What is the Best Carbon Steel Skillet?

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When I first started to look at carbon steel pan reviews there were so many variations that it started to get confusing. I asked myself “What is the best carbon steel pan or skillet to buy?” What I should have asked is “Why would I purchase one carbon steel pan over another?”

The mistake I made was to buy two pans from two different manufacturers. Well, it really was not a mistake, it was just that each pan was different from the other. I took out my ruler and started to take measurements. Here is what I found with the carbon steel pans I bought from Amazon. I bought one Matfer Bourgeat 06202 and one de Buyer carbon steel pan described below.

Since 1814

Carbon Steel Cookware is proud to present the Matfer Bourgeat line of fine French carbon steel fry pans. Cooking with the Matfer Bourgeat carbon steel skillet has to be experienced in order to be appreciated. You will find that you will be more focused on monitoring and manipulate the transformation of ingredients in your culinary creation when you cook with this carbon steel skillet. Cooking with carbon steel skillets will draw you closer to cooking with perfection.

Matfer Bourgeat 062002 Black Steel 9 1/2″ Gray

Matfer Bourgeat 62002

Read the Customer Reviews on Amazon about this 062002 pan to see other buyer’s comments.

Matfer Bourgeat 062005 Black Steel Round Frying Pan, 11 7/8-Inch, Gray

Matfer Bourgeat 62005

Voted the #1 frying pan in Cook’s Illustrated Magazine! Cook’s Illustrated has named the Matfer Bourgeat 11-7/8″ non-stick frying pan the best frying pan due to the material and durability. Whether you’re cooking eggs, steaks or anything in-between, this black steel pan will exceed your expectations.

I purchased the 62002 skillet but the Matfer 62005 is the top seller of the Matfer Bourgeat line. Both of these pans will add a new dimension to your cooking. The responses have only been positive on the performance of this pan.

Read the Customer Reviews on Amazon about this 062005 pan to see other buyer’s comments.

There are several reasons why I like this 062002 Matfer Bourgeat skillet:

Skillet Weight

  • This pan weighs only 3.1 pounds, which is lighter than the de Buyer pan.

Handle Height

  • The height of the panhandle from the countertop is 2 1/4″.
  • This makes it easy to store your pan in the oven. Because the handle is only 2 1/4″ it will easily fit between your oven racks. Storing this Matfer Bourgeat pan can, therefore, be a snap!

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Handle Hole

  • The handle has a hole drilled in it which is 3/8″. This hole will allow you to hang your pan up. You can use one of those cookware hangers below as an alternative method for storing your carbon steel cookware.
  • I had a Lindal Ceder home and the kitchen had beams which were 3″ by about 16″ and extended the full length of the house. This allowed me to hang all my pots, pans, skillets, woks, etc from those beams. So, for me, those holes you find in the handles of some cookware are important.

Skillet Racks

Range Kleen installed in a kitchen above. See Reviews.

  • If you want to hang your carbon steel cookware from the walls of your kitchen, here is another suggestion.

          Old Dutch Wall-Mount Bookshelf Pot Rack with Grid & 12 Hooks, Graphite, 36.25″ x 9″ x 11.5″

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Old Dutch Installed in a kitchen above. See Reviews.

Handle Length

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  • The length of the handle on this model of my Matfer Bourgeat pan is 6 7/8″.
  • This reduces the overall weight of the pan.
  • This also makes the handle get hotter quicker than the de Buyer pan, which has a longer handle.

Handle Width

  • The handle is also 1 1/8″ wide and it just feels really sturdy when handling the pan.

Handle Rivets

  • The handles on Matfer Bourgeat carbon steel cookware are riveted to the pan and smoothed on the inside of the pan.
  • This smoothing of the rivets on the inside of the pan makes cleaning of the pan a breeze as there are no rivets to collect food. Matfer Bourgeat’s rivets are on the left and de Buyer rivets on the right.
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Matfer Beougeat Rivetsde Buyer Rivets

Cooking Area

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  • The inside cooking area of the pan is 6 1/2″ which makes it perfect for two eggs, omelets or pancakes.

Skillet Height

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  • The side is not as vertical as the de Buyer pan.
  • The top edge of the pan, as you can see above, is only 1 1/2″ high.
  • This makes tossing food easier if you toss!
  • This angled slant also makes it easier to get your spatula under your food because of the lower angle of attack.

I love this pan. I use it every morning to fry my eggs, sunny side up or scrambled. My pan is seasoned so well that eggs never stick to the bottom. It is a joy to use this Matfer Bourget pan.

De Buyer Mineral B Element Iron Frypan, Round with Neoprene Handle

Since 1830

De Buyer is one of the best French carbon steel fry pans. Cooking with carbon steel pans is something to be experienced. Whether you find cooking with carbon steel pans from the de Buyer’s line of pans or crepe pans, you will not be disappointed.

For example, the iron MINERAL B ELEMENT fry pan is a 100% natural material with a protective organic beeswax finish. It is guaranteed coating-free (no PFOA or PTFE). There are no added chemicals and are made with an environmentally-friendly manufacturing process. These pans are robust, recyclable and professional products. The fry pan reaches high temperatures and quickly seals food, thereby preserving vitamins and nutrients. Ideal for Sealing, Browning, Grilling. Seasoning: the more you use the frying pan, the better it cooks. The blacker it gets, the less it sticks.

Read the Customer Reviews on Amazon about this de Buyer pan to see other buyer’s comments.

There are several reasons why I like this Mineral B pan by de Buyer

Skillet Weight

  • This de Buyer pan weighs only 4 pounds, which is a little heavier than the Matfer Bourgeat 06202 pan.

Handle Height

  • The height of the panhandle from the countertop is 5 1/4″.
  • This makes it a little more difficult to store your pan in the oven between the cooking racks. I do store it in my oven but I make sure that the oven racks are far enough apart. If you have a very small oven, you may not be able to adjust the racks to fit your de Buyer pan in the oven. This is not a game changer, it is something to look at to see if this will present a problem.

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Handle Hole

  • The handle has a hole drilled in it which is 1/2″. This hole will allow you to hang your pan up. You can use one of those ceiling or wall hangers shown above.

Handle Length

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  • The length of the handle on this model of my de Buyer pan is 9″.
  • This increases the overall weight of the pan as compared to my Matfer Bourgeat pan.
  • This long handle helps to keep the handle a little cooler than the shorter handle found on my Matfer Bourgeat pan.
  • This longer handle is not a big game changer. There are pros and cons to both handle lengths.
  • The handle on this de Buyer model is enamel coated and this may limit the amount of time you can put this pan in an oven. The Matfer Bourgeat does not have any coating on its handle.

Handle Rivets

  • As you can see below the rivets are exposed on the inside of the pan, unlike the Matfer Bourgeat pan.

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Handle Width

  • The handle is also 1 1/8″ wide
  • Since this handle has rivets on the inside of the pan, cleaning can be a little more difficult if let the food harden without cleaning it right away. This is not a big deal as many stainless steel pans, copper pans, or even Teflon pans have exposed rivets on the inside of the pan. These rivets are just something to take into consideration but I don’t think it should be a deciding factor when considering buying a carbon steel pan.

Cooking Area

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  • The inside cooking area of the pan is 7 3/8″ which is a little larger than the Matfer Bourgeat pan.

 

Skillet Height

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  • The side is more vertical than the Matfer Bourgeat pan.
  • The top edge of the pan, as you can see above, is 2″ high.
  • This allows you to put more food in the pan without it spilling out if you compare it to the Matfer Bourgeat pan.

What Cooking Oils are Recommended for Cooking With Carbon Steel Cookware?

To enhance your cooking with our French carbon steel fry pans we recommend using our handpicked cooking oils from Amazon. I have a fine selection of oils I have handpicked from Amazon. Here is a tip… read the reviews next to each selection. Note that number that precedes the Reviews were the number of reviews at the time of writing this post.

If you do not use high heat on your pan, you can use any kind of oil that you want. I use a lot of butter when cooking eggs and vegetables. I also like to use coconut oil because it gives the food a nice flavor. To see the smoke points of some of the more common oils check this link on my site for more information on smoke points.

Final Comments

There are slight differences between the two pans described above, but I don’t think you could go wrong with either one. Each pan has its pros and cons and only you can decide which one is best for you.

 

 

 

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