Steel: find out what's fact and fiction

De Buyer has long been designing and manufacturing cooking utensils in a variety of materials, such as copper, stainless steel, non-stick and carbon steel, to get the best cooking results for each recipe.

Carbon steel utensils have always been a part of the French culinary tradition and are a symbol of our grandmothers’ cooking. Unbeatable when it comes to searing, grilling and browning, They are an essential ingredient of the Maillard reaction a browning reaction that reduces sugars on the surface, seals in flavors and keepsthe inside tender and juicy.

A durable material, carbon steel is naturally non-stick: the more you use it, the better it gets. This is why carbon steel utensils have been passed along from generation to generation.

Popular misconception

“Seasoning is difficult and demanding.”

In fact,

seasoning your pan before the first use is recommended in order to take advantage of its amazing properties right from the start. If you don’t feel up to the task, rest assured that after the first use, your pan will season itself. All you have to do is pour in a little oil before cooking. To speed up the process during those first uses, you may cook high fat foods such as red meat. Your carbon steel pan will then season itself with each use. Scratches that may appear when using steel cookware will not damage your pan or alter its properties.

Popular misconception

“Carbon steel pans may become rusty.”

In fact,

a carbon steel pan that is properly cared for and properly seasoned, meaning one that is used regularly,should not become rusty. However, if you put your pan in the dishwasher or if you never use it and store in a humid place, it may become oxidized. There’s no reason to worry - rust can be removed by scrubbing the pan with a stiff brush or an abrasive pad.

Popular misconception

“Carbon steel pans aren’t suitable for induction.”

In fact,

carbon steel is made of 99% iron. It is a magnetic material that works great with induction cooktops.Carbon steel pans are actually a cutting-edge utensil and the most suitable for induction. The only requirement is that it must be thick enough (from 2 to 4 mm depending on the diameter). A thinner carbon steel pan won’t weigh as much, but it could warp if used on induction.

Popular misconception

“Carbon steel pans stick.”

In fact,

after the first seasoning with oil, your pan is ready to use. It will become gradually darker and more resistant to sticking with each use. Just pour a little bit of oil before using it. You can make light dishes and cook with very little oil.. Keep in mind that in the kitchen, the key to success and taste is to take your time. To prevent food from sticking to the pan while cooking, allow food to go through the browning process before flipping it over. Once the Maillard reaction occurs, it’s a done deal!

Popular misconception

“Black carbon steel pans seem dirty.”

In fact,

your pan should darken. It is a sign that the seasoning process is successful. As with any cookware, your carbon steel pan reaches high temperature when you’re cooking, which eliminates any bacteria, since bacteria is killed by heat. Your utensil is perfectly clean and safe to come into contact with food.
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