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Should I return this carbon steel pan?

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    Should I return this carbon steel pan?

    So I jumped in and bought my first carbon steel - a 15" paella pan from BK, on Amazon. Luckily, Amazon has a very good return policy...

    So last night I just wanted to fry up some taquitos and decided since it's large, I could do a bunch - here's what it looks like:

    I'm a little irritated at the doming in the middle... it doesn't look like it to the naked eye, but when putting water (or oil) in it, it obviously isn't even close to flat. Plus, if it were slightly domed the OTHER way, you could at least cook on it in the center, but as this is, the oil and such moves to the outside of the pan, the hottest part is in the center of the pan with no oil and things seem to cook way too hot in the center and not at all on the edges.

    Maybe it's just too big to use for my induction setup anyways. I notice my large cast iron also cooks more in the center, I think my induction setup, even though it has lines marked out to like 11", doesn't actually have an element (is that what it's called?) underneath that is that big - I think it's about 8", judging from watching liquids boil in the bottom of a skillet.

    So I don't think from my limited 1-cook experience that the thinner carbon steel transfers heat out to the edges all that well from a smaller center element, and combining that with the domed bottom and oil pooling out at the edges, I think I should send this back.

    For $70, I don't think it's going to work too well for me.

    What say you, Pitmasters?
    Last edited by DogFaced PonySoldier; August 6, 2022, 08:24 AM.

    Maybe I should opt for the Made In version - a little higher, but surely better quality control, no?

    Picture is a link, click it to see.


    • texastweeter
      texastweeter commented
      Editing a comment
      Good products

    Send it back, but I don't know if you can do better with a single layer carbon pan. Metal expands when heated, and something has to give. The bottom will either dome or bottom out.

    I had a cheap flat bottom wok and it bottomed out, so I bought one with thicker steel. It also bottoms out, and I have learned to live with it.

    I guess something with a much thicker bottom might better resist warping.

    Can you try it on a different heat source just to see what it does? That won't help with your induction top, but might answer questions...


    • RonB
      RonB commented
      Editing a comment
      I think it should be flat right out of the box. And since it already has a domed shape, heating will accentuate the dome. Send it back.

    • rickgregory
      rickgregory commented
      Editing a comment
      Carbon steel shouldnt warp like that new unless it's really thin. There's a line between being thin enough to get the advantages like quick temp change and thick enough to resist warping. You want about 2-3mm thick steel.

    • Allon
      Allon commented
      Editing a comment
      I have never ever had a problem with my wok.
      I'll have to drag it out and take some pictures.

    The dome seems like a flaw, so I'd return it. Also wouldn't expect it to transfer much heat outside of where you apply it. I have a 15" lodge skillet and it really doesn't cook much outside of the burner range. It is great on a grill, open fire or wood stove though.


      I think you should return it. It would more trouble than it’s worth to fix it and it will never get better on it’s own.


        Kinda my thought, too - I thought about taking a mallet to it and making flatter, but I don't think I'm ever going to get it to be as "right" as I want it.

        And I do think it's probably too big - if I replace it with another, I think I'll do a 13" or so.


        • Oak Smoke
          Oak Smoke commented
          Editing a comment
          If you know a body shop guy he could pull it flat with a shrinking hammer on the under side, too much trouble.

        I have a 12. in Made In carbon steel pan. I noticed when I got the skillet that it would be absolutely flat when I started cooking but would develop the smallest of rocking after heating up. This is what Made In says:

        Carbon steel can warp if heated or cooled too quickly which happens most frequently on glass stovetops and induction ranges or by running a hot pan under the faucet. This is a result of the exceptional conductivity of carbon steel as a metal.

        Tips to introduce heat to your carbon steel pan:
        • Heat your pan with low-medium heat
        • Introduce a fat, oil or protein and then add heat gradually
        • Never leave your pan exposed to heat for extended periods of time and never when empty
        • Use a burner that is sized appropriately to the pan and will heat the surface evenly
        I don't have the problem since I started following these instructions.
        Last edited by Bkhuna; August 15, 2022, 04:42 AM.


        • DogFaced PonySoldier
          DogFaced PonySoldier commented
          Editing a comment
          I get it, and I understand the science behind it... I'm just not sure it's worth the hassle. Yeah, I'm an 'instant gratification' kind of guy, I guess. We'll see...

        I thought I was going to have a solution for you with the 14" deBuyer pan like the one I have, but everywhere I looked online it's labeled discontinued. Sucker looks at least twice the thickness of the one you pictured. It weighs almost 7 lbs...........for reference, the Made In you might be thinking of weighs just over 4. No help here, sorry.

        edit: this one(s) look close, German steel supposedly: Amazon.com: Matfer Bourgeat Black Carbon Steel Paella Pan, 14 1/8" : Home & Kitchen
        Last edited by Uncle Bob; August 6, 2022, 02:58 PM.


          First, you should absolutely return it. Second, this is why my carbon pans are Winco, from the restaurant supply store. No prizes for looks, but then work quite well and are inexpensive


            I have a set of Misen carbon steel and really like them. I wanted the Made In but they were a little pricey for me.
            it took a lot of work to season the carbon steel, even more than my cast iron collection (I have almost 39 pieces that are 50-120 years old) but I have to say that the Misen cooks really evenly and holds heat well.


              Carbon steel will warp if it gets too much heat too quickly. The key to cooking with warming it slowly.


              My 12" made in cs pan is slightly warped and I just got it. I am not sure how it warped, but they are going to replace it. I really like the pans, I also have a 10" and the paella pan.


                I've got a refund in my account, I'm just hesitant to pull the trigger on anything else. With induction, things heat quickly, unless you spend the time slowly amping up the setting. I'm just not sure I'm really patient enough to do that.

                I was pretty disappointed in the whole experience, so I'm in a holding pattern now just trying to figure out what to do. I found the de Buyer version on Amazon, but it's got a long handle - if I'm going with a BIG skillet, I don't think I want the super long handle, too.

                The Matfer version linked above looked like a decent option, but it has 7% 1-star reviews, a number of which complained of warping, so that made me hesitant. 7% 1-star is a bit higher than I like.

                I will say, I am willing to add in some cash to get something really good. Not going to spend $200, but... $100-130 or so is prolly doable.


                  Have you checked out solidtechnics-us wrought iron pans ?
                  worth a look. Click image for larger version

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                    Can’t go wrong with De Buyer cs pans either,,,



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