In the landscape of culinary equipment, carbon steel pans are a chef’s secret weapon—offering unparalleled heat retention, durability, and a naturally non-stick surface that only improves with time. But not all carbon steel pans are created equal. Among the top contenders, the De Buyer Mineral B Fry Pan is the best carbon steel pan we’ve tried to date. That’s why we at PIATTO have used it repeatedly in our top French and Italian cooking videos on YouTube! In this guide, we’ll tell you what you need to know about this pan, why we like it and how to season it to bring out its best.
Why They’re the Best: Carbon Steel Pans
Before we delve into the specifics of the De Buyer Mineral B, let’s talk about the unique advantages of carbon steel pans in general:
- Superior Heat Conductivity: Carbon steel heats up quickly and distributes heat evenly, avoiding hotspots that can ruin your dish.
- Builds a Natural, Non-Stick Surface: Unlike Teflon pans, a carbon steel pan develops its non-stick layer naturally over time, thanks to the magic of seasoning. However, you will want to follow our guide on how to season cast iron or carbon steel pans to lay down an initial coat (per the manufacturer instructions).
- Light Yet Durable: Carbon steel pans offer the durability of cast iron but are lighter and more manageable.
Follow our guide on How to Season Cast Iron or carbon steel pans—We make it easy!
De Buyer Mineral B Fry Pan: Why We Love Ours
The De Buyer Mineral B Fry Pan (affiliate link) is a front-runner for best carbon steel pan for a number of reasons:
Crafted from 99% pure iron and a 1% carbon alloy, this pan promises both longevity and top-tier performance. This pan will work on any cooking surface—including induction! It can go from stovetop to oven as it can sustain oven temperatures of 400° F up to 10 minutes.
Here’s a look at it before full seasoning:
Whether it’s searing meat or sautéing vegetables, this pan has the versatility to do it all. In fact, we have done it all with this pan! From searing a perfect Italian steak…
… Or a beef filet in clarified butter for an amazing Beef Wellington…
To making a classic Truffle Pasta with sausage…
Easy Pan Seasoning
The De Buyer Mineral B comes with beeswax protection, which aids in the seasoning process, making it easier to build a patina that will give your food that perfect, slightly crisp texture.
Safe, Non-Stick Surface with Seasoning
In an age where health and sustainability are at the forefront, this pan is free from harmful chemicals and coatings. The natural beeswax finish is an eco-friendly touch that aids in rust prevention. It’s true that nothing can compare to the non-stick properties of teflon. However, once you’ve completed the pan seasoning of the De Buyer carbon steel pan according to manufacturer instructions, you should be able to achieve a very non-stick surface (See our Pan Seasoning Guide!) Below, we demonstrate an newly cooked egg sliding across the pan after seasoning.
The Downside of Teflon-Coated Pan Alternatives
While the alternative Teflon-coated pans may seem like an easy option for non-stick cooking, they come with their share of disadvantages:
- Chemical Exposure: Teflon pans are coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a compound that can release harmful fumes when overheated.
- Shorter Lifespan: These coatings tend to degrade over time, requiring you to replace the pan sooner than you would with a carbon steel or cast-iron alternative.
- Less Versatile: Teflon pans are not suited for high-heat cooking methods like searing, limiting their utility in a versatile kitchen.
- Environmental Impact: The manufacturing process of Teflon involves perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a chemical that has raised environmental concerns.
By opting for a high-quality carbon steel pan like the De Buyer Mineral B, you’re investing in a tool that is not only better for your cooking but also for your health and the environment.
Will Tomato Ruin the Natural Seasoning of the Carbon Steel Pan?
The acidity from tomato products can compromise a carbon steel pan over time. A heavy tomato-based product can strip some of the seasoning off of a newly-seasoned pan after one use. Yes, we have used this pan in our video recipe for Bari’s Killer Spaghetti recipe, which seems like a contradiction. While normally we might reach for a different kind of pan for a tomato-heavy sauce, we were following the recommendations of the traditional recipe here which recommended using a seasoned cast iron or carbon steel pan due to their excellent heat retention and naturally non-stick properties which is a must for preparing this particular dish.
So, what if you make a tomato-based dish and it strips some of the pan seasoning you’ve applied? Simply season it again! Over time, the patina built up from frequent oiling and heating of your carbon steel pan—not only after the initial seasoning but during the course of cooking with it—will be able to withstand the occasional tomato sauce. However, you can always season the pan again following our guide.
Should You Remove the Beeswax Coating Before Seasoning… Or Not?
The product listings in English (for instance on Amazon) are a bit misleading on this point—suggesting the beeswax coating should be completely washed away before seasoning. However, De Buyer’s own videos on the topic suggest the opposite: Just wash away excess beeswax coating, then apply the initial layer of pan seasoning on top of it.
Seasoning Your De Buyer Mineral B Pan: A Guide to Perfection
Before you start cooking up a storm, it’s essential to season your De Buyer Mineral B Carbon Steel Fry Pan correctly. Proper seasoning not only enhances the pan’s non-stick capabilities but also contributes to its longevity. We’ve created an in-depth article to guide you through the seasoning process. Trust us; it’s easier than you might think, and the results are well worth the effort. We literally seasoned one of our De Buyer Mineral B Pans in our video guide!
Where to Buy It? Eager to get your hands on this culinary game-changer? Check out the De Buyer Mineral B Fry Pan on Amazon (affiliate link) We have a few sizes of this amazing pan, however the 11" is a very versatile choice!
In the ever-evolving world of culinary tools, the De Buyer Mineral B Carbon Steel Fry Pan stands as a testament to what a carbon steel pan should be—functional, durable, and versatile. If you’re looking to invest in a pan that will not only make cooking more enjoyable but also improve the quality of your dishes, your search ends here.
Ready to take your culinary skills to the next level? Make sure to watch our video recipes featuring this star performer. From perfect sears to impeccable sautés, witness firsthand why this carbon steel pan is the ultimate tool for every kitchen maestro.
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