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May 17, 2010 12:49 PM

Carbon steel frying pan - thickness

I am shopping for a new frying pan and decided to get a de Buyer carbon steel 28cm (11in) The last step is to choose between the Carbone plus (3mm thick) and La Lyonaise (1.2mm, blue steel) lines:

I do not have any first hand experience with carbon steel pans, so I do not know which one to get. I did my homework: a thicker pan would have higher thermal capacity (which implies longer time to heat up and slower reaction to heat output) and be heavier. On the other hand I would think the thicker pan would be more resistant to warping and the heat would be more evenly distributed. de Buyer claim that the 3mm range is for "professional strong heat sources", whereas the 1.2mm range is "for less powerful heat sources". In my case the strongest hob on my cooking range is 10000 btu. The question is which one to get. Would the 3mm pan cause any problems in home use? Would the 1.2mm pan warp? I know I want a carbon/blue steel pan and the price difference is not important in this case (and I cannot get the Force Blue 2mm range of de Buyer).

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    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      Well the de Buyer distributor in my country does not do the Force Blue line and therefore no local e-shops have them. But if the 2mm is the way to go, I guess I could order them from abroad - AFAIK they are available from The downside would be shopping abroad (takes longer, higher shipping charges etc.)

    2. Try Matfer-Bourgeat - I think they are around 2 to 2.5mm - and the handle is welded not riveted. Not quite as strong as rivets I'm sure, but the pan is smooth all the way round with no rivets in the mix.

      The M-B pans are a little less expensive. Note they come with no branding anywhere on the pan.

      Otherwise, I'd get the 3mm pan over the 1.2mm if you have to have the deBuyer brand. I do indeed believe that the 1.2mm pan could warp if you were doing an extended bit of cooking with the pan - even at home.

      1. Again, I'll sing the praises of the deBuyer line:
        Mine are the thicker carbon steel. Yes they are a bit hefty (esp the 14 inch - which I had to return) but on my 12,000 btu gas burners I get a fairly quick response and very even heat. All around, very good pans. I can recommend them without hesitation.

        Among my collection, I have two 12" pans. I'll usually use one for protein, and one for my husband's favorite oven roasted fingerlings. I can get the pan cranked up and add some peanut oil, dump in the fingerlings and let them cook a bit. Finish off in the oven until crispy outside and creamy inside. Little kosher salt and fresh thyme - good to go.

        Everything slides right out.

        1. I've had my omelet pan 25+ years and it is the thinner line and has never warped. Of course, an omelet is a quick operation. I have a new 14" in the thicker line and love it, but it would be a formidable workout that most would find off putting, about the same weight as heavy copper, amplified by a long handle. 2-2.5 mm would have been fine but it was an impulse request to Santa and she apparently went to SLT which had deBuyer but not Matfer-Bourgeat. I really don't think either choice would be a bad one. I probably have about the same heat source, a KA that does not get super hot (but hey, Santa, I would like a Wolf).