The Best Carbon Steel Pans Of 2023

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Carbon steel pans are popular cookware tools. They take the best qualities of types of other pans — such as nonstick, stainless steel, and cast iron — and combine them. As CooksDirect explains, carbon steel conducts heat as well as stainless steel, has a smooth surface like nonstick, and is as durable as cast iron. Additionally, carbon steel is admired for being affordable, lightweight, versatile, and safe. Aside from being slightly worse than cast iron pans at conducting and maintaining even heat — (via A Prepared Kitchen) — there aren't many downsides to these tools.

Some say that nonstick and ceramic pans need to be replaced approximately every five years (via Home Cook World). As such, there are probably some people who could use a pan right now. Carbon steel is a good category to consider. We first recommend researching what type of pan you desire. Start by considering ones like frying pans, sauté pans, saucepans, griddles, and roasting pans. These — plus a few others — are the types of carbon steel pans most people are looking for.

Along with the pan's shape, there are a few other important features to think about. Size and weight are very important. Shoppers should also think about handle shape. Do they want a handle that comes with a safety cover? Do they want a removable handle? If all of this seems daunting, don't fret. We've rounded up some of the best carbon steel pans of 2023 that keep these features in mind.

How we selected the products

We found some of the best carbon steel pans for sale using a few different information sources. General popularity played a small part in our selections. The more people who've used a pan, the more feedback we can consider. User reviews were also taken into account to help eliminate items with annoying issues. Then, there's the press. We reflect on the research of outlets that tested or reviewed certain carbon steel pans.

Along the way, we made sure that our recommended carbon steel pans were up to snuff. That means that each type of pan should be doing what it's made to do. For example, pans made for camping should be portable, woks should be good for making Asian cuisine, Dutch ovens should be able to withstand oven temperatures, saucepans shouldn't burn your sauces, Paella pans should produce excellent Spanish food, and pancake pans should be turning out some delicious pancakes. Read on to learn about the convenient, versatile world of carbon steel pans.

Best overall carbon steel pan

Our pick for the best overall carbon steel pan is Merten & Storck's Carbon Pro 12-inch Frypan. Per the company, this item is an upgraded version of a similar carbon steel pan from Merten & Storck's Carbon Line. While the majority of both pans are identical in construction — featuring bodies made of carbon steel — the handle on our newer, chosen model is upgraded. With the Carbon Pro, the handle is now made of stainless steel. This makes it easy to move around.

Per the brand, this pan can withstand temperatures of up to 660 degrees Fahrenheit. It's nonstick and pre-seasoned, ensuring your food won't cling from the start. However, the pan will develop more of a nonstick coating over time. It's also safe enough to use with metal utensils, so you don't have to worry about that, either. Additionally, this Carbon Pro pan is compatible with both induction and gas stoves.

This carbon steel pan doesn't have that many Amazon reviews yet, but the existing ones are complementary. "Wonderful product, nonstick and easy to clean," said one person who purchased a Merten & Storck product. Like all carbon steel pans, this one has specific cleaning instructions. One user noticed this and still recommended the product to others, writing, "If your cooking style is to clean up as you go, this is not a bad option."

At the time of this writing, you can buy Merten & Storck's Carbon Pro 12-inch Frypan on Amazon for $44.

Best budget carbon steel pan

For a cheaper option, look to the Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet. It's less than $50, making it half the price of many other carbon steel skillets of the same size. But along with being affordable, it comes with many of the features one would want. It comes pre-seasoned. You can use it on any type of stovetop, including gas, electric, or induction. You could even use it outside on an open fire. The diameter is 12 inches and it's made in the USA.

On Amazon, there are over 8,000 reviews for this product. Most people seemed pleased. The average rating for Lodge's 12-inch Carbon Steel Skillet is 4.4 out of 5. One person said of this budget American product, "This pan takes a tiny bit more work than French cookware, but at half the cost it is worth the effort." We appreciate the word of caution with this overall positive recommendation. Another person said metal utensils and high heat were welcome with it. "With this skillet, you can go wild. It's great not to have to worry," they wrote.

You can buy Lodge's 12-inch Carbon Steel Skillet on Amazon for $40.

Best splurge carbon steel pan

If you've got cash to burn, look no further than the MINERAL B Carbon Steel Frying Pan from de Buyer. As most chefs know, everyone wants to get their hands on French-made cookware. With de Buyer, you'll get just that. If you want the 12-inch size of this pan, that's going to take you into the $100 to $200 range. The brand recommends this size for cooking large amounts of food to feed at least four people. As such, this particular pan could work great for dinner parties or groups. Shoppers should note that this pan does not come pre-seasoned.

Over 12,000 people have taken the time to rate this product on Amazon, bringing this carbon steel pan to an average rating of 4.5 out of 5. "These are truly a lifetime investment item if they are taken care of," said one reviewer. "This is a fantastic, high-quality piece. It heats up faster than my cast iron yet also seems to retain heat for longer. It has a smooth finish yet holds seasoning super well," said another happy customer.

At the time of this writing, you can purchase de Buyer's 12.5-inch Carbon Steel Frying Pan on Amazon for $105.

Best nonstick carbon steel pan

Instead of including a protective Teflon coating like normal nonstick pans (via Scientific American), carbon steel pans are naturally nonstick. As GoodFoodStories explains, a carbon steel pan's non-stick surface is formed similar to a cast iron one, with seasoning. You'll do an initial seasoning process before using your new carbon steel pan, as well as regularly in the future. For a naturally non-stick pan made of carbon steel, we recommend Made In's 10-inch Blue Carbon Steel Frying Pan. The company even has instructions for the initial seasoning process on its website.

Per Made In, this carbon steel pan comes with heat retention similar to a cast iron, while being as lightweight as stainless steel. It's come highly recommended by The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Insider. Made In's products are formed in France, in a village that's been making carbon steel cookware for centuries. This 10-inch pan is made with specifically "blue" carbon steel, meaning the material has been through the annealing process making it resistant to corrosion.

This popular carbon steel pan has over 8,000 reviews on Made In's website, which come to an average rating of 4.7 out of 5. People say they've successfully cooked seared steak, fish, and fried eggs without any sticking.

As of April 2023, you can buy Made In's 10-inch Blue Carbon Steel Frying Pan on Amazon for $79.

Best carbon steel sauté pan

Don't confuse a sauté pan with a frying pan — the two kitchen tools are very different. You can tell the two apart because a sauté pan has straight side walls and usually comes with a lid (via Proware Kitchen). These components make sauté pans useful for shallow frying or braising, explains Sardel Kitchen. For an excellent carbon steel pan like this, we recommend a product made by Golden Rabbit.

Golden Rabbit's white small sauté pan (model number WW79) comes with a three-quart capacity, 9.5-inch diameter, and 2.5-inch depth. It's safe to put in the oven, on the stove, or in the dishwasher. It's also non-toxic. It's made with a shiny surface beneath which is a carbon steel body. The body is coated in porcelain, giving you the dual benefits of aesthetics and utility.

This sauté pan is an underdog on Amazon, but user reviews seem to confirm that this carbon steel pan is working as intended. One customer wrote, "It seemed lightweight to me ... I have cooked with it on the stovetop and in the oven!" Another person said of Golden Rabbit's product, "worked great and easy clean-up."

You can buy Golden Rabbit's white small sauté pan on Amazon for $66.

Best carbon steel sauce pan

Saucepans are characterized by their high sides, straight edges, long handles, and lids, according to Misen. They usually come in two or three-quart sizes, making them narrower (yet taller) than frying pans. You can use them to make anything that's liquid-based. However, they come in many different sizes, each of which will have an impact on what recipes your saucepan is compatible with. As Le Creuset explains, these tools aren't limited to making sauce. You could use them to cook vegetables, soup, or make a great risotto. For a great carbon steel one, we recommend Golden Rabbit's solid red saucepan.

This product (model number RR19), comes with a 5-cup capacity. Don't be scared to put this on the stovetop, in the oven, or into the dishwasher — doing so won't damage it. That's because the carbon steel (that it's made with) is coated in porcelain enamel, making it different from other carbon steel products. To top it all off, its vibrant red exterior is sure to add a great pop of color.

On Amazon, people noted that this product was lightweight and affordable. "I love this little pan. I use it to boil an egg or to warm milk or soup," wrote one person. "The pot is very useful in my kitchen," said another user.

You can buy Golden Rabbit's 5-cup solid red saucepan on Amazon for $41.

Best carbon steel roasting pan

Most people already have a sheet pan in their kitchen, but not everyone has a roasting pan. This oven tool is deeper, with higher walls than a sheet pan, explains Carraway. The depth of a roasting pan is meant to accommodate a removable roasting rack, plus additional space for your roasted foods. You'll often find roasting racks popping up around Thanksgiving, being used to roast a whole turkey or ham. Roasting pans may also come with ribbed bottoms and handles. For a great one, we recommend Made In's Blue Carbon Steel Roasting Pan.

On Amazon, this product has been reviewed 33 times. Those reviews come to an average score of 4.3 out of 5. Although that's fewer reviews than other products, people raved about this one. A person said that it's so durable and high-quality, it will be in your family for generations. "All in all, the pan is a little more expensive than others, but it won't warp, crack or corrode and you, your kids, or kids' kids, will never need to buy one," they wrote.

As Made In explains, these pans are made to withstand high temperatures for long periods, which makes them ideal for making things like whole-roasted chickens. Made In's 18-inch roasting pan comes with a wire rack, curved edges that prevent burning, handles, and a lifetime warranty.

As of April 2023, you can buy Made In's Blue Carbon Steel Roasting Pan on Amazon for $139.

Best indoor grill pan made of carbon steel

For a great carbon steel pan of this shape, we recommend de Buyer's 10.25-inch Mineral B Carbon Steel Grill Pan. An indoor grill pan is often confused with a griddle. But it's very easy to tell them apart: grill pans have ridges, while griddle pans are flat. Those ridges are meant to replicate the experience of outdoor grilling on your stovetop (via Slate). Recipes like pork chops or chicken breasts are great for cooking in grill pans, per The Washington Post.

This carbon steel grill pan from de Buyer is made in France. It comes with a guarantee of restaurant quality. You can use this pan safely to sear, brown, or grill meats, as it's designed to safely and efficiently reach high temperatures.  As you're seasoning the pan, don't be afraid of the surface turning brown. That can mean it's simply building up its nonstick layer.

At the time of this writing, you can buy de Buyer's Mineral B Carbon Steel Grill Pan from the manufacturer for €62.50.

Best carbon steel wok

Woks are useful kitchen tools that have been a part of the Chinese cooking tradition for over 3,000 years (via Britannica). Each wok is shaped like a large bowl attached to a long handle. Woks require more hands-on cooking than frying pans, per Proline Range Hoods. But these pans are still ideal for making a stir-fry or other Asian recipes. For a useful pan of this type made of carbon steel, we recommend Craft Wok's 14-inch one.

This wok (model number 731W88) has a round bottom. Per WokAll, a round bottom is more traditional, but it requires more attention to keep it steady. Craft Wok's product was designed in 2014, making it a tried-and-true product. It's hand-crafted in Guangzhou, China. The handle is made of both steel and wood, ensuring it will not melt, yet it will also be easy to hold. It's a large item, but if you are someone who makes Chinese food often, it could be worth it.

On Amazon, this product is very popular and highly reviewed. There are over 9,000 reviews which come to an average rating of 4.5 out of 5. People gush about this wok. "By far the best pan I've ever owned. It requires more care than a crappy nonstick Teflon type of wok (which is what I had just previous to this) but it is so so so worth it," wrote one customer.

As of April 2023, you can buy this 14-inch Carbon Steel Craft Wok on Amazon for $65.

Best griddle or crêpe pan made of carbon steel

Crêpe pans are round, flat pans with very low sides. As Carbon Steel Cookware explains, these sides need to be virtually invisible, to allow cooks to lift underneath the whole crêpe. Plus, they need to be round to spread out your crêpe batter. But there are other applications for this seemingly specific pan. The flat shape of a crêpe pan makes it similar to a griddle. This means you can use it to make pancakes, French omelets, or flatbreads. According to BerlingerHaus, you could use a crêpe pan to make naan, tortillas, or pita. For a great pan like this, we recommend OXO's Obsidian Carbon Steel 10-Inch Crêpe Pan.

As with all products made by the ergonomic-focused OXO, this pan comes with a soft, silicone handle cover. The pan itself is made of carbon steel, of course. It also has a smaller diameter of 10.25 inches. On Amazon, it has over 200 reviews which come to an average rating of 4.2 out of 5. "Care is similar to cast iron without the weight, but the non-stick effect of seasoned carbon steel just keeps getting better and better," said one customer. Users who could figure out the care required were mostly very pleased.

You can buy OXO's Obsidian Carbon Steel 10-Inch Crêpe Pan on Amazon for $50.

Best carbon steel dutch oven

BK Cookware must have a good product on its hands because the brand is not holding back when boasting about its carbon steel Dutch oven. The company called this piece of cookware a culinary icon, writing "our versatile Dutch Oven is an international classic that has inspired chefs throughout the world." We don't know about that, but there are some attractive qualities to this Dutch oven.

It has a carbon steel body covered with enamel, called "GlazeGuard." This material is said to be chip-resistant. Even the lid is thoughtful. It's designed with a domed shape that prevents stuff from boiling over. This product even comes in four different colors — green, white, blue, or black — allowing you the opportunity to personalize your kitchen visually.

On Amazon, there are over 250 reviews which come to an average rating of 4.6 out of 5. From their experience using it, people had a lot of positive things to say, especially in comparison to cast iron dutch ovens. "I love it! It's much lighter than cast iron Dutch oven, and it's so beautifully made. I have been using it for baking bread, making stews, etc," said one buyer.

As of April 2023, you can buy BK Cookware's 5.5-quart Indigo Collection carbon steel dutch oven on Amazon for $161.49.

Best carbon steel paella pan

Paella pans are named for the delicious Spanish rice dishes that are made inside of them. The pans need to be large, to accommodate rice, along with various proteins which are added to the dish (via Recipe Tips). Sometimes there are steep sides, but usually, the sides are somewhat short and sloped. For a great paella pan, check out Garcima's 16-inch Pata Negra Restaurant Grade Paella Pan.

Per the brand, "pata negra" refers to a type of paella pan made of thick carbon steel. This material can be used on the stovetop, in the oven, or even on a gas or charcoal grill. It's even made in Spain. People with families to feed might be interested in this product, as it's big enough to fit food for four to six people. Over 400 people have rated this product on Amazon. At the time of writing, it has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5. "My paella was delicious! Heat distribution was excellent," said one person. Another user called the pan, "A game changer."

You can buy Garcima 16-Inch carbon steel paella pan on Amazon for $52.

Best carbon steel pan for camping

If you're someone who needs to cook on the move, you might be interested in OXO's Outdoor Carbon Steel Fry Pan with Removable Handle. Because the handle is removable, you'll be able to easily pack up the pan and take it with you during camping trips or travel. It still weighs three pounds, but that's much lighter than cast iron pans. It comes in 8, 10, or 12-inch sizes which are all sold through REI. It's safe to use indoors or outdoors and can withstand temperatures of up to 660 degrees F.

On the website, there were was only one review, but it was a good one with zero complaints. "Very nice pan. Heavy carbon steel and the handle locks well. Fits perfect in my small camp cook box," said the customer.

As of April 2023, you can order OXO's Outdoor Carbon Steel Fry Pan on REI for as low as $39.95.