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ncmoose
06-05-2018, 10:35 PM
I know there are a fair number of cast iron fans among the brethren and I have a couple Erie/Griswold pans that I use and wouldn't give up for anything, but am I missing anything by not having a carbon steel skillet? I know it needs to be seasoned and maintained like cast iron, but is it lighter enough or offer any other advantages to give it a go?

Czarbecue
06-05-2018, 10:48 PM
I have the 10/12" version of the Lodge carbon steel and I like it to sear steaks or make quesadillas. It heats up faster and transfer heat better than cast iron but it loses the longevity of the heat since it is not as thick.

Sid Post
06-05-2018, 11:20 PM
Personally, I use a lot of De Buyer myself. Really nice stuff.

The crepe pan makes a really good steak! The Country Pan is sort of a cross between a wok and a stock pot and I use it a lot for almost anything you can cook on a stove top.

The smooth surface has its advantages for some things. :wink:

These are better for elderly who lack the grip strength or have arthritis and can't deal with the weight of cast iron or, people like me that appreciate the difference between thick cast iron of today versus the lighter weight and durable steel originating out of Europe today.

Why buy lightweight cast iron today when steel is so cheap and so good?

Sid Post
06-05-2018, 11:23 PM
I know there are a fair number of cast iron fans among the brethren and I have a couple Erie/Griswold pans that I use and wouldn't give up for anything, but am I missing anything by not having a carbon steel skillet? I know it needs to be seasoned and maintained like cast iron, but is it lighter enough or offer any other advantages to give it a go?

Try a De Buyer Mineral B "Country Pan" or a Crepe Pan. Popular sizes aren't that expensive so, it's easy to 'test drive' one and see if it meet your expectations.

ssv3
06-05-2018, 11:35 PM
I've been eyeing the carbon steels for quite a while but I hold of since I have Lodge CI's. I may bit and buy a 12" though for the reasons Czar mentioned.

One Drop
06-12-2018, 01:51 AM
I'm a huge carbon steel pan fan, since using them professionally for decades.

I got a nice Lodge cast iron pan a while back that I also love, but that I use differently.

For stovetop searing and finishing in an oven carbon steel wins out hands down, the pans get hotter faster and cool down faster for better temperature control, and are easier to throw around and take in and out of the oven. So I use mine for all quick searing jobs and also sometimes for searing off meats before transferring them to other recipients for longer cooks.

because of the better heat retention, and the usually thicker and higher straight sides of most cast iron designs, I find them better for longer sautéing and browning jobs like potatoes, or Spanish omelettes, or anything where you need a good sear and then to consume cooking at lower even temps. The seasoning on cast iron holds up better to these kinds of cooks as well, as simmering anything in a carbon steel pan will strip the seasoning quickly, if there is any acidic present in the liquid. Cast iron iOS more forgiving and the seasoning is generally more durable and thicker all else being equal.

For most home cooks I would say cast iron is more versatile and will get more use and be more useful if you want to have fewer pans in your collection. If you prefer to have more utensils and use the precisely best one for each occasion, I would say a carbon steel pan is a must have for it's incredible searing properties and precision.

I learned to cook with high stovetop heats and control my heat by taking the pan on and off the heat, I do this without thinking and it just works for me. A cast iron pan will destroy my wrists cooking this way.

Last point - cast iron wins hands down for cooking over campfires or a fire pit, I'll throw my Lodge on to my Weber to cook breakfast for a few people or to do some sides at the end of a BBQ cook, but I would never put my De Buyers over coals or wood, not out of fear of ruining them, but because cast iron is way better for the job.

I use De Buyer because I'm used to them and because they are cheap here, you have great carbon steel options that are US made, I'd compare those to De Buyer and buy what is less expensive near you.

De Buyer's Mineral B range have silicone coated carbon steel handles that stays cooler and fit home stovetops and smaller ovens easily, and have a coat of beeswax that keeps them from rusting before you use them the fist time (you burn this off when you first season them).

The Carbone Plus are the pro models found in commercial kitchens all over France and elsewhere in Europe, if you have a big range or a pro piano these are the bomb.

Blizzard
06-12-2018, 06:35 AM
I think carbon steel cleans up much easier than fast iron. I think they are more versatile than cast iron as well. For years I cooked with cast but then read about carbon and bought a Lodge 10 inch. What a great pan. Then last year I bought an Aus-Ion pan. They are carbon steel made in Australia. Just beautiful pans as well, all one piece from the handle down to the pan itself. It’s my go to everything pan. And yes. I cook with them over an open fire in my fire pit. They are rugged and durable enough to withstand the open fire environment.

But for me, the weight and the ease of clean up make them far, far superior to Cast Iron. Plus they take less work to season properly.

Twisted T's Q
06-12-2018, 06:15 PM
are they good for cooking eggs and omelet's ?

Joshw
06-12-2018, 06:38 PM
Steel pans are good, and you should try one. But for searing, and most things, I personally prefer the CI. The steel pans do heat quicker, and more even, but once CI gets hot, it stays hot. So when you put cold meat in it, you don't have as much temp loss with the CI as you do with the steel. They are lighter, and smoother than CI.

I've been eyeing the carbon steels for quite a while but I hold of since I have Lodge CI's. I may bit and buy a 12" though for the reasons Czar mentioned.

Cook
06-13-2018, 04:52 PM
Twisted T, yes they cook eggs marvelously. Steel is the only thing I use for eggs at home anymore.

I have several CI, but seldom use them any more. I use carbon steel most of the time. I don't have nice, expensive pans...just those I can pick up at the local restaurant supply. I don't think I have one that cost over $15.

I have one Lodge steel pan, and it is my least favorite of the ones I have ever worked with. It is heavier than my other oans, and doest season as well. I rarely use it because I didn't like it from the start. I guess I should use it more...maybe I would grow to like it.

Yes, I will agree that CI holds heat better...it's a huge heat sink. I dont have any issues with temperature drop off when using steel pans and my induction range. With the induction the response time to changes is instantaneous.

Norm
06-13-2018, 06:10 PM
They are the standard for the most part in professional kitchens.

Quick to heat up and easily cleaned.