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Forged iron pans?

On Food52 today, they're offering forged iron pans. Has anyone used them? Is there a significant difference in performance between forged and cast iron?

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  1. It is more like a carbon steel pan than a cast iron pan. Cast iron has more carbon and is more brittle, hence is made thicker to compensate. But I don't have one.

    1. I don't have one. If the surface has been polished or treated for uniformity, forged and cast usually perform about the same. You can see performance differences in true hand-hammered woks versus cast woks. Both are usually made of thin steel or iron, but the hammered ones hold contents on the sides due to the small indentations and imperfections caused by the hammering.

          1. Iron is the type of material.
            Cast and forged are the process used to make the pan.
            The forged pan would be stronger from a structural point; therefore it could have thinner base and walls.
            Thinner walls would heat/cool faster than thicker ones!

            3 Replies
            1. re: subal

              Cast iron is a different material, not merely a process. Cast iron is typically about 4% carbon by weight. Carbon steel is somewhere around 1% carbon, and wrought iron is less than .1% carbon.

              1. re: GH1618

                According the Wiki article
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrought_...
                wrought iron is no longer made commercially. Mild steel is now used in traditional wrought iron applications.

                1. re: paulj

                  Whether it's made commercially or not, it is still defined. Whatever they are using for "forged iron" pans, it isn't cast iron.

            2. I happened to stumble upon this:

              http://www.chow.com/food-news/137555/...

              Needless to say, it is very much based on the post here. I have a feeling that it has summarized your exchanges into something else.

              1. Those pans really seem to be a german thing - outside Europe you hardly find them.
                I'm from germany and can tell you: They're really great!
                You need less oil than in a cast iron pan, they're lighter, more easy to clean (just use a paper tissue) and yes, they heat up faster. And they're cheaper!

                They're part of the few things that really still are manufactured in one of the "industrial countries" .. thou a german vendor said that the "WAS" brand was produced "overseas"... which usually means the americas, but I guess he just didnt want to say "china".

                I hope that the concept will spread to the world, even if it's gonna come too late for my year in Nicaragua...

                1. These pans appear to be very similar to "black steel" pans from various vendors such as Vollrath, De Buyer, Mauviel, Mafter Bourgeat, etc.

                  I like the tighter grain of steel pans over cast iron. However, there is nothing like the sear you get from a good cast iron skillet even though the De Buyer Mineral pans are very good at searing too.

                  Cast Iron today is generally of inferior quality to that of a decade or two ago. I suspect the melts of iron are not as good and the final finishing is definitely not as nice (rougher texture). Some may argue that the rougher final finsh is better for the seasoning providing little nooks and cranny's to for the burnt oil to stick however, older cast iron and new stock black steel are not that hard to season properly.