Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Oct 28, 2011 08:22 AM

The de Buyer Difference?

I see that de Buyer has two 12 inch carbon pans. One is called the de Buyer Mineral Pan, the other is DeBuyer Mineral B Element Iron Frypan.

Mineral B

Mineral Pan

I have a 10 inch Mineral Pan and love it. I sometimes need a slightly bigger pan and either of these would fit the bill, but what is the real difference between them? I like the slightly bigger Mineral B and it's cheaper, but will it perform like the Mineral Pan? Any reason not to go with Mineral B?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You should contact Debuyer. One thing is that Mineral B is 100% pure, and Mineral is only 99% pure :P

    In addition, Mineral B has beeswax for coating. Probably where the B comes from.

    15 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      I ordered the Mineral B. it was that extra % of purity. :o) Actually larger and cheaper swung the day. Will report back on how it performs and differs from my other carbon pan.


      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        The site states that the Mineral B Element line is "100% natural mineral material" and that the Mineral line is "99% pure iron." Isn't it safe to assume that the remaining 1% is also "natural mineral material" (possibly carbon), and that the "natural mineral material" isn't pure iron?

        1. re: MacGuffin

          Iron made 'fresh' from iron ore, has about 4% carbon. Cast iron pans are cast from that, or something close. This cast iron is hard, but brittle. If you refine it further you get something quite soft and workable, the wrought iron you see park blacksmiths working. In between, with about 2% carbon, is steel, which has a good balance of strength and hardness. It can be rolled into sheets. Carbon steel pans, including the de Buyer ones, are cut and formed from such steel.

          The '99% pure iron' means it is a 1% (+- .5%) carbon steel. The '100% natural mineral material' might have the same composition, but without any recycled steel or iron. Should that matter? I don't think so. But some people are afraid of 'toxic' impurities that (they think) might be in recycled materials. But aren't those same people concerned about sustainability and recycling everything possible?

          de Buyer does not make its own steel - it probably buys multi ton rolls from a metals distributor who in turn has bought it from the mill, with clear specifications as to its mineral contents (e.g. %carbon, %silicon, %other metals etc).

          1. re: paulj

            "But some people are afraid of 'toxic' impurities that (they think) might be in recycled materials."

            It is all relatively. Yes, you can have toxic impurities in recycled steel, but can't you have toxic chemicals from fresh iron ore mines?

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              maybe just a bit of asbestos in the taconite ore.

            2. re: paulj

              In between, with about 2% carbon, is steel,

              This would be classed as an ultra high carbon steel
              Wrought iron contains 0 to .08% carbon as does pure iron, most of your numbers are suspect.

              1. re: Dave5440

                OK - don't quote me. I was working from memory of something that i'd read a day or two past. The ranking in %carbon still holds - cast iron is relatively high, wrought iron low, and steel in between.

                And when de Buyer claims '99% iron' they are not claiming anything significant.

              2. re: paulj

                Here's a link to a summary of carbon steel alloys:


                Some of the 1% which is not iron could be manganese.

              3. re: MacGuffin

                Browse online metals if you want do-it-yourself quantities of steel and other metals (the next step beyond the hardware store).


              4. re: Chemicalkinetics

                "One thing is that Mineral B is 100% pure, and Mineral is only 99% pure"

                A bit off topic... the two mineral pans are made from recycled iron. But the other three (plus, blue, and Lyonnaise) are not made from recycled iron. Correct?

                1. re: unprofessional_chef

                  Yes, that is how they advertised them. The previous three were not advertised as recycled. On the other hand, another poster here told me that all modern steel are recycled one or the other at some point. So it is possible that they are the same.

                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  I don't think so. The Mineral line is described as 99% iron, whether "B" or not. The de Buyer catalog lists only the Mineral B now, and it is described as 99% Fe and 100% natural.

                  The 99% is only nominal, anyway. They don't say exactly what the alloy is.

                  1. re: GH1618

                    The '99% iron' just means it is steel, or 'carbon steel'. If it was cast iron, they could only claim 96% iron (give or take a % or 2).

                    1. re: paulj

                      Yes, I agree it is steel. The "Mineral" thing is just marketing. Isn't every form of iron and steel mineral?

                      1. re: GH1618

                        I was doing a tongue in cheek up there in my first comment.

                3. I have just gotten this information from the DeBuyer export department.

                  Here is what it states:

                  Mineral B vs Mineral

                  Bee stamped on pan vs No stamping

                  Orange dot on the handle vs Green dot on the handle

                  Different sleeve

                  Beeswax coating vs No beeswax coating

                  I know the information is too late for you, but it may be useful for others in the future

                  I don't know what "Bee stamped on the pam" means. I don't know if it mean a letter "B" or a symbol of the insect "Bee". From this photo, it seems more like a letter "B" in the center of the pan"


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Ha ha. Thanks Chem. It means there is a bee, as in bumble, stamped on the pan. I received mine a few days ago. I have yet to try it out, but it looks like the one I have, only bigger. It is 12.5 inches in diam, almost too big, but two, bone in ribeyes will fit which was the plan.


                    1. re: JuniorBalloon

                      Oh really? Thanks for the correction. Ok, so a real bumble/honey bee it is then. As you can see, the differences between Mineral and Mineral B are fairly minimal. Please keep us update.

                    2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Personally, I always go for the inorganic stainless steel; the organic stuff is just so hard to find.

                      But now we have Mineral B.

                      They're both "all natural" so we shouldn't sweat the differences.

                      We have PFOA free coatings, next up "taconite free steel" pots & pans.

                      The marketers march on...

                    3. Recognizing (1) that many people seem to be scared or wary of having to season a pan, (2) that companies like Lodge has moved toward offering pre-seasoned pans, and (3) that their website seems to focus on the difference being in the beeswax coating (see attached quote below), I am guessing that Mineral B Element is their pre-seasoned Mineral line.

                      "MINERAL B ELEMENT pan: iron is a 100% natural mineral material

                      Anti-oxydation protection
                      Favoured seasoning
                      Improved nonstick qualities"

                      12 Replies
                      1. re: jljohn

                        I can't say whether or not the finish is a pre-seasoning but my guess is that it's not (although it states "beeswax-based," so maybe it is). I have a blini pan on the way so I'll update if anyone's interested when it arrives but my hunch is that the instructions will involve removing the finish prior to seasoning the pan.

                        1. re: jljohn

                          No, Mineral B is not preseasoned. Well, I guess it depends on your definition....

                          Lodge preseaoned its cookware for two reasons. One is to give the customer a head start, and the other is to prevent rusting from the time cookware leave the factory to the time they arrive to your home.

                          The beeswax coating does the latter. It does not provide you a cooking surface. You will have to season the Mineral B cookware with oil and heat.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            I'm wondering what else is there besides the beeswax.

                            1. re: MacGuffin

                              I don't think there is anything beside the steel and the beeswax.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                You could very well be right but they did state "based," so...

                                1. re: MacGuffin

                                  HI MacGuffin,

                                  I am looking at this DeBuyer Mineral B webpage, and did no see the word "based". Can you expand a bit on the word "based"? Thanks.

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    "Beeswax-based protective finish."


                                    Logically, it would have "Mineral" oil in it.

                                    1. re: GH1618

                                      "Organic beeswax-based protective finish ".

                                      I see. Hmm, that is a real possibility then: a beeswax/mineral mixture. Though a pure beeswax coating can also qualify this definition. It also could be other oils considering it is advertised as organic. The Mineral oil comment is funny. Maybe organic lemon oil or organic almond oil. By the way, what the hel* is a "organic beeswax"? Organic in what sense? The flowers which produce the nectar (which bees feed on) are organically grown?

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        "Though a pure beeswax coating can also qualify this definition."
                                        Wouldn't they just have stated "pure beeswax" or 100% beeswax" in that case?

                                        1. re: MacGuffin

                                          They could, but they have to. Consequently, it does not rule out that possibility. In addition, DeBuyer is a French company and this website has plenty other interesting enough translations already, and this wouldn't be the strangest if they really meant pure beeswax. For example, what does all those 100% and 99% means?

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            I haven't the foggiest. However, they were kind enough to respond to my query and informed me that all de Buyer pans pre-season the same way--with potato peels. They did say to remove the beeswax first, though.

                                      2. re: GH1618

                                        Thanks for saving me the trouble of finding it! :))

                          2. And for those intimidated by unseasoned pans, this sort of steel skillet is quite useable at once without seasoning and just gets better and better. When I got my "regular" frypan. (as opposed to my ancient single use omelet pan) I sprinkled salt in it once it was hot and threw in two ribeyes and bingo, beautifully seared, no sticking, no issues and all with no special seasoning activity.

                            I realize this rhapsody was not, strictly speaking, "on point" to the post, but I thought folks interested in this general sort of pan needed to know they don't need a support group and an engineering degree to use them.

                            1. I have a 10 and a 12" pan. The 10" is great but the 12" weighs a freaking ton even when not full of food.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: gfweb1

                                Ha ha. I know what you mean. Try grabbing ahold of a 14 with one hand. Not so good. 12 for me is till workable.