"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cookware and Accessories > Cookware
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-06-2011, 03:06 PM   #1
Cook
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 60
Stainless steel vs. carbon steel

For some reason I just heard about carbon steel pans today. I did some google searching but that's showing up a large amount of worthless information. So, what is carbon steel and what is the difference between stainless and carbon?

__________________

__________________
TomatoMustard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2011, 03:27 PM   #2
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,341
Carbon steel will rust and stain. It has to be seasoned similar to cast iron. Carbon steel is standard wok material. It heats rapidly because it's so thin.

Plain, single layer stainless suffers from neither staining or rusting. It also heats unevenly, creating hot spots. SS multi-layer pans eliminate the hot spots.
__________________

__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2011, 04:10 PM   #3
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 511
once upon a time, Teflon did not exist.

the need for non-stick pans did however exist.

well seasoned cast iron and well seasoned steel pans were "the answer" - and, yes, they work quite well when properly cared for.

carbon steel has come back into popular vogue with the "Teflon will kill you!" crowd - mostly because it is lighter and easier to handle than cast iron. in the professional kitchen, carbon steel pans never left vogue.

there's cheap carbon steel and good carbon steel cookware. buy the good stuff if you want to go there.

it gets seasoned, it gets cooked in, it gets wiped out and put away. it never gets washed / scrubbed / dishwashered. people who understand that heating things to a couple hundred degrees is likely to kill bugs and germs don't have issues with that approach. not everyone understands how bugs die however, so you might want to check with those for whom you cook.
__________________
dcSaute is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2011, 07:50 AM   #4
Cook
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 60
Ah, so I'm behind the times. Well, good to know. I think I'll stick with my stainless.
__________________
TomatoMustard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2011, 11:14 AM   #5
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 4
Just out of interest, what is the life expectancy of a carbon-steel pan provided it is "dry cleaned" as it were and never washed. Would it be worth investing in a more expensive one in the hope it is better quality or is it more a case of replacing every few years regardless?
__________________
Stellar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2011, 12:50 PM   #6
Executive Chef
 
justplainbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Eastern Long Island, New York
Posts: 4,206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stellar View Post
Just out of interest, what is the life expectancy of a carbon-steel pan provided it is "dry cleaned" as it were and never washed. Would it be worth investing in a more expensive one in the hope it is better quality or is it more a case of replacing every few years regardless?
Properly cured carbon steel pans should last a lifetime and can be washed in very hot water. For centuries, people also did fine with carbon steel cutlery and were not put off by the black patina that such cutlery acquires.
__________________
justplainbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2011, 12:58 PM   #7
Master Chef
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 9,229
I have a carbon steel wok that I have been using for fifteen or more years. It's as good a pan as the day I purchased it. Good quality carbon steel, when properly cared for is as durable as cast iron.

Seeeeya; Goodweed of the North
__________________
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- http://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2011, 03:44 PM   #8
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 511
they'll last two, mebbe three human lifetimes. commercially they "die" from physical abuse - dents, etc.

deBuyer is a leading brand - might be a couple bucks more but you don't get left wondering if you bought a half quality pan.....
__________________
dcSaute is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2011, 03:54 AM   #9
Sous Chef
 
gadzooks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 838
I use carbon steel fry and saute pans. Cure them like a wok...heat and oil. I use coconut oil to cure and to cook. Clean-up is simple...hot water scrub, no soap, dry over a flame and wipe with a cloth and a bit of oil while still hot, hang 'til next time.
__________________
gadzooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2011, 01:18 PM   #10
Executive Chef
 
Timothy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: St. Augustine, Florida
Posts: 2,491
My cast iron pans have never seen water. I cook nothing in them that has a high water content and use oil and salt to scrub them.

It takes a bit of time, but when finished, the pan is as clean as can be and as dcSaute said, it's decontaminated by heat before the next use.

Just before using it, I heat it to "just starting to smoke" and then wipe it clean with fresh oil and paper towels.

Only thermophiles could live through that and they're all busy around the vents in the oceans.
__________________

__________________
Confirmed Sushi Addict
Timothy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.