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Old 06-04-2010, 12:53 AM   #1
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Smile Carbon Steel Skillets

I am interested in buying a carbon steel skillet. I have been reading comments online and find de buyer is the most recommended brand. I want to try the 8 inch skillet. What does the community think about these skillets for braising meats, cooking steaks, veggies?
I understand the handles get very hot and require the use of a pot holder. I hate using pot holders but surely don't want burned hands. i also understand about seasoning the skillets, keeping them clean, no soap, leaving a coat of oil on them for storing to prevent rust. Is there anything else I need to know?
Please give me some advise. This is my first time to post on a forum!
Thanks!

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Old 06-04-2010, 09:01 AM   #2
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I have 4 of the skillets you speak of...8-14 inches. They are excellent for searing and sauteing. They work much like cast iron except they heat faster. Like cast iron they will blacken in time and get a good patina on them. I don't cook acidic foods or sauces in them until they reach that stage.

Yes the handles will get HOT. deBuyer is the brand.
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:09 AM   #3
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I have a couple de Buyer mineral pans (not the carbon steel). Even if the handles didn't get hot, you would want to handle them with something. They're the most awkward handles ever riveted to a piece of cookware. A side towel does great for handling them though.

I would think the 8" pan would be a little small if you plan to use it for braising meat, and any steak bigger than a tenderloin is going to have to be one at a time.

My only experience with carbon steel cookware is on a wok. It's never been a problem to maintain. It gets treated just like the cast iron for the most part.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo410 View Post
I have 4 of the skillets you speak of...8-14 inches. They are excellent for searing and sauteing. They work much like cast iron except they heat faster. Like cast iron they will blacken in time and get a good patina on them. I don't cook acidic foods or sauces in them until they reach that stage.

Yes the handles will get HOT. deBuyer is the brand.
I have two of them -- 10-inch, both. I LOVE them for searing and sauteing, as well. Cannot recommend them highly enough.
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:43 PM   #5
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ChefJune, Thank you for your information. One person said the 8 inch skillet would be too small for steaks so I will consider a larger skillet. I think I read these are heavy skillets, thus my thought on a smaller 8". Iron skillets are too heavy for my hands to lift (arthritis). What are your thoughts on the weight of carbon steel skillets? Also I didn't know the de buyer mineral pans are not carbon steel (according to one response).
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:47 PM   #6
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imho, they are substantially lighter than cast iron. I do 2 pork chops/steaks each in my 10-inchers They're not too heavy for me.
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:47 PM   #7
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Do the deBuyer mineral pans work as well as the carbon steel as far as great searing etc? Are they heavy like cast iron? I have read complaints about the shape of the handles on this type pan. You would think someone could design a comfortable handle on such a work horse of a skillet!
I have a new smooth top electric range and do not want to put a cast iron skillet on this expensive piece of equipment.
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:10 PM   #8
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I only use the the mineral pans for those days when I need to go through a lot of pans very fast (ie. no time to clean my favorite pans between uses) which isn't very often at all. They're cheap, and heat well...and I suspect that once they're truly seasoned they'll be okay to cook with. The drawback is that they're super sticky (at least while they're newish). If you're thinking about them for everyday use, I'd go with the carbon steel. If money is a big factor, the mineral are sturdy enough to last forever but they seem to season pretty slowly (especially since I'm not using them often).

If protecting your range's top is the deciding factor, I'd stay away from the mineral. They're not as heavy as cast iron, but they're not all that light either. As I understand it, the mineral pans are actually iron. Perhaps an aluminum pan might be a better match?
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:38 PM   #9
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I have not used aluminum pans in 40 years! I would think they are too thin to use and food would stick. I will consider this option and do some research on them. I quit using aluminum pans because of health concerns. When stainless steel pans came out, health concerns was a big selling point.
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