Bottom line—carbon steel and stainless steel pans are both built to last forever, but carbon steel pans can handle higher heat and withstand a bit more abuse without damaging. The most common steel produced is the 304 Stainless Steel, commonly used for pipework, mining equipment, food and beverage, kitchenware and architecture. A low-to-mid carbon steel will have less than 0.3% carbon, while a high carbon would contain up to 2%. Carbon Steel vs Stainless Steel: Final Verdict. Chromium creates a passive layer on the surface that protects the steel from rust and corrosion caused by exposure to moisture and acidic foods. The technical definition is very clear: According to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), a steel must meet the following standards to match the technical definition of carbon steel: The technical definition, while complex, boils down to one simple constraint — true carbon steels must have almost no alloying elements, making them primarily comprised of two materials: iron and carbon. But, over time, it’ll get a bit ugly, and it’s not the type of pan that can double as a serving platter. As it turns out, the term carbon steel is actually used to describe two distinct types of steel: carbon steel and low-alloy steel. The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. Although a carbon steel pan needs to be reseasoned from time to time, the surface itself won’t wear down. Stainless steel pans don’t need to be seasoned, and you can wash them in the dishwasher, but they can be more challenging to clean because food tends to stick. Because stainless steel doesn’t conduct heat well on its own, most brands create their pans by bonding exterior layers of steel with a heat-conductive core layer, such as copper or aluminum. Next, the sheet is cut into a circle and punched by a machine into the shape of the pan. As with carbon steel, other elements may be present in stainless steel in unmeasured amounts. Such product statements do not constitute a product recommendation or representation as to the appropriateness for a specific application or use. While basic carbon steel may only contain up to 2% carbon, stainless steel has at least 10% chromium content. If the metal is going to be hidden from sight, there is no sense in spending extra money on stainless steel strictly for its appearance. There are many other types of steel, all with a variety of alloying elements (other metals in the mix). This chromium allows the formation of a chromium oxide layer when stainless steel comes into contact with water or moisture. Carbon steel is known for its strength and its ability to withstand very high temperatures. The prices are for regular business transactions between customers and their local steel mills, negotiated during the current month for delivery in the future. They’re corrosion resistant and can be both easily machined and welded, though they cannot be heat treated. The build quality. For example, the ICON carbon steel skillet can handle up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit, and the Made In blue carbon steel frying pan is oven-safe up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. Carbon steel is a basic steel that is a combination of iron and carbon. Steel is mostly made of iron and iron tends to rust very quickly. The professionals at APP will be glad to answer any technical questions about industrial pipe designs and materials. What's the big deal. To provide a greater understanding of the impact of this situation, MEPS International Ltd. has created a new series of monthly Steel Purchasing Price Indices for seven key industrial sectors which have steel as an important cost item. Therefore, it’s prone to becoming rusty and discolored, especially when the protective layer of seasoning on the cooking surface (more on this later) is wearing thin. Those details will help you decide which steel is right for you. All carbon steels are susceptible to rust, making them unfit for use in a wide variety of end-use applications. The debate of carbon steel vs stainless steel is a bit more complicated than originally thought, as carbon steel can refer to two different types of steel: traditional carbon steel and low-alloy steel.