Carbon Steel Cookware Tips before You Buy
If you are thinking of buying a carbon steel cookware, there are things you should know before you decide the model to purchase.
This cookware has heat and durability tolerance of cast iron. The cooking surface of the cookware is non-stick and can heat up fast.
Despite this cookware benefits, it has some downsides you should know. The carbon steel cookware may not heat evenly like your stainless steel.
What this means is that you need seasoning. It reacts to acidic ingredients and susceptible to rust.
The cookware is lightweight and easy to maneuver, versatile, durable, affordable, high heat tolerance, heats up fast, responsive, safe, and compatible with cooktops and all heat sources.
The carbon steel cookware requires seasoning, susceptible to discoloration and rusting, hot handles, not dishwasher safe, reacts with acidic food, food sticks, and uneven heat distribution.
Why Should You Buy Carbon Steel Cookware?
Carbon steel cookware works like cast iron, and the carbon steel consists of alloy in the ratio of 99% iron and 1% carbon.
Carbon includes strength and hardness, but the material is less malleable and more brittle. To increase its durability, cast iron skillets are produced with thick and heavy walls.
Carbon steel has a lower carbon composition and more bendable or malleable than cast iron. This is the reason why it is produced with thin and lightweight walls.
Woks and skillets are common types of carbon steel cookware. We have roasters, pots, and other types of pans too.
We find this cookware mostly in restaurants or hotels than our home kitchens. This does not mean you should be a professional chef before you make use of carbon steel.
This carbon steel is excellent for home use and complements to the stainless steel set.
We have spoken about the composition of the cookware, we can talk about factors you should know.
How to Prevent Sticky Nature of the Carbon Steel Cookware
One of the cons of carbon steel cookware is that it is sticky. To prevent this you need to add seasoning to it.
This seasoning protects it against general tear and wear, and prevents it from rusting. To season your carbon steel pan, you should follow these steps:
- You should put the carbon steel pan over medium-high heat and leave it until it becomes hot.
- The pan will begin to smoke and change to a brownish color.
- When this happens, add a vegetable shortening or you can lard to your pan. You should spread it around the pan with tongs and a neat cloth.
- When you have coated it, turn the heat high.
- You should do this until you see the fat transforms into a liquid. You should remove the pan from the heat and wipe off the excess oil.
- Allow the pan to cool. When it is cooled, you should wipe it with a dry paper cloth or towel.
- Do this two or three times in a season.
You have to repeat this process when food starts sticking to the pan’s surface again. When food starts sticking to it, the color changes to grey or becomes rusty.
You should know that carbon steel cookware is susceptible to discoloration and rusting. If you do not season your pan properly, it will rust too.
The pan rusts because it does not contain enough chromium. The chromium ensures that a pan is corrosion resistant.
If you are looking for beautiful cookware, you should stop reading here. This type of cookware has no beauty attached to it.
However, the purpose of this carbon steel is that it serves you on a daily basis and it is very versatile.
This is the reason we see it more in restaurants or eateries.
We must warn you that carbon steel cookware is prone to hot handles. The basic design of this cookware does not disperse heat evenly on its handles.
For those of us who have no time to wash, this cookware is not dishwasher safe. If you put it in a dishwasher, it can ruin the seasoning and cause it to rust.
Thankfully, it is not difficult to wash. Use warm water and wash your carbon steel cookware, before you can wipe it dry with a towel.