Best Carbon Steel Cookware To Buy in 2022

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For years, cast iron cookware has been a popular kitchen mainstay, but professional chefs worldwide have grown to enjoy pans made of different compositions: carbon steel.

When used to make cookware, this alloy works identically to cast iron, with comparable durability and adaptability. It is also lighter, less crumbly, and smoother.

To help you choose which is ideal for your kitchenware collection, we looked into the best carbon steel cookware on the market and created the handout of top options. Let’s find out!

Top Listing

Best Carbon Steel Cookware Review

1. Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet

Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet, Pre-Seasoned, 12-inch
 in stock
16 new from $44.90
8 used from $31.08
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 20, 2022 3:54 am

Features

  • 14 GAUGE CARBON STEEL heats quickly and retains heat for even cooking; best for searing and browning
  • Use on gas, electric, induction stovetops, outdoor grills or open fire
  • Seasoned with oil for a natural, easy-release finish that improves with use. Its lightweight design and long, comfortable handle makes it easy to maneuver from the stove to the table
  • Easy care: hand wash, dry immediately, rub with cooking oil
  • Made in USA; Approx. 12" diameter rim to rim/9.875" bottom

Pros:

  • Handy insulated handle
  • Slop on the edges
  • Easier to maneuver
  • Tolerate high heat

Cons:

  • Handle-heavy

2. 12″ Blue Carbon Steel Frying Pan

Made In Cookware - 12" Blue Carbon Steel Frying Pan - (Like Cast Iron, but Better) - Induction Compatible - Professional Cookware - Made in France
 in stock
Amazon.com
as of September 20, 2022 3:54 am

Features

  • Total Diameter: 12.5” | Cooking Surface Diameter: 9.25” | Height (with handle): 4.5” | Depth: 2.25” | Length (with handle): 21.5”
  • The Ultimate Hybrid - Combines the heat retention and slick properties of cast iron with the heat control, lightness and cooking speed of Stainless Steel.
  • Incredibly Durable - Can endure decades of use and handle heat up to 1200F
  • Ready for Anything - From stovetop to grill to open flame, this induction compatible pan is perfect for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Made In France - Proudly crafted by artisans in France from premium metals to ensure you receive the highest-quality, professional-grade cookware

Pros:

  • Heat up to 1200F
  • High-quality material
  • Heavy duty
  • Well-made
  • Comfortable handle

Cons:

  • Hard to clean

3. Matfer Bourgeat Black Carbon Steel Fry Pan

Matfer Bourgeat Black Carbon Steel Fry Pan (11 7/8)
 in stock
6 new from $60.00
5 used from $60.34
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 20, 2022 3:54 am

Features

  • VARIETY OF USES: Brings top-notch heat distribution and temperature control, preserving the vitamins and nutrients in your foods, making it excellent for searing meats, browning omelets, grilling fish, and cooking a wide range of dishes, even desserts
  • NATURAL NON-STICK MATERIAL: Made of of black carbon steel, a natural mineral material promoting healthy cooking making this pan free of any harsh chemicals or coatings, PTFE and PFOA free , and once seasoned, becomes exceedingly non-stick
  • DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: The steel handle is welded to pan's body for extra strength and security, is free of rivets, preventing bacteria from being trapped certifying sanitary use, and its angled design makes it ideal for easily sauteing, stirring, and mixing your dishes
  • HIGHLY COMPATIBLE & VERSATILE: This steel pan can also withstand and maintain exceedingly high temperatures, as it can be used on all hob and stove types, even induction
  • MADE IN FRANCE: Ensures high standards for durability, performance, and hygiene for both commercial and residential use

Pros:

  • Great heat retention
  • Oven safe
  • Simple and robust design
  • Solid built

Cons:

  • Short handle

4. BALLARINI – 75000-891 BALLARINI Fry Pan

BALLARINI - 75000-891 BALLARINI Professionale 3000 Carbon Steel Fry Pan, 11"
 in stock
2 new from $44.95
1 used from $40.93
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 20, 2022 3:54 am

Features

  • Durable, thick construction
  • Boasts unparalleled heat retention for perfect browning and frying; achieve the same results as cast iron with this lightweight option
  • Superior flat base stability – pan will not bulge
  • Sloped side walls offer easy tossing and sauteing
  • Angled handles

Pros:

  • Durable construction
  • Angled handles
  • Smooth carbon steel surface
  • Sloped sides
  • Easy to raise and shake with one hand

Cons:

  • High long handles

5. BK Pre-Seasoned Black Steel Induction

BK Pre-Seasoned Black Steel Induction 12" Frying Pan Skillet, Oven Safe, Black
 in stock
4 new from $58.48
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 20, 2022 3:54 am

Features

  • Since 1851, BK is the Royal Founder of the Dutch oven and known throughout at the world for a heritage of innovation.
  • Black Steel is three times denser than aluminum, corrosion and stain resistant, as well as stronger and more durable than traditional grey carbon steel
  • Pre-seasoned with oil, this pan comes with a thin silicone wax coating that’s much easier to remove than a thick layer of beeswax or grease, so it’s ready to use after a quick wash with soap.
  • Designed to develop a natural nonstick patina layer, this is a pan for life. The more you use it, the better and more nonstick it becomes.
  • The heat-responsive design means you get the same great searing results as cast iron without the hassle.

Pros:

  • A quick wash with water
  • Oven-safe up to 600°F
  • Affordable
  • Can work on many stovetops
  • Great non-stick surface

Cons:

  • Unevenly heat supply

6. Babish Carbon Steel Wok

Babish Carbon Steel Wok, 14-Inch
 in stock
2 used from $42.32
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 20, 2022 3:54 am

Features

  • Babish 14 Inch Carbon Steel Wok (6" Flat Bottom)
  • Heavy-gauge, carbon steel for rapid and even heat distribution perfect for frying and stir-frying
  • Riveted wooden handles provide strength and stay cool to the touch
  • Efficiently absorbs oil to build a naturally nonstick capability for easy food release and cleanup
  • Safe on the grill and on gas, electric, ceramic, glass, and induction stoves

Pros:

  • Large size for a big batch of food
  • Warp-resistant
  • Easy cleanup
  • Versatile

Cons:

  • Handwash only
  • Not long-lasting coating

7. 12″ Blue Carbon Steel Wok

Made In Cookware - 12" Blue Carbon Steel Wok - Professional Cookware - Made in France
 in stock
Amazon.com
as of September 20, 2022 3:54 am

Features

  • Made In Cookware
  • Total Diameter: 12.5” | Cooking Surface Diameter: 5.5”
  • Height (with handle): 5.25” | Depth: 3.75”
  • Length (with handle): 21.5”
  • Award Winning Design - The Made In Wok features a flat bottom and long stay-cool handle that makes it perfect for stir-fry

Pros:

  • Lighter in weight
  • Aesthetically pleasing thick metal 
  • Cook food evenly
  • Stay cool handle

Cons:

  • A bit of hassle with stick surface

8. Merten & Storck Pre-Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet

Merten & Storck Pre-Seasoned Carbon Steel Pro Induction 10" Frying Pan Skillet, Oven Safe, Stainless Steel Handle, Black
 out of stock
Amazon.com
as of September 20, 2022 3:54 am

Features

  • Pre-seasoned, Carbon Pro develops a nonstick patina with use: the more you cook the more nonstick it gets
  • Lightweight and quick heating carbon steel delivers cast iron performance without the weight or the wait
  • Oven safe up to 600°F
  • Metal utensil safe
  • The sturdy stainless steel handle is riveted to create a sturdy hold

Pros:

  • Space saving
  • Great heat distribution
  • Quickly heat up
  • Good handle balance
  • Cook well

Cons:

  • Exposed hot handle

9. De Buyer Mineral B Carbon Steel Frying Pan

de Buyer - Mineral B Carbon Steel Frying Pan - Naturally Nonstick - Oven-Safe - Induction-ready - 12.5"
 in stock
4 new from $105.00
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 20, 2022 3:54 am

Features

  • Carbon Steel Pan: 99% iron and 1% carbon, slippery with better sear, without any synthetic coating
  • The Darker The Better: Signature beeswax finish protects against oxidation
  • Nonstick Kitchen Essentials: Has natural nonstick once seasoned; Follow seasoning care instructions
  • Made in France: Engineered and manufactured following the most stringent quality requirements
  • About de Buyer: French maker of premium kitchen accessories, pastry equipment, and cooking utensils

Pros:

  • Pre-seasoned
  • Attractive look
  • Retains heat well
  • Effective non-stick

Cons:

  • Poorly balanced and heavy
  • Not for oven

Buying Guide

There are several brands of carbon steel cookware available, and there aren’t many distinctions between them, so purchasing it is pretty tricky.

We believe that heating capacity, price, material, construction, and versatility are all significant factors to consider.

Heating Capacity

To provide a reliable cooking experience, you should consider a decent carbon steel pan with good heating capability. Similar to cast iron, carbon steel has a high heat endurance. Therefore, you can use it with various cooktops, including induction and open flame.

While some manufacturers of carbon steel pans can survive temperatures as high as 1200 degrees, most can endure temperatures up to 800 degrees.

Besides, carbon steel is that it responds swiftly to temperature fluctuations, getting hotter more quickly and cooling off more quickly when the heat is reduced or eliminated.

Price

A carbon steel pan doesn’t cost a lot, yet it is still important to consider it carefully before making a purchase. 

There is a wide range of prices for carbon steel. Even though it costs more than cast iron on average, high-end stainless steel and copper alternatives are frequently cheaper. 

Material

Cast iron and carbon steel are frequently contrasted because of their many commonalities regarding toughness and adaptability.

Both are created from alloys that contain iron, but cast iron and carbon steel differ in that cast iron has between 2 and 3.5% carbon, whereas carbon steel only has 2%.

Induction cooktops can use carbon steel because of its iron concentration, and with time, its flat surface will develop a patina that makes it inherently nonstick.

If you’re searching for these pans, carbon steel is a great option because it works well with flat, flared-sided profiles, such as those of skillet, paella, and wok pans.

Construction

Only 1% carbon and 99% iron combine to make a carbon steel pan. Given that it only has a little amount of carbon, it tends to be lighter and has a smoother, less brittle surface.

Versatility

Carbon steel pans are well known for their versatility. They are excellent for all-purpose cooking, but it excels in high-heat cooking techniques such as simmering, searing, and sauteing.

Make sure the pan you’re choosing has enough uses. Choose a carbon steel pan if you want a pan that can serve several purposes.

FAQs

Is carbon steel durable?

A quality carbon steel pan will survive for many generations when properly maintained.

Being a brittle material is why cast iron pans are so thick. They can shatter but never bend (which is unusual). On the other side, carbon steel is more malleable.

How frequently should a carbon steel pan be re-seasoned?

If your pan exhibits rusty symptoms or feels like it has a crust of old food buildup, you need to re-season it. 

Normally, your pan will continue to develop seasoning with usage, but if you ever want to “start again,” scrub the surface with an abrasive sponge to remove any roughness, and then repeat the seasoning procedure.

Is carbon steel prone to warping?

Yes, it will deform if it experiences sudden temperature variations, especially when it is new. To prevent this, use slow-heating, slow-cooling carbon steel pans. Never place a hot pan into cold water.

Is carbon steel safe for ovens?

Most carbon steel pans can withstand any temperature in the oven. However, some will have a lesser rating if they have a silicone handle, and some are only rated to 450F for unknown reasons.

Most brands are oven-safe; however, check the manufacturer’s specs before purchasing.

Why is the carbon steel pan I use sticks?

If this problem happens, you either used too much oil when seasoning it or didn’t wash it thoroughly enough after usage. You have to start anew after removing the oil coating.

Conclusion

There are a ton of great and reasonably priced options if you’re looking to purchase a carbon steel pan for the first time.

We will store De Buyer Mineral B Carbon Steel Frying Pan in the kitchen because its average price is well worth the functionality and durability.

If you’re unsure if carbon steel is right for you, the BK Pre-Seasoned Black Steel Induction, our best carbon steel cookware budget pick, is a terrific place to start.

We also like the choice of Merten & Storck Pre-Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet a lot. It’s a simple and convenient method to start using carbon steel cookware.

Whatever you decide, we believe that carbon will continue to be the pan you reach for most frequently if given a choice.

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