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Do all carbon steel pans warp?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Just wondering.  I bought a bunch of Matfer Bourgeat pans a couple of months ago and they all have warped so that the middle is higher than the edges (as you're looking down at the cooking surface).  I've never had them on extremely high heat, nothing that ever made peanut oil burn, etc.  I've compared them to a couple of pans I haven't gotten around to using yet, and yes, they have definately warped.  I also wonder if this is going to continue or if they just reach their "spot" after a few cooking sessions.

 

As far as I can tell, the only pans heavier than these are the expensive De Buyer carbon plus pans.  I don't know if the heavier guage stops them from warping or not.  Of course it's not a problem when there is a good layer of oil in the pan for various fried foods, etc., but when you're cooking something with a very thin layer of oil, the middle ends up with no oil, over heats, sticks, all depending on what's going on.  Just irritating.

 

Is this just the nature of the beast, just a part of a cook's job to work around?  Do the carbon plus pans do the same thing (probably)?  FWIW, I love cooking with these pans.  I don't know what it is about the way they cook certain things, but I can tell and my family certainly can, too.  Better crust on pancakes, better potatoes, cooking eggs, just fantastic.  Hate the warping thing, though.  Especially irritating when cooking eggs - something I do almost every morning...

post #2 of 8

If you have, indeed, not used overly high heat then your burners might be too small for the particular pan, and the heat is concentrating in the center. This is an especial problem with electric burners, but it can happen with gas, too.

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

No problem with the burners putting too much in the center.  I must have heated them too much.  I guess I thought they could take more than that.  I take it your carbon plus are still nice and flat?

post #4 of 8

I haven't tried any carbon steel, I guess I could help you. smile.gif

post #5 of 8

Most people who cool a hot pan in the sink run cold water in it. The cold water will warp the pan and the only way possible for the hot part to warp is to pull the middle up. Did you cool these off in the sink ? If you did not, then the gauge steel that the manufacturer started with was to thin and ... Cast iron pans will not do this.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellybones View Post

Most people who cool a hot pan in the sink run cold water in it. The cold water will warp the pan and the only way possible for the hot part to warp is to pull the middle up. Did you cool these off in the sink ? If you did not, then the gauge steel that the manufacturer started with was to thin and ... Cast iron pans will not do this.


I never run any water in a hot pan. 

 

I wonder if throwing a bunch of cut potatoes in a hot pan could do the same.  I wouldn't think that should be a problem. 

 

As far as Matfer pans being made from too thin a guage steel...doubt it.  I would suspect user error first.
 

post #7 of 8

Hard to say why it happened.  But, they're easy enough to flatten. 

 

First, remind yourself that you are smarter than a pan.  Especially one from France.

 

Then, cut yourself a piece of 2x4 about 1/2" shorter than diameter of the pan's bottom, i.e., just short enough to fit flat in the pan if the bottom weren't warped.  

 

Heat the pan.

 

Set the pan on a flat piece of concrete (a thick steel plate would be better, but how many people have those sitting around?).

 

Put the 2-by in the pan and start whacking the heck out of it with a hammer.  Turn the board so every part of the pan gets flattened, but concentrate in the center. 

 

Let the pan cool, reheat and repeat.

 

If the crown is on the bottom, you have to find something big enough to support the pan's rim, but which allows the handle to extend beyond the surface -- so the pan sits flat; and of course, you'll want a 2-by a few inches longer than the pan is wide. 

 

If you're very thorough, you'll flatten both sides each time you flatten. I don't.  But you could.

 

Pans which have warped are more prone to warp again.  But if you're easily amused like me you can play this game for a long time.  I've got a Calphalon skillet that's been flattened at least once a year for at least twenty years.  Can't kill it.

 

BDL

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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks!  I'll give that a try.

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