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FriedShoe
188
Mar 3, 2017
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Any carbon steel pan is a good pan, but these things are absolutely not going to provide "Better Heat Distribution". This type of pan does best on a large burner that can provide consistent heat because steel is going to soak up that heat and spit it right back out again; where flames touch the bottom of the pan it will be hot and where the flames do not reach it will be noticeably cooler. If on an electric stove, the surface temperature will vary widely as the stove cycles through turning on and off.
Cast iron avoids this problem to some extent by being massively thick (in comparison to a normal pan) so it holds on to heat well and because it takes a long time to heat up which gives it a chance to distribute that heat well enough.
Most modern stainless steel pans are bonded to an aluminium plate, or are layered with aluminium, just because steel is so bad at distributing heat. Carbon steel is not significantly different in this regard. The specific heat of iron is half that of aluminium so it needs to be much ticker to approach similar levels of performance on its own.
edit: Still a good pan. Carbon steel is often used in restaurants, but so are very large burners that can provide little or great amounts of heat consistently under the entire bottom of the pan.
Mar 3, 2017
CoryOBrien
12
Mar 9, 2017
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My understanding was that the sandwiched aluminum plate helps heat up stainless steel pans faster, not distribute heat. It's the steel in the pans that helps with heat distribution.
Mar 9, 2017
K.T.N
1242
Mar 11, 2017
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I've been hesitant to get these thin pans in the past. I have some old electrical elements in my oven, and they are not they are not totally flat, either. So heat distribution is pretty spotty. And as you say, you'll want a consistent heat source that can cover the full bottom of the pan for these to perform well. Gas is king for cooking, of course, but if you have good, flat electrical coils on your stove that are big enough, that can work well too.
The suggestion to use an induction burner/plate really makes this practical for me, however. It gets me past the issue I have with my electric burners, and covers the bottoms of the pans I plan to get.
Mar 11, 2017
WRay
18
Mar 14, 2017
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Unfortunately, not a correct understanding. As others have said, steel conducts heat much more slowly than aluminum, so unless your heat source is quite uniform, steel pans will have hot and cold spots, compared to aluminum, or copper.
Mar 14, 2017
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