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Dec 26, 2011 10:06 AM

De Buyer Mineral Pan Disaster - Need help.

I got a fabulous 12" mineral pan as a gift, and started in on getting it ready using the potato method in their instructions. In the middle of the holiday chaos, windstorm, power outage, etc. I lost track of the pan and burned the potato skins right onto the pan. It's special.

Is the pan recoverable? Should I just add water to the mess, boil it to soften it, scrub with blue pad, follow with salt scrub? I know the most useful advice might be to just pick up the pan with both hands and strike myself squarely on the noggin, but that won't really help the pan. Help!

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  1. It doesn't sound serious to me — certainly not a disaster.. These are heavy steel pans which are pretty nearly indestructible. I would just soak it as long as necessary, then scrub it and start over. Don't worry about it not looking brand-new. It won't after you use it for awhile anyway. My Mineral grilling pan looks well used (which it is) and it's only a year old.

    1 Reply
    1. re: GH1618

      Thanks... that's really good news. Looks don't matter at all, thanks for your advice.

    2. Yes! Your pan is perfectly fine. That is one of the main benefits to this pan, it's a tank.

      You have two routes here - fix or start over. The fix would be, essentially, trying to save what seasoning you can on your pan. Start just like you said, boil with water and scrub with something tough until the blackened nasties are gone.

      Personally, I wouldn't try to save your seasoning, because there isn't much to speak of. I'd personally throw it in the oven (if you have a gas oven put it on the floor of the oven) when ever you use you oven next. On the floor of the oven it'll get ripping hot and any charred bits should come right off - what stays on will most likely be jet black, or the start of your seasoning.

      Good luck!

      1 Reply
      1. re: mateo21

        Thanks Mateo, starting over will work just fine for me... I only got as far as the potatoes, so there's really nothing to save. Will scrub this tank up and start again!

      2. I have one that n is several years old. I didn't know about the potato method so ,I just started cooking with it, salt, very hot skillet, and toss in a steak. It seasoned very quickly. Every now and then some experiment goes awry or I get distracted with Julia Child's favorite wine (martinis) and things get burnt. I soak it, scrub it, going as far as steel wool once, and it just bounces back. This is what a friend calls a DGE (don't get excited).

        1. "Is the pan recoverable?"


          "Should I just add water to the mess, boil it to soften it, scrub with blue pad, follow with salt scrub?"

          That works. Another method is to use a plastic scrubber or even an old credit card to scrub the burned skin, and then follow up with the softer salt/oil scrub. If necessary use a metal scrubber. Try the gentler method first. During which do not use water. Let me repeat again, do not use water (H2O) no matter how much tempting it may be. Remove the salt and then season the cookware with oil.

          This is the great thing about carbon steel and cast iron cookware. You can almost always recover them, which cannot be said for many other cookware.

          15 Replies
          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Hey chem, I was looking at these pans the other day are they Iron or steel? the label says 99% iron but they are machined like a steel pan, and what's a good price for a 12"?

            1. re: Dave5440

              Dave. These Debuyer are definitely steel pan, not cast iron. Some of the ads are wierd. Like this one "iron is a 100% natural mineral material"


              I think it is trying to sell the product based on "nature must be good" concept. Yet, there are plenty toxic pure elements, like mercury for example.

              Anyway, Debuyer steel pans are more expensive than its competitors. I think Debuyer is trying to phase out the original Carbone Plus with the Mineral and Mineral B. So you may able to get some good deals with the Carbone Plus line -- if you want a DeBuyer that is.

              Here is one for $50:


              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Hi, CK: I'm not sure they're phasing the Carbone Plus line out completely, only because I just checked the website that I used to purchase a bunch of mine and all the products are still offered. Now, that said, I didn't try to order anything so I didn't trigger any message that the C/P line is being discontinued.

                Good grief, if I even tried to order more pans I think the 2012 apocalypse would be on the least that's what my husband would think!! Ha.

                1. re: breadchick

                  Hi breadchick,

                  I was just guessing, but I could be wrong about the Carbone Plus statement. I guess the way I saw it is that the two Mineral lines are so similar to Carbone Plus, and the latter was on sale for awhile. Anyway, thanks for suggesting the DeBuyer pans to all of us.

              2. re: Dave5440

                Hey Dave.
                I bought my Debuyer Carbone Plus(9" and a 12") from for about $125.00 or so.
                Best pans I've ever used,you won't be disappointed..

                1. re: petek

                  Cool the place I looked at on xmas eve had the 12" for 70$ , then they went down to 17$ for the smallest, which means I'm going back to get a couple when I pick up my wifes dutch oven.

                  1. re: petek


                    When you said that they are "Best pans I've ever used", what was your frame of reference? Were you comparing the Debuyer steel pans to Teflon pans, aluminum pans, stainless steel clad pans, copper pans...etc? Or did you mean the Debuyer pans are the best steel pans?

                    The reason I asked is that the two statements have different meanings and therefore different implications. The former suggests that carbon steel pans are good when comparing against pans made with other constructions. This resonates with my view. The latter states Debuyer steel pans are the best steel pans you have used (but only comparing among steel pans).

                    Since you are in the professional business, your view will be valuable. Thanks.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      When you said that they are "Best pans I've ever used",
                      Did I stutter?? :-D
                      They are the best pans I've ever used, period......

                  2. re: Dave5440

                    That's hype, in my opinion. All steel is mostly iron. In carbon steel, carbon is the principal alloying element, making up about 1/4 to 1% by weight. Cast iron contains less iron than steel.

                    1. re: GH1618

                      You might want to recheck you're metalurgy facts . Cast iron contains 3 to 4.5 % carbon and nothing else just ore and carbon and trace amounts of other elements. Steel ceaces to be steel after 2.1% carbon , and the debuyer pans I looked at said 99.99% iron, meaning it's a cast iron pan.

                      1. re: Dave5440

                        I don't know where you get that 99.99% figure. The de Buyer website describes the Mineral pans as "99% iron," which is consistent with 1% carbon steel.

                        Cast iron is typically 3% to 4.5% carbon:


                        Here's a helpful reference to the definition of carbon steel:


                        A carbon content much greater than 1% is considered "ultra-high" carbon steel, and is not typical. In any case, Mineral pans are 99% iron, so less than 1% carbon. It's a marketing gimmick. They are very good steel pans — I don't suppose many people care about the precise formulation of the steel.

                        1. re: GH1618

                          I don't really care about the content of pans, knives yes , they look like really good pans and are heavy as hell.But the tag on all the pans I picked up had "99.99% iron" writen on the pan. I highly doubt they are 99% iron and 1% carbon as this would make the pan hard eventually and abusing the pan would cause the carbon to precipitate out, and I am familiar with alloys and steel composition

                      2. re: GH1618

                        The names as they are can be confusing. One would think (based on the names) that cast iron must have more IRON than steel, but that is not the case.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          If you add up the percentage of allowable included elements in plain carbon steel as opposed to cast iron the amount of pure iron would be nearly the same

                          "Steel is considered to be carbon steel when no minimum content is specified or required for chromium, cobalt, molybdenum, nickel, niobium, titanium, tungsten, vanadium or zirconium, or any other element to be added to obtain a desired alloying effect; when the specified minimum for copper does not exceed 0.40 percent; or when the maximum content specified for any of the following elements does not exceed the percentages noted: manganese 1.65, silicon 0.60, copper 0.60."

                          1. re: Dave5440

                            Excellent point. So the iron is the similar. The carbon is variable along other elements.

                  3. Use cold water to soak it. Cold water for starches like potatoes.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: pdxgastro

                      Thanks my gastro friend in Portland, I've done that and it worked. I've also followed the advice of the good folks above and am happily back to the process of seasoning the pan rather than contemplating using as a bludgeon on myself.

                      1. re: pdxgastro

                        Glad you didn't bludgeon yourself. Pans are replaceable, Llameros are not!