Recently, a commenter recommended that article, “Steel in the Book of Mormon” by William Hamblin as a good source of information about this favorite area for critics to poke at. I think it’s a valuable article that helps us better understand the richness and complexity of the text, and the danger of making simple 21st century assumptions about an ancient text.
One issue that is not thoroughly discussed in that article, however, is the issue of meteoric iron alloys as a type of steel. I discus this on my LDSFAQ page about metals in the Book of Mormon. Meteoric deposits of alloys of iron and nickel, for example, which modern scientists have called “steel,” could account for the reference to steel in Ether, for example.