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Seasoning a Blue Steel Frypan


sanrensho
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I picked up a blue steel frypan today made by de Buyer (Acier La Lyonnnaise, 24 cm) . It cost me almost nothing, so I thought it would be worth trying something new.

I've never owned any blue steel cookware before. It sounds simliar to cast iron, which I've never owned. The manufacturer instructions says to fry some potato peelings for seasoning, and never to use soap/detergents. Should I always oil the pan after each washing? Is there anything else I should be watching out for in terms of care?

From what I've read, this type of pan should be ideal for searing and for eggs and omelettes. Are there certain applications that this type of pan is not suited for?

I did read the eG course on Understanding Stovetop Cookware, which states:

Black Steel/Blue Steel

- This is carbon steel that has been treated by a process of annealing, which makes the surface harder and less reactive. It also imparts a distinctive black or gunmetal blue color to the carbon steel.

- Because the surface is harder, black/blue steel seasons more like cast iron in terms of its durability and persistence. Because the surface is less reactive, one need not be so concerned about minimizing opportunities for chemical interaction between the food and the pan.

- Very inexpensive.

- Common uses: Fry pans, sauté pans, crepe pans, omelet pans, woks.

- Representative manufacturers: These pans are not particularly associated with any manufacturers, and they are all more or less the same.

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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Any suggestions from users? Just treat like cast iron?

As far as I know and that is what I am currently doing. I just bought a Mafter 24 cm skillet. I washed it well with hot water and soap to begin then dried it and put a very very thin coating of oil on it. Since then I have just been cooking with it (using duck fat) and cleaning with hot water and a scrubber.

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I have several of these. They impart quite of the heat quality and effects of cast iron, but are generally lighter. I would still prefer my cast iron for low and slow, and my cast iron chicken fryer has no rival, but for your purposes and the ways you intend to use it, it sounds ideal.

Treat it just as you treat cast iron. Use it to maintain the season, once you have established one. Then respect the seasoning.

If it DOES happen to rust, then scrub it all off and start over. Otherwise you have a very inexpensive alternative to cast iron, with quite a few of the benefits, and less weight.

Anne

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Any suggestions from users? Just treat like cast iron?

As far as I know and that is what I am currently doing. I just bought a Mafter 24 cm skillet. I washed it well with hot water and soap to begin then dried it and put a very very thin coating of oil on it. Since then I have just been cooking with it (using duck fat) and cleaning with hot water and a scrubber.

Ditto. After washing, I only oil my steel pan if I won't be using it for a long time. And that is the case these days, because I rarely use it any more... non-stick works better for eggs, and at home I use well-seasoned cast iron or stainless for almost everything else.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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Thank you Woods, Annecros and HKDave for your comments.

HKDave, part of the attraction for buying this type of pan was to replace the disposable teflon pan. I have no agenda against teflon, but thought that this might be a permanent replacement for at least some of the applications where I would use a teflon pan.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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Thank you Woods, Annecros and HKDave for your comments.

HKDave, part of the attraction for buying this type of pan was to replace the disposable teflon pan. I have no agenda against teflon, but thought that this might be a permanent replacement for at least some of the applications where I would use a teflon pan.

That's why I bought into them too. The surface takes a while to build up before you can do eggs in it however, at least with little fat like a non stick. They are a handy all purpose pan too so fry potatoes for breakfast in them alot and anything high fat where there won't be hot liquid especially acid involved, that's what I did.

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I got one, tried it for a while and gave it away. It was too light to hold heat, yet didn't respond well to changes in heat. I tried hard to build up a seasoned surface, using methods that woked on cast iron, but it always stuck badly. Eggs were impossible, and discolored to boot.

I use stainless-coated copper when I need fond and teflon when I don't.

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Here's a link to the manufacturer's product page and here's the pan I bought. Looks like it's the budget line "for less powerful heat sources," which certainly applies to my stovetop.

As per everyone's recommendations, I'll try to season the pan well before moving on to eggs.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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Here's a link to the manufacturer's product page and here's the pan I bought. Looks like it's the budget line "for less powerful heat sources," which certainly applies to my stovetop.

As per everyone's recommendations, I'll try to season the pan well before moving on to eggs.

Fry some bacon. Then fry some more bacon.

Hey, who can't use prefried bacon, and rendered bacon fat? Staples in my fridge.

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Frankly, the blue steel pans are obsolete in a professional kitchen.

Teehee.

Well, judging from her discussion of her heat source, I am guessing this is an other than professional kitchen. Just like mine.

Cookware for home use is sort of a hobby of mine. I have 100+ year old cast iron pieces, some blue steel that dates to around the 70's I think, Stainless including one very large pressure cooker that I was finally able to replace the seal on, some aluminum, some copper clad, and some very fancy non stick caphalon that is modern. I have very old copper molds on display in my kitchen, that I pull down, wash off, and use when the need arises. They are pretty, old, and suitable for certain applications.

Heck, I have a spatterware enamel roaster that is certainly older than I am, as my mother used it to cook cabbage rolls when I was a little bit of a thing, and by goodness, my cabbage rolls come out much better cooked in this piece than any other.

I think matching the needs of the dish to the personality and traits of the cookware is the focus of the home cook. Following "trends" is not what the home kitchen is about to me. The home kitchen for me means using the knowledge, skills and techniques used by those who came before me, while also trying new things with new tools.

Mom was cooking with Le Cru the first time it was trendy back in the 60s. It was cheap then as well. I am cooking with the same Le Cru now that it is trendy again. I never stopped, as she started handing it down to me as I started making my home.

I also own a blue steel wok. I have never encountered anything that does the job better.

Anne

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