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How do you prevent food from sticking to a stainless steel pan?

11 Jul 2023

If you're used to cooking with a non-stick coating, a stainless steel pan will take some getting used to. It can sometimes be a bit of a challenge to prevent food from sticking to your stainless steel pan. So, here are some tips to make sure your ingredients move around nicely in your pan instead of sticking to the bottom.

Tip 1. Food at room temperature 

Take the food you're going to bake out of the fridge in advance so it's at room temperature at the time it goes into your stainless steel pan.

Tip 2. Wait until your pan is hot enough 

Let your pan get to temperature slowly and only add fat when your pan is at the right temperature. How do you know if it's hot enough? Drop a few drops of water into the pan. If those droplets start dancing merrily, the pan is perfectly at temperature. If the drops slowly evaporate, then your stainless steel pan is still too cold. If the drops disappear immediately, then the pan is too hot.

Tip 3. Allow the heat to remain in the pan  

Wait very briefly until the butter stops foaming and turns a little brown, or until the oil has become well warm. And to prevent your stainless steel pan from getting too hot, and your food from burning, turn the heat down about 30%. Because there is now enough heat in the pan, and this will stay in it.

Tip 4. Cook with dry food  

Pat the food to be prepared dry as much as possible. The natural fat from meat will keep your dishes tender and juicy.

Tip 5. Take your time  

Let food that you put in the pan and sticks to the bottom cook gently for a while, without trying to lick it off the bottom. If necessary, turn the stove down a little and wait a while, do something nice for yourself, or something useful for someone else. You'll see that the food will loosen up on its own. You will see that the food will naturally come away from your stainless steel pan.

Tip 6. Use additional oil  

Use some extra fat with protein-rich foods, or foods with flour such as eggs, pancakes, and fish. Otherwise, it might stick to the bottom.

How to cook with a stainless steel pan without food sticking to it

Interested in how to apply the above tips? Then check out the video below in which David cooks a steak in a stainless steel pan.