on June 20, 2009
My husband is an Alton Brown (Food Network) fan. Alton said that carbon steel pans were great so I decided to get one for my husband. I bought a Paderno Heavy Duty Carbon Steel Frying Pan, World Cuisine brand from Amazon and a Matfer brand Black Steel Omelet Pan from another retailer. The Matfer Black Steel Pan was more expensive. More expensive is usually better. It wasn't better. I conditioned both pans in an identical process according to the three step conditioning recommendations that I found online--(oil, heat in oven, wipe out with paper towels and lots of salt to get the stickiness out; oil, heat on the stovetop, wipe with paper towels and no salt; oil, heat on stovetop, fry potato peelings). I even repeated the potato cooking process a second time, switching burners because there was an enormous difference in quality and I didn't want to dislike an expensive new pan when the fault might have been my stovetop. By the time I was done with the potatoes, I could tell a huge difference. The potatoes in the Paderno/World Cuisine pan were crispy on both sides, they didn't stick to the pan at all and they were of the quality of what you could expect at a restaurant. In the Matfer Black Steel Omelet pan that I bought from a different website, the potatoes got a little crispy and then proceeded to get mushy. No matter how long I cooked them, which burner I cooked them on or how high the heat was, they just became mushier and lost their texture, whereas the potatoes in the Paderno/World Cuisine Carbon Steel pan got crispier with more cooking but didn't burn. The potatoes stuck to the Matfer Black Steel Pan in spots and I had to scrape it to get the potatoes off of the pan. The Paderno/World Cuisine Pan didn't stick at all, like a teflon pan. Another thing I noticed was that the Matfer Black Steel pan seemed to concentrate its heat in a 4" radius in the center, whereas the Paderno/World Cuisine carbon steel pan spread the heat out evenly. I look forward to using the Paderno pan and will probably not use the Matfer black steel pan very often.
on February 19, 2009
I am a big fan of these carbon steel pans. They season much the same as cast iron pans and need to be taken care of in the same manner as cast iron. Once they are nicely seasoned they are virtualy non-stick. They distribute heat very rapidly and evenly and work well on any burner surface from gas to induction glass top. They are perfect for sticking into the oven or running something under the broiler. The big advantage over cast iron is the long handle that makes them much easier to lift and handle, these pans are heavy, and the shape with the rounded sides.
If you screw up the seasoning by burning something, simply run the pan through a cycle of a self cleaning oven. All the accumulated grease and crud will come off, rinse off and carefully dry. The pan will be as new and will need to be re-seasoned much as a brand new pan. With a minum of care these pans last a lifetime.
Do not confuse these pans with much less expensive and much lighter weight French style steel pans. Those heat unevenly and get hot spots.
on September 21, 2010
I've been around enough chefs in my life to know that "carbon steel" equals "Hardcore" in the kitchen, from pans to knives, etc. But it was only recently that I decided to go Hardcore in the pan department, having been a bit intimated by the seasoning and maintenance responsibilities. Not sure why, since I've had my trusty cast iron pans for years, and the commitment is pretty much the same. The Paderno 12.5" has become an almost mystical object in our kitchen. It really seems to have a certain magical property with proteins in particular. Seared at high heat, and then thrown into the oven, steaks, burgers, pork tenderloin,salmon, etc. come out just amazing. This pan also seems to have a particular affinity for eggs, and makes truly profound omelets. This size is quite large and hefty, and I plan on adding a smaller size or two, but it serves well for dinner for two, with ample room for dinner for four. As for the anxiety over seasoning and maintenance, it was all for naught. Wash it, dry it, rub it with oil, and give it some time in the oven. Don't cook anything particularly liquid or acidic in it right away, reserving it for animal proteins / fats during it's initiation. It soon develops a miraculous non-stick, easy clean surface that will have you suspecting some sort of witchcraft. Beats the pants off *non-stick* environmentally unfriendly coatings. It's also very responsive to temperature / burner change settings, allowing for very fine heat control ( I speak only for gas stoves). You can easily pay the same price for a crap non-stick pan that is destined for the land fill after a year or two of duty, Why not treat yourself to a genuine quality item, that will last virtually forever, and make you feel all Chef-like and stuff?a
on June 4, 2010
This pan is very heavy duty. I bought the 12.5 inch pan. I bought it because we are getting rid of our teflon nonstick pans for good. I considered cast iron, but I did not like the rough surface the new ones have and the weight. Carbon steel pans season just like cast iron, but are extremely smooth and not as heavy. Ironically the cast iron pans our grandmother's used (Griswald especially) were lighter in weight and were very smooth, similar to this carbon steel pan. I like heavy cast iron pans, but anything over 12 inches is way too heavy especially once the pan is full of food. Tip on seasoning. wash pan well with soap and water and dry well. over high heat, heat pan until it darkens (you will have to move pan around some to get the corners and sides). Cool to medium low. Cut a potato in half and rub the cut side all around (it might smoke some). Potato starch acts like a glue which helps hold the layer of oil on the pan. If you did not do this, the layer of oil will begin to flake with repeated use. Some people will fry bacon or other food stuff, then scrape it clean and season it. Then rub a very thin film of oil in pan (I use flaxseed oil that you get at healthfood stores. And I mean thin, pretty much wipe it all out. I prefer flaxseed oil because it polymerizes extremely well) and heat for 30-40 minutes and cool. VERY IMPORTANT use a flat metal spatula and scrape the pan (not too hard, but how you would flip food in normal use. Repeat the potato rub and then the oil rub and spatula scraping to smooth the surface (high heat is not required at this point). now it is ready to use It will look uneven for awhile, but with repeated use and repeated seasoning, it will turn jet black and have a dullish shiny surface. To clean, most things will simply wipe clean. If some food sticks, I salt the pan and use the salt as abrasive, then wipe clean. Don't be afraid to quickly use soap and water if things stick really bad, just dry it out and wipe a thin film of oil. Keep using the metal spatula!!!!!!!
on January 14, 2011
Our relationship with this pan got off to a rocky start. First try at seasoning we burned everything, including the sticker on the bottom. The second try went better but the pan was sticky and the seasoning kept flaking off. Take 3, we stopped using vegetable oil, got some peanut oil and seasoned it on the stove four or five times. Enter the magic.
This pan warms up really quickly, responds to changing the heat,and heats evenly. It is practically non-destructible and can be used at high heat or for batting people on the head(thanks Tangled). This pan won't buckle when you drop it, turn the burner on high, or put in the sink after using (all of which I've had experience with).
Also, it really is non-stick. It's much better than the store seasoned cast iron. Scrambling eggs, cooking pancakes, frying ham, sausage, etc... nothing has stuck. To test, I fried some sausage in this pan and in a cheaper stainless steel pan at the same time, next to each other, in order to compare. This pan heated faster, cooked more evenly, stuck not at all (which that blasted stainless does no matter how much i preheat and use butter), and spat less grease at me. I think because it doesn't have hot spots this pan is less inclined to shower molten lava, hot grease, or invectives.
All this has made this pan my go to pan for cooking, well, just about everything. I have the 9.5in pan which is hefty but not depressingly heavy. It is however, only about 6.75in wide at the bottom. This makes it a little smaller than I'd wanted and so my wife will probably get the 11in pan for her birthday, probably an early birthday present. However, despite the size, this is still the pan i reach for when its time to cook.
We have a couple of Anolon Advanced nonstick skillets that we've been using for a few years. They have held up better than any other nonstick skillets I've ever owned and are still in great condition, but I want to get away from pans with nonstick coating completely. We also have a couple of very old cast iron skillets that are wonderful and belonged to my grandmother. I've given away most of the newer cast iron that I've tried because the cooking surfaces are not machined like most of the old cast iron was. Our nonstick skillets are 10 and 12 inch, two sizes we find very useful and versatile.
So I purchased two Paderno Carbon Steel skillets. I got the 12.5 inch and the 11 inch. They arrived quickly, thanks to Amazon shipping and I am really impressed with the weight and quality of these skillets for the price. They are heavy, but the cooking surfaces are smooth, unlike new cast iron skillets.
I wanted to order silicone sleeves, but thought the price for the Paderno silicone sleeves was way too high, so I ordered one Update International (RHDL-L) - Large Silicone Pan Grip which sells here for $2.94 each and fits the handles.
The fit was tight, so my husband sprayed a tad of silicone spray inside the sleeve and it slid right on.
After scrubbing the new skillets in hot water and drying them thoroughly, I got them hot on the stove and applied a very light, even coat of Crisco using a paper towel. I continued heating until it smoked for a few minutes and then turned off the heat and let the skillets cool, wiping out any excess oil to prevent puddles which would become sticky. I repeated the process a few times and the skillet surfaces are already slick like glass and nonstick. They've discolored to a nice brown stage, but with ongoing use and seasoning, will only get darker and more nonstick.
I have a Le Creuset buffet casserole pan and a couple of stainless skillets that can be used for preparing acidic dishes so I don't damage the seasoning in these skillets. The 12.5 inch skillet is heavy enough that a helper handle would have been welcome, but it's a size that I find very useful. The large tortilla fits in the bottom of the pan perfectly so you can make two quesadillas at once in this skillet or a million other things.
Now I can donate my nonstick skillets, which surprisingly are still in great condition after several years of use. I may purchase another smaller size of the carbon steel. These pans are simply wonderful and very inexpensive. I debated whether or not to spend more on the De Buyer Mineral pans, but I'm not sorry for choosing these instead. I'm sure they will outlast me and only become better with age and use.
on January 24, 2010
I'd never heard of these carbon steel pans before; I stumbled onto them while researching Amazon for a stainless steel AllClad pan ("customers who bought this item also bought..." etc.). I thought I'd try one just to see what it was like, and it's been a real treat. The thing is solid, that's for sure--it weighs 5 pounds--which means nice, even heating and great results when searing/browning. And it really is virtually non-stick, without any toxic coatings. It cleans up easily with water and a Dobie pad (no soap, that will undo the seasoning). I've enjoyed it so much I ordered another one, the next size up, and would use carbon steel exclusively except I've read that deglazing the pan with, say, wine, will eat away the seasoning. So I'll still need to rely on a stainless steel pan for sauces and braising, but the carbon steel has become a mainstay for me.
on October 13, 2009
These are really nicely built pans. I got the 12.5 and the 7.25 and both are great. I will say however that the 12.5 is really big and the 7.25 is about the size of one cracked egg in the bottom. If I were to do this order again I would get the next size up and down from these sizes for more average sized pans. This has nothing to do with the quality of the item. It is a very good pan.
on December 25, 2010
- Does not stick after seasoning which is a breeze (wipe down with oil, heat till oil gets hot, let cool, repeat two more times)
- Excellent where high heat is needed (searing meat, etc). I love stainless steel, but it doesn't perform well at high heat
- Practically indestructible (like adamantium:-)
- Heavy; use two hands
- Handle gets hot
Everyone who enjoys cooking should have a pan like this. Buy it ... you won't regret it.
on August 16, 2012
I just received my 11 inch Paderno carbon steel frying pan today! I was very excited about it and opened it up to find a very pretty (or handsome if you will), well made, heavy duty carbon steel frying pan! I love the looks of it! It looks so french like the ones in the Julie & Julia movie.
Okay so I scrubbed it out with soap and water and then heated it up nice and hot on the stove. I tossed in a little bit of beef tallow in to season it. (I render this beef tallow from unsalted ground beef that I fry up, separating the fat from the juice/water/particles with a fat separator.) By the way, I do NOT recommend using vegetable oils for seasoning cast iron or carbon steel frying pans as they are sticky oils and build up--if you don't like home rendered animal fat as a seasoning oil, then render yourself some clarified butter (it's easy google it if you don't know how).
Using a paper towel I wiped the tallow around inside then I took the paper towel and wiped the entire outside of the pan with it (minus the beautifully speckle painted handle).
I repeated this seasoning process a few times with more tallow and paper towels.
After this I got the pan to about 300 degrees F and slapped some butter in (just a modest amount). Then I poured in 2 eggs worth of batter I whisked up while the pan was heating. I let it set for a few seconds then started moving the pan forward and backward across the burner.. GUESS WHAT? The omelette literally slid/glided along the pan. If I jerked the pan hard enough the omelette would fly out of the pan. I cooked this omelette constantly moving the pan to keep it more evenly cooked. Put some cheese on it and folded it in half (easily).
It was the most delicious omelette ever.
To clean the pan all I had to do was wipe it out with a paper towel. No eggs stuck to the pan at all!
This pan would work wonderfully for scrambled eggs as well... Also pancakes and even crepes! Crepes should be easy to turn with this pan I'd think.. they'd slide around in it... you could just slide em out of the pan into a plate and flip em back in for the other side.
This pan will last you a lifetime. It's thick enough steel that it won't warp on you. But just to be safe don't put cold cold water in a very hot pan as it could cause it to warp. Let the pan cool down a little before doing that.
I think I'm going to reserve this pan as my egg, pancake & crepe pan only. I have my lodge cast iron skillet for high heat searing (I let that pan get to like 650 degrees or so for searing a steak). I wouldn't want to do that to this pan.