Best Carbon Steel Skillet Reviewed

7 Best Carbon Steel Skillet Reviewed and buying guide 2019

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There are different cook wares made of different materials. So, it can sometimes be a bit confusing for the buyer. All these materials have unique features, attributes, benefits, and qualities. In the past few months, we noticed that a lot of the people are looking for the best carbon steel skillet. Therefore, we decided to test the durability and specificity of this cookware.

After testing through different branded utensils, we have come up with the general queries of the users along with the top 7 carbon steel skillets in the market.

Let’s get to know about the top ones in the market.

What is a Carbon Steel skillet?

The carbon steel skillet is popular in modern kitchens. This carbon-steel cookware is compared with cast iron. Both of these are quite similar, and this contains a lesser amount of carbon and more iron. This is made of 99 percent of iron along with 1 percent of carbon. The cast iron ones contain 97-98 percent iron and 2-3 percent carbon.

Carbon steel is quite similar to the cast iron, but carbon steel ones have many benefits over iron cast ones. Both of these are very common in the market, and both have the capacity to withstand high temperature. However, the carbon steel cookware has a smoother surface which makes seasoning easier and it heats up real fast.

Let’s dig into the article and get to know the purpose of using the carbon steel pans and skillets in the market.

Purposes of Using the Carbon Steel Skillet

When it is about buying the nonstick skillets, most people lean toward either the old cast iron pans or the high-tech coated ones. But, they mostly forget about carbon steel. Carbon steel pans are one of the best in the market, and it is very versatile. The smoother and lighter carbon steel pans are in the market for a long time.

You need the best quality carbon steel skillets for cooking purposes. These pans are nonstick, and apart from searing food well, these are also oven safe. In addition to this, these are light-weight and easy to take care of.

Benefits of Using the Carbon Steel skillet

Carbon steel cookware is the best choice for the kitchen. You can make your cooking a lot more easy and comfortable by adding new carbon steel pan to your kitchen. Here are the benefits of using the top quality carbon steel skillet:

  • Lightweight: The best thing about the carbon steel wok is this is very lightweight, unlike the traditional pans. You can carry it without any strain on the body. Carbon steel pan is also great for outdoor as it hats fast.
  • Easy to clean:  Like you already know, the carbon steel pans have a very smooth surface. This actually makes cleaning the cooked foods from the surface easier. You do not need to scrape hard for entirely taking the oils or spices off it.
  • Non-stick: The great thing about these is that these pans are non-stick. This means that the food will not stick to the pan after cooking. This makes it great for all types of cooking such as making sautéed veggies, frying chicken, frying eggs etc. You can 100% be sure that you will not have to go through the trouble of cleaning the food off the pan. 
  • Oven-safe: These are oven-safe. You can put it inside the oven for cooking purposes, unlike the steel or aluminum ones. This pan will not cause any harm to your oven as well. So, you can be absolutely sure about the carbon steel pan.
  • Even-cooking: If you are looking for a pan that assures you even cooking then, carbon steel wok is the one for you. This pan heats up very fast, and you can use it for cooking your foods evenly. It will not overcook or undercook your food.

How to Use Carbon Steel Skillet ?

We have already talked about how useful and beneficial it is for your kitchen but do you know what the best way of using the carbon steel pan at home is? Here is how you should use the carbon steel wok:

  1. The carbon steel pan can be used with the stovetop in the oven. This makes it ideal for outdoor grillers. These pans work great with any heat source.
  2. The cookware made from carbon steel can be used for all types of cooking techniques. These pans are made in a way that you can bake, steam, or fry with it. For most of the home cooks, the first choice is to sauté the meats and vegetables. However, it can also be used for roasting and searing chickens and steaks. If you are Asian, you would probably fall in love with this pan.
  3. With correct seasoning, you will be able to make scrambled eggs and fish on your skillet. As these pans are non-stick, it will not stick on the pans. Some people even use these pans for making apple pie or cornbreads.
  4. You should avoid cooking tomatoes, wines, vinegars or lemons i.e. any acidic foods on your carbon steel pan.

Is Carbon Steel Skillet Toxic?

While buying, most of the buyers want to know whether the carbon steel pan is toxic or not. Let us point out what you can get from this cookware.

You might not know, but carbon steel wok fortifies iron into your meal. Iron is mineral, and this is very important for your body. With this cookware, you are adding nutrients to your food.

Although when carbon steel pan was marketed there were multiple debates, it got a good response in the market. Carbon steel wok needs to be seasoned before using it in cooking. For this, you can either go for pre-seasoned ones or non-seasoned pans.

If you do not season the pans then, the carbon will easily rust, and this rust can be harmful for your body. But, carbon steel pans do not have any disadvantage. Rather, it is a great way to add nutrients to your food.

Next time, when you are buying cookware in the market, make sure those are made of carbon steel as carbon steel is non-toxic, durable, light-weight and user-friendly.

Are Carbon Steel Skillets non Stick?

Well, if you are wondering whether the skillets are nonstick or not, then, we would like to tell you, not all of them are non-stick. Generally, you will get two types of skillet in the market, one is pre-seasoned, and the other is non-seasoned. Non-seasoned skillet needs to be seasoned before using it. This is because; otherwise the carbon will get rushed easily.

The seasoning process of the carbon steel skillet is very easy. It is a bit time consuming, but this will help your cookware to last a long time. Usually rubbing some oil on the cooking surface and heating it in a definite way can save the iron from rusting. The seasoning also makes the skillet nonstick. So, if you have purchased a non-seasoned skillet from the market do not forget to season it before. After seasoning, your food will not stick on the surface.

The whole process of seasoning has been described below. Sometimes the entire process needs to be repeated twice or thrice to make the skillet perfectly seasoned.

Carbon Steel Skillet Using on Video

How to Clean Carbon Steel Skillet?

When it comes to cleaning the carbon steel pan nothing can beat it. The smooth surface of these pans, help you in cleaning the pan effectively. Again, the pan is seasoned before using, and this makes it non-sticky. Hence, the food will not stick to the surface, and it can easily be cleaned. You do not need to struggle while cleaning it.

Just clean it with the regular dishwashing liquid. However, do not scrape off the seasoning, this will make the condition of the pan worse, and your food will stick on it.

Review of the top 7 Best Carbon Steel Skillets

1. Lodge 3.5 Inch Cast Iron Mini Skillet-Miniature Skillet for Individual Meal Use or Desserts:

This has to be in the top 7 skillets list because this skillet heats up real fast and retains heat evenly. Therefore, the food you are cooking gets perfectly cooked, and it tastes absolutely amazing. This is a multi-functional pan and can be used on the stove or in the oven. This is also a great choice for the outdoors. Lodge is one of the best kitchenware manufactures that has is best known for its product quality. The easy handle attached to it makes it very comfortable to use.

Features:

  • The cast iron provides best heat retention. This makes the pan the best choice for cooking especially if you prefer to cook steak, sauté your veggies or fry foods in it.
  • This skilled is seasoned with vegetable oil. Therefore, you do not need to season it after purchasing from the market.
  • The pan has very smooth finishing, and the best thing is the finishing improves with use.
  • Taking care of this pan is very easy. You can hand wash it using regular dish soap.
  • The size of the skillet is 3.5 inches in diameter.
  • These pans are a great campfire, grilling or stove use.
  • This is a made in USA product.
PROS
  • Versatile and can be used even in outdoors
  • Very reasonable price
  • Durable
  • The right tool for fry, braise, bake, sauté or sear
  • Pre-seasoned
    CONS
    • Cannot be used inside the oven

      2. Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with Hot Handle Holder- 10.25 inches Cast Iron Frying Pan with Silicon Hot Handle Holder (Black):

      Another low-end yet quality option for the skillet in the market is the Lodge seasoned skillet. The company Lodge has been in business for a long time, and they are best known for the quality of a product in the market. This pan is pretty big and has many positive reviews from the customers on Amazon. This will make cooking faster and easier for you.

      Features:

      • With this pan Lodge continues in making quality American products. This is a professional skillet that can be used for cooking a wide range of foods.
      • This is a pre-seasoned pan. The seasoning is very good, and it can make a difference in cooking. The pan is seasoned with vegetable oil and does not contain any harmful chemicals or coatings. Therefore, the more you will use, the better it will get.
      • This comes with a silicone handle. So, you won’t face any difficulty while holding the pan. Cast iron gets very hot when heated, and this silicon handle is stylish and safe.
      • Lodge is an American company, and all of these pans from Lodge are made from America.
      PROS
      • Has a very reasonable price point
      • Comes with a tempered glass lid
      • Made under a popular name
      • Versatile
      • Stylish and safe
      • Taking care and washing is very easy
      • Very durable
        CONS
        • Not suitable for oven

          3. Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Non-stick Cookware, Sauce Pan, 1 1/2 – quart, Black:

          If you are looking for a sleek design along with comfort then, there is nothing better than the Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Non-stick Cookware. This carbon steel wok does not only look good but also have a versatile usage. These are the best to use in professional as well as amateur use. Although the price is a bit higher, this pan guarantees your best cooking experience.

          Features:

          • Made with heavy gauge aluminum and this ensures even heating.
          • This is safe to wash in the dishwasher.
          • The body is hard anodizing for ensuring durability.
          • The interior is made with three layers of nonstick coating- the first two layers guarantee durability, and the third one is for easy performance.
          • The long and brushed steel handle is designed for safe handling of the skillet. The pan and the cover are safe to use inside the oven.
          • Inside of the pan is non-stick which means you can use less oil for cooking.
          • This carbon steel pan comes with a guarantee.
          PROS
          • Can be used inside the oven
          • Very durable
          • Stylish and safe to use
          • Comes with a glass lid
            CONS
            • Bit expensive compared to others in the market

              4. Tramontina Professional Fry Pans (2-Pack):

              An Amazon customer favorite skillet is the Tramontina Professional fry pans. There are great for those who are looking for reasonable as well as healthy kitchenware. The Amazon customers rated this fry pan highly. This is one of the most popular choices among the chefs in the professional kitchens. With the help of Tramontina Professional Fry Pans tossing the food while cooking or just shifting the skillet between the stoves is very easy.

              Features:

              • This pan is made with NSF-certified commercial grade heavy gauge Aluminum.
              • This fryer is great for all types of kitchen works.
              • This is nonstick, pre-seasoned and also safe to use with the dishwasher
              • The handles are removable and come with soft-grip silicon sleeves
              • This pan is so versatile that you can use it with ceramic glass, gas or electric oven
              PROS
              • Can be washed in a dishwasher
              • Suitable for all types of oven
              • Reasonable price
              • Safe handle
                CONS
                • Does not come with a lid

                  5. T-fal E938s3 Professional Total Nonstick Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Fry Pan Cookware Set, 3-Piece, 8-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch, Black:

                  Another great skillet is the T-fal E938s3 Professional Total Nonstick fry pan. This is a pocket friendly as well as a versatile fry pan. This can be both used for commercial and home usage. This has many positive reviews from the verified customers of Amazon. The best thing about this skillet is this is pre-seasoned. Hence, you will not need to spend 3-4 hours in seasoning of the pan. This skillet is best for cooking the steak evenly or getting a nice sear on the steak.

                  Features:

                  • This pan is very durable as it comes with the Pro-metal pro nonstick interior.
                  • The pan is resistant to scratches and safe to use along with other metal utensils.
                  • The unique T-fal thermal spot is the heat indicator of the pan. This shows when the pan is ready for cooking.
                  • This is safe to wash in the dishwasher.
                  • The silicone handles are safe for holding.
                  PROS
                  • Safe to use
                  • Oven safe to 400 degrees F
                  • Scratch resistant and safe for metal utensils
                  • Durable
                    CONS
                    • Does not come with the glass lid

                      6. Calphalon Classic Nonstick Dutch Oven with Cover, 5 quarts, Grey:

                      If you are looking for a non-stick pan that is very sturdy and can be used for a long time then this is the one for you. You can buy this carbon steel pan to make your kitchen work easier. The best thing about this pan is this comes with straining lids, convenient mark, and pour-spouts. Calphalon Classic Nonstick Dutch Oven with Cover is comfortable to use and more durable than any other brand available in the market.

                      Features:

                      • This pan is a dual-layer non-stick pan for easy release of the foods and quick clean-up.
                      • This comes with pour spouts, straining lids and convenient measuring mark.
                      • The Tempered glass lid is included with the pan.
                      • This has a durable construction.
                      PROS
                      • Very durable
                      • Can be washed by dishwasher
                      • Kitchen convenient
                      • Reasonable price
                        CONS
                        • Handles do not have silicon cover

                          7. Cuisinart CIPS630-20 Chef’s Classic Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron with Cover, 3 quarts, Black:

                          The last but not least, this skillet from Cuisinart is a pan that makes cooking easier and simpler. You can use this pan for frying, grilling, braising, searing and sautéing. This is not just very durable but also available in three different colors. This is a great choice for the kitchen.

                          Features:

                          • This pan comes in three attractive colors such as cast iron black, enameled cardinal red and enameled provincial blue.
                          • The cast iron construction retains heat.
                          • The pan is great for even cooking.
                          • Very versatile for sautéing, searing, baking, braising, grilling and frying.
                          • Simple to use and cookware is pre-seasoned.
                          • The smooth interior and exterior ensure durability as well as easy release.
                          PROS
                          • Comes with a lifetime warranty
                          • Ensures even cooking
                          • Effortless use
                          • Very versatile
                            CONS
                            • A glass lid would have been perfect for this pan.

                              General Buying Guide On Carbon Steel Skillet

                              Choosing the right skillet in market is not easy. Here are the things that you need to consider while buying your carbon steel wok. We along with our experts found out the things the buyer needs to consider at the time of buying their favorite carbon steel pan.

                              1. Price: When you are buying a carbon steel pan, you need to choose your budget first. This budget will tell you which one to choose. There are both expensive and cheap pans in the market. However, you need to go for a middle range one if you are in a tight budget.
                              2. Durability: Most of the people look for a durable carbon steel wok, but some of the pans are more durable than others. You must be surprised to know that, carbon steel pans are famous for its durability.
                              3. Seasoning: You can either go for pre-seasoned or non-seasoned pan according to your preferences. If you do not want to season it yourself then, go for the pre-seasoned ones. Both types are available in the market.
                              4. Dimensions: These pans come in various shape and size. You need to pick the right size according to your requirements.
                              5. Weight: Weight is a very important issue here. If you are outdoorsy then, you should pick the light ones. Honestly, the quality skillet made of carbon steel is the light ones.
                              6. Others: Along with the mentioned things you here are a few things that you need to look for as well. These are the best-suited source of heat, comfort, and length of the handle and the country o origin.

                              While buying the skillets, don’t forget to pay attention to these small things. This will help you to choose the best one for your kitchen as per your needs.

                              Frequently Asked Questions

                              There are hundreds of pans from hundreds of brands. Here are the few FAQs that most of the buyers ask at the time of buying the best carbon steel pan.

                              1.Question:  What should be the weight of the carbon steel pan?

                              Answer: Carbon steel pans are available in 2mm or 3mm. 3mm is heavier and close to the weight of iron. If you want your pan to get heated fast, then choose the 2mm ones.

                              2. Question: Should I go for smaller ones or larger ones?

                              Answer:  Well, this totally depends on you. If you have more family members or if you host a lot of parties then, it is better to go for the larger ones.

                              3. Question:  Seasoned or non-seasoned?

                              Answer: Both pre-seasoned and non-seasoned pans need to be seasoned before starting cooking. Season makes the pan non-stick. According to the users, seasoned pans are great for the newbies.

                              4. Question: Which manufacturer should I choose?

                              Answer: There are many manufacturers, but you need to choose the pan that fulfils your requirements and also in your budget. You can choose anyone from the above to make the most of your money.

                              5. Question:  Is carbon steel okay for cooking?

                              Answer: The amount of carbon in the carbon steel is very less.  It literally does not affect you unless you are cooking acidic food items on it. Therefore, avoid using vinegar, tomatoes, wines etc. from your carbon steel pans.

                              Conclusion

                              Finding the best carbon steel skillet can be trouble. For a safer option, you can choose any of the above-reviewed skillets. All of these have been used by professional chefs, and we asked them to review each of these pans individually.

                              We personally prefer Lodge 3.5 Inch Cast Iron Mini Skillet-Miniature Skillet for individual meal use or desserts. Lodge is in business since the 1800s, no wonder why they have the top quality skillets made of carbon steel in the market.

                              If any of these are not available around you then, you can go through the guide before making a decision. Always remember that a pan lasts a long time and you make your everyday food on it. Hence, be a bit liberal when it comes to buying the skillet for your kitchen. This is because, you are ensuing health and safety of the people around you.

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