The cookware you buy is a big investment. For starters, good, quality cookware is usually not cheap. So, in that way, it is an actual monetary investment.
Also, good cookware should last you for many years to come and should aid you in making many delicious meals. In that way, it is an investment in your future.
Since cookware is so important and such a big investment, you want to get the very best cookware that you possibly can. And, in our book, that means carbon steel cookware.
However, it is important to understand that not all carbon steel cookware is created equally. And, of course, you want to get the best cookware that money can buy. Fortunately, we can help you with that.
We are here to provide you with the best carbon steel cookware options. That way, you can have a fully stocked kitchen that is ready to carry you into the years to come.
How We Chose Our Ratings
Before we jump in and start sharing our picks for the best carbon steel cookware, let us tell you a little bit about how we arrive at our ratings.
You can rest assured that we do not just make them up out of thin air. Also, they are not designed to get you to think a certain way or to get you to buy a particular product or line of products.
Instead, our goal is only to provide you with as much information as you need to make an informed purchasing decision for yourself. We believe that knowledge is power and that you deserve to have power over how you spend your money.
In order to help provide you with that knowledge and power, we spend countless hours researching different products. We look at reviews from real customers just like you. We also look deep into the companies that make those products. We pay attention to their history, quality, and reputation.
Compiling and going through this information enables us to give you accurate, honest opinions on the best products available.
So, now that you understand where our opinions and our ratings are coming from, we invite you to sit back, read through the ratings, and use them, plus the other information we provide, to help you make a smart decision about which products to buy and which ones to avoid.
Carbon Steel Cookware #7: The Lodge CRS 12 Carbon Steel Skillet
- Takes high heat for best browning/searing
- 12 gauge carbon steel heats quickly and retains heat for even cooking
- Brutally tough for decades of cooking. Steel riveted handle
This great skillet is very affordably priced. That, however, is not the only reason it made it onto our list.
This skillet is extremely well made, especially given the price, and can last for many years as long as it is cared for properly. It also does a really good job at reaching and then maintaining your desired heat while cooking.
This skillet is versatile and can work on both gas and electric ranges. Plus, it comes with a handy user guide that can be really helpful if you are new to skillet cooking.
Aside from the good features, though, this skillet is low on our list for a reason. It is pre-seasoned, but the seasoning wears off super quickly. Plus, we don’t like how hot the handle gets. If you’re not careful, it’s all too easy to burn yourself!
If you can deal with these minor issues, though, this is a really good piece of carbon steel cookware for the price.
Carbon Steel Cookware #6: The DeBuyer Mineral B Element Iron Frypan
- 100-Percent Natural and 99-Percent Pure Iron
- Guaranteed without PTFE or PFOA and no chemicals added; naturally non-stick after seasoning
- Bee Wax was discovered by deBuyer as a by-product in nature to help protect these pans against oxidation and assist in...
If you are looking for the perfect carbon steel frying pan, then you should love this option fro DeBuyer.
Even though DeBuyer is not a very well-known brand, it does make high quality products that are worth looking into as you shop for cookware.
This particular pan is very affordable and is also very well made. In fact, many of the reviews we read mentioned getting many years of use out of this super durable pan.
It certainly doesn’t have any “bells or whistles,” but in terms of being a good, solid pan that you can count on, it gets the job done.
Carbon Steel Cookware #5: The Matfer Bourgeat 062005 Black Steel Round Frying Pan
- VARIETY OF USES: Brings top-notch heat distribution and temperature control, preserving the vitamins and nutrients in...
- NATURAL NON-STICK MATERIAL: Made of of black carbon steel, a natural mineral material promoting healthy cooking making...
- DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: The steel handle is welded to pan's body for extra strength and security, is free of rivets,...
Please don’t let the fancy name fool you. This frying pan from Matfer Bourgeat is one of the most reasonably priced and high-quality frying pans that you can buy.
This frying pan is carefully crafted from quality black steel, which helps it to distribute heat evenly and perfectly. It also features a strong, easy to hold and grip handle, which will keep potentially dangerous accidents and messy kitchen spills from happening.
This pan does not come pre-seasoned unfortunately, but it does come with easy instructions for seasoning it yourself. Plus, once seasoned, we found that it held on to its new coating for a very long time.
Carbon Steel Cookware #4: The Mauviel M’Steel Frying Pan
- MADE IN FRANCE. Made of extra thick black steel /carbon steel. Iron handles. Excellent heat conduction –ideal for...
- HIGH PERFORMANCE. Commercial grade durability withstands high temperature allowing for longer preheating and excellent...
- NATURAL NON-STICK. Before first use, season the pan per manufacture recommendations. The pan will build up a natural...
If you are looking for a frying pan that will last and last, maybe even for the rest of your life, this is the one.
It is made of the strongest possible black carbon steel. Not only is this material the type that can stand up to anything and everything, but it is also perfect for keeping heat even and consistent throughout the cooking process.
This pan can handle high levels of heat for long periods of time, making it ideal for searing meats and other uses that require very high temperatures.
You can use this pan on stovetops, skillets, induction ovens, and even in the oven itself. Plus, there is a lifetime guarantee to protect your purchase. All in all, it is a pretty smart buy and a good “bang for your buck.”
Carbon Steel Cookware #3: The American Metalcraft CSFP12 Fry Pan
If you are looking for a pan that works well but that is very affordable, look no further than this offering from American Metalcraft, a product line that does not get nearly enough credit.
This is a good quality pan. In fact, you can tell that it is well made from the moment you take it out of the box. There are no frills here, and we would like the cooking area to be a little larger, but it gets the job done.
It is also pre-seasoned very nicely. In fact, you should probably be able to get at least a year or two of use out of it before you need to season it yourself.
Carbon Steel Cookware #2: The Paderno Heavy Duty Carbon Steel Frying Pan
We really love this pan and would have ranked it much higher on our list if not for a few faults, which we’ll get to later.
First, there’s what we like, which is a lot. We love the solid steel construction, which makes this pan extremely durable and safe for use at even the highest of temperatures.
We also like that it works with a variety of cooking methods, including with gas stove tops and induction cooktops.
However, we found it somewhat tough to season, and it definitely did not come pre-seasoned at all. Also, the handle was a little hot and hard to grip once you started cooking.
These are very minor flaws, though, and if you don’t mind them, you will get an excellent pan at an even more excellent price.
Carbon Steel Cookware #1: The Garcima Carbon Steel Paella Pan
- Authentic paella pan. Made in Spain.
- Carbon steel is durable and conducts heat well. Requires a bit of maintenance after washing.
- Safe for stovetop, oven, or grill.
We know that not everyone makes paella. However, this pan can be used for a whole lot more.
In fact, it practically begs to be used for more. It actually comes with a little recipe guide to give you new ideas on what you can make using your pan.
This well-made pan is not pre-seasoned, but the instructions on how to perfectly season it are simple, clear, and included free of charge. Once you’ve got the pan seasoned and are ready to cook with it, you will find that it is very roomy, can cook just about food, and is great at keeping heat levels even for perfect, thorough cooking every time.
Now that you hopefully understand carbon steel cookware a little better, you might feel ready to rush out and buy a nice piece of cookware for yourself. Perhaps you even want to rush out and buy a piece of cookware from off our list.
Before you do that, however, remember that there are a few things that you should always consider before you buy any new cookware.
One of the big ones is price. Cookware can run from as little as $10 or $20 for the lower end stuff to upwards of hundreds of dollars or more, especially if you start looking at full sets. Thus, it is a very good idea to set your budget before you begin shopping. That way, you can narrow your selections down by price and you won’t find yourself tempted into buying something that you can’t actually afford.
You also want to think about seasoning and whether or not that is something you feel up to tackling. Learning how to season a pot or pan isn’t all that difficult. Many manufacturers actually provide instructions on the best way to season their particular products. However, it is easy to make mistakes the first few times you try. Plus, it can be somewhat of a hassle. So, if you don’t want to take this risk or mess around with seasoning, you may be better off just buying a pre-seasoned model.
You should also look at weight as you shop. A lot of people think that the heavier a pot or pan is, the better its quality. That is not always necessarily true, however. Plus, even if it was, heavier is not always better, especially when you think about lifting that steaming pot or pan full of food. If it’s too heavy, this could make your job difficult. It could even lead to accidents or burns. Thus, pick a pot or pan size based on what you can handle, not on some misguided attempt to get the heaviest and “best” pot or pan.
And, speaking of easily handling, always pay attention to what reviewers say about a pot or pan’s handles. In fact, if possible, try going to a store, even if you intend on buying online, and seeing and feeling the handles for yourself. You want handles that are strong and secure, that feel good in your hands, and that are not going to get overly hot during cooking. By paying a lot of attention to the handles, you can avoid kitchen accidents later on down the road.
Bear in mind, too, that not all skillets, pots, and pans will work with all kinds of cooking methods. For this reason, you need to think about what type of oven or stove you will most often be cooking with. If a particular pot or pan isn’t going to work, then you will either need to change your primary cooking method of pick pots and pans that match your current one.
Finally, pay attention to shipping costs and factor these into your budgeting if you’re ordering online. As nice and convenient as it is to have pots and pans shipped to your door, remember that they are also heavy and bulky, which makes them costly to package and ship. If you can’t arrange for pickup or buy your pots and pans in person, just eat the shipping cost and look at it as an investment. After all, what else can you do?
Hopefully, we have given you a lot to think about. But, also hopefully, we have set you on the journey toward finding the perfect carbon steel cookware to match your home, your kitchen, your needs, and your lifestyle.