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May 2, 2014 01:13 PM

carbon steel fry pan - alternatives to DeBuyer Mineral B?

Hi there

I was very excited recently to recieve a 12" DeBuyer mineral B fry pan. My excitement quickly disapeared when I took it out the bag and saw how small the cooking surface is - it's far too small for me. Not only that my wife said she'd never use it cos its too heavy. Looks like its going back!

Are there any alternative carbon steel pan where the cooking surface does reduce so drastically?

I guess the reason the Mineral B is so heavy is that it is 1/8" thick. Are there alternatives that are just as good and not as thick?

Thanks in advance, Andrew

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  1. Go to any restaurant supply store. Never cooked with Debuyer but I know they are beloved among foodies. I worked in French restaurants for many years and all we ever used was un-coated aluminum & carbon steel. Both are very inexpensive.

    1. I use a crepe pan a lot for meats and eggs in addition to normal things like pancakes.

      De Buyer makes thinner and lighter pans too. Another alternative is Paderno which I would call a midweight pan. The really lightweight steel pans are loved by many but I like even heating and searing quality of a heavy pan.

      1. That style is pretty much what you get when going carbon steel.

        You could go for crepe pans, as they have a larger cooking surface, but then you don't have high sides to contain splatter.

        If the Mineral B line is too heavy, look at De Buyer's Force Blue, they're thinner and lighter, but still thick enough to hold a useful amount of heat.

        Paderno as mentioned is another decent brand though I've never tried it and I don't think they provide much weight savings over the Mineral B.

        1. Sirrith is correct. DeBuyer Force Blue is thinner and therefore is lighter. Don't worry, it is thinner. It is not thin.

          Most carbon steel pans have their geometry.

          There are other makers of carbon steel cookware. Lodge actually has its carbon steel line.


          1. I mainly want the pan for high heat searing and pan roasting of fish.

            A few people have mention that the thick (1/8") carbon steel pans are better for this, but I just won't be able to get many pieces of fish in a mineral B pan.

            Are the thinner grade pans still okay for high heat cooking of fish?

            I think the DeBuyer Force Blue pan has the same shape as the Mineral B so I'd have the same problem (lack of cooking area) with that pan.

            Do the other brands have greater cooking areas?

            Many thanks, Andrew

            4 Replies
            1. re: fobos8

              Have you considered a cast iron skillet. Cast iron skillets almost always have steeper slope and therefore larger cooking area. They perform very well at high temperature searing.

              1. re: fobos8

                How about the DeBuyer fish pan?


                Be aware that you may have an issue with fish flavour tainting of carbon steel. It's certainly a problem with bare CI.

                1. re: Robin Joy

                  I have a Mineral fish pan in-bound myself. I'm thinking it will be a great Bass and Catfish pan.

                2. re: fobos8

                  "I mainly want the pan for high heat searing and pan roasting of fish."

                  Get a crepe pan. Sear on the stove/cooktop and then finish in the oven. Easy, simple and. lighter weight without the sides.