I've read much of the recent posting on Carbon Steel pans and I thought I'd pick one up. I still have a few questions though:
1) On the de Buyer site, it says the following about the Mineral pans:
"Guaranteed without any coating"
What does 'Guaranteed w/out any coating mean'? Does that just mean they have not put any gunk on the cooking surface?
2) Underneath the photo of the Mineral pan on the de Buyer site there are images for different cook surfaces that the pan works with. The images are the same for both the Mineral and Carbone Plus pans EXCEPT the Mineral page shows one additional image (see below). The Amazon page says that Mineral pans are not dishwasher safe, so I'll assume the image means 'safe for the oven'. However, I though the Carbone Plus pans were oven-safe. Are they, and they just don't show the oven image on the de Buyer page? If they are not oven safe, why not? In a reply to ChemicalKinetics, the de Buyer rep wrote "'The “Mineral” line is like the “Carbone +” one, but with a better finish and packaging, more suitable for the retail market." So is Carbone Plus oven safe or not?
3) Does 'oven safe' mean only under a broiler (like the Vollrath pans, which are thinner) or can you use it like a piece of CI and pre-heat it in a 500 degree oven for thick steaks?
4) Aside from the supposed eco-benefits of the Mineral pan, is the only major difference in how they perform just the difference in the angle of the side walls, w/ the Carbone Plus sidewalls flaring out more and the finish and packaging? (The height, thickness and weight are the same for the pans, except for the 26 and 28 cm diameter pans, but my guess is that is a misprint), and possibly the Carbone Plus not being oven safe?
5) Which diameter Mineral or Carbone Plus pans have an 8 inch cooking surface? I thought I'd start with that size to scramble eggs for 1-2 people or to make one omelet. I might also use it to sear small pieces of meat and/or use it in the oven, thus I am not looking at the Force Blue pans which are thinner.
Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
PS.. the Vollrath pans seem to have a lower price. Are they basically the same but thinner? The Vollrath site only notes that they are 16 guage, which I belive is about 1.5mm. It also says that they have permanently welded handles but in the picture they look riveted, and only for use in an oven under the broiler.