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Iron cookware

My Frypan is rusted – what should I do?
Not fully seasoned Steel frypans will naturally rust with humidity because they contain > 99% of Iron. Iron is a natural, non-toxic and needed Element for our body. So first, don’t be scared, rust is not dangerous for your health, it is just not pleasant for the eyes. And that’s easy to get rid of it. If your pan is already well seasoned with just a superficial rust spot, we recommend to just rub the spot with a metallic brush under hot water to avoid dissolving your full seasoning. In other cases, there are several technics to clean the rust: 

  1. Use of natural and soft acid method: fill your rusted parts with Lemon juice or Vinegar for 1 night, you can even salt for better result. The day after, the next morning, rub the rusted part with lemon skin or a Metallic brush. 
  2. use of Potatoes + baking soda (or soap). Cut 1 potato in 2. Cover the cut part of the potato with Baking Soda and rub your rusted part with that. Rinse and do it again and again until the rust disappeared. 
  3. For deep rust, start by rubbing with salt and paper or with a Metallic brush + dishwashing liquid. 

Brand new pan received with rust?
During the their long travel from France and or during their storage in our warehouse, despite the highest standards and dehumidifiers in place to preserve our products, some new steel frypans may still oxidize (rust) lightly, even Mineral B sprayed with beeswax. Vessels and Asia are humid, that's a fact.
However, we hope you fully understand now that rust is not dangerous, doesn't alter at all your frypan performance and can easily be cleaned up. Oxidation is a normal iron phenomena, and only the seasoning process will protect your pan. Rust therefore is a not a quality issue, it is not a default.
Somehow, when you purchase an iron pan, you purchase a raw material that only you can fully protect by the Do It Yourself seasoning.

Seasoning ~ My Iron pan blackens. Is it dirty? 
No, it is not dirty. The blackening of a Steelpan is a natural phenomenon called “Seasoning”, and that’s excellent. The darker it becomes, the better it is to get natural nonstick properties from your Steelpan and to protect it from oxidation (rust). In other words, the more the pan is used, the better its performance. All bacteria have been killed by the heat, so you don’t have to worry about that. 

How to Season and Clean my Steel pan? 
Seasoning will come naturally with time. The more you use your pan, the quicker it will be fully seasoned. That said, there are some MUST DO, and MUST NOT DO to maintain the Seasoning. 

Never wash in a dishwasher, never wash with Soap or Detergent, don’t cook acid stuff (use of lemon, tomato, vinegar…) within your steel frypan. Doing this will not break your Steel pan, don’t worry, just dissolve your seasoning. You will then have to start again the process. 
Before first use
Clean the frying pan with very hot water and a sponge. For Mineral B, you can rub it to remove the excess of bee wax. Then heat it up quickly to dry it. After that, use a paper lightly soaked in vegetal oil to grease it inside and outside and set it in a dry place. This will prepare the seasoning and protect it from rust. 

Cleaning After use 

  1. Rub well with a sponge or a metallic brush if necessary, to get rid under hot water of any residues. 
  2. Fill your pan with water and boil it to eliminate greases. 
  3. Rinse and dry with a tissue to clear the last deposit. 
  4. Light grease it again with a paper lightly soaked of vegetal oil before setting it in a dry place. When your pan will be well seasoned, this won’t be necessary anymore. 

Nonstick tricks of Steel pans

Seasoning your pan will develop a natural nonstick property. Here is an additional trick : make sure your pan is heated up enough before placing your food there. It means you should start with a more powerful heat (without burning) then reduce the power, and not the opposite. When heated up enough, your steel pan will quickly sear your meat, fish or egg. When well seared, your food should not stick. If sticks, it’s probably that it is not seared enough, or you started before your pan was heated up enough. How to know it is heated up enough? Drop water drops on the pan: if they act like balls rolling on the plate, it’s good!

Other FAQ


1.My iron pan has white rings or continuous traces on the surface (pictures 1 to 3). Are they manufacturing defects? Will they destroy the performance and cooking effect of the pan?

The white marks on the iron pan are not manufacturing defects (detailed picture 4). The de Buyer iron pan is continuously made of heavy tonnage stamped and drawn thick iron. Due to the ductility of iron itself, traces are naturally formed on the surface of the iron pan through the process of pressing and forming by the machine. However, to maintain the absolute natural characteristics, de Buyer does not do other chemical beautification processing. These are only visual traces and not scratches. The surface is smooth and does not affect the cooking effect of the iron pan at all! These marks will gradually disappear with regular use and after fully seasoning the pot.

2.Are iron cooking utensils suitable for traditional ovens?
All cooking utensils from our iron ranges can be used in traditional ovens. Nevertheless, pans equipped with an iron handle coated with epoxy can only flash in the oven (10 minutes at 200°C maximum) as an extended exposure to heat or to a higher temperature might damage the epoxy coating.

For any longer cooking in an oven, we recommend you to use cookware with stainless steel or aluminium handles.

3.What can I cook in an iron pan?
Iron conducts heat perfectly and reaches high temperatures fast. This is why iron utensils are ideal to grill, seal and brown food (cooking meat, fish, potatoes, pancakes, omelets…).

We advise you against using an iron pan with liquid or acidic preparation as they may damage the seasoning. For this kind of preparations, we recommend you to choose a stainless steel or copper pan.

4.Is it possible to cook without fat? What type of oil should I use?
Cooking with or without fat depends on your liking, but the seasoning will be effective after having cooked pieces of red meat 10 times. Once the pan is seasoned, it has natural non-stick properties that enable you to cook with very little fat (simply add some oil or butter).

To season your iron pan or to cook food, you should use food cooking oil that can stand temperatures up to 180°C.

5.Why does meat stick to the pan during the cooking?
During the cooking, foods stick to the pan before coming off easily. This is the cauterizing and caramelization phase that enables meat to remain tender and juicy by keeping its water inside. Therefore, as long as this cauterizing phase is still going on (as long as meat doesn’t show a browned crust), you should not try to turn your piece of meat over. Sealing your piece of meat this way leads to the Maillard reaction (occurring at about 140°C) that reveals all the flavours of food. Once it is well sealed, meat will come off the pan easily.

We recommend you not to pierce the piece of meat before cooking it.

6.How to season my iron pan? When is it seasoned?
Pour about 1mm of oil into your iron pan and heat it. Once the oil slightly steams, empty it into a recipient and wipe the pan with a paper towel.

The seasoning of your pan will be optimal and efficient after having cooked red meat 10 times. The more your pan is used, the best the cooking results are. The more it blackens, the less it sticks. Once your pan is well seasoned, you will be able to cook more delicate food such as eggs, fishes…

7.Is it a serious problem if the seasoning of my pan is scratched? What should I do?
A scratched seasoning is not a problem. Indeed, the seasoning regenerates each time you use your iron pan to cook food. When the seasoning is damaged by a kitchen utensil, pan cooking properties are not spoilt.

8.How to clean my iron pan?
Once food is cooked, deglaze your utensil by pouring some liquid into it (wine, water…). This step will enable you to make a delicious sauce easily and to remove stuck food.

After deglazing the pan, clean it with warm water. If residues remain, you should use an abrasive sponge. Dry the pan immediately and slightly oil it to avoid rust. Then, tidy it up in a dry place.

Careful: Never clean your iron pan in a dishwasher or with detergent products as they would damage your pan and its seasoning. Never soak your utensil or let it dry on a kitchen sink as it could oxidise.

9.My iron pan blackens. Is it dirty?
The blackening of an iron pan is a natural phenomenon meaning that it is seasoning.

As for all cookware during the cooking, your iron pan heats up and pasteurises, that way killing all the possible bacteria as they don’t resist to heat (pasteurisation occurs between 62°C/144°F and 88°C/190°F).

10.Oxidation marks appear on my iron pan. What should I do?
We advise you to scrub your pan with an abrasive sponge, some washing up liquid and warm water. Once the marks are removed, you should proceed to season the utensil again: pour 1mm of oil, heat it until it steams, empty the oil and wipe your pan with a kitchen paper. To avoid oxidation, we recommend you to slightly grease the surfaces of your iron pan after each use, and to tidy it up in a dry place.

11.I bought an iron pan and when I first used it, I realised that it was oxidised. Is that normal? What should I do?
The surface of on iron pan may be oxidised when you purchase it. These marks come from the storage place or the shipping as humidity triggers a surface oxidation that doesn’t spoil the pan cooking properties. To remove the marks, only scrub your pan with an abrasive sponge, some wishing up liquid and warm water before the first use.

12.Do handles heat? What should I do when the handle gets hot?
As the handle is made of iron, it inevitably heats up during the cooking. To compensate for this, we advise you to use de Buyer neoprene handle glove, specially designed for iron handles. This handle glove will stop heat sensation and enable a safe use.

13.The blue coating of my Force Blue or La Lyonnaise iron pan disappears. Is that normal?
The progressive disappearance of the blue colour is a natural phenomenon since it is not a coating. Indeed, blued iron is actually classical iron blued by a surface thermal treatment. This process temporarily prevents Force Blue and La Lyonnaise cookware from oxidizing.

You may use and clean blued pans in the same way as for classical iron pan.

14.A colourful mark appears on the bottom of my iron pan. Is it normal?
During the first uses, your iron pan will continuously change colour as a result of the natural impact of heat on iron. So, the pan will first turn blue, then brown and it will end up blackening. Marks will gradually grow up until they envelop the whole pan.

When cooking on induction hobs, the colour ring concentrates in the centre of the pan. This ring represents the inductor that enables to heat, the inductor being smaller that the cooking zone. As for other heating sources, this colourful mark will extend and progressively recover the whole pan.

15.Mineral B Element pans are covered with beeswax. Does it definitively coat the utensils?
We coat Mineral B Element pans with beeswax to protect them from oxidation during their shipping and their storage. This protection also facilitates the seasoning and improves pan non-stick properties.

Beeswax coating is not permanent and will disappear when the pan is washed previously to the first use. It is important to carefully remove the outer beeswax layer to avoid staining your cooktop.

16.Can I use metallic utensils within my iron pan?
You can freely use metallic utensils within iron pans as they are not coated and since iron is a robust material.

17.I notice imperfections on the surface of my iron pan. Are they manufacturing defects? Do they spoil pan properties and the cooking results?
Imperfections on iron pans are not manufacturing defects. De Buyer iron pans are made of crude iron that is stamped and brushed. As a result, natural imperfections due to the material itself may be visible on the surface of iron pans. However, they do not affect the pan suitability for food or the cooking results. Indeed, imperfections retain fat, facilitate the seasoning process and improve pan non-stick properties.

18.Why is my iron pan curved?
All de Buyer iron pans have a slightly convexly curved bottom to guarantee a great stability when they are used on powerful heating sources (especially on induction). This convex curve prevents pans from deforming and doesn’t spoil their cooking properties.

Induction hobs showing an exceptional heating performance, when using an iron pan, it is necessary to:

cook at a medium temperature,avoid using the powerboost function,avoid over-heating your iron pan while it is empty.
These precautions are essential for pans from 26cm of diameter to avoid deformation.

19.Can I use my chestnuts pan with holes on a gas stove?

The chestnuts pan with holes is particularly suitable for a chimney fire and the irregularity of the flames that will "lick" and wrap the pan. Putting it on a gas stove with high constant intensity may expose it to a risk of deformation. We advise to use it at normal heat, to minimize this risk of deformation.