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Carbon Steel pans

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello

I recently bought a De Buyer carbon steel fry pan . Am I ok to cook acidic foods in this pan ? One of the reasons I bought this pan was to cook quick tomato sauces in it. I seem to be reading conflicting things on acid and steel pans.

Didn’t all pans used to be steel? They cooked tomatoes 100 years ago right…. Don’t a lot of European kitchens still use these pans and also cook tomatoes?

Any advice is appreciated.
Thank you
post #2 of 6
my guess is it will either give the tomatoes a metalic taste, or turn them a darker color. i have a carbon steel wok i use for stir frying and i dont try and use any acidic things in it. if you do use it for tomatoes make sure you season it very well.
post #3 of 6
While they would have use carbon steel and cast iron, they didn't have a choice and thought the taste and color were just how it was. And for them it was.

We now have the option.

Carbon steel never develops the depth of patina that a cast iron pan will with the same use. A well seasoned cast iron pan/pot can make a long cooked tomato sauce. You will see a difference in the patina afterwards. And the sauce does have a different flavor, but not as metallic as the sauce would if cooked in carbon steel. But carbon steel is lighter, heats faster and has other positive characteristics.

The other big taste offender for these pans is red wine. The tannins react unpleasantly.

I don't consider it a big deal to have a stainless pan on hand for those times the tomatoes or red wine is going to spend a long time in the pan.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 6
I apologize for resurfacing an old thread, but I have a quick question and didn't want to create a whole new thread about it.

Would a quick pan sauce made with red wine and the fond leftover from cooking meats have a very adverse affect on a seasoned carbon steel pan?

Also, can anyone recommend the best fat to use to season a CS pan? I've read that vegetable oils can be a bit sticky. Would shortening be best?
Sono pazzo della cucina!
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Sono pazzo della cucina!
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post #5 of 6
Pazzo,

You wrote, No, it wouldn't.

You also wrote, Lard is best, then cheap shortening with meat and vegetable fats, then a light vegetable oil like corn or safflower, then a vegetable shortening. "Best" doesn't mean much in this context -- anything good is plenty good enough.

Bad? Not so much. Avoid anything with a low smoke point or a definite taste of its own. Don't worry too much about the inside getting sticky. It's going to get a lot more cooked into it than the first oil coating.

BDL
post #6 of 6
Awesome, thanks, yet again, for your informative reply.
Sono pazzo della cucina!
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Sono pazzo della cucina!
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