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May 18, 2012 02:08 PM

Vollrath Carbon Steel Fry Pan quality?

Who has experience cooking with these pans? How do these compare to DeBuyer? At about 25% the cost of a DeBuyer Mineral pan, I'm wondering if they are anywhere close to the same in terms of quality.

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  1. I have not used one but I noticed that they are welded instead of riveted like the DeBuyer. The weld can break.

    Interesting though that the Volrath pan is thicker.

    I don't think carbon steel from one mfg should vary much from another mfg.

    11 Replies
    1. re: cajundave

      <The weld can break.>

      While this can be true, I think this is very very rare. I also have not used one, but I would be very surprised if one carbon steel pan is very different from another one.

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        My de Buyer 12" pan weighs in at 6 lbs
        The 12 1/2" Volrath pan is 4 lbs
        2 lbs difference,does that makes a difference in quality?

        1. re: petek

          That's really part of my question. I don't see a weld breaking as an issue. Anyone with a MIG/TIG welder could easily fix it IF the weld ever failed.

          I'm wondering if the extra expense and heavier De Buyer would work better on a cheap apartment rental electric coil oven.

          1. re: Sid Post

            On a cheap coil oven I think you're probably better off with the Volrath cause it weighs less, especially at that great price..

            1. re: petek

              The heavier one will take longer to heat up but, won't it offer less "hot spots" and sear meat better?

              1. re: Sid Post

                My deBuyer heats up quickly and sears evenly,but like you said it's almost 2x the price of the Volrath,so....
                I think the weight of the pans should be a deciding factor for you.Coil stove tops are a bit flimsy and uneven(I have a ceramic/glass stove top) so lighter,for you might be better.

                1. re: Sid Post

                  A thicker pan has its pros and cons on a less powerful electric coil (assuming cheap = less power).

                  A thicker pan will take longer to heat up and cool down, thus a worse heat response than a thinner pan.

                  However, a thicker pan has better heat capacity and therefore store more heat. So when you put foods in the pan, it does not immediately cool down. In short, it maintains the temperature better -- which if you think about it is the flip side of "take longer heat up and cool down".

                  Finally, a thicker and heavier pan usually has slightly better heat distribution, so the heating surface has less pronounced heat spots.

                  One thing you have to also consider is the ease of using a lighter pan. While I like my cast iron skillet, I have trouble flipping eggs or anything in the heavy cast iron pan. My lighter Debuyer Force Blue pan allows me to do so.

                  At the end, there are gives and takes for a heavier pan. You will have to decide the more important factors (which of course is somewhat personal). If you want a pan which has more even heating, then the thicker pan will be better, but if you want a pan which responds heat better, then the thinner pan will be more suitable.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Heat capacity ... that's the term I was looking for. Apartments typically have weak low power cheap stoves so, in my college days I discovered Lodge cast iron. I have been using a couple of cheap of DeBuyer pays and I'm finding them easier to maintain. I guess it's the smoother surface but, cleaning is easier in general and they seem to tolerate "abuse" a little better when I'm not diligent about completely drying them off or if they get left outside on the grill when a shower pops up.

                    1. re: Sid Post

                      Hi Sid,

                      Just to throw another one here: Lodge carbon steel pans, not Lodge cast iron pans.


                      suetmo has written a short review on it:


            2. re: petek

              The argument can go both ways. One can argue that a thicker pan is better for a weaker stove because the thicker and heavy pan can store more heat as part of the heat capcity. However, one can also argue that a more powerful stove needs the thicker pan because a thicker pan is less susceptible to warping.

              In fact, that is how Debuyer argues it. Here, under La Lyonnaise, for example:

              "The "Lyonnaise" is the traditional "granny-style" frying pan. The lightweight blue steel plate is suitable for low-power heat sources. "


              So I think it is completely depends the priority.

          2. re: cajundave

            So can riverts - at least they did on the Titanic. Welds are more common on the narrow rim of a crepe pan.

          3. I cannot comment on the carbon steel pan from Vollrath, but I've been using vollrath 18-8 stainless waterless cookware since 1971, and it is still cooking very well. There is no stress failure anyhwere. My mother got a set in the 40's and cooked with it everyday for 50 years. No fail there either. Nowdays I use my old Griswold cast iron for stirfries because it doesn't get hot spots like stainless, but for a quick sear, the stainless does well too. Mostly use it covered, for waterless low temp steaming or boiling.