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carbon steel vs. cast iron

I'm getting away from nonstick pans, and I'm wondering what, if any, differences there might be between these two types. I would like to get a large pan - maybe 14 inches so I'm guessing that one of the main differences will be weight. Any other things I should think about? I do have a 9 inch cast iron as well as some Le Creuset

asked by healthierkitchen about 5 years ago
4 answers 14500 views
Cd7ee448 49b9 4d61 a17c 8d8056cb1bce  september2013
added about 5 years ago

For me there is nothing as soulfully effective as a cast iron skillet. I know carbon steel is lighter, tougher and arguable more responsive to heating/cooling (traditional woks are carbon steel), but may not prevent sticking as well as cast iron~ or I should say, in my case it has seemed that they are harder to keep seasoned... maybe we'll hear some opposition to that here. It seems to me almost an emotional decision, (or what you were raised with?) as they are both quite defensible..

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 5 years ago

I agree with Thistle. I definitely prefer cast iron over carbon steel for everything except my wok. I love my stainless steel cookware as much as my cast iron. Mine is made by CIA and has a copper core that extends all the way up the sides of the pots so I get really even cooking. They are heavier than carbon and lighter than cast iron. But if it is the non-stick features you are after, then cast iron is the way to go - a well-seasoned cast iron pan has the same non-stick properties as teflon without the leaching chemicals or flake factor. Happy cooking!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 5 years ago

I use, and love both. I find that the one big advantage with cast iron is when I want to put them in the oven or on the BBQ. I just find the cast iron to be more efficient in these uses. I have found little, or no, difference with seasoning. Carbon steel should be seasoned per the manufacturers instructions when you buy them. I use de buyer carbon steel and the initial seasoning is done with potato peels. Once they are seasoned they are good to go. I find clean up easier with the de buyer carbon steel. In other words ..... both are great and I love the idea of getting away from non-stick.

549d9fb3 53ef 4170 b68e 8bae2e055be7  dsc 0048b
added about 5 years ago

thanks for all the great advice!

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