Carbon steel material is lightweight and versatile compared to cast iron. This material is more durable than regular non-stick copper skillets. You only need to follow the instruction guides for cleaning and maintenance, and you’re good to go. After all, who wouldn’t want to prepare meals on cookware that only needs hot water rinsing for cleaning? Unlike steel, carbon steel skillets are resistant to stain and corrosion.
They’ll last to outlive their lifespan while improving their function with every use. Doesn’t that sound like cookware that reflects your money’s value?
Our Top Carbon Steel Skillet Picks
We took our time to review the best carbon steel skillets that will enhance your cooking experience at home. Our top picks come in different sizes, brands, and prices to cater to your unique taste, cooking needs, preferences, and budget. Most importantly, these picks are versatile, and some brands support oven use. We answered some frequently asked questions to improve your cooking and cleaning experience with carbon steel skillets.
1. Lodge Manufacturing Company Carbon Steel Skillet, 12-Inch
Lodge Manufacturing Company Carbon Steel Skillet made it to the top of our list thanks to its relatively affordable price. It is high-quality and durable to give you your money’s value thanks to its heavy-duty 12-gauge carbon steel construction materials. It features a sturdy silicone hot handle fitted with strong steel rivets. While you can use it in nearly all stoves, it cooks best on induction cooktops.
This pan is versatile for home kitchen and outdoor use. You can use it to grill, pan-fry, deep-fry, sear, grill, and roast your steak and other meats. The seasoned surface gives it natural non-stick properties that prevent stains from stuck food particles. This brand comes in 10 and 12-inch skillets. However, this pan isn’t suitable for oven or direct heat use.
Unlike many carbon steel skillets, you can use a dishwasher to clean this pan without damaging the coating or non-stick tendencies. Alternatively, you can wash it with your hands, dry it with a paper towel and rub it with cooking oil to enhance your experience with continued usage. Generally, this product shouldn’t miss in any home kitchen.
• Dishwasher friendly
• Natural coating
• Comes with a user guide
• Not fit for oven use
• Not ideal for direct heat
2. BK Cookware Black Carbon Steel Skillet 12-Inch
BK Cookware Black Carbon Steel Skillet is a new-generation pan celebrated by chefs across the world. It features lightweight construction material that makes it ideal for browning and seasoning. The best part is that it conducts heat faster, and your cooking experience will improve with every use. The more meals you prepare, the more you see your money’s value through it.
The non-stick tendencies on the cooking surface make this pan highly resistant to stains and corrosion. This feature improves its durability and ensures that you enjoy healthier meals because the coating is also all-natural. The layer features pre-seasoned oil and silicon material, which makes it ready to use after unboxing. It is also easy to clean.
If you love to bake on weekends, this pan improves your experience by sustaining up to 600°F of oven heat. You’ll get to enjoy a safe cast iron handle attached with sturdy rivets. That means you can carry your food off the stove to the dining table for serving. Most importantly, you don’t need to detach the handles when placing this pan inside an oven.
• Highly durable
• Pre-seasoned with oil
• Natural non-stick patina layer
• Irregular heating surface
• Relatively costly
3. Lodge Not Available CRS 12 Carbon Steel Skillet, Pre-Seasoned, 12-Inch
This carbon steel skillet features a 14-gauge construction material that conducts and retains much heat for even cooking. You’re looking at a brand that will help you save on energy costs, especially when cooking or deep-frying for prolonged hours. This pan is functional and will fit all stoves, including gas, electric, and charcoal grills.
The 12-inch surface means you have access to unlimited lid options. This product originates from the USA, and its durable quality is unquestionable. It will serve you for ages to give back your money’s value with proper care and maintenance. You only need to rinse with hot water, dry, and rub it with cooking oil to preserve its coating. Most importantly, the coating is all-natural and free of contaminants for healthy meal preparations.
Lodge Not Available CRC 12 Carbon Steel Skillet comes pre-seasoned with oil and anti-stick properties that improve with every use. That means this pan is ready for use immediately after unboxing it. It is versatile, and you can use it in the oven. It is also a multifunctional cookware ideal for frying, simmering, roasting, sautéing, braising, and searing.
• Pre-seasoned carbon steel skillet
• Heavy-gauge carbon steel
• Made in the USA
• It may feel too light
• It chips easily
4. Merten & Storck Carbon Steel Black Frying Pan, 10-Inch
Merten & Storck Carbon Steel Black Frying Pan will go anywhere with you, whether to a camping site or backyard grilling spot, thanks to its effectiveness and high portability. You’ll like it because it is easy to clean regardless of how much oil you used for frying your steak. A light scrubbing with hot running water rinse is enough to eliminate stubborn stains.
The lightweight material ensures quick conduction and even distribution of heat to improve your cooking experience. You create meal memories when feasting, not cooking. This pan is versatile to prepare your meals in the shortest time possible so that you can join others at the dining table. You can use it in the oven with up to 600°F without posing a risk.
Take advantage of the pre-seasoned surface with a non-stick patina to prevent food from burning. The coating is safe for healthier family meals. You can use this pan in nearly all stoves, including the outdoor grill. However, it will help if you avoid machine wash and too much soap to improve its lifespan and longevity.
• Pre-seasoned cooking surface
• Easy care
• Relatively expensive
• Short-lived non-stick properties
5. Coating-Free Carbon Steel Pan, 10 ¼ -Inch
This carbon steel pan doesn’t introduce coating contaminants to your first meals. It is coating-free, but that doesn’t limit its effectiveness as it still features natural non-stick tendencies. That means you can cook for a long time while steel preserving your desired meals’ nutritional strength and values.
Does your current skillet limit you from using it in the oven because of a wooden or plastic handle? This brand comes with a detachable wooden handle to make it oven-ready. This feature also makes it easy to clean, not to forget protecting your hands from burns. Say goodbye to tabletop clothes that are prone to grease and stains, which downplays your kitchen’s tidiness.
This carbon steel pan comes with a large 10 ¼ -inch surface ideal for preparing family meals. The lightweight material means you can carry it to your favorite serving spot after use. Moreover, the durable construction material makes this brand the go-to option for carbon steel that reflects your money’s value.
• Large cooking surface
• Natural anti-stick properties
• Relatively affordable
• The handle feels flimsy
• Hard to season
6. Lodge Manufacturing Company Carbon Steel Skillet, 8-Inch
Lodge Manufacturing Company Carbon Steel Skillet, 8-Inch is lightweight, and you can easily carry it directly from the stove to the dining table or your favorite serving point. This pan comes pre-seasoned with oil to give you an easy time to fry, grill, saute, roast, and fry. The non-stick surface means easy care. You don’t need to put it inside a dishwasher; a simple hand wash is enough.
You can use this pan on any heating surface, whether an electric or gas stove. Bring your grill out on the weekends and use this pan to roast your vegetable accompaniments. You can also take it to the oven as the 12-gauge carbon steel construction material conducts and distributes heat faster. You’ll save energy costs and enjoy evenly cooked meals with deep flavors.
You’re looking at a carbon steel skillet whose construction material is durable for longevity. However, you’ll need to follow the cleaning instructions, such as avoiding soap and abrasive material. Otherwise, the material will start rusting, and that reduces its lifespan. Proper care and maintenance translate to your money’s value.
• High-quality construction material
• Pre-seasoned with oil
• Diverse uses
• No lid
• The surface can rust easily
7. Carbon Steel Wok, Stir Fry Pan Flat Bottom Pan
Lastly, you might also want to consider Carbon Steel Wok if you want to prepare evenly cooked meals. This pan features a flat bottom that allows quick conduction to save energy, especially when cooking for long hours. The flat base makes this pan reliable for nearly all stoves. It’s ideal for use on a ceramic stove, direct heat sources like electricity, glass stovetop, and cooktop.
Another useful feature about this product is the sizeable non-stick surface that makes it ideal for preparing delicious family meals. Whether it’s boiling, deep-frying, steaming, pan-frying, or braising, this pan got you covered. Some of the dishes that you’ll enjoy preparing in this pan include pasta and stir-fried steak. The best thing is that it comes with a 30-day money-back or replacement guarantee.
This pan comes with a highly ergonomic wooden handle to give maximum insulation when cooking. The handle has three firm screws that make it sturdy to handle bigger food portions. Moreover, the fish scale shape design reduces stains and makes it easy to clean this pan. It also comes with a wooden cover to improve your cooking experience.
• Ideal for all stoves
• Wooden cover
• Sturdy, insulated handle
• Hard to season
• The wooden lid may crack later
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding Carbon Steel Skillets
1. How Do You Clean Cast Iron Skillet in the Best Way?
Before buying your cast iron skillet, it is essential to understand that you’ll need to clean it after every use. However, it will help if you avoid dishwasher and metallic or abrasive scrubbing materials lest you damage the seasoning. Instead, use a paper towel to wipe any excess food and oil before rinsing it under hot running water.
You can also boil water inside the pan to remove stubborn stains. While a little amount of soap and gentle scrubbing can also remove stuck-on food, using water and coarse kosher salt sounds like the best plan of protecting your pan’s seasoning.
2. What is Carbon Steel Cookware?
Carbon steel is modern cookware preferred by many chefs compared to cast iron. This cookware is lightweight, versatile, and conducts heat faster. Most importantly, its hard-wearing makes it more durable than regular copper, a “non-stick” pan, and stainless steel materials. Once you opt for carbon steel, you’ll likely not want to go back. The seasoning process is seamlessly easy, fast, and reliable, allowing your pan to achieve non-stick properties naturally. This technique enhances the pan’s lifespan, ensuring that its longevity surpasses your expectations. You can cook many foods on carbon steel cookware, including baking. Whether it’s steak or scrambled eggs, carbon steel cookware will enhance your cooking experience.
3. Is Carbon Steel Non-Stick?
Carbon steel pans assume non-stick tendencies the same way as any cast iron material. You only need simple seasoning to develop an effective, natural, non-stick patina. Don’t mistake seasoning from the greasing left behind after frying an egg, and it’s also not a flavor accumulated over the years. Instead, it is a protective layer achieved through burning oil in the pan. This layer is responsible for non-stick properties. What is the simplest process of seasoning carbon steel pans? Follow this procedure even if your pan comes pre-seasoned:
• Wash your pan with clean running water after removing the protective coating
• Dry the pan with a paper towel
• Heat the pan on light flame
• Apply oil sparingly
• Burn it on
• Repeat heating after applying microthin layer until the bottom turns dark brown
• Re-season as needed after using the pan
4. What Can I Cook in Carbon Steel Pan?
As noted., carbon steel pans can be the best thing to ever happen to your kitchen. Unlike regular cookware, you can take this pan from the stovetop without limitations. Your cooking surface doesn’t affect its heat conduction and non-stick properties. Most importantly, they are relatively inexpensive and reflect your money’s value. Carbon steel pan’s versatility makes it ideal for preparing several foods, including roasted vegetables, steak, chicken, eggs, and stir-fries.
The Bottom Line
Carbon steel skillets are redefining cooking experiences in many homes and camping sites. As you can see, there are overwhelming options for sizes, colors, prices, and even brands. The best part is that regardless of brand and price, nearly all carbon steel skillets have similar stain and corrosion resistance properties. They also feature non-stick tendencies that improve your cooking and cleaning experiences. Generally, they are lightweight and versatile for any use, whether it’s baking, frying, simmering, or even outdoor grilling.
However, you’ll need to do in-depth research before purchasing any carbon steel skillet to have the best experience. That includes looking into the reviews and recommendations of other buyers to see their adventures. Your fellow consumers may warn you about certain things like flimsy handles that a typical manufacturer or supplier may not highlight in the product description. You should also consider whether the pan is ideal for oven use. If the handles feature plastic or wooden construction materials, they should be detachable for safe oven use.
Lastly, don’t forget to consider money-back and replacement policies because the supplier may not deliver the product in the same condition as indicated in the pictures. In that case, getting a full refund or another similar product will cushion you from unnecessary losses. It will also help if you buy from online stores to access a great variety and discounted prices.