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Carbon steel vs Cast Iron Pan Which One is Better

Aug. 02, 2023

What is Carbon Steel Cookware?

Carbon steel is a cookware material that contains carbon and iron and is made from an alloy of carbon and iron stamped into sheets to form a thin, relatively lightweight pan with sloping sides. Carbon steel has good thermal conductivity, and the pot body is lighter and thinner, which is more suitable for stir-frying, frying or flipping things.

What is Cast Iron Cookware?

Cast iron is an oven-safe cooking material made from cast iron that contains at least 2% carbon to create a tough surface. Cast iron is dense, conducts heat relatively poorly, and can hold a lot of heat for a long time, making it ideal for super-hot applications, such as searing a steak.

What is the Difference Between Carbon Steel and Cast Iron?

Carbon steel and cast iron share many similar properties, they are both very durable, withstand high temperatures, are versatile, become more non-stick with use, and require special care to stay in top condition. They are both stovetop and oven safe and are made of tough materials that will last longer.

However, there are some key differences between carbon steel cookware and cast iron cookware.

1. Carbon steel pan is lighter

Unlike cast iron, which is sand molded, our carbon steel cookware is spun and stamped. This process makes them lighter and thinner than cast iron. So carbon steel is better for sautéing, sautéing, or flipping things.

Cast iron skillets are heavier and have vertical sides, making them better for toasting things like cornbread or as a shallow skillet for meats.

Carbon steel vs Cast Iron Pan Which One is Better

Carbon Steel Wok

2. The surface of the carbon steel pan is smoother

Cast iron pans are porous, allowing them to absorb and retain oils, seasonings, and flavors. Cast iron pans tend to be thicker and heavier than carbon steel of the same diameter, so they end up heating slightly more evenly than carbon steel, a difference that makes cast iron better for roasts.

While carbon steel has a smoother surface and is lighter in weight, it is easy to lift and shake with one hand, making it perfect for sautéing vegetables, preparing fish, and more.

Carbon steel vs Cast Iron Pan Which One is Better

Carbon Steel Pan

3. Carbon steel cookware conducts heat quickly, and cast iron cookware has better heat preservation performance

Both cast iron and carbon steel are highly insulating and will retain heat for a while, but carbon steel heats up much faster than cast iron. However, cast iron cookware heats up slowly, and once hot, it retains heat for a long time, longer than carbon steel. This makes cast iron great for frying and baking.

Carbon steel vs Cast Iron Pan Which One is Better

Pre-seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

4. Cast iron cookware is integrally formed

Cast iron pans are made by pouring an alloy of iron and carbon into molds so that they become one piece (including the handle). This makes them easier to use in the oven and store in cupboards, and they're perfect for cooking outdoors over an open fire. Carbon steel cookware is stamped from a carbon-iron alloy, and the handle is usually connected to the pot body separately, which is easy to assemble and disassemble, comfortable to hold, and will not burn your hands.

Carbon steel vs Cast Iron Pan Which One is Better

Cast Iron Frying Pan Set

In summary, carbon steel is thinner and therefore lighter than cast iron, and it heats up quickly. Cast iron heats evenly, retains heat well, and gets more seasoned the more you use it. Cast iron and carbon steel share characteristics that make both types of pans a great addition to your cookware collection.

Sarchi cookware is a professional cookware manufacturer, committed to creating high-quality and durable cookware, and has been working hard. We specialize in pre-seasoned and enameled cast iron products including skillets, dutch ovens, camping cookware, carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminum ranges. At the same time, we always pay attention to the industry dynamics and fashion trends of cookware and constantly develop new products.

If you are looking for a reliable cookware manufacturer and a professional partner, please contact us.

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