Cast iron pans bring a unique joy to cooking meals. They hold heat well, help food cook evenly and brown everything to a uniform perfection. But did you know there’s another alternative? Carbon steel pans work just as well, with the added benefit of being lighter than heavy cast iron. Plus, they’re perfect for one-pot meals—especially because when you’re cooking with carbon steel, the pan can go right from the stovetop to the oven. That means you can easily crisp up the tops of dishes that need it (looking at you, hotdish), your frittatas will be perfectly cooked through, you can easily heat up leftovers in the oven, and your roasted meats will be flavorfully seared. It’s the ideal solution for busy days or those times when you don’t want to deal with much cleanup.
Why Carbon Steel Pans are Just Better
When you’re cooking with a carbon steel pan, you’ll get all the same benefits that you’d get from cast iron. The pan seasons itself with every use (and if you use OXO’s pan, it’s already pre-seasoned), adding a flavorful boost to whatever carbon steel recipe you’re cooking—while keeping the pan non-stick. It’s easy to clean. Plus, you can also use it outside on a campfire—without the pain of lugging along a heavy piece of cookware.
How to Clean Your Carbon Steel Pan
It may seem intimidating, but carbon steel pans are super easy to clean. Use a small amount of soap and water, and scrub the pan with a non-scratch pad (like a latex sponge). Dry it immediately, and you’re ready to go. For an even easier method, fill just the bottom of the pan with water, and simmer it on the stove for a few minutes. Pour the water out, scrape off any residue and you’re done.
How to Season Your Carbon Steel Pan
If you need to re-season your pan (you’ll know because it will start to look dull), simply rub a layer of cooking oil onto the surface. Make sure to coat every part of the pan evenly.
Get started using your pan with these two carbon steel recipes. They’re easy, require only one pan and are ready quickly.