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Old 03-31-2008, 06:06 PM   #1
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Arcane cooking terms

I wish to buy a carbon steel or black steel frying pan. I don't believe these terms are interchangeable, which is to say they differ from one another. The "great" Google is not so great I have yet to discover what these terms mean or what the difference is.

As if that isn't bad enough, I've encountered the stupid description "lyon shaped handle" 43 million times. What in the heck is a lyon shaped frying pan handle? I'd be so grateful if a savvy kitchen person out there would educate me a little (or lot if he or she has the patience).

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Old 03-31-2008, 07:22 PM   #2
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a carbon steel pan is a heavy thick metal "frying pan" (sloped sided saute pan) made of carbon steel. It must be seasoned as it will rust otherwise. It can take very high heat and is great for searing meat and going from stove top to oven. THe Lyon handle is gently v shaped. deBuyer makes these pans. They also make a carbon steel straight sided saute pan. whether you see white steel, blue steel, or black steel, (the later two coated which you will wash partly off and begin the seasoning again, ) is pretty much immaterial. (different company have different finishing process.) Personally I like the deBuyer "white" carbon steel so I can start burning it in myself.

As with cast iron, just wash with brush and hot water and re oil. THe more you cook the blacker it gets.


Advantage over cast iron...in a fry pan/saute pan is quick heating.

I use mine a lot.
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:53 PM   #3
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Just to add something to what Robo said - steel is an allow of iron and up to about 2% carbon. So, all steel is carbon steel.

In addition to some steel pots/pans being coated with a removable protective coating which must be removed before the pan is seasoned like cast iron, there are some steel pots/pans that are called white/red/blue/black (depends on the color used) steel which are coated with porcelain enamel - like the Le Creuset cast iron pots. These do not require seasoning.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:33 AM   #4
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Thank goodness for certified chefs. Now I know why my mother threatened to put me out for adoption if I ever touched her absolutely black pan or tried to wash it. It made the greatest over light eggs that ever lived.

You must complete my education. I haven't a clue what you (Robo410) mean by: "The Lyon handle is gentle v shaped." That's like telling me a corkscrew is gentle curve shaped! I don't understand.

My mother's pan had a flat metal handle that was riveted to the pan and angled up an inch or two from the rim. You had to use a pot holder when cooking with it or suffer a third degree burn. I'd love to know where I can buy a frying pan like that.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:37 AM   #5
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Carbon and Black Steel Pans
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:59 AM   #6
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Andy, Thank you for that link — those pans look like the ticket, but I'm still being assaulted by those wretched words: "Lyon shaped frying pan." And I'm still asking — what the h... is a Lyon shaped frying pan?

How ridiculous can it get? What's different about the shape of those frying pans than the millions of all other frying pans in the world? Am I cuckoo or what?
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:10 AM   #7
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Not cuckoo. Those pans are Lyon shaped. Straight sloped sides rather than curved sides and a flat bottom. Don't make it more complicated than it is.
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:13 PM   #8
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When I used Google Image Search, the first page of hits for "Lyon shaped pan" contained at least a few pictures of those types of pans. Individual results may vary, since Google "learns" about its users. And it may not give much an explanation, but sometimes a picture is worth at least a handful of words.
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Old 04-01-2008, 03:56 PM   #9
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Please forgive me if I sound a little testy, but I'm starting to lose it. Isn't there anyone out there who can explain in kindergarden English what the difference is between Google's "Lyon shaped frying pans" and all the non-Lyon shaped frying pans in the rest of the world. (I think you guys are pulling my leg.)

For the purpose of illustrating what a "Lyon shaped frying pan" is, those pictures aren't worth a jar of warm spit as far as I can see.
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Old 04-01-2008, 04:03 PM   #10
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I don't think there is much difference between one frying pan and another, shape wise. Here's a link that has a description of why it is a lyon shaped pan.
Black Steel Lyon Shaped Frying Pan at FoodServiceDirect!
I'm assuming that the name has to do with the town of Lyon in France.
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