One way of making sure that the food you cook is delicious, nutritious, and Instagram-worthy is by using the right equipment in your kitchen.
A good pan is crucial for helping you cook meals to perfection, and in this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the best carbon steel pans you’ll find on the market.
In almost every chef’s kitchen, you’ll find at least one high-quality carbon steel pan and if it’s good enough for the professionals, it’s certainly going to take your cooking to the next level.
This type of pan is the perfect non-stick appliance that sears food well, is light enough to toss ingredients, and is also oven-safe.
Our Top Carbon Steel Pans: At A Glance
Read on to find out everything you need to know about how to choose the best carbon steel pan for your needs.
To make things easier for you, we’ve also rated and reviewed 10 of the best options available for you to choose from.
- Top 10 Best Carbon Steel Pans Reviews:
- 1. Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet Review– 12-inch Seasoned Skillet
- 2. MatferBourgeatfrying pan,062005 11 7/8″ Gray
- 3. Craft Wok Traditional Hand-Hammered Carbon Steel Wok
- 4. 14-Inch Carbon Steel Wok, Flat Bottom
- 5. Garcima 15-Inch Carbon Steel Pan
- 6. Mauviel Made-In-France Black Steel 8-inch Frying Pan
- 7. DeBuyerCarbon Steel Pan, 12.5-inch
- 8. DeBuyer MINERAL-B Round Carbon Steel Frying Pan, 12.5-Inches
- 9. Paderno Heavy Duty Carbon Steel 9.5 Inch Frying Pan
- 10. MINERAL B Round Carbon Steel Fry Pan 11-Inch
- Things To Consider When Buying A Carbon Steel Pan
- How to Season a Carbon Steel Pan:
- Advantages of Carbon Steel Pans:
- How to Use Carbon Steel Pans Properly:
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Verdict
Top 10 Best Carbon Steel Pans Reviews:
1. Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet Review– 12-inch Seasoned Skillet
- 14 GAUGE CARBON STEEL heats quickly and retains heat for even cooking; best for searing and browning
- Use on gas, electric, induction stovetops, outdoor grills or open fire
The Lodge is a well-known brand that has been fine-tuning its construction of durable cast iron cookware for over a hundred years now.
This company is based in the US and its products continue to gain in popularity thanks to their dedication to quality and affordability.
Now they have added two more products to their line – seasoned steel skillets like this 12-inch carbon steel skillet which is large enough for family-size cooking.
If you’re searching for the top-rated carbon steel pans on the market, this is one that you should consider.
It comes pre-seasoned with organic soybean oil and it’s ready to use straight out the box. This is something that most people who are new to the world of carbon steel pans will truly appreciate as it saves you the trouble of having to season the pan yourself.
The pan maintains low and high temperatures easily, making it a very effective and versatile addition to your cherished kitchen cookware.
This impressive carbon steel pan is made in the US and it’s perfect for both stove-top and oven cooking. The durable, high-density steel used in its construction means that with proper care, you’ll be using this pan for a lifetime.
- Ideal for use on gas, electric, induction stovetops, grills, and open fires
- Seasoned with natural oils for a non-stick surface that improves with use
- Easy care and maintenance: hand wash, dry, and rub with oil before storing
- Made from extremely durable and long-lasting material
- 12-gauge carbon steel retains heat for even cooking
2. MatferBourgeatfrying pan,062005 11 7/8″ Gray
- VARIETY OF USES: Brings top-notch heat distribution and temperature control, preserving the vitamins and nutrients in your foods, making it excellent for searing meats, browning omelets, grilling fish, and cooking a wide range of dishes, even desserts
- NATURAL NON-STICK MATERIAL: Made of of black carbon steel, a natural mineral material promoting healthy cooking making this pan free of any harsh chemicals or coatings, PTFE and PFOA free , and once seasoned, becomes exceedingly non-stick
This gray carbon steel frying pan from the MatferBourgeat brand is expertly crafted to help you create culinary masterpieces in your home or restaurant.
This company has become an industry leader in professional kitchenware and is popular all over the world for their high-quality products.
Theirs is the best-rated carbon steel pans according to chef reviews online. Whether you want to sauté seasonal vegetables or sear cuts of meat, this pan will give you professional results, every time.
It’s designed to heat up quickly and distribute that heat evenly to give more consistent results. The pan also has an extra-strong steel handle that is safely secured to the pan with riveted attachments.
The heavy-duty make of the pan also helps to provide longevity for the pan, and the handle as well. This carbon steel pan is designed to work well with all kinds of cooking styles, giving you the versatility to create various dishes quickly and easily.
You can make eggs, fish, vegetables, and even desserts in the pan, and when seasoned and cared for the right way, it will continue to perform great for years to come.
If you’re searching for an affordable carbon steel frying pan with a high-quality non-stick surface, this is definitely one you need to check out.
- Perfect for sautéing, searing, or scrambling
- Distributes heat evenly, giving consistent results
- Features high-quality, durable steel strip handle
- Made from heavy-duty carbon steel material for longevity
- Works with all types of hobs, great for demo cooking applications
3. Craft Wok Traditional Hand-Hammered Carbon Steel Wok
- Round Bottom Heavy 14 Inch 15 gauge (1.8mm) carbon steel wok, commercial grade. Original design by Craft Wok since 2014, proven quality over the years. Traditional chinese wok pan with round bottom.
- Not suitable for flat electric or flat induction stove. Carbon steel wok may rust. Do not forget to season it before use! Instructions for easy seasoning are included with the wok. Our customer service is ready to guide through the process whenever you need it.
This 14-inch wok pan has a round bottom with a small diameter, and its main purpose is to stir-fry vegetables and meat.
It can also be used for deep frying in hot oil or for preparing various types of soups. You can even use it as a vessel for steaming or as a smoker.
The carbon steel wok is also suitable for use on outside grills or over the open fire. This makes it extremely versatile, a valuable appliance to have.
You can use it in the home, in restaurants, or you can take it with you on camping trips. With regular seasoning and maintenance, this pan will last a lifetime.
Because of its round bottom, this pan is not suitable for flat inductive or flat electric stoves. One thing that most people appreciate is the easy refund policy offered by this company.
This means that if there is anything at all that you’re not happy about concerning the pan you can simply return it for a full, no-questions-asked refund.
The wok comes with instructions for use and care included, and customer service is always available to guide you through the seasoning process if you need help.
All in all, this wok pan provides the ultimate value for money, and investing in one would make a great addition to your kitchen.
- Crafted from commercial-grade carbon steel for durability
- Designed to retain and distribute heat evenly for more consistent results
- Comes with easy to follow instructions for seasoning the wok
- Steel helper handle doesn’t burn when cooking over high heat
- Great for both home use and professional use
4. 14-Inch Carbon Steel Wok, Flat Bottom
If you want a long-lasting, great performing carbon steel wok, this is a great option to consider. Made from heavy 14-gauge carbon steel, this flat-bottom wok offers durability and ease of use.
It has a wooden handle and a side spool handle that allows you to have full control of the appliance as you cook.
Because it can sit directly on the electric stove, this wok takes full advantage of all the heat. It heats up super quick and maintains the heat evenly to give you better results from your cooking efforts.
You’ll not only be able to make amazing oriental dishes using this wok, but you will also be able to use it to create various other dishes and soups thanks to its versatility.
If you cook with gas, you can get the same wok with a round bottom. This wok measures 14 inches in diameter and has a 4-inch in depth. It’s super easy and super fun to use.
The wok is ideal for anyone who is cooking for between 6 and 12 people. Remember to season it after each use and before storage. To learn how to do this, read the tips in our handy guide below.
- Constructed from heavy, durable 14-inch carbon steel
- Wok has a flat bottom that can sit directly on grills and electric stoves
- Allows full control when cooking thanks to wooden side spool handle
- Very simple and easy to season and use
- Designed for fast, even heating for best results
5. Garcima 15-Inch Carbon Steel Pan
- Authentic paella pan. made in spain.
- Carbon steel is durable and conducts heat well. requires a bit of maintenance after washing.
This offering from Garcima is made from polished steel which conducts heat quickly and distributes it evenly, which makes it great for paella.
Carbon steel has long been considered the traditional material where paella is concerned, and while some paella devotees say that it actually enhances the flavor, there’s no way to know until you try it for yourself.
Although the width of this pan is thin, it’s very rigid and extremely durable. It has a convex, hammered dimpled bottom which is great for toasting the rice, and its handles, which are painted red, are made from steel to ensure that they last as long as the pan does.
This 15-inch pan will easily feed a dozen people, which is great for those with larger families.
The pan requires regular seasoning to keep it looking and performing its best. After using it, simply wash it and dry it thoroughly. You can then use a tiny bit of vegetable oil to rub the inside surface to prevent it from rusting.
If the pan does rust, don’t worry, steel wool will take the rust right off. This pan is great for use on gas but not induction.
If you’re going to use your carbon steel pan on induction, then you may want to go with heavier steel with a completely flat bottom that isn’t dimpled.
- This is an authentic paella pan that is manufactured in Spain
- Carbon steel is a high-quality durable material that conducts heat well
- Simple and easy to care for and maintain
- Safe for use on stovetops, ovens, and grills
- Comes with an information pamphlet that contains tips and recipes for perfect paella
6. Mauviel Made-In-France Black Steel 8-inch Frying Pan
- MADE IN FRANCE. Made of extra thick black steel /carbon steel. Iron handles. Excellent heat conduction –ideal for searing.
- HIGH PERFORMANCE. Commercial grade durability withstands high temperature allowing for longer preheating and excellent searing capabilities.
This brand is renowned in France and the rest of the world as being the industry leader in copper cookware.
This black steel frying pan from Mauviel is just as popular thanks to its high quality, durability, and affordability. If you’re searching for the best frying pan, this one is one you should take a look at.
Made with extra-thick steel, this pan has riveted handles that will not be coming off any time soon. Black steel is also an excellent heat conductor, which makes this pan perfect for searing.
Designed to work on all types of cooktops including induction, this pan is great for anyone who wants to make quick, scrumptious, healthy meals.
You can use metal utensils with this pan without worrying about whether you’re damaging the non-stick surface. All you have to do is to season this pan prior to using it for the first time, and you’ll have a nice non-stick surface to cook with.
If the surface gets eroded over time, and you notice your food starting to stick, simply re-season the pan again and you’ll have a brand new non-stick surface in no time.
The pan will darken as you use it. This is normal and you shouldn’t worry about it. But always remember to season it after each use to prevent the pan from rusting.
- Made with extra-thick carbon steel for the ultimate in durability
- High-performance and commercial-grade product
- Can withstand extremely high heat temperatures, ideal for searing
- Works with all types of cooking surfaces
- Comes with the Mauviel lifetime guarantee against any manufacturing defects
7. DeBuyerCarbon Steel Pan, 12.5-inch
- Heavy quality iron frying pan ideal for searing, grilling and browning meat, fish, and eggs; lyonnaise skirt enables food to easily slide onto a plate
- Thick heavy quality iron heats up quickly, uniform heat distribution; reaches high temperatures--enables the Maillard reaction and caramelization of juices
De Buyer has nearly two hundred years of expertise in creating high-quality kitchenware. Their methods for crafting the best carbon steel pans have been passed down from one generation to the next for the past two centuries, and it comes as no surprise that this 12,5-inch frying pan is very popular among cooks the world over.
This company takes great pride in their ‘Made in France’ heritage, and each of their products is manually stamped, cut, welded, polished, and packed with the ultimate care and attention to detail.
If you’re considering getting a carbon steel pan for your kitchen, this is a great one to check out.
You’ll be able to quickly and easily grill meats and vegetables thanks to its rigid, heavy, ridged surface.
In addition to being crafted from the best materials by the best craftsmen in the industry and having an exceptional non-stick surface, this pan also has great thermal properties and comes with a limited two-year manufacturer’s warranty.
It has a thickness of 3mm which makes the pan and its securely attached French-style handle virtually un-deformable.
Great care is taken to ensure that each and every customer is happy and satisfied with their purchase. This product is definitely setting the standards for modern cookware.
- Comes with a limited manufacturer’s warranty of two years
- White iron make provides superb heat diffusion great for searing and browning meat
- Unbreakable handle securely attached with rivets
- Sturdy and stylish design that is aesthetically pleasing
- Great heat conducting capabilities for even cooking
8. DeBuyer MINERAL-B Round Carbon Steel Frying Pan, 12.5-Inches
- Carbon Steel Pan: 99% iron and 1% carbon, slippery with better sear, without any synthetic coating
- The Darker The Better: Signature beeswax finish protects against oxidation
This is arguably the most eco-friendly cookware that you’ll find on the market today.
For those among us who are concerned about their carbon footprint, this round steel frying pan is a perfect choice thanks to its 100% all-natural properties.
The pan is made from pure iron and has a beeswax finish that protects it from oxidation and helps to season the pan.
Excellent for searing, browning, and grilling, this carbon steel pan from De Buyer is the perfect tool to help you create stunning meals in your kitchen.
The non-stick surface of the pan gets better and better with each use. Over time, your pan will darken, but that is to be expected. In fact, the darker it becomes, the better its natural non-stick properties become.
The round base and Lyonnaise profile of the pan enables food to slide off the pan and into the plate with ease.
This environmentally friendly pan has absolutely no PFOA or PTFE, and it has no added chemicals. The authentic French design will make this a very useful and visually pleasing addition to your treasured carbon steel cookware set.
- The pan has an extra-thick skirt that is un-deformable
- Ergonomic design for easy handling
- Curved French-style handle riveted for extreme durability
- Easy to clean and maintain
- 100% eco-friendly manufacturing
9. Paderno Heavy Duty Carbon Steel 9.5 Inch Frying Pan
- Thickness allows for long pre-heating at high temperatures
- Excellent heat conduction
This pan from Paderno shines when new and unseasoned, but with use, the metallic gleam will slowly start to get darker and the non-stick surface will get even better.
As with most other carbon steel pans, you can simply use vegetable oil to season it and you’ll have a slick black non-stick pan to cook with.
The 9.5-inch diameter makes this appliance ideal for anyone who cooks for just a few people as opposed to those with larger families.
Made from durable, heavy-duty carbon, this pan will last a lifetime with the proper care and maintenance. You can fry eggs, cook bacon, or sear signature cuts with ease.
The sloping sides make it so much easier to handle food, and whatever you cook slips right out of the pan and onto your plate every time.
After use, simply clean the pan with hot water and dry it thoroughly. Immediately rub a layer of oil across its entire surface to prevent it from rusting.
Your pan will then be safe to store until you need to use it again. This is arguably the best frying pan of its size that you can get for the price.
- The thickness of the pan allows you to pre-heat it for long at high temperatures
- Flat, riveted handle designed for safety and durability
- Stellar heat conduction and even distribution
- Perfect for searing and browning meat
- High-quality construction provides great value for money
10. MINERAL B Round Carbon Steel Fry Pan 11-Inch
- Carbon Steel Pan: 99% iron and 1% carbon, slippery with better sear, without any synthetic coating
- The Darker The Better: Signature beeswax finish protects against oxidation
This round carbon steel pan from Mineral B does it all! It’s made from 99% iron, with 1% carbon mixed into it.
This pan boasts a slippery surface that surpasses even the most popular non-stick pans in its category – all with zero synthetic coating.
If you’re someone who particularly values the knowledge that you’re using green appliances, then this pan may be just the right product for you.
It comes with a beeswax coating for protection against rust, and it includes easy-to-follow seasoning instructions.
Made in France, this pan has a lifetime warranty which means that, with proper care, this may very well be the last carbon steel pan you ever need to buy.
- 100% environmentally friendly pan with no added chemicals
- Naturally non-stick when seasoned
- Handles extreme heat well which is great for caramelizing food
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Ergonomic handle for easy and safe use
Things To Consider When Buying A Carbon Steel Pan
Carbon steel pans have grown in popularity over the past few years. They continue to be the popular choice for cooks all around the world thanks to their many advantages.
A good pan will likely last you a lifetime, but it’s important to note that not all carbon steel pans are made equal.
Also, it can be hard to pick the right one when faced with the dizzying range of different steel carbon pans on the market.
This is why you need to carefully consider the following factors before making your final choice so that you end up with a product that will be a valuable addition to your arsenal of kitchen tools.
This is not the only consideration, but it’s certainly one of the most important ones. Prices of carbon steel pans range from suspiciously cheap all the way to ludicrously expensive.
Just keep in mind that although the price isn’t always a correct reflection of quality, with this type of product, you typically get what you pay for.
So, without killing your budget, aim to invest in the highest quality pan that you can afford. Avoid choosing cheap pans as you’ll likely end up with something that either doesn’t cook the food properly or a substandard one that doesn’t last very long.
On our list of the 10 best carbon steel pans, we’ve included some decent pans that you won’t have to spend tons of money on.
If you get a good quality pan and care for it the right way, it should last a lifetime. But, as I’ve mentioned before, not all pans are the same, and you need to ensure that the one you choose is well-crafted using high-quality, durable materials.
If you can’t physically inspect the pan, it’s a good idea to read through some of the online reviews from people who have actually used the product.
Customer reviews are a great source of valuable information when it comes to the durability of the pan you want to buy, and you’ll be able to make a better-informed decision about which carbon steel pan to go with.
Carbon steel pans, like cast iron pans, need to be seasoned prior to using them. Heat the pan with oil inside to build up non-stick polymers on the steel’s surface.
If seasoning your pan isn’t something you want to do yourself, you can simply buy a pre-seasoned one so you’ll be able to start using it right away.
If you prefer to know exactly what’s going into your food, or maybe you’re just old-fashioned, then use the tips outlined below to season your own pan so you can really make it uniquely your own.
Your cooking style is something that you need to think about when deciding on what weight your pan should be. A lighter carbon steel pan may strain your arms less, particularly if you do a lot of cooking.
Pans with sloped sides are ideal for sautéing, but if you are tossing food then you need a pan that is comfortable for you to lift.
The size of your pan is going to affect its weight (and obviously its price). These are things you need to consider together.
Depending on what you’re going to be cooking regularly, and how many people you’ll be cooking for, you can opt for a small, medium, or large carbon steel pan.
So, for instance, if you’re a person who usually cooks for a big family or if you do a lot of entertaining, then a large pan will be ideal for you.
Conversely, if you typically cook for yourself or just one other person, then a small pan will suffice.
How to Season a Carbon Steel Pan:
- You may have figured out already that carbon steel pans are available in pre-seasoned and unseasoned conditions. If you buy the former, then you can use it immediately you get it. All you need to do is wash it in hot water and dry it with paper towels and it’s good to go.
- However, if you opt for the latter, then there’s some work to be done before you can start cooking with your new pan. Seasoning a pan is simply a natural way to create a non-stick coat on the pan. This is also known as a patina.
- Steel carbon pans normally come with a wax coating that the manufacturers use to prevent rust. After purchasing your pan, you need to rub that coating off using lots of hot, soapy water and a scouring pad. You’ll probably need to give it a very good scrubbing in order to get the waxy protective layer off. This process will be even easier if you use a scrub brush or pad.
- There are many different ways of seasoning your carbon steel pan, but one of the most effective ones is as follows:
- Dry off the pan thoroughly and place it on your burner at its highest setting. Rub a very thin layer of cooking oil on the pan, and if there is any excess oil pooling or beading on the surface, wipe it off with paper towels otherwise, the build-up will become sticky. Heat the pan until the oil begins to blacken and smoke.
- Once you see the smoke, keep the pan on the burner for a further 30 seconds. After that, you can turn the heat off and let the pan cool down. This process has to be repeated six times, by the end of which your pan will start to darken from its new silver color to brown or black. When that is done, wipe down the pan with paper towels and you’re ready to get cooking.
- When properly seasoned, a carbon steel pan is just as non-stick as any Teflon-coated or anodized non-stick pan. Always read the instructions from the manufacturer to determine what the best way for removing the coating on your new pan is, and then follow that.
Advantages of Carbon Steel Pans:
Carbon steel may not look very pretty, but it functions better than most other offerings on the market. Whether you’re cooking at home or in a restaurant, there are many benefits to using these types of pans.
Carbon steel pans are made from industrial material that has a non-stick surface that is just as effective as Teflon coating.
They retain heat a lot better and distribute it more evenly than stainless steel which makes them ideal for searing and crisping your meat and grilling vegetables.
You’ll have one perfect dish after another when using carbon steel pans. They are also very lightweight compared to cast iron, which is great if you need to pick up and maneuver the pan with one hand.
In spite of their lightweight, these pans can still hold heat very well which allows you to toss and flip your food as you please – something that’s very hard to do when using, for instance,1623-12 inch carbon steel skillets.
In addition to all this, the non-stick properties of this pan allow you to add very little cooking oil to your dishes, which is very healthy and economical.
The only class of pan that might beat it is copper, but when it comes to the price tag, carbon steel still takes the cup. If you keep maintaining the seasoning, your steel carbon pan will give a lifetime of use.
How to Use Carbon Steel Pans Properly:
Once you’ve seasoned your pan, it’s time to put it to the test. There’s not much a high-quality carbon steel pan set can’t do – from flawless rolled omelets and perfectly sautéed chicken piccatas to roast Brussel sprouts and even baking a TarteTatin!
The effective heat distribution of this pan is the feature that is most important for helping you turn out impeccable meals every time.
This pan is incredibly versatile and you’ll be able to use it on any type of stove as well as under the broiler and in the oven. It will even stand up to the campfire or grill.
And the best part is that the non-stick pan will function well no matter what you’re using it for.
The heavy gauge steel makes it nearly impossible to damage or destroy this pan (unless you try very, very hard).
If the non-stick surface or patina is compromised by over-enthusiastic scrubbing or acidic foods, you’ll be able to simply season it again and instantly have a new non-stick surface to work with.
In fact, as long as you regularly season your pan, it will get better with each use.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Pre-seasoned vs. Unseasoned – What’s the difference?
A pre-seasoned pan isn’t necessarily better or worse than an unseasoned one, but you can use it immediately after you buy it, whereas you have some work to do first on an unseasoned one to give it that non-stick coating before you start using it. In terms of quality, though, there isn’t much difference.
If you’re new to carbon pans, you may prefer to get one that the manufacturer has already seasoned to avoid having to do it yourself.
2. Is a Carbon Steel Pan As Effective as All Other Non-Stick Cookware?
Carbon steel pans are indistinguishable from any other good-quality non-stick cookware you’ll find on the market.
You’ll have no problems whatsoever making eggs, grilled meats, or any other type of food that cooks well on a non-stick surface.
As long as you take good care of your pan with regular seasoning and maintenance, it will continue to provide you with great performance for a long time to come.
3. What if the Non-Stick Coating of my Carbon Steel Pan Wears Off?
This is where carbon steel pans have the advantage. If the seasoning of your pan starts to wear off and you find that your cooking is starting to stick, simply re-season the pan again.
Scrub off all the sticky patina until your pan is completely smooth to the touch. It may look a bit discolored, but that’s normal.
Season it again using the method outlined above and you’ll have a brand new non-stick surface to work with once again.
4. Are Carbon Steel Pans Economical?
Compared to Teflon-coated pans, these are a bit pricier, but they are a lot cheaper than cast-iron pans.
However, it’s important to note that this type of pan not only lasts a lot longer than most Teflon pans but it’s also possible to change the non-stick coating after it wears off.
5. Is it Safe to Use Carbon Steel Pans?
Absolutely! This type of cookware is not only safe to use, but it’s also healthy and economical, too as you don’t have to use so much cooking oil when preparing your meals.
The material and construction of carbon steel pans make them a must-have for anyone who wants to create easy, quick, delicious, and healthy meals.
Carbon steel pans offer a lot of benefits, and they make a great alternative to cast iron. If you visit most professional kitchens, you’re likely to find at least one such pan in use.
There’s a reason why they are so popular with professionals, and it’s the same reason you should cook with them in your home, too.
Use this article as your resource to help you choose the ideal one for you from our list of the best carbon steel pans on the market today.