We Tried the $89 Carbon Steel Skillet That Keeps Selling Out—and the Hype Is Real
Carbon steel skillets aren’t anything new: Pro chefs have been using them for ages because they’re lightweight, up-for-anything pans that can go from stovetop to oven with ease. But Made In, a direct-to-consumer cookware brand, is working on making them more readily available (and more affordable!) to home cooks. Because I’ve already fallen in love with Made In’s stainless steel cookware and their carbon steel roasting pan, I had to give their wildly popular Blue Carbon Steel Frying Pan a try. The only problem? The pan kept selling out.
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I finally got my hands on one and I spent the last week cooking every meal in it. Here’s why I think you should hurry up and buy this pan yourself.
What is Carbon Steel?
Think of carbon steel as a sturdier, lighter cast iron. It holds heat well (up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit!) and can be used on the stovetop, in the oven, or on the grill. Like cast iron, carbon steel pans require a little bit of special care — like seasoning before its first use and making sure it is good and dry after each use. In return you get an agile pan that can outperform your standard skillet in many ways.
To make the seasoning super-simple, Made In’s Blue Carbon Steel pans come with care instructions and the brand’s proprietary pan wax (beeswax and oil that help to season the pan). After washing the new pan, roast it with the wax for an hour, let it cool completely, and the pan will be ready to go. You can use the rest of the wax for regular upkeep.
Related: How To Season a Carbon Steel Pan
What I Loved About Made In’s Carbon Steel Frying Pan
The high sides of the 10-inch skillet make it an excellent pan for stovetop frying without making a mess. For example, a couple of Spanish fried eggs usually splatters butter and oil all over my stovetop, but this pan kept things tidy. Sautéing vegetables in the Made In Blue Carbon Steel Skillet was a particular dream — the even heat and slopped sides helped to quickly flip green beans and broccoli on two different evenings.
With each use, the carbon steel surface becomes less sticky so that even a frittata full of sweet potatoes and chorizo slipped out of the pan with ease.
But the thing I really loved was being able to brown a few chicken thighs on the stovetop before slipping them into the oven to roast. Both steps seemed to go quicker than with my regular cast iron pan.
The Bottom Line
If you want a skillet that will make you feel like a pro chef without the price tag of stainless steel and without the hefty weight of cast iron, this carbon steel skillet is for you. I’m actually kind of shocked that it costs less than $100 (way less, actually; $89 before shipping). My advice: Hurry and buy this pan now … before it sells out again.
This post originally appeared on Kitchn. See it here: We Tried the $69 Carbon Steel Skillet That Keeps Selling Out