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De Buyer Affinity vs. Carbon Steel

I'm visiting Paris and hoping to buy a De Buyer frying pan -- which is better, Affinite or the black/carbon steel? The Affinity are much more expensive. I know Carbon Steel requires seasoning. Does Affinite? What are the other differences? Pros/Cons of each? Thanks!

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  1. You are really looking at the difference of stainless steel cladded cookware (Affinity) to a straight carbon steel cookware. Affinity is a 7-ply cladded design with all the advantages and disadvantage of normal 3-ply cookware. It is designed to accommodate induction cooking if you choose so. The layers (from interior to exterior) are: 18/10 SS, Al, Al, Al, 18/10, magnetic carbon steel, 18/10.

    The carbon steel series has the typical advantages and disadvantages of carbon steel. Carbon steel is really carbon steel. One company's carbon steel is not going to be vastly different than another.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      I see. I already have an All-Clad frying pan, so might not make sense to get the Affinity line. Carbon steel on the other hand is completely new to me.

      1. re: maz819

        "Carbon steel on the other hand is completely new to me."

        Have you used cast iron cookware? Most people have encountered cast iron, but not carbon steel. They are very similar in many respects. Both need seasoning. Both becomes nonstick-like after seasoned. ....etc. The big difference is that carbon steel cookwares are usually made thinner and therefore lighter. In addition, carbon steel cookwares are almost always smoother than cast iron. This makes the seasoning process easier, but the seasoned surface is not as stable as those of the rough cast iron. Carbon steel has more give, so it can handle more physical abuse like banging or dropping.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          I have used cast-iron; it would be great to have something lighter and smoother. Thanks for the help!

          1. re: maz819

            No problem at all. I think this is why many people here (not everyone, but many) really like carbon steel cookwares after they discover them.

    2. Anyone know where in Paris to find De Buyer pans, other than E. Dehillerin and Printemps?

      8 Replies
      1. re: maz819

        I've spent a lot of time in Paris over the last 10 years and most drogeries and cookware stores do not carry de Buyer or any other brand carbon steel pans. It's very disappointing. I'm always on the look out, but alas, no luck.

        1. re: rosetown

          reply to self:

          I did buy a 7 inch at the cooking surface, Lyonnaise skillet (not available in N America), as a gift for my hosts, after viewing their abused PFTE pans, at a local drogerie. It was the only size they had. I think you are better off, financially, ordering in N America online rather than searching Paris. Lafayette & Printemps charge top dollar, and likely won't carry carbon steel.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Try the link again - didn't work properly the 1st time so I edited it. Chem, you are too quick :)

                  1. re: rosetown

                    Wow, awesome. I didn't really mean to know this level of details, but it is great. I just wasn't sure if you bought it from France or elsewhere. As always, you are very helpful. I still remember the day when you influenced me to purchase CCK knives. (you didn't actively convince me to get one, but what you said had a real impact)

                    :)

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Thanks Chem, it was a long time ago, and it was a lot of fun!! Thank You.

      2. I've used both and haven't found any appreciable difference
        in cooking. Stainless steel is no more non-stick than carbon
        carbon steel, and carbon steel is much better in this regard
        when seasoned.

        Shopping in Paris is fun. but you can find almost anything
        you would want via the internet in the U.S.