A Story of Star-crossed Lovers

Sort of.

Ok, not really.  But this is a story about some carbon steel skillets that I really wanted, only to realize that they’re not quite the right fit for me.

For almost a year now, I’ve been on the hunt for a carbon steel pan.  However, I had trouble deciding on one.  Cooks Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen champions for the Matfer Bourgeat, but in doing so caused many Matfer Bourgeat pans to sell out.  At the time of this post, the largest Matfer Bourgeat is priced over $200 on the Amazon Marketplace because it’s nearly impossible to find until the manufacturer releases more.

To be honest, there aren’t a lot of reviews on carbon steel skillets.  In general, it feels like the internet embraces cast iron skillets.  I got excited when my other favorite food company/website, ChefSteps, gave Darto pans a thumbs-up.

Darto is an Argentinian company.  I bemoaned the fact that shipping was going to cost more than one pan.  Earlier this December, they offered free international shipping for a minimum order of $150.  I found a friend who expressed interested and we shared an order.

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 4.29.38 PM

I bought the 20cm and the 27cm for myself.  They are beautiful!  They are made from a single sheet of metal which means that there are no bolts where the handle meets the body of the pan.

So, the pros:

  • construction
  • price (well, before shipping costs to the US)
  • handle stayed cooler than I thought it would
  • carbon steel has a wonderfully smooth surface (which is why I wanted it)

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 4.29.49 PM

The cons?

One con, and one con only.  The 27cm is really difficult to use for my smaller stature.  I’m not even 5’3″.  The handle of the 27cm pan was too tall, and too long.  The only way I could comfortable hold it was to brace my arm against the length of the handle.  That’s not the right way to hold a pan.  If it had a helper handle, I could probably over look the issue.  Sadly, it doesn’t.

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 4.30.00 PM

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 4.30.13 PM

The 20cm is smaller all around, so I can use it more easily.

In sum, the search for a carbon steel skillet continues.

Reference Links

https://www.chefsteps.com/forum/posts/carbon-steel-pan-comparison

http://www.darto.org/us/

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