For the consolidation of steel parts manufactured by powder metallurgy (PM) techniques, removal of the surface oxides covering metallic powder particles is a necessary prerequisite. In PM steels with conventional compositions, reduction of the oxides is easily achieved in traditional sintering furnaces. However, processing steels containing alloying elements with a high oxygen affinity represents a big challenge that requires a deeper understanding of the chemical processes occurring during sintering. In the present work, thermogravimetry analysis coupled with mass spectrometry is used to describe the oxidation/reduction phenomena that take place when sintering steel powders and how these processes are modified by the addition of admixed particles containing oxygen-sensitive elements. Carbothermal reduction processes are studied using pure oxides (Fe2O3, MnO2, Cr2O3 and SiO2) as well as water-atomized Fe powders mixed with small amounts4 mass/%of Cr, Mn and Si powders or FeMnSi(Cr) master alloy powders. The results show that there is an oxygen transfer from the base iron particles to the oxidation-sensitive elements“internal getter effect”taking place mostly through the gas phase. Different alloying elements (Cr, Mn, Si) show different temperature ranges of susceptibility to oxidation. Combination of these oxygen-sensitive alloying elements in the form of a master alloy powder reduces their sensitivity to oxidation. Also, the use of master alloys promotes the concentration of the oxides on the surface of the alloying particles and not in the grain boundaries of the surrounding iron particlesas occurs when using Mn carrierswhich should have a beneficial impact on the final mechanical performance.