Finding the right cooking pan for your needs can be tough. There’s an ever-growing list of options to choose from and each one looks better than the last, thanks to smart marketing campaigns.
In such a situation, the last thing you want to do is make an uninformed decision, as that will increase your chances of ending up with a pan that doesn’t really suit your needs.
A lot of people prefer to use non-stick pans because they’re easier to cook with and clean up afterward. However, non-stick pans are so finicky that you must only use certain types of utensils on them, and the coating of the pan is usually made with toxic chemicals.
The good news is that you’ve got another, better option to consider. Carbon steel pans are of high quality and they’re versatile and very easy to use.
The even better news is that we did some digging to bring you a selection of only the best carbon steel pans on the market, most of which are manufactured by companies that have been in the business for centuries, and are, therefore, masters at creating high-quality products.
MINERAL B Round Carbon Steel Fry Pan – Best Aesthetic Design
The De Buyer Mineral B Round Carbon Steel Fry Pan is a versatile option that works just as well at searing vegetables as it does at flash frying.
The lightweight design makes it really easy to use, and soon you’ll find yourself tossing food in the air like a real chef. Speaking of which, the De Buyer brand is a favorite among professional chefs around the world, and this might have something to do with how spacious it is and its efficient heat distribution.
The French manufacturer claims that this pan is 100% natural and eco-friendly, which is good news for any environmentally conscious reader. You’ll also be glad to know that you can use this pan on an electric, gas, or induction stove without any problem. In fact, you can even take it with you on your next camping trip and use it to cook on an outside fire and you’ll still get great results.
The ergonomic handle has been purposely designed to ensure ease of use and convenient handling, and this pan has been finished with beeswax in order to protect it from oxidation. However, it’s important to note that it requires that you season it before initial use.
- Gorgeous, elegant design
- Beeswax finish protects it from oxidation.
- Made with real iron
- Great performance
- It’s not a pre-seasoned pan
Matfer Bourgeat 062005 Frying Pan – Best Variety
Matfer Bourgeat is one of the few pan manufacturers that offers a truly wide variety of options in different sizes. For our review, we picked their 12-inch carbon steel pan, which works similarly to the others, but is simply different in size.
Known by the code 062005, this pan has been ergonomically designed to ensure ease of use, and it comes with a lot of thoughtful features. For example, there’s a conveniently shaped handle that’s meant to fit any hand comfortably so that you don’t strain your wrists when making your favorite dishes.
Furthermore, this pan is made from ultra-durable black steel with rivet attachments that hold it together, and since it weighs just short of 5 pounds, it feels feather-light on the hands.
Aside from their rock-star quality customer service, Matfer Bourgeat has created a pan that’s versatile enough for use on any and all stove top surfaces.
However, you’ll have to season it yourself to extend its lifespan, because it doesn’t come pre-seasoned.
- Ergonomic design
- Made from ultra-durable black steel
- 12-inches is a lot of space
- Needs to be seasoned
Mauviel M’steel Black Steel Frying Pan – Best for Versatile Applications
This black steel frying pan from Mauviel is yet another stellar example of French design and manufacturing. This manufacturer has been around for a long time as well, and they have an extensive product range, from which we picked this 8-inch model to review for you.
First of all, it’s made from black carbon steel which makes it quite good; this feature is what’s responsible for the pan’s superb heat conduction. This means you can use this pan for a number of culinary applications, from searing vegetables to browning meats, and it’s suitable for use on all cooking surfaces as well. In fact, this is one of those versatile pans that you can even place in the oven if you like.
Another convenient feature worth mentioning is the pan’s prolonged heat retention capability, which allows you to switch off the stove and enables the food to cook and avoid burning or overcooking.
Considering how thick this pan is, it’s a wonder how they were able to keep it at a weight of only 2 pounds.
The only downside is that it’s not pre-seasoned, and it’s not dishwasher-friendly, either so you’ll have to hand-wash it after each use.
- It’s made from heavy-duty black steel.
- Lots of sizes to choose from
- Retains heat for burn-free cooking
- Weighs just 2 pounds
- You have to season it yourself.
Lodge 12 Inch Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet – Best Overall Quality
Are you ready to cook like a world-class chef? This 12-gauge carbon steel pan from Lodge might just do the trick.
This pan promises to ensure that your food is evenly cooked, thanks to its heat retaining properties, and it performs well in high-pressure and high-heat environments as well.
Adding to this pan’s high durability rating is the angled steel handle that’s kept in place using steel rivets; the whole pan weighs only 5 pounds, so it’s really easy to use.
Oh, did we mention that the Lodge Company has been around since the 1800s? Yep! And we believe the secret to their longevity to be their attention to detail and the ability to make reliable products that can last for a lifetime.
They’ve also pre-seasoned this pan (as they do), which means you can start using it as soon as you take it out the box.
- Made by a prestigious manufacturer with a respectable reputation
- Comes already pre-seasoned
- Durable and long-lasting
- Suitable for use on any cooking surface
- Lightweight and easy to use and handle
- It’s not dishwasher-friendly so you can only hand wash it