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What is the difference between cast iron and carbon steel?

In 2013, we introduced a range of seasoned carbon steel cookware. Crafted with a sleek, modern design, these tough pans are relatives of the tried and true cast iron cookware. While both types of pans offer unparalleled flexibility and exceptional durability, there are some key differences between cast iron and carbon steel.

Carbon steel pans are much lighter

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Unlike cast iron, which is made using sand molds, carbon steel cookware is formed by turning and stamping. This process allows them to be lighter and thinner than cast iron.

Cast iron pans have better heat retention

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Cast iron cookware is slow to heat up, but retains heat longer than carbon steel. This makes cast iron ideal for frying and baking.

Cast iron pots have a traditional design

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Cast iron pots have shorter handles, which makes them easier to use in the oven and store in your cupboard. Steel pots and pans have a longer handle for easier lifting, which is ideal for cooking outdoors with an open flame.

Carbon steel pans have a smooth surface

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The smooth surface of the carbon steel pan is ideal for sautéing vegetables, preparing fish and more.

Cast iron pans have compatible lids

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Most of our pots and pans have lids and glass lids that you can buy. Our carbon steel pans do not have glass lids.

How similar are carbon steel and cast iron?

Cast iron and steel have elements in common that make both types of pans great additions to your cookware collection.

Cast iron and carbon steel can handle high heat

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Both types of pans are durable and can withstand high heat. This makes carbon steel and cast iron ideal for meat.

Carbon steel and cast iron can be used anywhere

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Both types of pans can be used on any stovetop, in the oven, on the grill, and even over a fire.

Cast iron and carbon steel are flavored with oil

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Both types of pans are flavored in our foundry and are ready to use right out of the box. The natural seasoning improves over time and creates an easy-release cooking surface.

Carbon steel and cast iron are easy to clean

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Both types of pans are cleaned in exactly the same way: wash in hot water, dry and oil. It's that simple.

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