Full Review: De Buyer Mineral B Element Iron Pan

De Buyer Mineral B Element

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Pros
– Very durable
– Very versatile with good patina
– Sturdy workmanship
– Not to heavy for an iron pan
– Versatile
Cons
– Epoxy resin on the handle can melt in the oven
– Variants with larger diameter can bend

Conclusion

Even if the De Buyer Mineral B Element has minor disadvantages, we can still recommend it very much. The high quality workmanship will make you smile even after years of use. We were also very satisfied with the pan in the long-term test. The heat distribution is not optimal, but this is unfortunately the case with iron pans of this thickness. We recommend the 9.4 inch / 24 cm version of the pan as it is less susceptible to deformation. It is perfect for a steak, two fried eggs or two smaller fish fillets.

The De Buyer Mineral B Element is one of our favorite skillets. Why? Because it is cheap, robust and not too heavy for an iron pan. It is made in France.

The De Buyer frying pan tested here has a diameter of 11 inch / 28 cm. It is also available in 7.9 inch / 20 cm, 9.4 inch / 24 cm, and 912.5 inch / 32 cm versions. These are identical in construction and our test also applies to these frying pans. The bottom of the 11 inch / 28 cm version has a diameter of 8 inch / 20.5 cm. The bottom of the pan is 0.11 inch / 3 mm thick.

The pan is suitable for all heat sources: induction, gas and electric stoves. Since it is made entirely of iron, the De Buyer frying pan can also be used in the oven, e.g. Steaks ready to roast (see the notes below).

The pan is coated with a beeswax finish so it does not rust during storage prior to sale. The pan must be cleaned and seasoned before use to develop anti-stick properties.

Workmanship and Material

De Buyer Mineral B Element

De Buyer has been producing iron pans and skillets for over 170 years and perfected its pans over the years. You will see and feel it when you hold the pan in your hands.
The pan is made entirely of carbon steel. This iron has a higher carbon content than cast iron.
Like all other iron pans, carbon steel is not a very good conductor of heat. The handle is riveted to the base body, which makes it very stable. The handle is covered with epoxy resin. Unfortunately, the resin melts away over time, which only visually makes a difference. In the picture below you can see it more exactly.

The heat during frying can melt the epoxy resin on the handle.
The heat during frying can melt the epoxy resin on the handle.

Be careful with De Buyer pans (and all other carbon steel pans) larger than 11 inches /26 cm: An induction heat source can deform them if it is smaller than the diameter of the pan!
You should, therefore, pay attention to the following:

  • Do not use a De Buyer pan with the booster (generally not recommended for pans).
  • The heat source should be equal to or larger than the bottom of the pan.
  • It is best not to use the pan at the highest temperature. 2/3, e.g. 6 out of 9, are sufficient in almost all cases.

Handling of the Pan

The pan has a good handle, which is covered with resin as mentioned above. This serves as thermal insulation so the handle does not get too hot. The 9.5 inch / 24 cm version with its 3 pounds/ 1,4 kg weight can be handled very well. The 11 inches / 28 cm version with 4.7 pounds / 2,15 kg, however, is much more difficult to handle. Nevertheless, the grip feels good in the hand and is save to work with.

If the pan is seasoned, it is also good for fried eggs, pancakes and fish. You can find our instructions for seasoning here: Seasoning iron pans

When you season any De Buyer pans, please note to allow the handle to cool before touch it. The epoxy resin attached to the handle becomes soft: this can cause traces to appear on the handle when it is touched. Also, be sure to remove the yellow silicone knob from the grip hole before.

Since the handle can become soft as described, we do not recommend using the pan for oven dishes. De Buyer recommends leaving the pan in the oven for a maximum of 10 minutes at 392° F / 200° C. If the pan is well seasoned, it is normally sufficient to wipe it with a paper towel. However, you can also use warm water and, if the patina is good, even detergent.
Especially if the De Buyer Mineral B Element does not have a good patina yet, it is a good idea to simply wipe the pan clean: oil remains in the pan and burns again next time. The only drawback with cleaning is that dirt can collect between the rivets. However, bacteria die quickly at the temperatures that prevail in the pan. The pan has a lyonnaise shape, i.e. the edge is slanted. This is particularly helpful if you want to slide dishes such as omelets or pancakes directly onto the plate.

Thermal Properties

We have tested the thermal properties of the pan on an electric hotplate. At full power, the pan took 1:35 minutes to reach 212° F / 100° C in the middle. To get to 392° F / 200° C the pan took 2:42 minutes and then had a difference of 81° F / 27.4° C between the middle and the measuring point at the outer edge. This is quite a lot, but still justifiable for the thickness of the pan.

Long-Term Test De Buyer Mineral B

We have been using the 11 inch / 28 cm version of De Buyer Mineral B Element for over 4 years now and are very satisfied with it. So far it has kept its shape very well and delivered good performance on induction, gas and electric hot plates. If you have induction or electric hot plates we would recommend the 10 inch / 24 cm version of the pan if you want to be on the safe side. This pan will not bend at all.

Technical Details 11 inch / 28 cm Pan

Diameter pan bottom6.7 inch / 17 cm
Height without handle1.7 inch / 4,2 cm
Height with handle4.6 inch / 11,7 cm
Length with handle16.7 inch / 42,5 cm
Weight3 pound / 1,4 kg
Bake in ovenYes – up to 10 minutes at 392° F / 200° C
InductionYes
Time to reach 212° F / 100° C1:35 minutes
Time to reach 392° F / 200° C2:42 minutes
Temperature difference edge and
middle of the pan
36° F / 2.2° C at 212° F / 100° C
81° F / 27.4° C at 392° F / 200° C

De Buyer Mineral B Element Iron Pan

Ivan

This pan is very affordable, robust and not too heavy for an iron pan
De Buyer pan
Durability
Versability
Craftmanship
Consistency
Heat Distribution
Weight

Summary

We recommend the 9.4 inch / 24 cm version of the pan as it is less susceptible to deformation.

4.7