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10-Inch Carbon-Steel Skillet
Durable and virtually nonstick, a medium-size carbon-steel pan is a great option when cooking for two.
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What You Need To Know
Versatile, light, and durable, with excellent heat retention, carbon-steel pans have won a prized place in our kitchens. And while these skillets were once nearly exclusive to restaurant kitchens, home cooks are now embracing them, too. In our review of 12-inch carbon-steel pans, we commented that carbon-steel pans are “as great at browning as they are at keeping delicate foods from sticking.”
For most home kitchens, we recommend a 12-inch carbon-steel skillet (a size we’ve found roomy enough for cooking up to six burgers, fish fillets, steaks, or portions of stir-fry), but smaller skillets also have their benefits. When we’re cooking for just one or two people, we particularly like a 10-inch skillet. It’s the perfect size for searing a single steak or making a scaled-down shepherd’s pie.
In our review of full-size carbon-steel skillets, our favorite was the Matfer Bourgeat Black Steel Round Frying Pan, 11⅞", which costs just under $50.00. We loved the pan’s comfortable handle, nonstick performance, and browning capability. To see if our recommendation would hold true for a smaller size, we tested the 10¼-inch version of the Matfer pan, using it to cook Perfect Scrambled Eggs for Two, Shepherd’s Pie for Two, and steak and to make a pan sauce.
We loved the thick, solid construction; slick surface; and comfortably angled handle of the Matfer Bourgeat Black Steel Round Frying Pan, 10¼". We first seasoned the pan using the company’s instructions (which we’ve since adopted as our preferred method for seasoning carbon-steel pans). After this, it performed excellently: Scrambled eggs slid right onto a plate, and steak browned evenly. The one downside to this pan is that its cooking surface is cramped, even for a 10-inch pan. It’s 7 inches across, while other 10-inch pans we’ve tested are about 9 inches. We had to be extra-careful when sautéing a skillet full of vegetables for shepherd’s pie; some pieces flew over the sides as we stirred. However, our scaled-down recipes for two still fit well in this pan. If you’re looking for a smaller, cheaper alternative to a 12-inch carbon-steel skillet, we can recommend the Matfer Bourgeat Black Steel Round Frying Pan 10¼", which costs about $35.00.
Everything We Tested
- Cooking: 3 stars out of 3.
- Capacity: 2 stars out of 3.
- Ease of Use: 2.5 stars out of 3.
- Nonstick Ability: 3 stars out of 3.
We loved this pan’s solid construction and slick nonstick surface. Scrambled eggs slid out of the pan without hesitation, steaks flipped easily, and the pan performed effortlessly as we moved it from the stovetop to the oven when making shepherd's pie. The actual cooking surface is only about 7 inches wide, so we had to be extra-careful when sautéing a skillet full of vegetables for shepherd’s pie; some pieces flew over the sides as we stirred. However, our scaled-down recipes for two people fit well in this pan, and we loved its long, sturdy handle.
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