Hey there football fans! tonight’s OOT is going to be a comparison between Tennessee’s own Lodge and the French Masters, De Buyer carbon steel pans.
CARBON STEEL SKILLET BATTLE! ALEZ CUISINE!!!
Carbon Steel? Yes. Works like cast iron but isn’t as heavy. My kitchen is equipped with a full range of old school Griswold cast iron pans and a dutch oven. They are very heavy and can be difficult to work with if you need to keep the food moving (or have the mad writs-flip skillz) a 12 inch Griswold is a real piece of work. It’s a Heavy, indestructible, American style industrial beast. The smaller Griswolds are lighter but they are still, well, heavy because they are made of Erie’s finest Iron. The other problem with Griswold cast iron is that it is getting rather expensive because the collectors (many who would never dare actually USE the skillets) are driving up prices. The Griswold cast iron is still my favorite.
So, why bother getting all carbon steel? Steel skillets are lighter, this way Mrs Coldwarrior and the babysitter can use them, because they are lighter they heat up faster cool down faster and easier to move around. It is just as non-stick as the no stick pans on the market without the chemical cocktail and they don’t wear out in 2 years. Disadvantages, it heats up faster and cools off faster so better temp control is needed. They don’t hold the heat long like iron.
Carbon steel (like cast iron) needs to be seasoned for it to be non-stick. The Teflon or other coatings are not found in nature, flake off into your food (yum), and wear out after 2 years. A Griswold, Lodge, or De Buyer will last as a family heirloom. Once you get them ‘just right’ they stay that way with minimal effort.
Or, In the Words of Iron Chef…Hot Wok, Cool Oil, Food No Stick!
Essential reading from Lodge for cast Iron.
Essential reading from Lodge for Carbon Steel
Informative videos from Lodge
Directions from De Buyer
More From De Buyer
So, these two pans are different, the Be Buyer is smooth and the lodge is slightly rough. De Buyer machine polishes their cookware, Lodge does not. Thus far, both are equally non-stick.
The following pics are after 3 weeks of use. Both pans are built to withstand anything a commercial kitchen can throw at them. And, like cast iron, they age nicely. Keep them oiled up and they are as non-stick as any Teflon pan. I use a mixture of regular olive oil (not EVOO) and peanut oil. Worst case scenario, you can deglaze the pan with liquid, then wipe it with a towel, re-oil it, heat it up, and let it cool off then wipe away excess oil.
Do note the differences in texture.
The Lodge Carbon Steel:
Lodge continues the tradition of quality American products with seasoned steel skillets.
Made in the USA out of 100% carbon steel, these skillets hang tough in professional kitchens as well as the campsite.
Just like our iron, we season them right at our foundry, so they’re ready to go!
The De Buyer Blue Steel skillet, the darker areas on the pan mean you are doing it right.
This is a professional quality, thick iron ACIER CARBONE range; undeformable, it is perfect for use on all intense sources of heat, including induction. The handles are firmly fastened with rivets. The utensils in this range are guaranteed coating-free. Like all iron fry pans, carbon iron utensils must be seasoned and become naturally non-stick the more they are used.
De Buyer also has an Element B series that I will try in a few weeks.
The iron MINERAL B ELEMENT fry pan: a 100% natural material with protective organic beeswax finish. It is guaranteed coating-free (no PFAO or PTFE). No added chemicals and made with an environmentally-friendly manufacturing process. Eco-friendly, recyclable and long-lasting product. 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 fry pan, the better it cooks. The blacker it gets, the less it sticks.
So, which pan do i like better? If i had to pick one it would be the old school Griswold Cast Iron. Between the De Buyer and the Lodge steel pans…its a tough call. The Lodge is American Made but i prefer the finish on the De Buyer. I’m sure after i get the Mineral B pan the decision will be even more complicated.
Its a great culinary investment no matter which pan you go with.