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Feb 2, 2011 06:34 AM

de Buyer Mineral vs. Carbone Plus carbon steel pans

I've read much of the recent posting on Carbon Steel pans and I thought I'd pick one up. I still have a few questions though:

1) On the de Buyer site, it says the following about the Mineral pans:
"Guaranteed without any coating"
What does 'Guaranteed w/out any coating mean'? Does that just mean they have not put any gunk on the cooking surface?

2) Underneath the photo of the Mineral pan on the de Buyer site there are images for different cook surfaces that the pan works with. The images are the same for both the Mineral and Carbone Plus pans EXCEPT the Mineral page shows one additional image (see below). The Amazon page says that Mineral pans are not dishwasher safe, so I'll assume the image means 'safe for the oven'. However, I though the Carbone Plus pans were oven-safe. Are they, and they just don't show the oven image on the de Buyer page? If they are not oven safe, why not? In a reply to ChemicalKinetics, the de Buyer rep wrote "'The “Mineral” line is like the “Carbone +” one, but with a better finish and packaging, more suitable for the retail market." So is Carbone Plus oven safe or not?

3) Does 'oven safe' mean only under a broiler (like the Vollrath pans, which are thinner) or can you use it like a piece of CI and pre-heat it in a 500 degree oven for thick steaks?

4) Aside from the supposed eco-benefits of the Mineral pan, is the only major difference in how they perform just the difference in the angle of the side walls, w/ the Carbone Plus sidewalls flaring out more and the finish and packaging? (The height, thickness and weight are the same for the pans, except for the 26 and 28 cm diameter pans, but my guess is that is a misprint), and possibly the Carbone Plus not being oven safe?

5) Which diameter Mineral or Carbone Plus pans have an 8 inch cooking surface? I thought I'd start with that size to scramble eggs for 1-2 people or to make one omelet. I might also use it to sear small pieces of meat and/or use it in the oven, thus I am not looking at the Force Blue pans which are thinner.

Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


PS.. the Vollrath pans seem to have a lower price. Are they basically the same but thinner? The Vollrath site only notes that they are 16 guage, which I belive is about 1.5mm. It also says that they have permanently welded handles but in the picture they look riveted, and only for use in an oven under the broiler.

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  1. Look at the list of threads below. The mineral steel line has been discussed several times.

    I have a Force Blue pan, and have no problems using it for searing or in the oven. I use it mainly for searing meat, frying onions, and similar tasks. Because I deglaze it the seasoning is not perfect. I had a bit of sticking when I fried eggs in it this morning.

    For omelets I use a steel crepe pan that is only used for that, crepes and pancakes. For scrambled eggs, I prefer nonstick, which allows me to cook them without loads of butter or high heat.

    5 Replies
    1. re: paulj


      I have looked at the other threads, but I wasn't quite sure about a few issues, thus the post. How hot is the oven when you use the Force Blue? I will get either mineral or Carbon +, which as you know, are thicker than the Force Blue.


      1. re: sawdin

        Why is the thickness important to you? Do you have a professional strength stove?

        1. re: paulj

          No, but it is my understanding that thicker pans will hold up better to high heat. For example, pre-heating the pan to 500 before putting it on the stove to sear a steak.

          1. re: sawdin

            Keep in mind that preheating can burn off the seasoning. So a pan used like this might not be good for eggs.

            1. re: paulj

              Thanks...maybe I'll just use the CI for the steaks ;)

    2. Not sure how to edit after posting, but I found the answer to what the internal dimensions are (#5 above) on the Finest Cookware site.

      1. Hi Sawdin,

        I think "Guaranteed without any coating" means there is nothing by carbon steel. Even the Force Blue line is simply made of carbon steel.

        I don't know what that image means. When I put my mouse cursor on these icons, they are "electric", "gas", "ceramic", induction" and "four". I have no idea what "four" means in this case. Many people actually believe Carbone Plus is more oven safe than Mineral because Mineral has this little plastic bottom on the handle which will have a lower temperature tolerance than steel.

        The cookware can handle high heat, but the seasoning surface you build on the cookware may have problem to handle high heat for long duration.

        12 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Thanks for the information. I think I'll just start off with a pan for omelets and see how that goes.

          1. re: sawdin

            I think that is an excellent choice.

            1. re: sawdin

              With the exception of severe temperature changes i.e. hot pan into cold water, don't be afraid to experiment a little. Unlike teflon, if you destroy the seasoning it's not a big deal. Just re-season it. The de Buyer, Vollrath and Matfer-Bourgeat carbon steel pans have all taken a beating in commercial use and survived.

            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

              "The cookware can handle high heat, but the seasoning surface you build on the cookware may have problem to handle high heat for long duration."

              Would this apply to bare CI as well, or just//more to Carbon Steel?

              1. re: iyc_nyc

                It depends on how high you are going for in the oven. If you are baking at 350oF, then I don't see any problem at all, but if you are baking at 500oF or above, I think you will see the seasoning starts to vaporize (degassing).

                Think about it. One of the most popular way to restart the seasoning surface is to first remove the old layer by heat -- usually using the self-cleaning mode of the an oven. Thus, we know heat can strip off these seasoning surfaces.

                Yes, this is true for cast iron cookware as well as carbon steel cookware.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  got it -- thanks. wanted to clarify bc OP (or SP, can't remember) seemed to tk that if carbon steel has this issue, s/he would go back to I wondered if somehow it was different for CI. But based on your response, sounds like they are the same so if it's a problem for one material it's a problem for the other.

                  1. re: iyc_nyc

                    Thanks for bring this point up. Excellent point. Yes, the seasoning stability issue is the same for carbon steel and for cast iron.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      I've seen more than one recipe online in which you are supposed to pre-heat your CI skillet to 500 degrees. Regarding stripping of a CI pan using the clean oven cycle, those temperatures are way above 500 degrees.

                      Here's a recipe in which you pre-heat your CI skillet to 500 degrees, and it's not from some yahoo like me, lol, but Alton Brown:


                      Place 10 to 12-inch cast iron skillet in oven and heat oven to 500 degrees. Bring steak(s) to room temperature.

                      When oven reaches temperature, remove pan and place on range over high heat. Coat steak lightly with oil and season both sides with a generous pinch of salt. Grind on black pepper to taste.

                      Immediately place steak in the middle of hot, dry pan. Cook 30 seconds without moving. Turn with tongs and cook another 30 seconds, then put the pan straight into the oven for 2 minutes. Flip steak and cook for another 2 minutes. (This time is for medium rare steaks. If you prefer medium, add a minute to both of the oven turns.)

                      Remove steak from pan, cover loosely with foil, and rest for 2 minutes. Serve whole or slice thin and fan onto plate.


                      Not sure how often I'll actually do that as I prefer to cook steaks on the grill, but it's nice to know the CI can handle it.

                      1. re: sawdin

                        Thanks for the correction. Yes, I doubt the seasoning will be readily burned off at 500oF, although it probably will start to smoke.

                        There are some people who want to keep the seasoning surface at the slick glossy surface. In this case, the seasoning surface may start to turn to the dull sandy surface.

                        Either way, the temperature limit of carbon steel is very high.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          Thanks, nice to know that CS can also go that high. If I like it for an omelet pan, maybe I'll branch out and get a few more pieces.

                          PS..Wonderful board, very civil and posters, like yourself, who are willing to share their valuable experience...

              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Hi Chemicalkinetics, "Four" means oven in french.

                1. re: gdoucet

                  I just look up. You are correct. Thanks.

              3. Oh good grief... TheDe Buyer Carbone Plus Fry Pans are about the heaviest steel pans out there (Heavy gauge, 2.5 to 3.0 mm thick), and are a favorite of restaurant kitchens. Chefs love them. They've probably seen more steaks than any other pan, which with 1-2 sticks of butter is a wondrous thing. OF COURSE they can go in the oven — they're all steel! 8" Cooking surface? I don't remember, as they have wide-flared sides. The 9.5" may be OK — the 11" certainly does.