Do you fear cooking an egg in a carbon steel pan? Some of us do when we are first starting out using the metal material, thanks to its reputation for seasoning.
If you don't cook with the right technique, not only will your meal be less than spectacular but also risk messing up things further by damaging a layer that's taken good care of each time around.
Carbon Steel is an excellent material for cooking but only if it has been purchased with a supreme quality pan. When you buy cookware, always do your research beforehand to find out which company manufactures the best products and make sure they have high-quality standards so that when using them in the kitchen there are no dangers involved.
Here is an article to a compilation of the 10 best carbon steel pans on the market. They are picked and reviewed by experts so we are assured about the promising quality.
So, do you love scrambled eggs, fried eggs or an omelette? We've got some tips and techniques to land onto the plate of perfectly cooked eggs- in any form!
Cooking an egg on a carbon steel pan
No one is a pro before he practices again and again. In the case of food, a wise person once said: “hold onto the advice of a fellow cook.” Here we are.
Make sure the pan is well-seasoned
Similar to cast iron cookware, Carbon Steel is all about proper seasoning and this is the only secret of great cooking with Carbon Steel - be it eggs or any other dish.
If your pan is brand new, don’t stay on the company’s already-seasoned tag, it’s good to wash it all over and season it again. Therefore, after you have used it, depending upon the condition of the pan, just wiping it off with clean tissue paper is enough.
This is enough to protect the seasoning of the pan for the next use. You can keep using it this way (without re-seasoning it) until your eggs are coming off great.
The best oils, so far, for seasoning Carbon Steel pan is canola oil, flaxseed oil, and grapeseed oil. If none is available and the seasoning is necessary, you can do it with coconut oil but that should be a once in a while case.
Temperature should neither be too cold or too hot
If the temperature of the pan is too low or too high, the egg will never be up to your expectations.
For that on-point taste and texture, you have to go a step forward to observe the required temperature. You can test the temperature (if you have not practised yet) by dropping a water droplet in the pan.
If the drop turns into a bubble and starts moving on the pan, that is when you should cook the egg. So if you are confused, just keep pouring water drops until you are sure.
While cooking, if the egg starts sticking to the pan instead of just sliding smoothly when you move it, you need to slow down the flame. Therefore, maintaining the correct temperature is the key to a perfect egg meal.
Don’t crack the egg straight into the carbon steel pan
Yes, don’t do this until and unless you have practised a lot over the years and you are a pro now. Otherwise, you will just end up with tiny eggshells floating inside the egg in the pan and this is not easy to remove.
With the struggle to remove, you can actually disturb the ideal look of your egg. And if you have OCD (like me), the whole process will give you a mental breakdown.
As a solution, you can just crack the egg first in some bowl and then transfer that carefully into the pan. But be gentle doing that because if you do not, the round yolk will either break from the edges in the bowl or during the pouring in the pan.
Don’t turn the side of the egg too soon
If it's a half-fried egg, don’t be impatient. Because I've been there, done that!
When I am getting late for work, I tend to do everything in a hurry and that includes turning the egg upside-down way too early before its white part has started solidifying.
Most of the time, this haste results in separating the juicy yolk from the middle to the other corner of the pan and it is a pain to see that. Let the transparent part turn into a semi-white colour and then you are good to flip the side.
Turn off the flame a little before
This is a very important hack that I swear by and also suggest my friends to adopt while cooking in carbon steel pans.
As you see your eggs progressing to be finally cooked, turn off the flame a minute before you would usually do. This is because carbon steel is known for retaining heat and it does it so well.
The heat that is already conserved on the bottom of the pan is more than enough to give a final touch to your eggs and maybe save it from sticking. This usually happens that the egg stays smooth all the way but sticks to the pan right when you are about to take it out.
Therefore, turning the flame off a minute before sliding the egg out will also help in slipping it on the plate smoothly. This is the real win.
Use non-metal spatulas
The metal spatulas are considered to be very harsh to be used on a Carbon Steel pan because they will rip off the seasoning within seconds.
Also, metal spatulas are not good to slide over your egg as they can break its sides. On the contrary, non-metal spatulas like wood are suitably soft to damage the egg and the pan as well.
The best way to learn how to cook with a carbon steel pan is by cooking it at a slow pace. Cooking slowly will not only keep your food healthy and tasty but also will lead you to eat more healthily. You need to heat it up slowly as well as cool it down slowly. This is the rule.