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Mar 20, 2008 11:51 AM

Help!! Everything is sticking to my pan!!

I have one of Emeril's 8" stainless steel pans and sometimes it works great. Like when sauting my beggies, but sometimes everything sticks really bad. Especially eggs. I've tried those cooking sprays, but they don't seem to help much. Am I doing something wrong? Is my heat too high? I really love using the pan, but I hate it when my food sticks to the bottom.

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  1. When I saw your title, my first thought was, stainles steel. For eggs and such, I use an inexpensive non-stick pan.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mpalmer6c

      stainless will stick, in fact, i think it's supposed to. I'm not crazy about those teflon non stick surfaces, they always break down after a while. I've found the best compromise to be cast iron. You have to spend a little time seasoning it, but once you do it won't stick, at least not much.

      1. re: mpalmer6c

        def. non-stick for eggs -- or a really well-seasoned cast iron skillet.

      2. Food tends to stick in stainless for a few reasons. First is the pan is not hot enough. I'm not saying you need to cook on high heat, but before you throw your ingregients in the pan should be preheated. I always hold my hand over the pan before adding food. If I can count past 5 and my hand is still there, the pan isn't hot enough. Second, there isn't enough fat in the pan or what you are cooking is coated with the fat. In the case of veggies, after adding to the pan give the pan a few shakes so that everything gets coated and keep shaking every few minutes. Eggs are a tricky thing in stainless. I wouldn't do scrambled or omlets at first. Try a fried egg. get the pan hot, add fat be it butter oil or spray and make sure the pan is coated well by shaking the pan.Put the pan back on the heat. Crack the egg in the center of the pan and watch the egg. When you see the edges start to get solid white, flip it over with a metal spatula. it might take a few times before getting it right. Improper cleaning also is a reason food sticks. NEVER NEVER NEVER put stainless in the dishwasher. The harsh detergents ruin pans. Use a plastic scrubby with mild soap. If the outside is dirty use a copper pad, don't use soap pads like brillo, too harsh. Hope this helps

        5 Replies
        1. re: tastelikechicken

          Your comments were very helpful! Thanks so much. I fried an egg once an it worked great, then I got brave and tried to scramble. Not so good. I never put my pan in the DW, in fact, I hardly use the thing. Sometimes I get frustrated and put the pan away for months before pulling it out again. But I'm ready to try again. Thanks!

          1. re: lisamos

            Good stainless requires a little commitment to maintain them. Not too hard to clean but it's not a breeze like non stick.

            I just cooked Mahi Mahi fillets in one, sea scallops in another this evening. The pans were allowed to get hot then oil and butter were added. No sticking with either the fish or scallops. Very nice crust all around. The fish cooked longer so the pan had brown polymerized oil all around the sides. This will require a little soaking in hot water prior to cleaning. It may even need some Bar Keepers Friend to clean it up well. Currently 3 pans are on the stove soaking as I type. Had I cooked them in non stick the clean up would already be done but the color and crust were outstanding in the SS pans. Cast iron would be wonderful too. My only problem with cast iron is the bulk. I finished my dishes off with ribbons of vegetables which were tossed in the pan that the scallops cooked in. Not an easy feat in thick heavy cast iron.

            1. re: scubadoo97

              good post, scubadoo. that's my experience precisely. it's inevitable and desirable that a crust will form around whatever you cook in a stainless pan, but that's part of their charm. plus you can finish certain dishes in the oven. lots of times you can use the crust that's formed to make a sauce when you deglaze the pan. just don't expect stainless not to stick.

              1. re: chuckl

                try adding some baking soda and warm your soaking water by putting the burner on very low. magically works to remove cooking crud in the pan.

              2. re: scubadoo97

                scuba, it sounds like the trick may be to heat the pan and then add the spray or oil. True? I have a great SS pan that I don't use much, because of sticking, but if I want a good sear or crispness, the NS just doesn't do it. My old reliable cast iron is what I use, but the SS is so much larger, and not as heavy.

          2. let your eggs warm up for 35 minutes at room temp and get your pan nice and hot. Put the non-cold eggs in the pan and then turn it back. That should help!! A lot of folks say to use nonstick for eggs but I have been using my le crueset and cast iron without a problem - when I get the temperature right on the eggs.

            1. I own stainless, but for non-stick I've switched over to 'green pans' that can take heat up to 800+ degrees and not break down the surface. I've been using them for about 3 months now and they're performing as per manufacturers claims.

              5 Replies
              1. re: MobyRichard

                are those the todd english green pans he hawked on i was tempted to buy them until i looked carefully and saw that you have to use non-metal utensils.

                1. re: alkapal

                  I don't use metal utensils on conventional non-stick surfaces in any case; manufacturers' claims to the contrary, I don't believe PTFE surfaces stand up to knife edges or metal spoons.

                  1. re: MobyRichard

                    nor do i, but its not obvious that the green pans are in the same mold, so to speak, as other non-sticks.

                    i guess you did not get the pans i referenced.....

                    1. re: alkapal

                      Sorry, there are two posts on non-stick and it got confusing. Yes, those are the pans marketed under the Todd English aegis.

                      1. re: MobyRichard

                        hmmmm....i'll give them another look. pretty reasonable, i think.