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What is the difference between mineral steel and carbon steel?

p
pguidry Feb 13, 2010 05:05 AM

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.

Paul

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

  1. p
    pass Feb 13, 2010 06:10 AM

    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. Chemicalkinetics Feb 13, 2010 07:05 AM

      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
        p
        pguidry Feb 15, 2010 08:36 AM

        Chemical,

        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 finestcookware.com 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
          Chemicalkinetics Feb 15, 2010 08:46 AM

          pguidy,

          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
            paulj Oct 2, 2010 06:21 PM

            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
              Chemicalkinetics Oct 2, 2010 06:28 PM

              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:

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6877...

              Thanks.

          2. re: pguidry
            breadchick Feb 15, 2010 02:59 PM

            pquidry,

            I ordered my two latest/new ones from finestcookware.com - 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. breadchick Feb 14, 2010 03:05 PM

          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
            Chemicalkinetics Feb 14, 2010 03:24 PM

            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
              i
              itryalot Mar 26, 2012 04:38 AM

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

              1. re: itryalot
                breadchick Mar 26, 2012 05:38 PM

                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
                  Chemicalkinetics Mar 26, 2012 06:12 PM

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

                  Yep.

            2. i
              itryalot Feb 15, 2010 04:15 AM

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

              4 Replies
              1. re: itryalot
                breadchick Feb 15, 2010 03:09 PM

                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: breadchick
                  i
                  itryalot Feb 16, 2010 03:40 PM

                  Glad you clarified.
                  IS this it?
                  http://www.broadwaypanhandler.com/bro...&

                  1. re: itryalot
                    breadchick Feb 16, 2010 04:06 PM

                    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
                      breadchick Feb 16, 2010 05:28 PM

                      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.

                2. Chemicalkinetics Feb 16, 2010 04:14 PM

                  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.

                  First:
                  '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)

                  Rgds
                  Franck CHATELAIN

                  Export Dept.
                  tel. +33.3.29.30.56.16
                  fax. +33.3.29.30.60.03'

                  Second
                  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
                    tanuki soup Feb 16, 2010 04:50 PM

                    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
                      Chemicalkinetics Feb 16, 2010 05:20 PM

                      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:

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBZu7d...

                      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
                      Chemicalkinetics Feb 17, 2010 03:53 PM

                      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.

                      Rgds,
                      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
                        paulj Feb 17, 2010 10:18 PM

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

                        1. re: paulj
                          Chemicalkinetics Feb 17, 2010 10:23 PM

                          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
                            breadchick Feb 18, 2010 02:21 PM

                            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
                              Chemicalkinetics Feb 18, 2010 02:35 PM

                              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
                                breadchick Feb 18, 2010 02:55 PM

                                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
                                  breadchick Feb 18, 2010 04:04 PM

                                  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
                                    Chemicalkinetics Feb 18, 2010 04:13 PM

                                    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.

                      2. s
                        Seitan Feb 21, 2010 11:19 AM

                        On the chef's catalog website it says the de buyer mineral pan is 99% iron, which is different than the carbon steel pans. It also has higher sides and a more polished finish.

                        http://www.chefscatalog.com/product/2...

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Seitan
                          Chemicalkinetics Feb 21, 2010 11:29 AM

                          Hi Seitan,

                          It is not extremely different. Carbon steel, by definition, is iron with a small percentage of carbon -- while no specified amount of other impurities. 99% iron is within the definition of steel, so this is not mutual exclusive. The reason I think it lists 99% iron is because Mineral Pans are made from recycled materials, so in that sense they are different.

                          It does have a more polished finished as mentioned by DeBuyer Export Department.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                            s
                            Seitan Feb 27, 2010 11:38 PM

                            So, back to the original question: What is the difference between the carbonne plus and the mineral pan ? Or are they the same?

                            1. re: Seitan
                              Chemicalkinetics Feb 28, 2010 07:09 AM

                              Hi Seitan,

                              According to De Buyer export department, they are essentially the same. I have pasted the email I received in the above post at Feb 16, 2010 08:14PM , but here again:

                              "'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)

                              Rgds
                              Franck CHATELAIN

                              Export Dept.
                              tel. +33.3.29.30.56.16
                              fax. +33.3.29.30.60.03"

                              Obviously, the mineral line is the recycled/green line as well.

                        2. tim irvine Oct 2, 2010 03:29 PM

                          Actually got to heft one in W-S today. It was an evasee shape and was impressive. Not as thick and heavy as the carbone line but still probably on the order of 2 mm. The finish was noticeably lighter and shinier than the carbone, but I figure it would be brown in a few weeks (that is a good thing). For that shape, which seems to me much more akin to a saucepan, I will stick with 2.5mm tin lined copper any day, but for a fry pan I think the mineral would be an outstanding choice. I have a 14" carbone fry pan and love it so much I am thinking of adding an 8 or 10 incher for when we are only cooking for two.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: tim irvine
                            hobbybaker Oct 17, 2010 09:36 PM

                            I am also intereted in adding 8 or 10 inch fry-pan of Mineral. My use is mostly omlet and two filets of fish. I cook for two, too. I had a chance to lift 10 inch fry-pan and it was already heavy enough for me. I might go with 8 inch but couldn't make up my mind!!

                          2. paulj Oct 2, 2010 06:24 PM

                            Cost Plus again has their De Buyer carbon steel pans on 50% sale - the 24cm deep fry pan, and the 24cm crepe pan.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: paulj
                              g
                              goodeatsgal Oct 15, 2010 10:45 AM

                              To add on.... the De Buyer pans sold at Cost Plus are the Force Blue line. I just bought them last night. Looking forward to using them soon.

                              1. re: paulj
                                Chemicalkinetics Oct 15, 2010 04:02 PM

                                Paul,

                                It is your fault. I spent my $ and bought a De Buyer Force Blue skillet/fry pan. :P

                                1. re: paulj
                                  nocomicsans Jan 4, 2011 04:58 PM

                                  I just went to Cost Plus on Sunday -- they were 50% off again! I bought the fry pan and the crepe pan.

                                  I couldn't wait to use it! Last night I seasoned the pan with potato peels & oil, and when I wiped out the oil, the paper towel was very black. I cooked onions & potatoes first, and tried to scrape out the burnt-on crust before I cooked salmon. I was sure to run hot water over the pan and scrape on it before I sat down to eat, but I guess I didn't let it dry enough... I have rust today.

                                  1. re: nocomicsans
                                    paulj Jan 4, 2011 05:24 PM

                                    Some times, after washing and oiling this type of pan, the paper towel is black. I'm not quite sure what it is; since I get can get this from a smooth pan, I don't think it is burnt on food.

                                    As for the overnight rust, I don't think it is very deep. I'd just scrub it (green plastic pad); dry, and oil.

                                    Keeping it dry, and lightly oiling the surface are the most important maintenance steps.

                                    1. re: paulj
                                      p
                                      pguidry Jan 6, 2011 07:56 PM

                                      nocomicsans: I immediately dry mine after washing and then lightly oil a paper towel and wipe the inside of the pan and the outer welds (I use olive oil).

                                      My paper towel does discolor a little (brownish) similar to what PaulJ reports.

                                  2. re: paulj
                                    e
                                    Emerald_City Jan 16, 2011 09:06 PM

                                    I called my local Cost Plus this afternoon and asked if they had these pans in stock. I was told they did and that they were on clearance. After driving 30 miles, I found they did have them, but they were not on sale! I was not a happy camper. Will try to buy elsewhere but am not having much luck.

                                    I read a review on amazon that said the mineral pans are subject to pitting, where the other ones are not. Anyone else had this experience?

                                  3. q
                                    Quails Jan 17, 2011 02:56 PM

                                    Too late but I thought I'd mention I think the 28cm Au Carbone one is marketed to commercial kitchens. It doesn't have any logos on it. The other ones are marketed as lighter or more enviro pans with different logos on the handles. Probably my favorite piece of cookware. Could do double duty as a weapon if so inclined.

                                    C

                                    1. t
                                      toddster63 Mar 26, 2011 05:29 PM

                                      I've bought and worked with much carbon steel cookware—woks, crepe pans and fry pans. But this Mineral line by De Buyer is something really special. It's highly finished/polished so that when seasoned, it really is fantastically non-stick—and I mean from the first few uses, it's like Teflon. In contrast, a more run-of-the-mill carbon steel fry pan might take a few months of very regular use to get this close to non-stick...

                                      It reminds me of the difference between vintage Griswold cast iron and modern cast iron pans, like Lodge; Griswold's were much more highly finished—smoother inside, and hold a seasoning much better—much more non-stick than the modern, and much more rougher, finishes such as on Lodge cast iron cookware.

                                      These Mineral pans are thick and heavy, they weigh a lot, and hold a lot of heat when heated up; searing is easy and great as these pans get so hot adding cold meat or food does not lower the pan's temperature to a great degree—it gives you one of the best features of cast iron.

                                      I made an effortless—slide around the pan—omelette on the second day with this pan, and it only gets better!

                                      Honestly, I am just in love with these Mineral pans—and plan on retiring much of my collection of vintage Griswold cast iron and seasoned black carbon steel fry pans. The Mineral pans are that superior and preform that much better. I didn't think anything could come near to my 80 year old Griswold cast iron skillets for searing, browning—foods from potatoes, eggs and steaks to grilled cheese sandwiches to sauteed zucchini and dover sole and fried oysters—but I was wrong, these pans are better...

                                      Highly—HIGHLY—recommend these pans...!

                                      P.S. To season, I boiled the potato sklns in water, per De Buyer, then heated about 1/3 of an inch of peanut oil at very high heat, swirling it about in the pan, for about ten minutes, until the oil started to brown the pan a bit. For the first month I oiled the exterior lightly after every use, it helps to burn a slight seasoned finish to the exterior of the pan. All of this worked like a charm. I also think from my few months with these pans, that they will darken much slower than most carbon steel I have worked with, but the performance (from like day one!) is like a highly seasoned pan, so it doesn't bother me to be patient as the color and seasoned taste develop...!

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: toddster63
                                        petek Mar 26, 2011 05:59 PM

                                        toddster: do you ever use your pans in a hot(+400deg) oven for more than 10 or 15 mins?
                                        I just returned some minerals because I was worried about damaging the film coating on the handles.

                                        1. re: petek
                                          t
                                          toddster63 Mar 26, 2011 06:49 PM

                                          No, petek, I'm not one for the oven-broiler much (though I do use my cast iron in the oven, I must admit)... I was told at Sur La Table that the coating on the handle—as well as the big emblem—are all silicon and good to go up to around 550F....? I can't imagine De Buyer making something that dangerous/liable...?!

                                          1. re: toddster63
                                            petek Mar 26, 2011 07:09 PM

                                            550F! Wow..That's funny because the sales person at my local kitchen supply store warned me about using them in an oven hotter than400F for more than 10 mins.
                                            Oh well,I purchased some some regular deBuyer(12.5in and9.5in) for $50.00 less
                                            Regrette Rien!

                                            1. re: petek
                                              t
                                              toddster63 Mar 26, 2011 08:06 PM

                                              I just tested mine to see—they were fine in a 500F oven for one hour. The handles, and the silicon emblem, survived just fine—NO discoloration or any change whatsoever... I did this test as I rarely totally trust kitchen supply store employees making $8.00 an hour (and usually with little training). I guess now I can finish my sausages and steaks in these pans, in the oven, and totally retire the Griswolds!

                                              In my experience when products are heat sensitive, the manufacturer usually states so on the labels. If I had a dollar for every label I have removed that said something like, "DO NOT USE in an oven over 350F", well, I could probably buy a nice French copper sauce pan, Haha! It's great to see with silicones and some of the new technologies that this is changing...

                                              1. re: petek
                                                DuffyH Mar 13, 2013 04:48 AM

                                                Hi, petek

                                                I've posted a deBuyer question about interior measurements. Chem referred me back to your post here. Will you weigh in on the new topic, please?

                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8939...

                                            2. re: petek
                                              w
                                              will47 Mar 26, 2012 06:11 PM

                                              Ours has been, I think.

                                              Think of it this way; if the coating burns off, you've still got a usable pan and a usable handle (the handle will just get a little hotter when using on the stovetop).

                                          2. t
                                            toddster63 Mar 26, 2011 08:08 PM

                                            Hey, PeteK, how non-stick is the regular De Buyers early on? Did you get the blue steel version, or the black steel Carbone?

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: toddster63
                                              petek Mar 26, 2011 08:19 PM

                                              I ordered from Sears.ca(Canada) and have not received them yet.I believe they're the black steel Carbone.Why would this woman lie to me?? :D.I'm pretty sure she was the owner of this particular shop and not just an employee.That's why I believed her in the first place.

                                              1. re: petek
                                                t
                                                toddster63 Mar 26, 2011 09:15 PM

                                                I wouldn't think of it as "lying".... More like they are misinformed, or just being safe, so that they don't have to have you return the item...

                                                And it's surprising how many kitchen employees aren't even aware of some of the new silicone coatings and materials out there... One employee at Williams Sonoma told me not too long ago that she was pretty sure that Le Crueset's "heat resistant" spatulas could only be used up to around 200F. I told her that I have often used them in pans that I know where well over 500F (and most modern cooking silicons are good to between 500F-600F).

                                                That's what is SO GREAT about the internet—we can learn for ourselves rather than trusting misinformed or too busy employess that may just not know, or have other agendas...

                                                Regardless, petek, the Carbones are great pans! I have a few black steel CS pieces (including my beloved Japanese wok), and it's a great material! You'll do fine. I love that black steel becomes very deep black practically over night. While I love these Mineral pans, it's weird to look at them with so much silvery-gray coloring, almost like cooking in stainless...! Nicely seasoned pans to me equal deep black coloring...!

                                                I am just convinced that the ultra smooth machine finish on the Mineral line (just a little less finished on the Carbone) is part of the magical non-stick quality I have witnessed...

                                                1. re: toddster63
                                                  petek Mar 26, 2011 09:29 PM

                                                  I was kidding about her lying and they were very gracious when I returned the pans(I felt kinda bad about it).The mineral pans were so purdy,nice weight to them,beautiful fit& finish. I guess being a chef I'm not used to working with something so nice,even at home.

                                                2. re: petek
                                                  w
                                                  wattacetti Apr 29, 2011 11:24 AM

                                                  FWIW, kitchenvirtue.com carrying Force Blue, Carbone Plus and Mineral. Based out of Ottawa (so our precious Canadian dollars stay on this side of the border) and free shipping for any order over $99 so long as it doesn't weigh more than 25 lbs. And GST-only if you're not in Ontario.

                                                  Testing them out with an order for a 32 cm Mineral pan.

                                              2. m
                                                moonbeamer Mar 26, 2012 03:52 AM

                                                The De Buyer "Mineral" pans are pure iron, rather than steel. Steel is an alloy of iron + carbon + trace elements, and while steel is stronger than iron (which is irrelevant for cookware), it is also considerably more prone to rust and corrosion (as anyone faliliar with boating and marine hardware will know). For that reason--better corrosion resistance--I'd stick to the "Mineral" pans, rather than their "Blue Steel" (or other carbon-steel) types.

                                                I'm quite happy with my De Buyer 8-inch "Mineral B" omelette pan, used on an induction cooktop. The "B" stands for beeswax, with which the pans are coated, which supposedly make them non-stick "out of the box" (paper bag, actually), without any pre-seasoning. So far, it has performed just as advertised.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: moonbeamer
                                                  Chemicalkinetics Mar 26, 2012 06:35 AM

                                                  "The De Buyer "Mineral" pans are pure iron"

                                                  I know the website states that, but I find it hard to believe that it is pure iron.

                                                  "The "B" stands for beeswax, with which the pans are coated, which supposedly make them non-stick "out of the box""

                                                  I think the beeswax is just for storage and transporation. I don't think it can deep the pan nonstick because beeswax soften/melts at a very low temperature.

                                                  1. re: moonbeamer
                                                    g
                                                    GH1618 Mar 26, 2012 04:21 PM

                                                    No, they are 99% pure iron, meaning that they are 1% carbon and manganese, most likely, i.e. carbon steel. "Mineral" is just a marketing term.

                                                  2. m
                                                    moonbeamer Mar 14, 2013 04:32 AM

                                                    There are three differences between the DeBuyer "Mineral B" pans (I have two) and similar "Blue steel" or other carbon-steel pans (I had one). The first two differences I mentioned in previous posts: they are made of iron rather than steel (iron + carbon) and are therefore intrinsically more rust- (or corrosion-) resistant than steel (the carbon in steel seems to catalyze the oxidation process); and second, they are coated with beeswax, which serves as a transitional non-stick coating until the pan seasons itself with use; there is no need to season it by boiling water with potato peels, or whatever (though after a few dozen uses, the beeswax has been burnt or worn off, and it's just like any cast- (or stamped-) iron pan, which may have to be re-seasoned if you forget to clean it properly after each use.

                                                    The third difference, which I discovered only after I acquired 26cm a "blue steel" crepe pan, is that the DeBuyer Mineral pans are thicker (1.5mm v 1mm, as I recall) and are much better at resisting warping if overheated. In the course of doing some experiments on an induction cooktop, my blue steel crepe pan overheated and warped so the center of the pan buckled up, and was useless thereafter for any kind of cooking that required oiling the pan: the heated oil drained immediately away from the center to the sides, and whatever was being cooked tended to stick in the center. I replaced it with a similar-sized DeBuyer Mineral B crepe pan, which works fine.

                                                    The downside is that the BeBuyer Mineral pan is somewhat heavier, though the 26mm crepe pan is (for me) still light enough to physically "flip" a large pancake, or "over-easy" fried egg. A larger crepe pan, or even a 26cm (Lyonnaise style) fry pan, might be problematic in this respect, however (depending on whether you flip or not).

                                                    11 Replies
                                                    1. re: moonbeamer
                                                      DuffyH Mar 14, 2013 07:18 AM

                                                      DeBuyer Force Blue (blue steel) pans are 2mm thick vs 3mm for Mineral B and Carbone. It is true that some other manufacturers only use 1mm thick steel.

                                                      My Force Blue crepe pan remains (you should pardon the pun) flat as a pancake. However, in the nature of full disclosure, it's only been heated to smoking hot once, for the initial seasoning. Since then, it's highest heat has been medium-high.

                                                      1. re: DuffyH
                                                        t
                                                        toddster63 Mar 14, 2013 07:26 AM

                                                        My Mineral B saute pans are a little warped, and the warping gets more pronounced if they get really hot. But I have used them over scorching heat--really too hot.

                                                      2. re: moonbeamer
                                                        t
                                                        toddster63 Mar 14, 2013 07:31 AM

                                                        The Mineral B pans are actually made out of steel, but it is indeed a low carbon content steel. But it still qualifies to be called carbon steel as there is carbon in their alloyed mix.

                                                        Actually many parts of the world refer to carbon steel and cast iron as "iron pans". But we here in the US we are very regimented that iron means cast iron, and carbon steel means lighter weight high carbon alloys...

                                                        But the truth is that there can be many formulas in the metal-making and many designations. The Mineral B pans are a prime example. You may be comfortable calling them "iron pans", but my eyes make me call them "carbon steel" pans...

                                                        What matters is that they are great and useful tools for good cooks!

                                                        1. re: toddster63
                                                          DuffyH Mar 14, 2013 08:11 AM

                                                          <What matters is that they are great and useful tools for good cooks!>

                                                          They also give average cooks the confidence to become good cooks. :)

                                                          1. re: toddster63
                                                            paulj Mar 14, 2013 08:52 AM

                                                            Cast iron is higher in carbon than steel. That carbon makes it hard, but brittle, hence the casting. Pure iron is much softer. Wrought iron approximates that. Steel is in between, with enough carbon to toughen it, but not so much as to make it brittle.

                                                            I know from experience that Force Blue pans can warp if over heated. But I question whether they are more prone to rusting than the Mineral B pans.

                                                            1. re: paulj
                                                              Chemicalkinetics Mar 14, 2013 08:57 AM

                                                              <Cast iron is higher in carbon than steel.>

                                                              +1.

                                                              <But I question whether they are more prone to rusting than the Mineral B pans.>

                                                              Less, because the surface has been passivation. My Force Blue pan is black when I received it. See photos:

                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/741895#6001631

                                                              At one point, I had to reseason it, and had to burn all everything. It then goes back to the typical gray silver color.

                                                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluing_%...

                                                              1. re: paulj
                                                                t
                                                                toddster63 Mar 14, 2013 11:02 AM

                                                                Thanks for the info, paulj...!

                                                                I think the Mineral B's don't rust because of the beeswax coasting on them. Then by the time they get seasoned well, as the beeswax is disappearing, they are seasoned and will not rust; plus the handles are silicone coated....

                                                            2. re: moonbeamer
                                                              Chemicalkinetics Mar 14, 2013 08:55 AM

                                                              <The first two differences I mentioned in previous posts: they are made of iron rather than steel (iron + carbon) and are therefore intrinsically more rust- (or corrosion-) resistant than steel>

                                                              I am pretty sure they are made of the same steel. Pure iron cannot be used in a meaningful way. I think you probably read something wrong from the DeBuyer website due to its mistranslation from French to English. The Force Blue line is rust resistance because the surface has already been oxidized by the "bluing" process, thus the name.

                                                              <they are coated with beeswax, which serves as a transitional non-stick coating until the pan seasons itself with use>

                                                              The beeswax is for shelf storage against rust. It has no function in term of nonstick. Beeswax melt at a very low temperature. It is gone the moment you heat up the pan. I have beeswax at home and use it for cutting boards and knives.

                                                              <The third difference, which I discovered only after I acquired 26cm a "blue steel" crepe pan, is that the DeBuyer Mineral pans are thicker >

                                                              This is true. Mineral B, Carbone Plus are essentially the thicker version. Force Blue is intermediate, and La Lyonnaise is the thinner version.

                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                m
                                                                moonbeamer Mar 15, 2013 04:19 AM

                                                                The "blue steel" crepe pan I mentioned was another brand (and considerably less expensive than an equivalent DeBuyer pan). I believe the term comes from finishing the pan with an oxidizing process similar to that used for blueing rifle barrels, which imparts some rust-resistance, though still far short of a true stainless steel. (Actually there are different types of stainless steels: the high-carbon type used for high-grade kitchen knives can take and hold a very sharp edge, but is prone to corrosion; cookware and tableware use a different type of malleable, low-carbon stainless steel, which is not prone to rust; but which is also sometimes used for "cheapie" grocery-store paring knives and the like, which are incapable of taking and keeping a sharp edge.)

                                                                I agree the metallurgy of iron v steel is pretty complicated; but as stated in an earlier post, there is a big difference in the corrosion resistance of boat hardware & fittings made of conventional, hardware-store "steel," vs. malleable, soft "iron" (used extensively in the venerable British Seagull outboard engine) vs. stainless steel. Since the DeBuyer pans are stamped (rather than cast, or forged), I'd guess they're closer to the Seagull-type of iron, rather than the hardware-store type of "carbon-steel" nuts & bolts; but that's only a guess, and the DeBuyer website is no help.

                                                                I think chemicalkinetics is mistaken about beeswax, on two grounds: from experience with two DeBuyer pans, it does indeed work as a non-stick coating for a while, until the pan seasons itself with use. Second, according to a relative who keeps bees, beeswax melts only gradually, with no sharply-defined liquidification point; and once melted onto metal (or hard plastic, or a pot) is almost impossible to remove by heating, or scrubbing, or detergent, or whatever.

                                                                1. re: moonbeamer
                                                                  t
                                                                  toddster63 Mar 15, 2013 07:35 AM

                                                                  Now that I look back, I can see why these pans were harder to season and take color—it must have been due to the beeswax melting off. Yet they still were very non-stick, even as the beautiful new seasoning would frustratingly wash away...

                                                                  1. re: moonbeamer
                                                                    Chemicalkinetics Mar 15, 2013 08:31 AM

                                                                    <The "blue steel" crepe pan I mentioned was another brand >

                                                                    <I agree the metallurgy of iron v steel is pretty complicated>

                                                                    Oh I see. Thanks. The important thing I am getting at is that you wrote "The first two differences I mentioned in previous posts: they are made of iron rather than steel (iron + carbon) and are therefore intrinsically more rust- (or corrosion-) resistant than steel". My point is that there isn't a pure iron pan. As for cast iron pans, despite their name, they actually have less iron than steel pans. Cast iron has more carbon than steel. Thus, steel has more elemental iron than cast iron.

                                                                    I meant the DeBuyer so called iron pans are the same as its so called steel pans. The DeBuyer's Mineral B, Carbone Plus, ForceBlue....etc. are all made from steel.

                                                                    <Second, according to a relative who keeps bees, beeswax melts only gradually, with no sharply-defined liquidification point; and once melted onto metal (or hard plastic, or a pot) is almost impossible to remove by heating, or scrubbing, or detergent, or whatever.>

                                                                    I have melted beeswax for cutting boards and knife handles...etc.

                                                                    http://www.chow.com/photos/532877

                                                                    <once melted onto metal (or hard plastic, or a pot) is almost impossible to remove by heating>

                                                                    This is most definitely untrue. Beeswax does not have a definite melt point, but melts quick and suddenly. Once it is melted onto metal -- which I have done numerous times. It is not that difficult to remove. One simple method is that to add water during the heating. Beeswax will float to the top. It does not bind to the metal like regular seasoning. It comes off quiet easy. It is difficult to remove once it is cool down and harden, but that is expected. I melted it all the time in my saucepan, and subsequently remove it.

                                                                    <it does indeed work as a non-stick coating for a while, until the pan seasons itself with use>

                                                                    Beeswax should be removed immediately for seasoning.

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