- 1 What is Carbon Steel Cookware?
- 2 Carbon Steel Cookware Pros and Cons
- 3 Is Carbon Steel Toxic?
- 4 Carbon Steel Facts
- 5 Stainless Steel vs Carbon Steel Cookware
- 6 FAQs
- 7 Final Word
A carbon steel pan can be of great use to your kitchen, it’s versatile and long-lasting, but often the question- ‘is carbon steel toxic?’ haunts our minds. It is essential for you and your family’s health to be assured of the use of the cookware. If this is your concern, like millions of people around the world, you have arrived at the right place. In this article shall answer whether carbon steel is toxic or not and even compare it to other cookware.
What is Carbon Steel Cookware?
The iron-carbon alloy that contains anywhere up to 2.1 wt.% carbon is called carbon steel. They often contain manganese, copper, or silicon as an alloying element.
There are three categories of carbon steel based on its iron content:
- Low carbon steel – contains less than .25 percent carbon
- Medium carbon steel – contains from0.25 to 0.60 percent carbon
- High carbon steel – contains about 0.60 to 1.25 percent carbon
Ideally, a carbon steel cookware is made of 99% iron and 1% carbon. This alloy makes your utensils durable, lightweight, and maintains extremely high temperatures.
You can use it for various cooking methods such as sauteing, frying, browning, broiling, baking, and much more.
Is carbon steel safe? Since these utensils are made from only iron and carbon, they are not toxic for neither of the elements is harmful to the human body.
Carbon Steel Cookware Pros and Cons
Carbon steel wok or pans can last you for a very long time just like your cast iron utensils. If handled carefully and maintained well, you can totally use them for years.
- Healthier Cooking
Cooking on carbon steel cookware requires less oil and thus can be great for health-conscious people. If you know how to season carbon steel pan you can totally make your cooking game much healthier.
- High Heat Temperature
This cookware is the best for high-temperature cooking. It has fantastic tolerance to temperature. It can withstand up to 500 degrees of temperature. It can reach that level of temperature without even emitting any toxic fumes. Remember this when someone asks you, “is carbon steel safe for cooking?”
These are much more affordable than high-end modern cookware like stainless steel cookware. Its natural materials make it less pricey.
- Prone to Rust
If not maintained, carbon steel cookware can be prone to rust. The first thing you must do right after buying your cookware is season the surface. Seasoning it with oil will help you get a non-stick surface.
- Reactive to Acidic Foods
The first rule of carbon steel pan safety is to avoid acidic foods. These react with the surface resulting in breaking down the seasoning.
- Not Dishwasher Safe
Soap and hot water in your dishwasher may break down the non-stick coating and thus is not advisable that you wash your carbon steel cookware in the dishwasher. Instead, use a sponge and mild soap to scrub the surface gently. If you are planning on buying one such pan or already have it, make sure you know how to clean a carbon steel pan.
Is Carbon Steel Toxic?
Since carbon steel utensils are made of iron and carbon, and none of these two elements are toxic for human beings, one can assuredly say that carbon steel is not toxic. In fact, it is considered safer than most modern cookware.
Carbon Steel Facts
- Needs to be seasoned from time to time.
- Retains heat.
- Tolerant to very high temperatures.
- Natural nonstick.
- Irons leached are not harmful.
- Made of 99 iron and 1 percent carbon.
- Reactive to alkaline and acidic foods.
- Lighter than cast iron utensils.
- Heavier than cookware made of stainless steel.
- Durable and unbreakable.
Stainless Steel vs Carbon Steel Cookware
|Point of comparison||Stainless steel||Carbon steel|
|Appearance||Shiny and bright||Easily tarnishable|
|Corrosion resistance ability||More corrosion resistant||Easily corroded|
|Heat resistant ability||Average||Very high|
How to Season Carbon Steel Pan?
Add one-third cup oil and two-thirds cup salt, and two potato peels. Cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 mins or until your pan turns brown. Allow the pan to cool down. After which you can wash it with soapy water and a sponge. Dry it completely, and you are good to go.
How to Clean Carbon Steel Pan?
While your pan is still warm, wash it with a sponge and soapy water gently. For stubborn stains, you may use a nylon sponge but no harsh pads or chemicals.
How Strong is Carbon Steel?
Carbon steel is stronger than your stainless steel cookware. They can prove to be unbreakable if maintained well.
Does High Carbon Steel Rust?
Yes. They can corrode and rust when exposed to moisture. However, there are ways to prevent rusting. Such as:
- Keep your cookware clean and dry
- Limit acids
- Build a patina
- Clean off early rust
People all over the world have been trusting carbon steel cookware for ages. If you follow the right carbon steel cookware safety methods while cooking and maintain your cookware, it will serve you for a very long time without harming your health.