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What Is Blue Carbon Steel?

Explaining the colorful name behind one of our best-selling products.

By Maggie Talley
May 27, 2022
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Blue Carbon Steel Cookware has been a staple in high-end restaurants and French kitchens for a century, but is just beginning to catch on for American home chefs. To help clear up any confusion, we’re doing a deep dive on this French-made material to cover what it is, what it’s most commonly used for, and why we call it “blue.”

So, What Is Blue Carbon Steel?

Blue Carbon Steel is a type of cooking material that combines the best qualities of Stainless Steel and Cast Iron. It’s nearly half the weight of Cast Iron while providing all of its non stick properties, and has the heat control and heat retention of Stainless Steel. Plus, it can handle heat up to 1200F, which means you can achieve the perfect crust on the exterior of your proteins without overcooking the interior. And with the proper care, Carbon Steel Cookware will last a lifetime.

Carbon Steel Steel Cookware is 99% iron and 1% carbon. At the beginning of the manufacturing process, it has a silver hue. Before being pressed into the shape of a pan, it’s coated with a thin layer of vegetable oil before being put through a baking process known as “annealing” that gives it a blue color.

What Is Annealing?

Annealing is a high-heat process that helps protect the pans from corrosion in transit. It also darkens the metal and leaves it with the blue tint that our new Carbon Steel Pans possess. Annealing occurs before the metal is shaped into cookware—we apply vegetable oil to a sheet of carbon steel before baking it. This works to protect the pans from corroding in transit and aids in the initial seasoning. The annealing process seals the Carbon Steel and is one of the reasons this material is so durable.

Will My Pan Actually Be Blue?

No, your pan won’t actually be blue. It will only appear to be blue for a few weeks after receiving your pan. The more frequently you cook with it, the faster the blue will fade to black. A black Carbon Steel Pan is actually a good thing—it indicates that you have successfully seasoned your pan.  If you need a hand with the seasoning process, check out our complete seasoning guide.

Is It Safe?

If you’ve ever wondered if your cookware is safe, you’re asking the right questions. When it comes to Carbon Steel, you can rest assured that this is one of the safest cooking materials out there. If you want to get the full scoop on this cookware’s safety, check out this Carbon Steel Safety Guide.

Blue Carbon Steel vs. Carbon Steel

Blue Carbon Steel differs slightly from general Carbon Steel. Both Carbon Steel and Blue Carbon Steel will yield perfect sears and can withstand high heat. However, Carbon Steel is considered “Blue” if it has undergone the annealing process. As a result, Blue Carbon Steel is slightly more corrosion resistant than general Carbon Steel.

Our Blue Carbon Steel Cookware is made in France and Sweden, and is designed for your kitchen. Known for its durability, this high-heat material will help you cook protein to perfection, fry in a flash, and sauté vegetables until perfectly crisp. The annealing process makes Carbon even better, as it becomes more durable, corrosion-resistant, and gives it its “Blue” name. Discover the design that makes our Blue Carbon Steel so special, or shop now to see for yourself.

If you have other questions about our Blue Carbon Steel, there’s a good chance we answer it in this Carbon Steel FAQ Roundup.

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