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Carbon Steel Pans - de Buyer or Matfer Bourgeat?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I want to get a couple of carbon steel pans. I've done a search of the threads and see that de Buyer and Matfer Bourgeat are the two that look good to me. It would seem that the thickest steel would be the best. True or not? If so, which of the two fits the bill? Where is the place online to get them?

Thanks for any info. I can't wait! I've been using cast iron all my life. It will be great to use something I can actually pick up and shake, tilt, etc. and still have that great seasoned cooking surface.
post #2 of 12
This is the website for Matfer Bourgeat USA: The Entire Matfer Bourgeat Catalogue

You can also find Bourgeat and several other brand of carbon on Amazon. Please use the Chef Talk link to get there.

If you're interested in the highest quality carbon steel, you should also look into Vollrath.

The handles for all this stuff are uninsulated and decidely not ergonomic. Be aware that you are absolutely committed to using a towel, kitchen rag or potholder every time you cook with one; and that no attempt has been made to make the handles comfortable in any way shape or form.

Personally, I like a lot of arch on the handles so I can swing them around over other pans. But to each their own.

Luck,
BDL
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post #3 of 12
You're so right, BDL. Handles on these pans are not designed well, in terms of comfort or function.

However, I have to disagree with you re: heating. Unless I've had the handle over a heat source for some reason, or have put the whole shebang in the oven, the handles on my de Buyer pans do not heat up. Don't ask me why, because logically they should. Maybe something to do with the coating on them??

More recently I bought a lower-costing Paderno 14" pan. It's handle is even worse, in terms of design. But it doesn't heat up, either.

Go figure.
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post #4 of 12
KY,

You're right. The cast iron handles (like bent bars) don't transmit heat as rapidly as the steel (flat, wider) handles do.

BDL
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
BDL,

Why do you think the Vollrath is the highest quality? It's not typical of you to recommend something with welded handles over riveted. Thanks for your input.
post #6 of 12
They take an enormous amount of abuse without any problems. They're a nice heavy guage. I like the flare of the side, too. Excellent for flipping. A carbon steel pan should last darn near forever in a home kitchen, but if there's a problem they're cheap to replace.

Vollrath fanboy? Could be.
BDL
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post #7 of 12
About 9 months ago I was looking to get carbon steel pans, and BDL suggested that I look into Vollrath and/or Matfer Bourgeat. I couldn't find Vollrath online, so I got the Matfer Bourgeat from there: Bourgeat Black Steel Round Frying Pans - (Matfer Bourgeat) SKU314

I'm very happy. I'm about to buy a 3rd, smaller one for when I only have one steak to cook for myself (which is pretty darn often). The built is incredible. Don't worry about welded vs riveted handles. Those things are undestructible. By the way I know on the link I gave you the pans look like they have rivets - but they don't, the handles are welded. Not a concern in my opinion - if anything, it makes the pans much easier to clean up. Also the arc is not as much as on the picture: in reality, the handle is much closer to being in the same plan as the pan. For me it's fine.
post #8 of 12

Not pleased with Matfer

I purchased a Matfer skillet a while ago and was somewhat disappointed with it. First of all, the handle wasn't welded on straight, and was at a slight angle to the body of the pan. Secondly, the seasoning instruction sheet was pasted to the cooking surface and I could never fully remove the adhesive no matter what I tried, and so the pan ended up with areas where food would stick, no matter what temperature I cooked at and no matter how much and what type of fat I used. There were no instructions for removing the information sheet. What's the best way to remove the adhered instructions?

Schmoozer
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
There is nothing I've ever not been able to remove with lighter fluid. Now that you've fried the adhesive into the pan surface, I think you're going to have to use sandpaper to take everything off and season again. I've done it with cast iron that have had their surfaces ruined for one reason or another. It's not that difficult to get a decent season going again. It just takes a while to get fantastic.

Go to at least 220 grade. I go a little finer to finish up, but 220 works fine. HTH.
post #10 of 12
Are you suggesting that, were I to get another pan, that I just douse the label with lighter fluid and set it ablaze? Is there some recommended technique for removing the label and adhesive using lighter fluid, such as peeling off as much of the label as possible first, or ... ?

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post #11 of 12
Light up? Naaaaah.. just remove as much as possible with your nails, then with a paper towel, wipe with alcohol or lighter fluid or goo-gone until all glue is gone. Then you still have to take some green scotch brite and go at it with all your heart, scouring the pan as best as you can, and removing the protective varnish that they put on top of the carbon steel in the factory.

THEN you can season the pan.
post #12 of 12
Thanks a lot for all the replies and suggestions,

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