De Buyer, Future Shop Sale & Induction
Future Shop has a decent sale on Dr Buyer, not quite half price.
Is anyone using this on Induction that can compare it to stainless and cast iron?
Seems like it has CI advantages without the weight? Is it more responsive on induction burners than stainless?
It depends on the thickness.
De Buyer comes in 1-3mm, depending on the series. In the US, I'm guessing its the 3mm ones you're looking at, as the others are less common, so my post is going to focus on the 3mm thick CS pans.
It retains heat a little less than CI, because it is thinner, but it is far less responsive than multi-ply stainless. It is pretty much like CI in terms of cooking ability, you need to season it, and avoid acidic stuff. But it also has differences, it does not hold seasoning anywhere near as well as CI, if you use metal utensils, you will scratch the seasoning off, at least when the pan is new. But it gets seasoned and nonstick much faster than CI.
However, both my De Buyer carbon steel pans are warped, so I would not like to use them on induction. I don't know if this is normal, or if mine are just lemons.
Sirrith's experience is similar to mine.
Carbon steel has the same mass density as cast iron. Thus, a carbon steel cookware will weight the same as an equivalent cast iron cookware if they are the same thickness. However, carbon steel cookware can be made thinner and often so, therefore they are also lighter.
Carbon steel cookware are a bit easier to season than cast iron, but carbon steel seasoning layer is not as stable as cast iron seasoning layer.
Finally, on an induction stovetop, a carbon steel cookware should be equal or better response than a stainless steel multi-cladded cookware. On regular stovetop, then it will be other way around.
Responsiveness runs orthogonal to heat retention by definition. When you "retain" heat, you aren't "responding" to changes in the environment. So cookware cannot simultaneously have both.
I haven't used CI myself, but have 3 De Buyer pans from Future Shop - 12.5" skillet, 9.5" skillet, 12" crepe. The 12.5" is the most versatile of the bunch. I would start with just a single pan to see how it goes with your induction stove. I doubt you'll have problems considering how popular induction is in Europe.
As a side note, I had some serious growing pains and was disillusioned with my first De Buyer. But I stuck with it, got a better spatula, learned proper heat management, and forced myself to keep using the pan to improve seasoning. Now it's all good, I make omelets and scrambled eggs in mine all the time.
Let me suggest a different way of looking at this. CI and carbon steel are homogenous surfaces which generally are efficiently induced. SS pans are usually clad, not homogenous, and only the bottom layer is induced; some bottom layers are more efficient than others.
Generally, and based on what's now on the market, if you want extreme *responsiveness* on induction, I would pick the thinnest carbon steel pan you can find. A 1mm carbon steel pan will be more responsive than a 3mm but mostly in the downward direction.
I think you should also consider *evenness*. There, the situation is somewhat reversed--the 3mm pan will generally be more even. If your induction hob is very even and you stick to a smallish size pan, it won't matter much. Most people hate unevenness and aren't used to extreme response anyway, so they strike a balance toward thicker.
I do all my cooking on induction, and can compare both thick and thin carbon steel to clad stainless and cast iron. What Kaleo wrote is spot-on.
I have a Force Blue 8" crepe pan. This is deBuyer's mid-weight CS line. It fits well onto one of my 2500KW mid-size hobs. This is our egg pan, and it has good, but not excellent, response. If it gets a little hot, I'll have to lift it off the hob to bring the heat down. But I only need to do this briefly, then it can go right back onto the hob. Contrast this with heavier carbon steel (Mineral B/Carbone) or cast iron, where I'd need to move the pan off the heat entirely to bring down the temp.
Bear in mind that this pan is well matched to the hob. Heat is even, right out to the edge. Matching the pan to the hob is key. Using a 12" cast iron skillet on our largest hob, it fits just fine, but heat is not spread evenly. There's about an inch on the outside of the pan that is much cooler than the rest, requiring me to move food to get even cooking. A 10" pan would likely be much more even.
My clad stainless pans don't need to come off the heat at all to cool down, downward response is excellent. Hob choice isn't really an issue, either. Heating is very even, thanks to the aluminum core. I cook almost everything in them.
So my take is this - heavy carbon steel can replace cast iron, no problem. If you want a responsive pan, look for the Force Blue line from deBuyer or black steel from Matfer Bourgeat. Both are thinner than Mineral B/Carbone. But it still won't be as responsive as clad stainless.
Be warned, though- high heat can warp these thinner CS pans. My Force Blue crepe pan is ever-so-slightly warped, just enough to allow it to spin on my cooktop. My thicker Carbone pans sit dead flat, with zero warping.