The De Buyer Mineral B Pan is a robust, well-balanced carbon steel pan with excellent heat retention and solid construction. Its design truly reflects French elegance and quality.
The de Buyer Mineral B Pan performed exceptionally well in my tests. If you want a pan that you can pass down to your grandchildren, then this is the pan for you.
De Buyer Mineral B Score
There are carbon steel pans.
There are French-made carbon steel pans.
And then there’s De Buyer’s Mineral B.
I had been cooking with carbon steel for about three years when I got to try the De Buyer Mineral B. (I got the Pro version with the upgraded handle, but the pan body is the same.) I review cookware for a living and am used to handling professional-quality pans. But when I unwrapped the Mineral B Pro from the crinkly brown paper and felt the build quality of this pan, I might have jumped up and down a bit with excitement.
This was something special.
French design and engineering are evident in every detail of this pan, from its ultra-smooth cooking surface to its gentle curves and beveled rims. The standout feature of the pan is the polished stainless steel handle that’s both elegant and easy to grip.
A Mineral B skillet is built like a tank; it doesn’t just feel heavy, like other carbon steel pans, but solid. It performs like industrial-quality French cookware but looks beautiful while doing it. This is the pan you need if you want to embody French elegance – like Julia Child – not if you want to be like a real French chef barking orders across a kitchen full of clattering pans. (Get a Matfer for that!)
De Buyer Mineral B Pans vs. Mineral B Pro - What’s the Difference?
The De Buyer Mineral B and Mineral B Pro have the exact same pan body, and they perform the same on the stove. But the Mineral B Pro is safe for extended oven use, while the Mineral B is not.
The standard Mineral B has a steel handle with an epoxy coating that will break down if used in the oven above 400°F or for more than 10 minutes. The Mineral B Pro has a thick stainless steel handle, and an hour in the oven won’t hurt it at all.
|De Buyer Mineral B - 11” Fry Pan
|De Buyer Mineral B Pro - 11” Fry Pan
|Flat 4mm steel
with epoxy coating
|$$ (Check Today's Price)
|$$$ (Check Today's Price)
De Buyer has produced carbon steel cookware for close to 200 years, and the Mineral B line has garnered decades of acclaim. However, the Mineral B Pro line is relatively new. Both are made in France.
Mineral B Pans are widely available and comparable in price to other carbon steel pans. Mineral B Pro pans cost $20-30 more than competitors and are harder to find. (Their availability on Amazon is limited as of writing this article.)
Currently, the Mineral B Pro is only available as a fry pan in two sizes and an omelette pan in one size, while the original Mineral B line includes grills, woks, crepe pans and more.
De Buyer Mineral B Pan Review
The De Buyer Mineral B pan took seasoning more smoothly than any pan I’ve seasoned before. I was thrilled with its performance in my cooking tests. The pan heats fairly quickly and very evenly. It has suprising heat retention; it will stay very hot even when you turn the flame down, so bear that in mind.
Eggs can stick to it when I don’t use the correct technique, but slide right off if I’m careful with them. The pan released pancakes without a problem and allowed steak to develop an excellent flavor.
The De Buyer Mineral B helped open my eyes to the power of top-tier cookware.
Keep reading to see the details of the cooking tests I conducted.
De Buyer’s carbon steel pans are made in the Vosges region of France. Excluding the handles, the pans are made of a steel alloy that’s approximately 99% carbon steel and 1% carbon (sometimes referred to by the company as “white steel.”)
De Buyer has been making world-renowned carbon steel cookware since 1830, and their pans are of fantastic quality. The larger Mineral B pans are made of 3mm thick steel, while the smaller fry pans are 2.5mm thick. The Blue Access line of pans is made of 2mm thick steel.
The sides of my 9.5” Mineral B Pro pan are 1.75” tall. Rim to rim it measures 9.5” across, and the diameter of the cooking surface is 6.9”. The pan weighs about three pounds thanks to the 2.5mm thick steel.
The handles attach to the Mineral B fry pans with clustered rivets, typical of French-made carbon steel. The standard Mineral B line has steel handles with an epoxy coating that’s so light you might not notice it. The coating makes the handle easier to grip, but it will break down after about 10 minutes in the oven. You can place your Mineral B pan in a 400°F oven for quick flashes but not for long-term cooking.
A De Buyer representative recently said that they know Americans like to cook in their ovens, so they made the Pro line with fully oven-safe stainless steel handles. The Pro handles are much more comfortable to grip, and at a lower angle than the original handles. As a downside, they add weight to the pan.
Does the Handle Get Hot on Mineral B Pans?
The handle on the standard Mineral B pans gets moderately hot when cooking on the stove. Since the handle is thin, it doesn’t hold heat for long.
The upgraded handles of the Mineral B Pro pans attach to the pan body with a wide stainless steel plate and two rivets. Unfortunately, this thick plate of stainless steel transfers a lot of heat to the handle. The cut-out “B” design on the neck of the handle is supposed to break the heat transfer, but it’s not completely effective. On my 9” pan, the relatively short handle gets too hot to grab after about 8 minutes on moderate to high heat.
Design & Comfort
De Buyer Mineral B pans have the long, awkward handle typical of French fry pans, but the Pro line has a handle more in line with American sensibilities. There’s elegance in the contouring of the pan itself. My only complaint is that food sticks a bit to the cute little B in the center of the pan.
Like all carbon steel, the pan won’t stay shiny silver after you use it. It will turn bronze or bluish at first seasoning, may go through orange or blotchy stages, and eventually turn nearly fully black.
So, while they’re beautiful for carbon steel pans, they aren’t as decorative as enameled or ceramic cookware.
I’m never going to give a carbon steel pan 10/10 points for versatility, because a carbon steel skillet will never be “the only pan you need.” You shouldn’t boil pasta or make sauce in a carbon steel fry pan; you’ll damage the seasoning.
However, as far as carbon steel goes, the Mineral B Pro is very versatile because of its oven-safe handle. One of my favorite things to do with this pan is sear cubed lamb on the stovetop, then finish it in the oven with roast veggies.
Standard Mineral B pans are less versatile because they are not oven-safe, except for quick flashes at lower temps.
If you’re looking for a carbon steel pan to use on an induction cooktop, the 9.5” Mineral B has pros and cons. Induction cooktops are notorious for making carbon steel warp. My Mineral B pan hasn’t warped at all, even though it’s become ridiculously hot at times when I’ve seasoned it or cooked with it. The slightly concave bottom surface of the pan makes it highly warp-resistant.
But it also means the bottom won’t make full contact with an induction or glass stove.
Ease of Use and Maintenance
The De Buyer Mineral B is the easiest carbon steel pan I have to season, clean, and cook with, thanks to its beautifully smooth surface. However, it’s still carbon steel, and there’s a learning curve.
If you are coming from cooking on nonstick or stainless steel pans, you’ll have to adjust your cooking techniques to make this pan work for you. It requires at least a small amount of oil to release food. The longer you cook with it – if you care for it right – the more non-stick it will become.
Longevity and Warranty
De Buyer offers a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects for its carbon steel cookware as long as it’s used in a home by the original end user. The warranty for use in a commercial kitchen is 10 years. Rust and wear and tear caused by improper use are not covered by the warranty.
Rust caused by moisture and compromised seasoning is one of the biggest threats to carbon steel pans. Some carbon steel skillets may warp or dent, but the Mineral B Pro is so heavy and well-engineered that it’s not likely to happen. If you take good care of a Mineral B pan, it could, in fact, last the rest of your life. (That’s my goal!)
Price and Availability
Mineral B pans are reasonably priced for European-made carbon steel, typically costing slightly less than Mauviel or Made In. Mineral B Pro pans are comparable in price to other French carbon steel. They cost a little more than many stainless steel and most aluminum pans, but since they get better with age, they are definitely worth the investment. De Buyer costs less than hand-wrought American carbon steel.
Mineral B pans are fairly easy to find for sale online and at higher-end kitchen supply stores. They are an excellent value for the money. Mineral B Pro’s availability is more limited, and it costs significantly more.
Safety and Health Considerations
Carbon steel pans like the Mineral B don’t have chemical, polymer, paint, or ceramic coatings. They are made with extremely simple materials and don’t break down if exposed to high temperatures. This makes carbon steel a favorite cookware among health-conscious chefs.
Carbon steel can transfer iron to your food, especially if the seasoning is thin. Check out our guide on the topic for a deeper dive into the safety issues surrounding carbon steel pans.
Company and Environmental Impact
De Buyer has an excellent reputation as a maker of cookware that’s suitable for both home and restaurant use, and its product warranties back that up. When you receive a de Buyer pan, it will be packaged with care. De Buyer appears to take its Corporate Social Responsibility label seriously, being recognized as exemplary when inspected in 2022 by AFNOR.
De Buyer carbon steel cookware is made in France with materials sourced in Europe. The pans are made without PTFE, PFAS, or other chemicals that are harmful to the environment. And, unlike nonstick-coated pans, De Buyer carbon steel is made with recyclable materials. (But before recycling it, check with your local facility to see if they have the ability to process a carbon steel pan.)
De Buyer Mineral B Pro Cooking Tests
Note: In the photos below, you can see my tests on a 9.5” De Buyer Mineral B Pro fry pan. Since the Mineral B and Mineral B Pro pans are the same except for the handle, you can expect regular Mineral B pans to perform the same way.
The Seasoning Test
Of course, the first test of any carbon steel pan is how well it seasons. I used my 9.5” Mineral B in my guide to seasoning a carbon steel pan, so check that out for photos and detailed instructions.
Suffice it to say that this pan seasoned absolutely beautifully. I scrubbed off the beeswax coating with hot water and a scour, warmed the pan, rubbed the thinnest coating of grapeseed oil on it, and burned it off. With just two coats, this pan was ready to fry eggs!
The seasoning on my de Buyer has built up very smoothly, and it’s turned nearly black in just a few weeks of use. One curious thing I’ve noticed about the Mineral B is that it smokes much less than my Misen pan when I’m seasoning it; I’m not sure why. There seem to be fewer imperfections that trap excess oil than in cheaper carbon steel pans. Whatever the reason for less smoke, my air purifier is happy about it!
The Toast Test
Don’t laugh at me for using slices of bread to test my carbon steel pan – the purpose is to check how quickly and evenly the pan heats up.
With cheaper pans, the bread in the center will burn before the edges heat up. It’s not a perfect test, but as you can see from the photos below, both the center and the edges of the bread heated at about the same rate.
The takeaway: Despite its thick 2.5mm steel body, the pan heated quickly and evenly.
The Egg Test
I felt very bold cooking eggs right away in my newly-seasoned de Buyer pan; usually, I recommend letting the seasoning build up on a pan before trying something both sticky and delicate. But the pan was so smooth after seasoning that I wanted to give it a shot.
The first time I cooked scrambled eggs in the Mineral B, right after the initial seasoning, it performed perfectly. The eggs slid off and left the pan with just a bit of oil to wipe out.
A few days later, though, my husband tried scrambled eggs, and they stuck like mad. Why? My guess is he didn’t get the pan hot enough.
The takeaway: Mineral B’s super smooth surface works great for eggs – but using the right cooking techniques is crucial with a new carbon steel pan, no matter how high-quality it is.
Crêpes or Pancakes
After the stuck-egg incident, I reseasoned the pan and put it to another of my favorite tests: breakfast batter. The 9.5” Mineral B Pro fry pan isn’t technically the right size or shape for a crêpe, but my American kids don’t know the difference. So I mixed up a thin batter and cooked it in the De Buyer pan to see how evenly it heated and whether or not it stuck.
Long story short: I need to work on my crêpe-making skills, but the pan did great.
The takeaway: Unlike a cheap aluminum pan I tested, the Mineral B Pro spread out the heat, giving the pancake time to cook without toasting the bottom of it too quickly.
Did you know that the pan you cook a steak with affects its flavor? Some people call it a placebo effect – but try searing a steak on high-quality carbon steel, and you may be convinced. Over time, the seasoning takes on aromas from savory foods cooked in it and gives some of that goodness back to every future meal.
I trusted my 9.5” De Buyer with a 2” 6 oz grass-fed filet. The fact that the Mineral B Pro has an uncoated handle means I could have started this steak in the oven, but the piece of meat was so small I didn’t feel the need to.
I dried, seasoned, and lightly oiled the steak and cooked it on medium heat, turning it as soon as it developed a crust. It released easily from the pan.
When it was nearly done, I turned down the heat, added butter and herbs, and basted the steak for a couple of minutes. Then I took it out to rest and finish with carryover cooking.
So - is the De Buyer Mineral B good for steak?
Yes. The pan did almost everything I asked of it. The steak tasted fabulous. The pan handled high heat with no smoke. De Buyer’s carbon steel is such a high grade or so well engineered that it doesn’t trap carbonized food particles that burn the next time you use the pan, like my lesser quality carbon steel wok does.
But because it didn’t smoke at all, the pan got deceptively hot. And it held that heat for a very long time, even transferring it to the stainless steel handle. This heat retention is great for getting a crust on a steak, but the pan didn’t cool as quickly as I wanted when I turned the heat down, so it overcooked the meat just a bit. I can learn how to work with the pan, but I’ll need to keep that in mind.
The takeaway: The thick 2.5 mm steel on the Mineral B Pro is not very responsive; it takes a long time to cool down even if you take it off the heat source, so don’t let it overheat when cooking delicate meats or fish.
Cleaning the Pan
The De Buyer Mineral B doesn’t burn food or trap carbon as much as my cast iron or other carbon steel pans, so it is very easy to clean. The trickiest part to clean is the stainless steel handle. Grease inevitably clings to the “B” logo on the handle and gets brown and sticky with just a few uses. I’d need to use an acidic cleaner like BKF to get it all off. Someday I’m sure I’ll give up trying to keep it clean, but I’d like it to stay shiny for a little bit longer.
And, for whoever needs to hear this: Do not put any carbon steel pan in the dishwasher, ever.
Comparison of De Buyer Carbon Steel Pans
Mineral B is De Buyer’s main carbon steel line sold in the US. Mineral B Pro pans have a similar body but an upgraded handle. De Buyer also has a line called Blue ACCESS, which is made of thinner steel and is more affordable. The Blue ACCESS line is tempered to achieve a blue color on the steel. Here’s a comparison chart if you’re wondering which De Buyer pan is best for you.
|De Buyer Mineral B - 11” Fry Pan
|De Buyer Mineral B Pro - 11” Fry Pan
|De Buyer Blue Access 10.25” Fry Pan
|Flat 4mm steel
with epoxy coating
Conclusion: Is the De Buyer Mineral B Pro Worth It?
I’m stepping out of my comfort zone to write such a glowing review of a product; I’m not usually that nice. But the De Buyer Mineral B Pro is truly the finest piece of carbon steel cookware I’ve had the chance to try. The pan is heavy and gets very hot, but it distributes the heat evenly without burning food. It produces very little smoke and is easy to season and clean. The stainless steel handle gets warm to the touch but not scorching hot. Since the handle is uncoated and set at a lower angle than the handles on most carbon steel pans, the Mineral B Pro can slide easily into an oven and cook there for as long as you like.
Would you pay an extra $20 for a fancy handle? Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried the De Buyer Mineral B or Mineral B Pro!
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