among professional and domestic chefs alike.
This versatile material is made from differing proportions of steel and carbon. Much like cast iron, carbon steel pans are renowned for their versatility, function, and durable construction.
Table of Contents
Why Buy Carbon Steel?
Carbon steel skillets have an innate advantage – they allow you to cook in almost every style. Their incredible strengths gives you the platform to saute, flash-fry, broil, sear, and grill.
The material is incredibly heat-resistant and is completely oven-safe. In fact, you can use a good carbon steel skillet on pretty much every cooktop, including outdoor BBQs and induction stoves. This will save you money in the long run and simplify your domestic cooking life.
We’ve taken a look at some of the very best carbon steel skillets on the market and listed the pros and cons of each. This, hopefully, will help you decide which one to purchase and add to your collection.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
What Are the Best Carbon Steel Skillets on the Market?
Delihom Carbon Steel Pan
Delihom’s skillet may be one of the best affordable carbon steel cookware accessories on the market.
Fully PFOA free, this pan represents a greener way to eat. It comes equipped with a sturdy, stay-cool handle which won’t burn your hands during the cooking process.
Let’s take a look at some of this pan’s Pros and Cons:
Considering it costs less than $20, this Delihom pan certainly meets all the requirements of a great carbon steel skillet.
It may be far from perfect, but this Delihom product remains a great budget carbon steel skillet on the market. If you’re trying to save money by cooking at home, consider picking this item up.
Matfer Bourgeat Black Carbon Steel Fry Pan
A slightly more ‘upmarket’ version, Mafter Bourgeat’s carbon steel fry pan is a true thing of beauty.
Crafted by French cooking experts, this pan is designed with function and comfort in mind. It can hold its own in extremely hot ovens, and it can also be used on gas stoves and induction cooktops.
Mafter Bourgeat gathered a large fanbase. This is due to their supreme products and reliable output. Chefs from all walks of life would benefit from adding this pan to their arsenal regardless of their style of cuisine. This pan remains one of the strongest options on this list. Perfect for frying, grilling, sauteing, and even dessert making, we’d go as far to say this is one of the best carbon steel skillets on the market.
BK Black Steel Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet
BK has been crafting quality cookware since the mid 19th-century. During that time, they have built a stellar reputation as a premier cookware company. Their carbon steel skillet is certainly no exception.
Keep in mind that this pan needs to be cleaned immediately after taking it out of the box. This is because the oils around the base of the pan can be harmful if not cleaned. However, its eventual non-stick feature works well.
It may have a few issues with warping, but overall, the BK carbon steel skillet is a dependable cookware piece and one definitely worth considering.
Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok
This stunning wok has a true handmade feel. In traditional Chinese fashion, this wok has large, sloping sides and a deep bottom.
Hand hammered by experts, this may be the most authentic-feeling carbon steel pan on this list. Perfect for whipping up quick stir-fries, this pan features two handles – a steel helper handle (which manages to stay cool during cooking), and a wooden rear handle which won’t conduct heat.
Let’s take a look at some of this wok’s features and pros.
As far as visual design goes, this may be the best of the bunch. We love the hand-hammered look and authentic Chinese appearance. Not only does this carbon steel wok look great, but it also performs like a champ
We know that these cons may be a little nitpicky, but we have to give a holistic viewpoint after all. Once you get past the seasoning process, however, you’re in for a real treat. If you have the space, this is a great pan to display in your kitchen and impress your guests.
De Buyer - Fry Pan - Mineral B Element 12½''
De Buyer’s carbon steel skillet is rather minimalist in design. However, this certainly doesn’t mean it underperforms.
Featuring a 100% natural design with a beeswax coating, this carbon steel skillet is free of PFOAs and PTFEs. It delivers tremendous heat distribution and is oven safe up to 400 degrees F.
Let’s have a look at this pan in more detail:
This carbon steel skillet does the basics very well. We love searing meats and vegetables in this pan, and the flavor that is possible is simply delicious. However, this De Buyer pan is not quite perfect.
The biggest drawback of this skillet is the massive stamped logo in the middle. This can detract from the non-stick feature, which itself is solid.
However, the handle on this pan is a work of genius. Not only is it solid and sturdy, but it’s also angled to give you greater precision whilst tossing and shaking. The handmade design is another huge draw, and we’d strongly recommend picking this pan up.
Carbon steel skillets are getting more popular for good reason. They’re safe, healthy, affordable, and green alternatives to cast iron and stainless steel. They also perform well and are perfect for simple, rapid cooking.
The technology may have some improvements to make (such as base warping and difficulty to clean) but, overall, the future looks bright for carbon steel and you should definitely consider making the switch.