Carbon steel pans are one of the versatile, durable kitchen utensils that can go from the stovetop to the oven and are easy to maintain. These pans are the fundamental elements in restaurant kitchens and are even more common for home use. For ambitious home cooks who wish to get results like professional chefs, top-quality cookware such as a 16-inch crepe pan can help (with some of your cooking skills and knowledge vital for cooking restaurant-style meals).
A carbon steel crepe pan can give you a restaurant-quality result, whether you need to fry toast or saute or sear.
Carbon steel pans are used in all restaurant kitchens because they are versatile enough to cook delicate food items, including crepes, pancakes, and eggs on low heat and high -heat sears of proteins such as steaks and fish filets.
They aren’t as pretty as stainless steel or cast-iron cookware, largely as carbon steel pans haven’t traditionally been designed with aesthetic reasons in mind. These are working pans meant solely for use in restaurant kitchens.
Carbon steel pans are becoming more prevalent in the home’s kitchen because of their advantages. Carbon steel cookware is more light and easy to manage than cast iron; it quickly distributes heat uniformly since it is so thin and is much more rigid than stainless steel or aluminum utensils. A carbon steel 14-inch crepe pan is suitable for cooking large pizza in a blazing hot pizza oven, conditions that pan made other soft alloy materials might not survive. As they are ferrous, carbon steel pans work perfectly with induction cooktops, making evolution in home kitchens.
Carbon steel is a kind of alloy that contains up to 2.1 % carbon by weight. This kind of steel contains a higher percentage of carbon than other steel alloys. The accumulation of that extra carbon to steel alloy increases tensile strength.
These steels are available in various sizes and depths, from petite pancake pans to specialized crepe pans, typically small 12-inch to large 16-inch crepe pans.
Seasoning and caring for a carbon steel pan
A carbon steel pan creates a layer of polymerized oil (called seasoning), giving the pan surface an easy release to the non-stick finish. A little care and maintenance can help you build up and keep this finish, so your crepe pan gives you a long-term service.
Carbon steel crepe pans also come in a wax coating which needs to be melted off in a microwave at high heat before the pan can be used. Over time, after many uses, the pan’s surface will discolor and blacken due to oxidation of polymerized oils, which makes a naturally non-stick surface in a process known as “seasoning.”
Initial seasoning involves layering the pan with vegetable oil and heating the pan to a scorching temperature. You will likely want to turn off the smoke detector if you are doing this indoors and make sure to open windows for large ventilation during the initial seasoning procedure (and when melting off the shipping wax). Things can get smoky! A pan may need to be seasoned many times before it becomes adequately non-stick.
The factory coating on these carbon steel crepe pans is typically not so smooth and not as built up as it would be over long use. Pre-seasoning doesn’t get you to the finish line but does give you a head start, so it doesn’t take quite as long to get that smooth non-stick quick-release effect.
While carbon steel pans are rigid and durable, it isn’t meant to remain unspoiled with use; carbon steel pans will look discolored, and the pan constructed with thin material may have dents and marks in a busy kitchen.
Always use a paper towel or kitchen towel to wipe out any extra oil and moisture from your pan. If any food particles remain on it, you can use a tablespoon of grapeseed oil or coarse salt in your pan. Using a kitchen towel, rub the salt and oil around the pan to clear any food fragments.
If your pan has a stubborn food stain that generally occurs in a 16-inch crepe pan after cooking the juicy crepe, you can use steel wool for a while since this will remove the deposited seasoning and cause scratches on the pan’s metallic surface.
After removing any food residue and rinsing the pan thoroughly, you need to heat the pan at a scorching temperature to boil away any moisture creation that could cause oxidation. Apply a fine layer of oil with a paper towel before storing it. These pans will last long with proper care and maintenance, just like cast iron pans.