Okay.. so I watch this video in youtube where this guys seem to have done their homework. They have this fried egg dancing on the pan like skates on ice:


So we don't have this brands in Spain, so I start searching for carbon steel pans at the hood and find this 3 pan set for 8,50 euros (bout 10$) at the dollar store with carbon steel written on the label.

So what's the deal? Is carbon steel always the same or is there anyway of recognizing good vs bad. As everyone I guess, I don't like to pay extra just for the brand. Will this cheap pans do the egg job if I season them properly?

2 Answers 2


Steel is pretty much steel (carbon cast etc)

It's the surface that's needs to be conditioned. Only buy pans with a smooth surface regardless of price. Then use metal scourers and spatulas to remove any rough spots. And then regularly heat with oil until it smokes

For eggs, with a conditioned pan, pour in a layer of salt and heat until the salt discolours, discard salt, let cool a bit, roughly wipe out with paper, add a little oil, and the eggs should cook fine

  • What's the purpose of heating and discarding the salt here?
    – NRaf
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 12:58
  • 2
    @NRaf The heated salt absorbs the sticky oil which has not polymerised fully, and any other sticky impurities stuck to the surface.
    – TFD
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 20:45
  • 1
    OMG. The salt trick worked sooo good. You made me cry :) Commented Aug 25, 2015 at 6:47

There are many, many grades of 'carbon steel' but I don't think the differences will matter much for cookware. What might matter is how thick it is: too thin and the pan won't survive long. The quality of the joint between the handle and the pan might be an issue but that can always be repaired. Frankly, for the price, I'd buy the cheapo version and try it.

Wikipedia's entry on 'cookware and bakeware' has a neat summary of the properties of various materials.

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