Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Feb 14, 2013 06:42 PM

Do I need Carbon steel pans ?

As I started seasoning my Debuyer mineral pans I started thinking, what do I actually need them for ?
I have a set of Tramontina stainless steel pans and I have a set of DeBuyer non stick pans.
Thinking to myself do I need the extra pans and what would I use them for, what kind of cooking, I like to cook everything from European to Mexican and Asian. Right now I'm hooked on Indian food, but last month I was hooked on pastas :)
I never used cast iron or carbon steel pans before, so not sure what they have to offer.
It's just me and my wife in a little Townhouse, and before I grab the other 12'' Debuyer to season I would like some input.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I would personally use the carbon steel pans in place of both the stainless and non-stick, as they combine the best properties of both of those. I would keep one stainless pan for when I needed something non-reactive.

    But since you already have the other pans, no you don't really need these too unless you want something for very high-heat searing, in which case cast iron might be a better choice.

    1. i would say "yes" you do need carbon steel or a cast iron pan. The stainless steel pans and the non stick pans are great...but nothing is better than carbon steel or cast iron for searing meat. The others dont come close. Its like trying to stir fry without a wok...its close, but not quite the same.

      It's always nice to have the right tool for the job, and some jobs just scream for cast iron or carbon steel.

      1. "Need" is such a tricky word :)
        I would say yes so you get the experience and can form an opinion of your favorite pan based on empirical data.
        If you don't sample a little of everything how do you really know what your favorite is? :)

        I also agree that a carbon and a stainless pan are a good combination and can cover a lot of culinary ground.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cannibal

          If YOU desirevit, it's a want. If I desire it, it's a need ;)

        2. "Need" would be too strong of a word for anything really, but I do think you will enjoy a carbon steel. I would get one to test.

          1. I think you would enjoy Carbon Steel pan. I have stainless steel, non-stick, and cast iron pans, and I just added a carbon steel pan a month ago. I enjoy using it so much so I ordered another one this week. I like how carbon steel pan become non-stick without chemical coating.