Top 7 Best Carbon Steel Pans
A high-quality carbon steel pan is a very versatile tool to have for your kitchen. It can take on a variety of tasks without showing any wear or tear.
We have picked out the best carbon steel pans on the market this year and reviewed them here. Let’s check them out! 🙂
Our Top List
Mauviel M'Steel Carbon Nonstick Frying Pan
De Buyer Mineral B Carbon Frying Pan
De Buyer Mineral B Carbon Grill Pan
Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet
Winco French Style Carbon Fry Pan
Matfer Bourgeat Black Carbon Steel Fry Pan
Craft Wok Carbon Steel Pow Wok
1. Mauviel M’Steel Carbon Nonstick Frying Pan
The first carbon steel pan on our list comes from Mauviel with an excellent reputation for durability, and this pan has a nice curved design on it that makes it easy to toss ingredients very naturally as you cook without worrying about spilling them. This pan comes made out of extra-thick Black Steel with riveted handles that attach securely to the pan while being extremely durable and long-lasting, and the carbon steel is a fantastic heat conductor to ensure you don’t end up with any cold spots. You can choose from five sizes when you pick out this pan ranging from 8 to 14-inches, and each pan is made in France by a renowned company.
This pan comes outfitted with a lifetime limited warranty against manufacturer’s defects to help protect your investment and ensure you get a durable product that will last, and the pan withstands higher temperatures without any damage to let you preheat longer to get a fantastic sear. You can use this product on all cooktops, including induction, and you can use it with metal utensils without worrying about scratching it. You do have to clean the pot in very hot water to remove the beeswax before the first use, but this is there to prevent damage during transportation.
- Brand: Mauviel
- Material: Black steel
- Size:11-inch but five available
- Lifetime limited warranty
- Can use it on all cooktop types
- Withstands higher temperatures nicely
- Curved edge design
- Five sizes available
- Handle can get warm
2. De Buyer Mineral B Carbon Frying Pan
De Buyer has a carbon steel pan with excellent build quality and craftsmanship, and this product will sit flat on your cooktop to ensure you get even heating throughout the bottom and the sides when you cook. It uses a thicker gauge steel that shouldn’t warp from use at higher temperatures, and you get a longer handle that is very secure and that won’t heat up when you use it to make it safe to grip. This pan comes designed to be a bit higher than other options on the list, and this adds a small amount of extra volume that lets you cook more food at one time without having to get a larger pan.
There is an epoxy coating on this pan’s handle that makes it more comfortable to hold, especially when you pair it with the ergonomic grip. You can use it in the oven to temperatures up to 400-degrees Fahrenheit, but you do have to watch the epoxy on the handle when you get around this temperature as it can melt or burn off and release fumes. You get a lifetime limited warranty with this product that protects you against manufacturer’s defects, and the 11-inch size makes it a great all-purpose pan to use when you cook.
- Brand: De Buyer
- Material: Steel
- Size: 11-inch, but six sizes available
- Epoxy coating on the handle
- Oven-safe up to 400-degrees
- Designed to sit flat
- Comes with thicker gauge steel
- Slightly larger volume
- Epoxy coating can burn off in the oven
3. De Buyer Mineral B Carbon Grill Pan
This carbon steel Mineral B pan comes made out of 1% carbon and 99% iron to give it a better searing ability without any synthetic coating while making it as slippery as a brand-new non-stick pan. The pan comes with a beeswax finish on it that allows it to withstand oxidation during shipment and to help you with the seasoning process, and it’s PFOA and PTFE-free to make it healthier to cook with each time you bring it out. It comes built to last a lifetime with hand riveting on the handle that won’t loosen up over time while expanding and contracting at the same rate your pan does.
This pan won’t warp with exposure to high temperatures in or on the stovetop, and you can put it into the oven for a maximum of 20 minutes at 400-degrees Fahrenheit without damaging anything. You get consistent heat distribution along the bottom and up the sides to make it easier to cook, and the signature handle comes with an ergonomic design that is easy to balance and grip. The sides have a French curve on them to give you more volume while making it easier to flip and toss food, and this pan will turn darker the more you use it to ensure it seasons nicely to lend a wonderful flavor to your food.
- Brand: De Buyer
- Material: Steel
- Size: 12.6-inch, but two sizes available
- Hand rivets in the handle
- French curved walls
- Won’t warp
- Oven-safe for 20 minutes at 400-degrees
- Ergonomic design
May be too heavy for some people
4. Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet
This company has been fine-tuning their pan’s construction for more than a century to bring you some of the best products available on the current market, and this 10-inch seasoned skillet is one of the very few pre-seasoned options that is ready to use straight out of the box. Each skillet comes with a soybean oil seasoning on it, and the pan can easily maintain low and high temperatures without warping or incurring damage. This is a very versatile cooking piece that works well for use in searing, browning, or sauteing your food to get the perfect finish to make all of your meals delicious, and it does very well in both professional and residential kitchen settings.
This product features 12-gauge carbon steel in the design that is very high density and doesn’t retain any odors from the things you cook in it, and the metal surface will heat up very quickly but retain the heat you need for longer cooking times. The handles on this product are slightly longer to extend your reach and maneuverability as you cook, and it’ll stay cool to the touch to make it safe to grab. You should hand wash this pan as it has a seasoning on it and dry it with paper towels, and you can choose from four styles and four sizes when you purchase it to tailor your purchase to your needs.
- Brand: Lodge
- Material: Steel
- Size: 12-inch, but four sizes available
- Soybean seasoning on it
- 12-gauge carbon steel design
- Handles higher heat
- Has a longer handle
- Four styles available
Edges are lower
5. Winco French Style Carbon Frying Pan
This is a French-style carbon steel piece of cookware that is a nice option for casual cooks because it’s hard to tell the difference between premium modes and this one, and this is a more budget-friendly option that doesn’t sacrifice quality for price. You’ll find these products in restaurants and professional kitchens throughout the United States, and you get a slightly thinner gauge metal that will heat up quicker when you cook with it to help you get done faster. This is a lightweight pan that is easy to maneuver around the stove, and it comes in at just over two pounds.
You can use this pan at a moment’s notice without having to waste a lot of time preheating it, and this model can survive on a high burner or in an oven at 500-degrees Fahrenheit without warping or showing any damage. You can choose from five sizes when you order this product to ensure that you get the correct size for your needs, and these pans come with a flat buy longer handle that will stay cool when you cook to keep you comfortable.
- Brand: Winco
- Material: Steel
- Size: 11-inch, but four sizes available
- Lightweight design
- Thinner metal heats up quickly
- Oven-safe up to 500-degrees
- Has a longer handle
6. Matfer Bourgeat Black Carbon Steel Frying Pan
You’ll get a broad range of uses with this pan because it offers top-notch heat production and precision temperature control across the pan and up the sides to ensure that you preserve the nutrient and vitamin content of your food while ensuring they get a nice sear on them. This pan features Black Carbon steel that is a natural mineral that promotes a stick-free cooking experience without any harsh chemicals or coatings, and the product is also PFOA and PTFE-free, and this makes it healthier to cook with on low or high temperatures. You can season this pan as you use it, and it’ll get more flavorful and non-stick the more you use it.
The steel handle on this pan comes welded to the pan’s body for extra security and strength without any rivets that prevent bacteria from being trapped in it, and you get an angled design that is ideal for stirring, sauteing, and mixing all of your favorite dishes. It can withstand and maintain very high temperatures, and you can use it on all stove and hob types, including induction ones, without causing any damage. This product is made in France by a reputable company, and it has high standards for performance, durability, and hygiene.
- Brand: Matfer Bourgeat
- Material: Steel
- Size: 11-inch, but nine sizes available
- Welded steel handle
- Several sizes available
- Seasons as you use it
- Black Carbon steel design
- Can withstand high temperatures
Not easy to use
7. Craft Wok Carbon Steel Pow Wok
The final product on the list is a rounded, bottom-heavy 16-inch, 15-gauge carbon steel wok that is a commercial grade product, and you want to season this pan before you use it to start building up the layers to protect the material from rust. You get a guide with the wok that instructs you on how to season it if you’ve never done it before, and this product comes hand hammered by Chinese professionals to ensure that you get a professional-grade product that will last for years of heavy use. The customer service team is very responsive to questions or concerns, and this is great if something comes up with this product.
This wok weighs in at 4.6-pounds to make it a very sturdy and heavy product that can withstand heavy use, and you get a steel helper handle that won’t burn when you use it over higher temperatures. You can use this handle to hang the wok up between uses to keep it out of your way, and the wooden handle comes with a special grip on it that won’t get slippery as you use it. The wok is 100% authentic traditional carbon steel, and it measures 16-inches in diameter.
- Brand: Craft Wok
- Material: Steel
- Size: 16-inch
- Heavy-duty design
- 100% carbon steel
- Seasoning guide included
- Responsive customer service team
- Can hang between uses
Metal part of the handle gets very hot
Verdict & Review
Our pick for the best carbon steel pan is the Mauviel M’Steel Carbon Nonstick Frying Pan because it comes with a nice curved design on the walls to make it easy to cook with, and you get a riveted handle that won’t move or loosen when you use it. It heats up quickly and evenly, and we liked that it came in several sizes that range from 8 to 14-inches. Finally, the pan comes with a limited lifetime warranty on it, and you can use it on a range of cooktops without causing any damage.
These pans can be an expensive investment, especially if you have to purchase several different ones for your kitchen. Knowing whether or not you’re getting a quality product is important, and the following criteria are something you want to keep in mind.
Heating Response Times
Generally speaking, the thicker and heavier the metal of a pan is, the longer it’ll take to heat up. However, carbon steel pans are usually more responsive to heat because they are thinner. You want a short heating response time on your pan, so look for one that is slightly thinner but is flat.
Most of the pans on our list are slightly heavier than traditional cookware, so you want to pay attention to the weight to ensure that you don’t get a pan that is too heavy for you to comfortably use. Try to find a balance between a lightweight pan that doesn’t sacrifice durability or size for weight.
Since this can be a more expensive investment, you want to go with a reputable brand that has experience in creating these types of pans. More well-known brands are good choices when it comes to any type of cookware because they’re usually more responsive to questions or concerns when you try to contact them. Also, they usually pay closer attention to the materials they use and the build processes to ensure you get a pan that lasts.
Depending on how many pans you want to buy at one time, your budget can factor in very quickly. Ideally, you should make a list of the pan sizes you need and set your budget to ensure that you can buy everything you need without breaking your budget. Remember, these pans are designed to last for years at a time, so you will pay more upfront for them.
Some of the carbon steel pans on the list come pre-seasoned, while others come with no seasoning, and you have to do it. Decide if you want to season your pans from scratch or not because this will factor in to which pan you pick out. The more seasoning you have on the pan, the better the non-stick coating will be to ensure that your food slides right out.
Carbon Steel Pan FAQ
These pans are very versatile and popular in commercial-grade kitchens. However, you can easily use them at home as long as you know how to season and use them correctly. The following questions will give you a better understanding of each of these pans.
1. Is a carbon steel pan worth it?
Yes, these pans are well worth the slightly higher costs purely because they’re extremely durable, will last for years, and offer a huge range of versatility when it comes to cooking with them.
2. Why does everything stick to your carbon steel pan?
You have to season these pans before using them and keep seasoning them to build up a non-stick surface. If you don’t, there is a very good chance that everything you cook in it will stick to the bottom instead of sliding out nicely.
3. Why do chefs use carbon steel pans?
Chefs use these style pans over other types because they can heat up very quickly and maintain higher temperatures. They’re also lightweight and easy to maneuver to help you cook different dishes and get a nice browning or sear on the food.