de Buyer Mineral Pan, Fry Pan : Made of 99% iron, the organic Mineral pan is the natural choice of conscientious cooks. With its 2-3mm thickness, this pan performs outstandingly well at high temperatures to quickly seal in vitamins and nutrients. Beautifully sears and grills foods that coated pans cannot. The more you use these Mineral pans, the better they perform, as these pans darken naturally and become nonstick over time. Free of chemicals, PFOA and PTFE coatings, these pans naturally enhance the flavor of steaks, seafood, omelettes, crepes and more, by sealing in nutrients under high heat. The sloped sides make blending and turning of ingredients easy. De Buyer takes a proactive approach toward ecologically-responsible cookware with the Mineral pan. Available in 8" and 10", 12" and 14" Dia. Made in France. Safe for all heat sources, including induction. Founded in France in 1830, de Buyer is the manufacturer of the blue-steel French crepe pan used by chefs around the world. The name de Buyer is renowned as a premier European supplier of top quality utensils and cookware. Product Features 99% iron, organic pan is the preferred pan of conscientious cooks Ecologically-responsible pan is 100% recyclable Seals in juices, resulting in carmelization (the Maillard reaction) Performance improves over time, the more the pan is used the darker it becomes for all-natural nonstick cooking Authentic lyonnaise shape ideal for crepes, omelettes, carmelizing onions and searing vegetables and meats Iron molecules from the pan contribute to good health Steel handle is triple-riveted for durability Large 14" fry pan includes helper handle 3 Piece Set includes: 8" Fry Pan, 10" Fry Pan and 12" Fry Pan de Buyer is the maker of premium French cookware since the 1830's
We bought these since traditional coated non-stick pans lose their effectiveness, require special tools, and are easily damaged. Once eggs start sticking the non-stick property on a coated pan is pretty much toast - at this point it gets relegated to stew and sauce duty, camping duty, or recycled to Goodwill.
We've always liked cast iron since the non-stick properties can be rejuvenated by proper seasoning and cleaning - although the larger pans are rather heavy for some applications, and it takes a long time to develop a smooth layer of seasoning on the rough sand-cast surface. The de Buyer pans are much lighter, and due to the smooth surface finish it is a quick and easy process to develop a usable level of seasoning. I suspect the iron used in these pans is the same material used in commercial griddles and woks which are well known to develop very usable and durable non-stick properties.
We did follow the de Buyer method of boiling potato skins in water for awhile - this did a good job of cleaning the Fe (iron) surface and prepare it for accepting a traditional oil-based seasoning. After a few seasoning sessions and some normal use frying some easy stuff, I just tried scrambled eggs today in the largest pan - success! Next step is an omelet, which I think will work just fine. I fully expect we'll keep these as first-line frying pans for a very long time!