Cooking is an art and as cooking needs culinary skills, the pan used while cooking also plays a vital role. Cooking pans are of great use and can be used for multiple purposes. But, the question that which pan is the best for you remains unanswered. If you ask the experts, professional chefs and cooks prefer carbon steel pan, while stainless steel pans are preferred for domestic purposes.
What makes these two types of pan distinguished from each other? When having a close look, it’s found that both stainless steel pan and carbon steel pans are not only durable but also lightweight, non-reactive and non-porous. These similarities have added more to the competition between the two. Let’s enumerated the differences between stainless steel and carbon steel to make a more informed choice about what is the best.
What are Stainless Steel Pans?
Stainless Steel refers to the fact that this type of steel doesn’t tarnish, corrode, oxidize or stain, and thus called stainless steel. It is a combination of 10-30% chromium and iron. The iron gives strength to the pan while chromium makes it resistant to heat and corrosion.
If you wish to go for the stainless steel pans you need to keep in mind that the pans which aren’t clad are available at low rates but are not worthy. Instead, the clad stainless steel pans, that are made of either chromium or aluminum are much better.
What are Carbon Steel Pans?
The composition of the carbon steel pan is iron and a small amount of carbon. These are a bit heavier than stainless steel pans but come with a non-stick coating, which makes them of greater use and free from different toxins. These pans also fall in the category of durable, resistant to heat, corrosion, and rust.
If you are thinking to buy carbon steel pans you will be delivered with the advantage of iron secretion into the food. As the major component of carbon steel pan is iron when you cook the iron will be secreted into the food, which will help accomplish the daily dosage of iron without any toxins.
What is the differentiating factors between Stainless Steel Pans and Carbon Steel Pans?
Learning about what both these types of pans are and what they have to offer let’s move ahead with the factors that differentiate stainless steel pan and carbon steel plan from each other. The list of the most important features is mentioned below,
- Heat Conduction
Heat conduction is not one of the factors, that stainless steel can brag about. It is a poor conductor of heat and needs support from other metals to make effective heat conduction. If the stainless steel pans have a core of aluminum or copper, they help in better and even distribution of heat.
On the contrary, the Copper steel pan not only conducts heat but is also capable of maintaining high heat. The high heat conduction of copper steel pans has made them loved by kitchen professionals. These pans are great to use under high-pressure conditions and are super versatile.
- Reactivity to Foods
Stainless steel does not show any chemical reactions with a wide range of good compositions making them suitable for cooking sauces, soups, curries, stews, etc.
On the other hand, iron in the carbon steel pans reacts with acidic compounds and can affect the taste of the foods.
- Heat Source Suitability
Stainless steel pans can be used on stoves with liquid propane or natural gas but are not favorable for induction use. Instead, stainless steel pans must have a magnetic base, so they can be used on an induction stove.
Copper steel pans on the other hand can work well on liquid propane and natural gas stove. These pans have a wrapping tendency which makes them a bad choice for elective stoves. If the surface of the copper steel pan is flat, it will ensure an even supply of heat and can be used on an electric stove.
Both the pans are versatile but suffer through some drawbacks.
Stainless steel pans do not show any chemical reaction with the food. But they are not made for cooking delicate dishes as they are not non-stick and can make the food stick to the pan. Although there some basic kitchen tips that can lessen the sticky effect of the pan.
On the other hand, stainless steel pans come with a non-stick base but are reactive to acidic ingredients in the food. This can lead to discoloration and incorporate food with a tint of metallic taste. However, this can be reduced by correctly seasoning the pan.
- Cleaning and Maintenance
Stainless steel pans do not need any seasoning but cleaning it can be very challenging. The stains and discoloration can increase the difficulty. To maintain the shiny finish of the pan you will need to use a mind easy cleaning solution. It is dishwasher safe.
Carbon steel pan has a non-stick base and thus much easier to clean. Although it needs more maintenance time to keep it properly seasoned. Acidic it sticky foods will strip the seasoning and thus need to paid special attention to. It is not dishwasher safe and needs mild soap water and a soft brush for cleaning.
To sum up, if you are looking for the best solution for your cooking, then stainless steel pan is the choice. Although if you wish to add more to the list like non-stick, high heat conduction, and lightweight option, carbon steel is the best.