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Old 12-21-2011, 04:19 AM   #1
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Characteristics of carbon steel cooking utensiles?

Hi,

We had a new kitchen put in, and the range uses induction, so we need to replace some pots and pans.

We want to buy a new wide (min. 35 cm, and up to 40 cm.) frying pan suitable for induction, but the only one we could finds is a carbon steel one.

Seeing as we use this sort of pan to simmer things, make sauces, etc. rather than just fry, would carbon steel be OK?
Its chief virtue seems to be that it heats up very quickly, and holds a very high temperature.

However, what we *really* wanted was just a Teflon-coated large-size pan.

Is carbon steel the righ thing and, above all, is it tough to clean and maintain?
And is it fragile?

All the best,
Alex R.

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Old 12-21-2011, 06:02 AM   #2
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If you want to simmer in a shallow pan-
Flat Bottom Paella Pans | La Paella
For frying, however, I prefer a heavy French carbon steel pan, e.g.-
http://www.debuyer.com/product.php?i...at=14&lang=ENG
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:17 AM   #3
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Alex, any pan that's magnetic with a flat bottom will work on your cooktop. All-Clad tri-ply stainless line of cookware is suitable for induction cooktops. I would assume others would be as well.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:29 AM   #4
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The Tramontina Lyon line of cast aluminum with non-stick coating over ceramic is also induction ready. Tramontina

Tramontina Domus TripleBase is magnetic stainless steel and also induction ready. Tramontina

And of course cast iron. Theirs and other makes.
Tramontina

But not all stainless clads will work. They must be made with magnetic stainless. Look for a specific statement that a product will work.
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:56 PM   #5
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Carbon steel rocks. Comes two ways black steel and carbon steel. Black steel is carbon steel, usually thinner than what is commonly called carbon steel. Has all the same characteristics as a carbon steel wok. Heats fast and evenly. cooks quick. The thinner stuff is great for fast sautes and omelettes, the heavier pans for braising, simmering and searing. Care is the same as cast iron, without the initial oven seasoning. Be sure to wash with hot water and dry thoroughly...I dry mine on a low burner, oil it hot.
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:32 PM   #6
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Thanks for all your suggestions.
Bill, the model I saw was a de Buyer, such as you suggested.
What you and Gadzooks say makes me think this would be a good choice after all.

I am a bit wary of the non-stick aspect, and am wondering if abrasives will harm it, but I think I may well go for it.

All the best,
Alex R.
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexR View Post
Thanks for all your suggestions.
Bill, the model I saw was a de Buyer, such as you suggested.
What you and Gadzooks say makes me think this would be a good choice after all.

I am a bit wary of the non-stick aspect, and am wondering if abrasives will harm it, but I think I may well go for it.

All the best,
Alex R.
You're welcome. We do not use non-stick (e.g. teflon) coated pans.
I have had occasion to use a blue fiber scrubby on carbon steel with good results.
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:28 PM   #8
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Carbon steel...you can't really hurt it. Once it's seasoned, oil it hot after you clean it and it will be virtually non-stick forever. I can't really afford deBuyer so I get mine from World Market.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gadzooks View Post
...Be sure to wash with hot water and dry thoroughly...I dry mine on a low burner, oil it hot.
Yes, definitely dry your carbon steel pan thoroughly and if you can, do as gadzooks suggests or heat it in the oven for a bit because even the tiniest bit of moisture can result in RUST, and damn quickly at that.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:00 AM   #10
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And, although the common wisdom is that meat grease makes the best season for cast iron and carbon steel, many vegetarians blanch at the thought. Most vegetable oils leave a stickiness, but I use coconut oil. It is perfect, whether you're a vegetarian or not. (I'm not, btw.) Should mention that I have salvaged badly rusted carbon steel pans. If all the rust is removed and the pan seasoned properly, the remaining pitting doesn't hurt the non-stickiness of the pan at all.
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