We Tested 8 Carbon Steel Pans—and Our Favorite Is Only $30
If you like to cook, chances are you already know how important it is to have both a quality nonstick skillet and a reliable cast iron pan in your kitchen. A carbon steel skillet combines the benefits of both pans, making it a heavy-duty workhorse that's surprisingly slick and easy to clean. Chefs have heralded this lesser-known pan for years, now it's time home cooks get in on the secret. To help you do so, we tested eight pans from leading brands to find the best one. Read on for our findings.
How We Tested
Carbon steel pans combine the durability of a cast-iron skillet with the functionality of a nonstick pan, so we wanted to find a pan that would conduct heat evenly on both the stovetop and in the oven while maintaining a completely slick surface. An important note: Just like cast iron, carbon steel pans require seasoning—the more you season them, the more nonstick they become over time. Although we did assess each pan's nonstick capabilities, we kept in mind that they wouldn't be as slick on the first use as they may be on the 100th use. Some of the pans we tested arrived pre-seasoned, some we seasoned ourselves. We ran each pan through three culinary tests specifically designed to evaluate heat conductivity, versatility and nonstick functionality. We also took extensive notes on ease of use, care and cleaning.
Related: The Food & Wine Guide to Cast Iron