The 5 Best Carbon Steel Pans for Every Budget

Rate this post

You may not have heard of carbon steel cookware, but it is one of the finest things to have in your kitchen if you are serious about cooking. Professional chefs use it in restaurant kitchens, where accuracy and quickness are critical. Fortunately, you don’t have to break the budget to have what the professionals have. The greatest carbon steel pan is available for you, and it can be customized to fit your budget.

This isn’t your typical stainless steel pan, which, although excellent, pales in comparison to carbon steel pans. They are also known as black steel pans and are among the best-performing cookware you will ever come across. Let’s go through the benefits quickly: carbon steel pans have excellent heat retention, sear food evenly and evenly, can be used safely over high heat, and have nonstick capabilities when properly seasoned. In a word, they have all of the benefits of a cast iron skillet but none of the drawbacks. They are also less expensive!

Today, we’re going to show you all of the benefits of this sort of cookware. We’ve assembled evaluations for the finest carbon steel pans on the market for home chefs of different budgets. Who said it had to be costly to make restaurant-quality food?


1. Best Carbon Steel Pan for the Money: Matfer Bourgeat 8-Inch Frying Pan

If you’re on a limited budget, this Matfer Bourgeat is likely to be the lowest quality pan you’ll find. While it is smaller in size, it is ideal for crepes, eggs, and achieving a lovely sear on any piece of meat.

What we like most about this carbon steel pan is its durability. The carbon steel alloy utilized is of the finest grade and can resist the rigors of cooking. This carbon steel pan can withstand usage under extreme heat or inadvertent pounding on the counter.

The handle is very well-made, which is a great benefit. Because this pan is heavier than other pans you may have at home, it is reassuring to know that the handle will not separate from the body of the pan.

While it does not come pre-seasoned, it is simple to season on the stovetop or in the oven with any oil having a high smoke point. You’ll be able to appreciate the advantages of owning an excellent nonstick pan at home after you season it at home.

This pan is suitable for all stovetops, including gas, electric, and induction. You may alternatively bake it for up to twenty minutes at 400F. This will provide you more flexibility in the kitchen, allowing you to test out new dishes.


2. Runner Up: Lodge CRS8 8-Inch Pre-Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet

This Lodge carbon steel skillet is another excellent value. Lodge is well-known for producing high-quality cast iron skillets, and their carbon steel line is no exception.

The fact that this pan may be used safely on high-heat sources is its main selling feature. All carbon steel pans do this, but this one does it extremely well, even after years of usage. It’s ideal for oven cooking as well as grilling over an open flame. Despite this, it never warps, bends, or imparts a metallic flavor to your meal. You can’t get much more versatile than that.

The handle is fairly strong as well. It’s bonded in such a manner that it never comes loose from the pan’s body. This means you can handle it easily without fear of an accident in the kitchen. Furthermore, its flat and extended shapes make it easy to grasp.

You can use this seasoned carbon steel skillet right away since it comes pre-seasoned. See for yourself the incredible nonstick capabilities that this pan will have for years to come. Unfortunately, just because it arrives pre-seasoned does not mean you will never have to learn how to do it yourself.

All you have to do to maintain it in such good condition is season it once in a while. Furthermore, cleaning is simple; just handwash it and blot it dry with a paper towel or microfiber cloth afterward.


3. Top Premium Pick: De Buyer Mineral B 12.5-Inch Carbon Steel Frying Pan with Handles

If you have the extra cash, we suggest giving this De Buyer Mineral B Carbon Steel Frying Pan a try. Its distinctive form makes it the ideal carbon steel pan for stir-fries or preparing a healthy and tasty Paella!

The size and form of the De Buyer pan distinguish it from other variants. It may seem strange at first, but you’ll be astonished with how useful this pan is. Because it has high sides, you are less likely to make a mess in the kitchen, particularly if you are doing a stir-fry or anything with a lot of sauce.

Furthermore, the two handles make it extremely simple and safe to carry. You may effortlessly transport it to the table where you will serve your dinner party guests without fear of dropping it. Furthermore, it gives the pan a very classic, rustic, and sophisticated appearance.

When you unbox it, you’ll need to grease it and heat it up. You must season it yourself since it does not come pre-seasoned. But the good news is that you’ll learn straight away what you need to do to maintain your carbon steel pan in peak condition.

Another significant advantage is the Mineral B pan’s versatility. Because the pan’s bottom is precisely flat, it may be used on any kind of burner, even induction stovetops.


4. Top Carbon Steel Pan for Sautéing: Craft Wok Traditional Hand-Hammered Pow Wok

This is what you’d expect to find in an Asian street food establishment. The Craft Wok Carbon Steel Pan makes frying vegetables and meat a breeze. Furthermore, since it is so adaptable, it will let daring home chefs feel confident enough to try out some new dishes!

Let us now discuss the design of this pan. The pan’s deep, concave design enables you to put a lot of stuff within. Furthermore, the curved edges let you to move them around fast and easily, enabling your vegetables to be caramelized yet crunchy on the exterior.

The handle is one of the most comfortable we’ve encountered on carbon steel pans. Even while cooking at very high temperatures, the wood on the exterior maintains the warmth of the handle low enough to be agreeable to the touch. Furthermore, since it is fashioned like a cylinder, it fits perfectly and pleasantly in your hand. This is ideal for stir-frying since it allows you to simply and effortlessly keep the meat and vegetables moving.

The bottom of this traditional-style wok is curved rather than flat. As a result, you may only use it on a gas stove burner. It is not compatible with either electric or induction cooktops. The good news is that you can use this wok over a hot open flame without fear of it losing form.


5. Best Non-Stick Carbon Steel Skillet: Mauvier M’Steel 11-Inch Frying Pan

Mauviel MSteel has been around for a long time, and they’ve continuously produced high-quality cookware. Nobody was surprised by their entry into the field of carbon steel pans, particularly because this pan is of the best quality.

This type was chosen as one of the finest nonstick carbon steel pans for one simple reason: seasoning the Mauvier MSteel fry pan is straightforward. For some reason, it absorbs oil more easily than other pans and retains its anti-adherent characteristics for a longer period of time. It’s an excellent choice for home chefs who have never seasoned a cast-iron pan before.

Furthermore, the entirely flat bottom makes this pan very flexible and adaptable. It works with gas, electric, and induction burners. Unlike the wok we just saw, it will not move or slide.

The material’s quality should also be considered. The pan and handle both hold up really well with time and usage. If you take appropriate care of it, it will be just as excellent years later as it was when you unboxed it.

Another amazing feature of this pan is that it is entirely handcrafted in France. With so many kitchen gadgets made in China, it’s great to see a brand stick to its European heritage. Furthermore, it is another another indication that MSteel is a reliable brand.


What Makes a Carbon Steel Skillet Different from Other Cookware?

Titanium, copper, cast iron, and carbon steel are all examples of metals.We understand. Why is there so much variety in cookware? Don’t they all do the same thing?

Both yes and no. diverse cookware serves diverse functions, as all experienced home chefs are aware. And, in our view, purchasing a carbon steel skillet is a highly enjoyable and valuable purchase. After all, carbon steel is unlike any other kind of cookware material.


Carbon Steel vs Stainless Steel

Let’s address the elephant in the room: are carbon steel and stainless steel interchangeable? Both titles seem similar, however they refer to distinct kinds of cookware.

Stainless steel pans, in a nutshell, are more of a beginner’s mainstay. They do not rust, are simple to maintain, many include anti-adherent coatings, and are simple to use. They do, however, have certain drawbacks.

Carbon steel cookware fills in the blanks. It is also simple to use, long-lasting, and nonstick if properly seasoned. However, unlike conventional cookware, it retains heat well and is engineered to withstand very high temperatures without warping or leeching any components into your meal.

You can see how black steel (or carbon steel) is superior than stainless steel, can’t you? It’s no surprise that experienced cooks choose carbon steel in their kitchens.


Is a Carbon Steel Pan Safe?

Yes, carbon steel skillets are safe for you, your family, and the environment. They were developed as an alternative to hazardous cookware such as aluminum and poisonous nonstick pots and pans. You’ll receive the benefits of cooking with all of those ingredients without any of the negative side effects.


Is a Carbon Steel Pan Non-Stick?

The bad news is that even the greatest carbon steel pan will not come with a chemical nonstick coating. Not even cast iron cookware, which are still popular among home cooks!

The good news is that you can make your own anti-adherent layer at home for pennies on the dollar. When you season your pan correctly, you ensure that no food sticks to it while you cook. All you need are a few ingredients that we’re confident you already have in your kitchen. And as you practice, you’ll rapidly become an expert at seasoning.

As a side note, you may come across a carbon steel pan that has already been pre-seasoned by the manufacturer. This does not imply you will never have to season your skillet again. Rather, it indicates you’re not responsible for the initial usage.


What Is the Best Carbon Steel Pan?: Buying Guide

So you didn’t locate the ideal carbon steel skillet. Not to worry! There’s a lot more to look into. We put up this brief shopping guide because we don’t want you to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. It will assist you in selecting the finest carbon steel skillet possible. When you begin your search on your own, look for these attributes; the finest carbon steel pans will check off the majority of these boxes.



First and foremost, you must choose the size of your carbon steel skillet. They come in a variety of sizes, so it all depends on how much storage space you have in your kitchen and how you want to use your pan.

The most common sizes are eight inches, which is ideal for crepes, twelve inches, which is ideal for searing chunks of meat or fish, and eighteen inches, which is ideal for huge servings of wonderful stir-fry.

Remember that the greater the size of the pan, the higher the price.



Carbon steel pans are very strong and long-lasting. A well-made pan should endure for decades. In most circumstances, it is a worthwhile investment.

The problem lies with dishonest manufacturers. If you find a particularly inexpensive pan offered from a brand with no online reviews and no reputation, you should probably pass on that bargain. For a safer and smarter investment, stick to well-known and trustworthy manufacturers, such as those featured in this article.


Best Carbon Steel Pan Materials

The benefit of carbon steel pans is that they are all constructed from the same components. However, some manufacturers may include extraneous components in their pans that may be damaging to you in the long term. We advise against using enamel cookware. Carbon steel pans are already excellent without any coatings, and maintaining them well-seasoned is simple and rewarding.


Quality Handle

If you plan on using your carbon steel skillet often, you’ll want handles that are both durable and ergonomic. The handle should be thick enough to sustain the weight of your pan when lifted and securely fastened to the pan with robust bolts. Furthermore, since these pans are heavier than other pans you may have at home, the handle should be pleasant to grasp.



As we’ve shown in this post, you don’t have to break the bank to buy a high-quality carbon steel pan. There are several models available for sale. They are often smaller in size, but no less valuable! If you really want to indulge, you can purchase bigger ones with more polished designs. A larger budget will allow you more leeway in selecting the ideal pan for your purposes.


Stovetop Compatibility

Most of these pans are suitable for use on any kind of burner, including gas, electric, induction, and even ovens. But not all of them are. Some versions, for example, aren’t suitable for electric stoves since the base isn’t exactly flat. Others cannot be used in the oven due to their plastic-cast handles. Before buying a carbon steel skillet, make sure that it is suitable with your stove.


What is the most versatile carbon steel pan size?

12-Inch Lodge Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet

Its 12-inch carbon steel skillet provides the greatest flexibility in the kitchen, however smaller variants are available.

What is the best steak carbon steel pan?

Overall winner: Merten and Storck Carbon Steel Pan

Merten & Storck’s carbon steel pan is pre-seasoned and has an extremely nonstick coating straight out of the box. Fried eggs float to the top, and steaks sear to a lovely, deep, even sear with no extra oil.

What is the best carbon steel pan that doesn t warp?

Overall winner: De Buyer 11-Inch Fry Pan

The De Buyer carbon steel fry pan has excellent workmanship and build quality. Their pans are always flat and built of heavy gauge steel that would never deform. The long, angled handle is really secure, and it makes moving the pan around on a crowded cooktop a breeze.

Are carbon steel pans worth it?

Carbon steel pans are the preferred cookware in restaurant kitchens because they are flexible enough to handle low-heat cooking of delicate meals like eggs and crepes as well as high-heat sears of meats like fish filets and steaks.

Do professional chefs use carbon steel pans?

Carbon steel and stainless steel pans are often used by professional cooks because they both perform well on a burner. Nonetheless, each pan has its own set of advantages.

What carbon steel pans does Gordon Ramsay use?

HexClad, the hybrid cookware brand, certainly does. And they’re the same pans that celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay uses at home.

How do I choose a carbon steel pan?

What to Look for When Buying a Carbon Steel Skillet

Lighter weight is obviously superior in any style—we preferred pans weighing three pounds, three ounces or less. Lighter pans heated up more quickly and were simpler to carry and move.

What oil is best for carbon steel pan cooking?

We advocate using oils with higher smoke points, such as canola, grapeseed, or sunflower oil, and keeping lower smoke point oils, such as butter or sesame oil, on the market. We’ll explain why you should season your Carbon Steel with specific oils further down.

What foods are best cooked in a carbon steel pan?

Steak. Steaks should be cooked fast over medium-high to high temps to get the greatest browned sear on the exterior while remaining pink and juicy on the inside.
Eggs. To minimize browning, we learnt in culinary school to cook eggs at lower heats for longer periods of time.
Vegetables roasted.

What are the downsides of carbon steel pans?

Carbon steel cookware is thinner and lighter, making it simpler to use on the stove. The disadvantage is that heat retention is reduced since there is less bulk to store the heat. It’s also not particularly thermally conductive, so anticipate hot areas that cause certain meals to cook unevenly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *