Are carbon steel pans good?
Updated on April 2023
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Carbon steel pans are not only good they are the best for Chinese and Asian cuisines. The lightweight material is highly versatile, becomes naturally nonstick after seasoning, extremely durable, and has an excellent heat distribution ability than other metals.
Both professional chefs and home cooks favour carbon steel pans, but are they really worth the money? In short, the answer is yes. Carbon steel pans are a fantastic addition to any kitchen and have many benefits over other cookware types.
Firstly, carbon steel pans are incredibly versatile. They are a go-to option for many cooks because they can be used for everything from searing a steak to sautéing vegetables. Unlike non-stick pans, which can only be used for low to medium heat cooking, carbon steel pans can handle high heat, safe and are perfect for achieving a crispy sear on your food.
Another advantage of carbon steel pans is their durability. They are sturdy and durable because they are made of a mix of iron and carbon. With proper care and seasoning, a carbon steel pan can last a lifetime. Plus, they are resistant to warping, which can be a common issue with other types of cookware.
One of the main reasons people choose carbon steel pans is their excellent heat distribution. They heat up quickly and evenly, ensuring that your food cooks evenly and doesn't stick to the pan. This is especially important for dishes that require precise cooking temperatures, such as eggs or delicate fish.
One thing to keep in mind with carbon steel pans is that they require a bit of maintenance. Unlike non-stick pans, which can be easily cleaned with soap and water, carbon steel pans need to be seasoned before use and properly cleaned and stored to prevent rusting. However, with a little bit of effort, you can keep your carbon steel pan in great condition for years to come.
Overall, carbon steel pans are an excellent choice for any cook. They offer versatility, durability, and excellent heat distribution, making them a valuable addition to your kitchen. If you're looking for a new pan to add to your collection, a carbon steel pan is definitely worth considering.
Best Carbon Steel Wok Recommended by Wokware
Mammafong 14 inch Traditional Hand Hammered Round Bottom Carbon Steel Pow Wok Set
Best Carbon Steel Wok Pan: Mammafong
The Mammafong flat bottom14 inch wok is the best non-toxic carbon steel wok, built with safe and premium carbon steel sheets through hand-hammering technique which is a traditional and secure process of manufacturing woks. The wok has no unsafe coating. It is a pure carbon steel cooking tool that will become a great cooking wok once you season it.
Overall Safety Rating: 4/5
Material Safety: 5/5
Pure Construction: 4/5
Safe Coating: 4/5
- Safe construction of carbon steel
- hand hammered so no chemical used in manufacturing
- Naturally non-stick with seasoning
- Requires less oil after proper seasoning
- Non-toxic uncoated surface
- wobbles in flat stove top
- because of the light weight might warp after long usage
- not dishwasher safe
The hand-hammered pow wok has an ideal design to cook Asian dishes. Not only the wok material is safe but the craftsmanship this wok comes in is great for expert chefs, commercial kitchens, and beginners to take their wok cooking to the next level.
The uncoated surface is non-toxic and absolutely safe to make healthy and fat-free meals for your children. These woks will become naturally nonstick after several usages and give you the authentic wok-hei flavor in your food as the thin walls will help in even stir-frying.
The wok features a sturdy, double-riveted wooden handle and an additional helper handle that makes it suitable for stir-frying as well as simmering soups and stews, deep-fry, saute, steam and braise. The wok arrives with foundational seasoning and has no synthetic coatings or chemicals.
Carbon steel is toxin free because of its natural composition of two basic chemicals that is carbon and iron, both of which can be found in our body. But regular release of high level of carbon & iron can have adverse effect in our body so if you are using a carbon steel pan, using it in moderation is the key.
Carbon steel pans are better for high-heat cooking, while stainless steel pans are for indoor cooking. Carbon steel pans need extreme care but stainless steel is low maintenance. So choose according to your cooking and maintenance need.
Food that requires a long cooking time or is acidic and delicate should not be cooked in a carbon steel pan. If you must use an acidic food item on a carbon steel pan, make sure the cooking time is as short as possible. The iron in carbon steel reacts to acidic food over high heat. Additionally, because carbon steel is a good conductor of heat, food that is delicate will burn more easily, and food that takes longer to cook will cook on the outside but remain raw inside.
Carbon steel pans are considered safer than nonstick pans, as they do not have a nonstick coating and are made from natural and safe materials. However, they need to be properly seasoned and maintained to prevent rusting and ensure food safety. Nonstick pans are now PFOA-free, but may still release other harmful substances when heated to high temperatures.
Editor at Wokware
She is an expert in the niche of kitchenware for 10 years now. She has given readers fact based, well researched, to the point answers of their valuable questions. Her goal is to simplify kitchen products and their utilities.