After many years of using random “nonstick” pans, Scanpans, “ceramic” coated pans, and stainless steel, I’ve finally decided to give up on ceramic/Scanpan type pans and try carbon steel. Carbon steel is supposed to be a kitchen workhorse in that it’s basically got the power of cast iron without the crazy weight. It retains heat well, just like cast iron, and it’s also great for searing meat and browning. It can go from the stove to the oven and handle up to 600 F. However, the catch is that while they are generally cheaper than the average pan, they do require the same level of maintenance as a cast iron pan. That means… it needs to be seasoned again and again until it’s actually made “nonstick” with all the layers of oil/seasoning, and it needs to be re-seasoned often. The good thing is that because it is so much lighter than cast iron, it’s easier to maneuver and use every day. Unfortunately, in this house, Chris would never be caught seasoning any pan in any way because not only would he have no clue what to do, he has zero interest, so all that work is going to be on me to get us started, as well as to keep us going with these pans to ensure they really do last us a lifetime.
I was told that carbon steel is the material of choice for pans in a restaurant kitchen, and especially for delicate things like making banh cuon or banh xeo. So I’m excited to season my 8-inch and 10-inch pans and get this party started, and finally say goodbye to my crappy Scanpan, which was already replaced by the manufacturer once and is losing its “nonstick” quality. So much for being safer or better made. The quality of Scanpan has really declined over the years, which makes me sad when I think about how much money I paid for those two pans, one of which I already long discarded.