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Unlike nonstick pans that need to be replaced every year or two as their coating wears off, carbon-steel pans are designed for the long haul and actually become more nonstick over time. This durable roasting pan from French company de Buyer's Mineral B line is thicker than other brands and can be used in the oven as well as on the stove. We love its generous size (about 14 inches by 9.5 inches) and sturdy construction. The sleek stainless-steel handles are also more ergonomic than others we've come across and large enough to accommodate oven mitts—perfect for your next vegetable gratin or casserole. The dish is shallow to allow air contact for evenly roasting meats, but it will also catch juices and drippings better than a baking sheet. And with each use, the pan develops more of a protective surface coating that has nonstick properties. De Buyer even coats its pieces with a layer of beeswax to resist rust and provide a foundation for seasoning the pan.
Before you use your de Buyer carbon-steel pan for the first time, clean it with very hot water and rub down the entire surface to remove excess beeswax. Heat oil in your carbon-steel dish on the stovetop—enough to cover the bottom—until it starts to smoke, then discard the oil and rub the cookware down with paper towels. The cookware's surface will go through a mottled stage before developing a perfectly smooth, fully blackened patina—in the meantime, we add a little more oil or butter to start and ensure the pan is fully preheated and evenly coated in fat before adding ingredients.
In case of stubborn, stuck-on bits of food, scrub the pan with kosher salt moistened with oil, which will simultaneously season the pan. We also recommend wiping a thin coat of neutral oil across the pan’s surface for storage (with use and time as the patina improves, this will become unnecessary).
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