Professional chefs have preferred carbon steel cookware for ages because nothing is as strong as steel. Now, it is increasingly popular with consumers, and for good reason. Such skillets have a non-stick surface without artificial coatings, which guarantees safety, even over high heat. They are also lighter and more maneuverable than cast iron.
Here are five key things to know about your brand-new carbon steel skillet.
- The Skillet Will Heat up Quickly
Carbon steel has excellent heat distribution properties. The thinner it is — the faster the process. With a skillet pan from https://yosukata.com/, you will cook much quicker. A few drops of water will sizzle instantly, so you can start your stir fry or pour in the crepe batter.
- You May Need to Scrub off the Coating
Some skillets are coated with beeswax, which protects them in the store. This layer must be removed before use. Read the owner manual carefully — it will tell you if there is such coating, and how you should remove it. If you have thrown it away, this information is also available on the manufacturer’s site.
Most commonly, beeswax is removed by soaking the skillet in hot water. Alternatively, you may need to heat it up slightly. Softened wax is easy to take off.
- You Must Season It
Some models come pre-seasoned, but it is still advisable to season them anyway. After removing the wax, you should carefully rub vegetable oil into the surface to create a thorough coating — both on the interior and exterior sides. Then, remove any excess oil with paper towels. The skillet must then be subjected to high heat (if the handle is not oven-safe, you cannot use the oven for this purpose).
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place the pan into the oven with a tray underneath. After baking for 1 hour, the surface should turn from gray to brown, and then to deep black. This procedure ensures non-stick properties. Gradually, the pan may turn gray again — this is when you will need to re-season it.
- Heating and Cooling Must Be Gradual
Never submerge a heated skillet in cold water. Let it heat up gradually over a low to medium heat to ensure even distribution. After cooking, let the cookware cool off on its own. Otherwise, it may warp badly.
- The Handle Can Get Extremely Hot
Handles on skillets made of aluminum or stainless steel have plastic or silicone parts, so they stay cool to touch. In the case of carbon steel, most handles are made of the same material, so you will need oven mitts or potholders to move them. Some brands make special silicone grips that are slipped onto the handles.
The Bottom Line
These are five basic facts about carbon steel skillets. Without fail, they are the best in terms of durability, safety, and convenience. Remember to remove the wax from your new cookware and season it properly. It will serve you for years!