FAQ – DE BUYER CARBON STEEL PANS

Are iron cooking utensils suitable for traditional ovens?

All cooking utensils from our iron ranges can be used in traditional ovens. Nevertheless, pans equipped with an iron handle coated with epoxy can only flash in the oven (10 minutes at 200°C maximum), as an extended exposure to heat or to a higher temperature might damage the epoxy coating. For any longer cooking in an oven, we recommend using cookware with stainless steel or aluminum handles.

What can I cook in an iron pan?

Iron conducts heat perfectly and reaches high temperatures fast. This is why iron utensils are ideal to grill, seal and brown food (meat, fish, potatoes, pancakes, omelettes, etc). We advise you against using an iron pan with liquid or acidic preparation, as this may damage the seasoning. For this kind of preparation, we recommend using a stainless steel or copper pan.

Is it possible to cook without fat? What type of oil should I use?

Cooking with or without fat depends on your liking, but the seasoning of an iron pan will be effective after having cooked pieces of red meat 10 times. Once the pan is seasoned, it has natural non-stick properties that enables you to cook with very little fat (simply add some oil or butter). To season your iron pan or to cook food, you should use food cooking oil that can stand temperatures up to 180°C.

Why does meat stick to the pan during the cooking?

While cooking, food sticks to the pan before coming off easily. This is the cauterizing and caramelization phase that enables meat to remain tender and juicy by keeping its water inside. Therefore, as long as this cauterizing phase is still going on (as long as meat doesn’t show a browned crust), you should not try to turn your piece of meat over. Sealing your piece of meat this way leads to the Maillard reaction (occurring at about 140°C) that reveals all the flavours in food. Once it is well sealed, the meat will come off the pan easily. We recommend not piercing the piece of meat before cooking it.

How to season my iron pan? When is it seasoned?

Pour about 1mm of oil into your iron pan and heat it. Once the oil slightly steams, empty it into a recipient and wipe the pan with a paper towel.

The seasoning of your pan will be optimal and efficient after having cooked red meat 10 times. The more your pan is used, the best the cooking results are. The more it blackens, the less it sticks. Once your pan is well seasoned, you will be able to cook more delicate food such as eggs and fish.

Is it a serious problem if the seasoning of my pan is scratched? What should I do?

A scratched seasoning is not a problem. Indeed, the seasoning regenerates each time you use your iron pan to cook food. When the seasoning is damaged by a kitchen utensil, pan cooking properties are not spoilt.

How to clean my iron pan?

Once the food is cooked, deglaze your pan by pouring some liquid into it (i.e. wine or water). This step will enable you to make a delicious sauce easily and to remove food that has stuck.

After deglazing the pan, clean it with warm water. If residues remain, use an abrasive sponge. Dry the pan immediately and slightly oil it to avoid rust. Then, store it in a dry place.

Warning: Never clean your iron pan in a dishwasher or with detergent products, as they will damage your pan and its seasoning. Never soak your pan or let it dry on a kitchen sink as it could oxidize.

My iron pan blackens. Is it dirty?

The blackening of an iron pan is a natural phenomenon meaning that it is seasoning. As for all cookware during the cooking process, your iron pan heats up and pasteurizes, in turn, killing all the possible bacteria as they don’t resist to heat (pasteurization occurs between 62°C/144°F and 88°C/190°F).

Oxidation marks appear on my iron pan. What should I do?

We advise scrubbing your pan with an abrasive sponge, some washing up liquid and warm water. Once the marks are removed, proceed to season the pan again: pour 1mm of oil, heat it until it steams, empty the oil and wipe your pan with paper towel. To avoid oxidation, we recommend slightly greasing the surfaces of your iron pan after each use and storing it in a dry place.

I bought an iron pan and when I first used it, I realized that it was oxidized. Is that normal? What should I do?

The surface of an iron pan may be oxidized when you purchase it. These marks come from the storage place, or the shipping, as humidity triggers a surface oxidation that does not spoil the pan’s cooking properties. To remove the marks, scrub your pan with an abrasive sponge, some washing up liquid and warm water before the first use.

Do handles heat? What should I do when the handle gets hot?

As the handle is made of iron, it inevitably heats up during the cooking process. To compensate for this, we advise using a De Buyer neoprene handle glove, specially designed for iron handles. This handle glove will stop heat sensation and enable safe usage.

Mineral B Element pans are covered with beeswax. Does it definitively coat the utensils?

De Buyer coats Mineral B Element pans with beeswax to protect them from oxidation during their shipping and storage. This protection also facilitates the seasoning and improves the pan’s non-stick properties.

Beeswax coating is not permanent and will disappear when the pan is washed previously to the first use. It is important to carefully remove the outer beeswax layer to avoid staining your cooktop.

Can I use metallic utensils within my iron pan?

You can freely use metallic utensils within iron pans as they are not coated and since iron is a robust material.

I notice imperfections on the surface of my iron pan. Are they manufacturing defects? Do they spoil pan properties and the cooking results?

Imperfections on iron pans are not manufacturing defects. De Buyer iron pans are made of crude iron that is stamped and brushed. As a result, natural imperfections due to the material itself may be visible on the surface of iron pans. However, they do not affect the pan’s suitability for food or cooking results. Indeed, imperfections retain fat, facilitate the seasoning process and improve the pan’s non-stick properties.

Why is my iron pan curved?

All De Buyer iron pans have a slightly convexly curved bottom to guarantee great stability when they are used on powerful heating sources (especially on induction). This convex curve prevents pans from deforming and does not spoil their cooking properties.

Induction hobs show exceptional heating performance. When using an iron pan, it is necessary to:

  • cook at a medium temperature,
  • avoid using the powerboost function,
  • avoid over-heating your iron pan while it is empty.

These precautions are essential for pans from 26cm of diameter to avoid deformation.