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Feb 13, 2010 05:05 AM

What is the difference between mineral steel and carbon steel?

I've been looking for 10" and 12" De Buyer carbon steel pans with no luck. I've seen mineral steel pans instead. Can anyone tell me the difference?

I want these to be my egg, pancake, taco meat, chicken, etc. type pans. I am getting rid of my non-stick.

Thanks for any info.


NOTE: I just found and ordered the Carbon Steel so it doesn't matter.

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  1. I don't know for sure but I think the mineral pans are just be their recycled / green line - and otherwise they are the same as either the force blue or carbonne plus lines...

    1. I have written to DeBuyer twice and I must say their consumer service isn't very good because they have never replied to me. My question to them is the difference between force blue and carbonne plus. One is blue steel and the other is carbon steel. I have an idea, but want confirmation.

      As for the mineral line vs the carbonne plus line, I believe Pass is correct. Mineral is made from recycled material. For reasons I am unsure, the mineral line is rated as oven-safe, but the carbonne plus line is not.

      My guess for the Force Blue is that the "blue steel" has chronium, tungsten, nickel added to it.

      P.S.: I have just written to Debuyer the third time about my question, if they refuse to write back to me, then forget it.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics


        One difference is the thickness of the pan. You can see that on DB's site. The Carbonne and Mineral lines go up to 3mm think. Blue only goes up to 2.

        I ordered from I spoke with them about my order last night (they called me on a Sunday evening to confirm some details). They will be getting the mineral line in about a month. It appears the mineral line is the new "green" version and very similar to the Carbonne line. Same dimensions and all.

        Based on BreadChick's post, I'm staying with those two lines. Is there a reason you're interested in the Blue Line?

        1. re: pguidry


          Yes, I noticed the thickness difference. I even wrote in my emails to Debuyer that I understand the dimension difference but what to figure out exact what goes in its blue steel.

          Well, I cannot say I am really interested in the Force Blue line until I know what is the Force Blue line. The "potential" reasons for going for blue steel are for its additional corrosion resistant property and additional strength from the chromium and tungsten. I am wonder if there is nickel in it because it is no longer capacble on a induction stove top. Of course, that really depends if the blue steel is what I think it is.

          Yes, I think the Mineral line looks very similar to the Carbonne Plus line.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Force Blue works fine on Induction. A while back I bought 24cm frying pan from CostPust (at half price). It works on my induction hot plate - though the unit sometimes gives me an error code, possibly due to overheating.

            As to the 'blue', the label says: "Blue steel is a steel which has undergone a deat [sic] treatement which gives it is bluish color and which protects it before use against oxydation." I.e. bluing as discussed in other posts in this thread.

            1. re: paulj


              Thanks. Since I wrote that post, I have figured out the blue part. It is not like blue paper steel in Japanese knives. It is blue as in bluing, which is what you said. My post below has a statement from Debuyer:



          2. re: pguidry


            I ordered my two latest/new ones from - the 12 inch and the crepe pan. That site popped up when I did a search, and I'd never heard of them before - but, to get these pans I was willing to chance it.

            de Buyer suggests using potato peelings to season the pan. I don't know why, but it works like a charm. Can't wait to get my new ones!

        2. I have several of the Carbon steel fry pans and am head over heels for them. I think Mineral vs. steel is just preference since I imagine performance is similar.

          Chemicalkinetics might remember how I am a strong supporter of the de Buyer line.

          So much so, I just bought another 12 inch fry pan and will replace my original crepe pan (which worked, but was a thin steel and had hot spots) with the de Buyer pan. All the pans season like a dream. I keep asking everyone if they would like some eggs. The surface becomes so slick that it's a real pleasure to cook with them.

          Just yesterday, I ordered from a Canadian company for my new pcs because I can't find them stateside. Chefs Catalog should consider re-stocking their inventory. Unfortunately, they're completely out of stock for the popular sizes of the carbon steel: 10 and 12 inch. Read the reviews on the CC website - you'll see what I mean.

          Easy to clean: clean out food debris, rinse under hot water, use a green scrubbie to remove anything that might stick (not likely) and put back on the burner. Heat up and then store it away when cool.

          Chemicalkinetics - I'm not surprised, really, that you didn't hear from them. I've reached out to companies about their products and rarely get responses. Not even complaints, just inquiries - still no response.

          4 Replies
          1. re: breadchick

            Yes, I remember you are a strong advocater for the DeBuyer pans on a All Clad d5 post. I will see if I get to hear something back from DeBuyer this time.

            1. re: breadchick

              Which ones did you order here and are you still happy with them?>

              1. re: itryalot

                Absolutely. I love the pans I have. The crepe pan is a joy to use, and the 10 and 12 inch Carbonne skillets are - at this point - so seasoned it's amazing. I run hot water over them after use, and the crusty bits just pop off. A quick dry on the burner and a swipe of fat and they're good to go for the next time.

                Just a note here: a lot of folks think that they're non-stick like Teflon (no grease or fat needed) but because these pans cook so well I don't need a LOT of oil or fat. Preheating them is the answer, and no problem if there's nothing in them while they heat - unlike Teflon. Once they're heated well, I add the butter/peanut oil/duck fat - whatever.

                The other dirty little secret is this: even if you can't get to the pan to clean it for a couple days, no worries. The fat used for cooking protects the pan, and it's good to go when you can get to it. (Not that it happens often, but I have found the empty pan in the stove after returning from being away. I think it's like grill grates on outdoor cookers - enough heat kills anything on them.)

                Still happy - thank you for asking. :-)

                1. re: breadchick

                  "The other dirty little secret is this: even if you can't get to the pan to clean it for a couple days, "


            2. I am pretty sure you can order these pans online from Sur la Table.

              4 Replies
              1. re: itryalot

                I just checked Sur La Table. I order from them once and a while, and never thought to look for the pans there.

                They do have the de Buyer crepe pans in blue steel - not the Carbonne steel (which I prefer.) They also have a de Buyer non-stick crepe pan, but I think that defeats my purpose. I'm not fond of non-stick.

                They have quite a selection of the professional molds, but no Carbonne steel pans.

                  1. re: itryalot

                    That's the stuff. Love it. I can't wait for the crepe pan, especially. What I also like is that the crepe pan will be multi-purpose. We can use it for grilled cheese, searing scallops, etc.

                    I guess the bottom line for me is that I wondered how I could ever replicate what they have in restaurants - the flattop grill. That you can cook eggs, pancakes, potatoes, a burger - whatever, and it's such a slick seasoned surface that nothing will stick. A bit of oil or butter, and stuff browns up beautifully. They can really take the heat, too. Oven tough.

                    I took a chance on these pans and glad I did. They're a bit heavy, but not nearly as heavy as cast iron - and I have a touch of joint pain so that's important to me.

                    Just don't ever use soap and be a bit patient. It takes a couple hot pans with a coat of oil to really rock. When I clean them, I take the green Scotch scrubbies and cut them into smaller squares. You don't need more than that - less waste.

                    I would kill for the 14 inch, but that is an elephant.

                    At this point, you would think the company would pay me as an endorser! Ha.

                    1. re: itryalot

                      I looked further on this site, and found the fry pans as well. Unfortunately, the picture for the fry pans is wrong. That's a non-stick pan. However, the description of the pans is exactly what I've been saying all along. These Carbonne steel pans can take the heat and then some.

                1. Debuyer finally sent its reply to me. Apparantly, it has replied me before but I did not received the earlier replies. The replies never really explain what a blue steel is, which is my number one question, but they did answer a few others.

                  'The “Mineral” line is like the “Carbone +” one, but with a better finish and packaging, more suitable for the retail market (see in the attachment)

                  Franck CHATELAIN

                  Export Dept.
                  tel. +
                  fax. +'

                  Coping from a picture he send me:
                  Carbone Plus is recommended for Professional, Gaz-Electric (I think it is Gas), Ceramic, Induction.
                  Force Blue is recommended for Professional, Domestic use, Gaz-Electric, Ceramic.

                  Carbone Plus is for professional strong heat sources
                  Force Blus is for professional medium heat sources

                  I am uploading a picture Franck sent me -- hopefully it will show. I wrote back and asked what exactly is Blue Steel made of. Maybe he will write back. I think he is a bit annoyed by now, but hey, I really want to know.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    The following is copied from the Wikipedia entry for "Bluing (steel)":

                    "Bluing is a passivation process in which steel is partially protected against rust, and is named after the blue-black appearance of the resulting protective finish. True gun bluing is an electrochemical conversion coating resulting from an oxidizing chemical reaction with iron on the surface selectively forming magnetite (Fe3O4), the black oxide of iron, which occupies the same volume as metallic iron. Black oxide provides minimal protection against corrosion, unless also treated with a water-displacing oil to reduce wetting and galvanic action."

                    I would guess that what they do to pots and pans is the same as what they do to guns.

                    1. re: tanuki soup

                      Hi Soup,

                      Thanks. Yes, that is one definition. That is to form an oxidizing surface to prevent future rusting. It is analogous to anodized aluminum. One method of wok seasoning is to "blue" the carbon steel. Here is a youtube video. Jump to 1:15min:


                      I have done this to my carbon steel wok, so I know this is true.

                      However, Japanese cutlery has another definition, as you may know. Blue steel in Japanese cutlery is tungsten and chromium additional to an otherwise plain carbon steel.

                    2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Got another email from Franck. Doing a cut and paste:

                      "Hello !

                      Our blue steel has nothing to do with this one.
                      The blue color is obtained during the lamination process; there are no additives.

                      Franck CHATELAIN
                      Export Dept."

                      I asked if blue steel is made by addition of chromium and tungsten and he basically said no.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        I suspect the Carbone Plus, for higher heat sources, is thicker

                        1. re: paulj

                          Yes. That is the difference. Carbone Plus is the thickest, Force Blue is intermediate, and La Lyonnaise is the thinnest. La Lyonnaise is supposed to be designed for residential use, but it does not seem to sell that way.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            Just took delivery of my crepe and second 12 inch fry pan. (Both Carbonne Plus.)

                            What is great about this second 12 inch pan - different from my first one - is that it comes with a helper handle! Yes!!! These pans are a bit heavy, so that's a huge plus.

                            Oh, joy.

                            1. re: breadchick

                              Of course, it has a helper handle, it is getting heavy with that size. :)I thought you said you like these pans because they are lighter than cast iron. Now, you are back tracking and say the weight is a huge plus? :P

                              Honesty, I think I will get the Force Blue. It is intermediate. :)

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                OK, Chemical, this is what I mean. In my earlier posts about these pans, I've said that they're a bit heavy - but not as heavy as cast iron. Which is why I like them. Which is why I returned the 14 inch pan. I think it weighed as much as a car. :-(

                                The helper handle is new with this pan. My first 12 inch Carbonne fry pan didn't come with one.

                                Haha! Are you having a laugh? ;-) Hope you do get a pan, regardless of which type.

                                1. re: breadchick

                                  I now realize you may think I was being puckish. On the contrary, I appreciate your help, and was having a laugh at both our expenses.

                                  1. re: breadchick


                                    Man, I had to look up what "puckish" means. I know you are not weak or small -- that is what puckish means, right?

                                    No, I know you were joking about the pan weighs like a car. Moreover, I cannot really think you are weak, when I prefer a lighter pan (Force Blue) than you.