HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Are you making a specialty food? Tell us about it
TELL US

Stainless steel fry pan - how to fry eggs without them sticking!!

Full tummy Mar 5, 2009 05:19 AM

Well, I've generally always used a non-stick fry pan for eggs, but I decided to try out my Kitchen Aid stainless steel version and can't figure out how to fry eggs, even bacon, without turning the pan into an absolute mess and leaving a good amount of the eggs crusted on the pan.

Anyone here have some tips???

  1. Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. thew Mar 5, 2009 05:22 AM

    more butter. less heat

    4 Replies
    1. re: thew
      care11 Mar 5, 2009 05:48 AM

      I agree with thew. The egg should not be sticking if it's a good quality stainless pan and you're coating it with butter or a cooking spray like Pam. Infact the egg should slide around in the pan and then you can flip it over in the air to cook the other side. Try it...it's fun.

      1. re: thew
        Zeldog Aug 20, 2009 10:13 PM

        More heat, less butter. Better yet, no butter (burns to easy). Use veg oil or lard or bacon fat.

        What the pan is made of is not very important. You can fry eggs in stainless, mild steel, aluminum, cast iron, enameled cast iron, or copper and if the temperature is right, you will be pleased with the results. Too cold and the eggs will stick. Too hot and the eggs will burn before they are ready to flip. It's a trial and error thing.

        1. re: thew
          Butterguy Aug 26, 2009 03:55 PM

          If you do use butter -higly recommended to add flavor to your eggs. Use clarified butter,
          a little goes a long way AND it wont burn or scorch your eggs. While giving you a great flavor that other cooking oils wont give.

          1. re: thew
            lynnlato Sep 25, 2011 05:58 PM

            Agree with less heat. I HATE a fried egg with brown edges. I either fry or scramble one egg every day in a stainless steel pan and never have sticking issues with the fried egg. I set the heat on low for scrambled and med-low to med. for fried. And I used a cooking spray to coat the pan. Bacon fat is the tastiest but I don't want those calories every day.

          2. cheflars Mar 5, 2009 05:45 AM

            What you need to do is "quick season" your pan. It's an old restaurant trick that works really well with modern multi-clad type pans. First, get the pan very hot then remove it from the heat and add about 1 tsp. veg oil. Swirl it around to coat the pan then add about a Tbsp. kosher salt. Using a wad of paper towels, grind the salt into the entire cooking surface of the pan like you're scouring the crap out of it. Dump out the salt and wipe clean with another paper towel. When it comes time to cook your eggs, heat about 1 teaspoon of oil to medium high, swirl it in the pan and add your eggs. It's important to keep this pan as an "eggs only" pan and NEVER wash it with soap and water, just wipe it out after you use it and repeat the seasoning process when necessary.

            13 Replies
            1. re: cheflars
              HaagenDazs Mar 10, 2009 09:20 AM

              Great idea if you have the space and money for a eggs only stainless steel pan in your home. Not so great if you don't.

              1. re: HaagenDazs
                j
                joonjoon Jan 7, 2011 08:42 PM

                I have no idea why you would ever dedicate a SS pan as an "egg only" pan instead of getting a nonstick.

                1. re: HaagenDazs
                  EWSflash Jan 28, 2013 04:54 PM

                  You sound a little defensive. What's wrong with wanting to keep an eggs-only pan? It doesn't take up much room, after all, and they don't have to cost a lot.

                  1. re: EWSflash
                    coll Jan 29, 2013 02:19 AM

                    I have an eggs only Silverstone pan, so old fashioned but I've never even thought about it really. Only for omelettes, I do my fried eggs on a cast iron grill. As long as you eat eggs often enough, makes sense to me! But we love our home cooked egg meals, I can't stand to get eggs out.

                2. re: cheflars
                  j
                  jeredpilot Sep 25, 2011 10:04 AM

                  Cheflars,

                  Great tip!! It worked excellent. I fried eggs in my Cuisinart 8" SS frying pan last Sunday and it was a total disaster! I decided to search for a better idea and found your post. I followed the directions and the eggs did not even come close to sticking. They would slide around the skillet with ease. The difference was amazing. So much better than a non-stick pan. I wonder about the health aspects of frying on a "plastic" non-stick surface!

                  As for the dedicated egg pan idea that is a great idea too. I have done that in the past for other things.

                  I am not sure why some posts made such a big deal about keeping a pan dedicated for egg purposes. Here is my point. So what if you don't have the means to have a dedicated one. Cheflars’ "Quick Seasoning" process took all of three minutes. Literally! Besides, even when camping in a tent I have room for more than one skillet!

                  Anyway, thanks again. This may be the best tip I have picked up on this site.

                  Jered

                  1. re: jeredpilot
                    j
                    joonjoon Sep 25, 2011 04:36 PM

                    Not sure how on earth having a dedicated egg pan can be considered a great idea. Why not just use a cast iron skillet or something instead?

                    1. re: joonjoon
                      Jay F Sep 25, 2011 05:21 PM

                      If he likes it, who cares what it is?

                      1. re: Jay F
                        EWSflash Aug 25, 2012 08:42 PM

                        +1- no need to swoop in and question somebody's preferences when it wasn't asked for

                      2. re: joonjoon
                        gingershelley Aug 26, 2012 10:13 AM

                        I think the 'great idea' here is not keeping a seperate egg pan, but the quick seasoning tip, and the not washing with soap.

                        I have several skillets and sauté pans that NEVER see soap, but get scrubbed with coarse salt and water only so they remain seasoned and non-stick.

                        I try not to use a non-stick pan due to health concerns, which is not uncommon.

                    2. re: cheflars
                      s
                      shaun theewe Dec 18, 2011 01:41 PM

                      Thank you Cheflars for sharing the "quick season" method. Neither wanting nor needing a fried egg, I took up the challenge for my "new" Wagner pans (nobbly base type). I bought the set last year while in San Diego and hauled them to the UK as a culinary reminder of "Made in the USA". Reluctance to embark upon the long, drawn out task of seasoning, kept the pans in a state of suspended decoration, i.e., hanging on the wall.

                      A few minutes spent on your "quick season" procedure had me frying an egg using just a few drops of oil.

                      The ability to deep fry an egg in any type of receptacle with any type of fat is not the issue. What is astonishing is that a cast iron pan could be made non stick by such a simple and elegant process.

                      1. re: cheflars
                        d
                        dbagshaw Jan 3, 2012 01:01 AM

                        Thanks for the great tip. It worked perfectly and only took a few minutes. I now have a dedicated egg pan, but if I want to use it for something else, it's an easy fix.

                        1. re: cheflars
                          b
                          blaireso Jan 30, 2013 01:28 PM

                          I have an "eggs only" aluminum pan, it's an individual omelet size (6"). Use butter, oil, whatever. Hot pan, cold oil, add eggs when oil is hot. Wipe out pan afterwards with a paper towel. I guarantee your eggs won't stick! My pan has a shiny, well-seasoned interior, and the exterior is a real mess, which for aluminum pans is pretty typical. My skillets are nested with paper towels separating them, so storage is fairly compact. CIs stored separately, also nested. This pan is probably the cheapest one, and one of my favorites. Good luck, with some experimenting you'll get there.

                          1. re: cheflars
                            e
                            exvaxman Jan 17, 2014 09:28 AM

                            I am assuming that this works as well as the cast iron seasoning done at severely high (well for home) temps in a "Green Egg" style cooker? I used to have friends if friends of friends calling asking to newly season their cast iron in my egg.

                          2. StriperGuy Mar 5, 2009 06:28 AM

                            Use cast iron. I don't find stainless steel to be a very good cooking surface for anything fried or that has the potential to stick. A nice cast iron pan (they even come pre-seasoned now) is $15-25 and for me, is the ultimate fry pan.

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: StriperGuy
                              Full tummy Mar 5, 2009 09:07 AM

                              Thanks, everyone, for your replies. Will give your tips a try.

                              I do also have a cast iron pan--StriperGuy, do you just use yours for eggs, or other things, too? How do you keep it clean?

                              1. re: Full tummy
                                coll Mar 5, 2009 10:53 AM

                                This reminds me of my SIL who wanted a cast iron griddle so bad because my eggs came out so good on mine. Well, I got her one and she complained that the eggs were sticking, turns out because she thought she could cook with it the same as teflon, no grease at all!! Grease is a major component of fried eggs, they should just about float on it, if it's hot enough they don't absorb all that much. You should just crack them in the pan (cast iron or not) and they should shimmy in there, and be done in a minute or two..

                                1. re: Full tummy
                                  StriperGuy Mar 5, 2009 02:07 PM

                                  You do have to use some oil/butter to cook eggs in cast iron but they turn out beautifully.

                                  Increasingly I use my cast iron for darn near everything. I have tons of fru fru cookwear that I tend to use less and less. Stir fry, certainly pancakes, you can cook a killer steak in one: sear on each side, and finish in oven, etc.

                                  There are those who say no soap and water in cast iron... nonsense, you do effect the cure a tad, but not much. To clean I get the pan real hot, then while hot, scub with a scotchguard green and yellow pad with minimal soap (more water then soap) when all the gunk is off I put it back on the burner (or wipe with with dishtowel) to dry. If you really had to scrub hard to clean apply a light coat of oil after it is dry.

                                  1. re: StriperGuy
                                    Paulustrious Sep 8, 2009 07:19 AM

                                    I am with you on the soap and water. You would need a hammer and chisel to take the surface off my pans. Even steel wool doesn't get through. I use the steel wool when something bumpy becomes part of the seasoning.

                                    1. re: Paulustrious
                                      StriperGuy Sep 8, 2009 08:10 AM

                                      I find if you get the pan heated a decent amount before putting in the sink you don't ever really have too scrub much, though you sound like a fairly serious cast iron fan not in need of much instruction ;-)

                                    2. re: StriperGuy
                                      j
                                      joonjoon Jan 7, 2011 08:45 PM

                                      I started using my cast iron pan so often that it now just stays on the stove all the time. I cook almost everything on it...

                                      1. re: StriperGuy
                                        b
                                        bearfromobx Aug 26, 2012 02:27 PM

                                        Respectfully, I disagree and my pans are the proof I need to back up my claim.
                                        Lodge, one of the largest cast iron cookware manufacturers offers the following:

                                        Cleaning your Lodge Cast Iron

                                        After cooking, clean utensil with a stiff nylon brush and hot water. Using soap is not recommended, and harsh detergents should never be used. (Avoid putting a hot utensil into cold water. Thermal shock can occur causing the metal to warp or crack).

                                        TIP: If you are having trouble removing stuck-on food, boil some water in your pan for a few minutes to loosen residue, making it easier to remove.

                                        Towel dry immediately and apply a light coating of oil to the utensil while it is still warm.

                                        TIP: Do not let your cast iron air dry, as this can promote rust.

                                        Store in a cool, dry place. If you have a cover, or lid, for your utensil, place a folded paper towel in between lid and utensil allowing air to circulate. This prevents moisture from collecting inside the utensil, which can cause rust.

                                        TIP: The oven is a great place to store your cast iron; just remember to remove it before turning on the oven.

                                        NEVER wash in dishwasher.

                                        If for some reason your utensil develops a metallic smell or taste, or perhaps rust spots (maybe a well-meaning relative washed your utensil in the dishwasher or with soap thinking they were being helpful), never fear. Simply scour off the rust using a very fine grade of sandpaper or steel wool and refer to our section Re-seasoning Your Lodge Cookware.

                                      2. re: Full tummy
                                        b
                                        bearfromobx Aug 25, 2012 08:45 AM

                                        I use the same cast iron pans, wok and dutch oven for almost everything I cook personally. the only exception I can think of is an enamel glazed large saute pan with a lid for tomato dishes and sauces, which avoids the acids breaking down the "wok hay" in the cast iron.

                                        1. re: bearfromobx
                                          a
                                          Abba Rubin Aug 25, 2012 02:35 PM

                                          Hi. I too use cast iron a lot, but I also use carbon steel, and to blanch asparagus I have no problem using stainless steel. But while people say that cast iron and carbon steel when seasoned are at least as good as non stick, I don't find it so. They're fairly easy to clean, but it's not nearly as smooth as non stick -- which I don't use.
                                          Abba

                                      3. re: StriperGuy
                                        c
                                        cstout Dec 12, 2011 07:20 PM

                                        stripeGuy, yes um, an iron skillet is the ultimate fry pan for ANYTHING.....just take care of your pan & it will take care of you. I guess that could be said of any type of pan, now that I think about it. But Cast Iron rules in my kitchen.

                                        1. re: cstout
                                          StriperGuy Dec 13, 2011 06:01 AM

                                          I'm with you cstout, that original post goes back a ways, but I use Cast Iron for everything these days. Did a nice Porterhouse steak in it last night. Happy cooking.

                                      4. jeniyo Mar 5, 2009 11:22 AM

                                        thanks for posting this. I got a few stainless pans i don't use often because of this.

                                        I assume the seasoning will help my scallops and fish skins from being stuck to the pan? I was told that my pan wasn't hot enough for the fish, is this true or was it too hot??

                                        and then there's the cleaning... it's never shiny anymore =(

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: jeniyo
                                          a
                                          aravenel Mar 6, 2009 07:52 AM

                                          Barkeeper's Friend will bring back the shine on stainless steel. Works like a charm.

                                          1. re: aravenel
                                            c
                                            cstout Dec 12, 2011 07:22 PM

                                            aravenel, yes I agree to Barkeeper's Friend, but I am not worried about the shine, I want performance, & an old cast iron will be right there waiting for you to thorw some love into the pan.

                                        2. todao Mar 5, 2009 01:24 PM

                                          I agree that for some reason a lot of us seem to be afraid to use oil in quantities necessary to properly fry foods, including eggs. I see so many people trying to fry an egg with no more than a slight film of oil in the pan. That ain't enough. You will also find that your eggs will stick in the KA stainless less if they're at room temperature when you drop them in.
                                          I cook eggs in everything from cast iron to pyrex and never have a problem with anything sticking.

                                          1. s
                                            slacker Mar 5, 2009 10:08 PM

                                            I disagree with the less heat method. I use stainless for almost everything. The hotter the pan is, the less likely something will stick. Heat up the pan really hot, add the normal amount of oil, let the eggs fry, don't try to release them before they're ready. You can turn down the heat a bit once the eggs are in.

                                            11 Replies
                                            1. re: slacker
                                              StriperGuy Mar 6, 2009 05:28 AM

                                              Try a cast iron pan to see how much better a cooking surface it is. You will be amazed.

                                              1. re: StriperGuy
                                                billieboy Mar 6, 2009 06:18 AM

                                                I am a great lover of cast iron cookware and use it for just about everything but I must admit a non-stick small fry pan is best for eggs. Even St. Julia used one for her omelets.
                                                I use a cheap disposable one and toss it every couple of years.

                                                1. re: billieboy
                                                  StriperGuy Mar 6, 2009 07:11 AM

                                                  Hmmmm, I used to use non-stick, but got sick of how grotty they get. That said, I do know what you mean. Eggs are nice and slippery in a non-stick pan.

                                                  That said, I am pretty happy cooking even over-easy eggs, in my book the trickiest, in a cast iron pan with a good bit of butter.

                                                  St. Julia, never heard her referred to as St. Julia before, but I like it.

                                                  1. re: StriperGuy
                                                    jeniyo Mar 6, 2009 11:37 AM

                                                    i'm trying to convert my mother to stop buying cheap non-stick woks. I'm mainly concerned how the surface end up being on the food... and plus it just doesn't last that long... is hard anodized a better alternative? cast iron anything is too heavy for that little woman.=)

                                                    1. re: jeniyo
                                                      StriperGuy Mar 6, 2009 12:28 PM

                                                      I agree, the peely plastic as the wok or pan degrades bugs me too.

                                                      The problem is that a domestic stove does not really get hot enough for true wok cooking so everyone makes compromises.

                                                      I have used a relatively light weight traditional thin steel wok, available at any chinese store for reasonable $. To me they are preferable to non stick. But it is really hard to do them justice on a domestic stove.

                                                      The anodized is not better, in fact thick anodized aluminum woks almost guarantee soggy food. You want to stay away from any thick aluminum for wok cooking.

                                                      For proper chowing you actually want something that conducts heat poorly, so you get that real hot spot at the bottom. That's why the classic thin steel is best. See if she'll go for one of those; heck, she probably has one.

                                                      1. re: StriperGuy
                                                        b
                                                        bearfromobx Aug 26, 2012 02:38 PM

                                                        It's funny you should mention the lack of heat for wok use... I was haunting my favorite Asian grocery and found they had begun to stock the LP fired "volcano" burner similar to the burners in commercial Chinese restaurants. If you want heat under a wok, that's the ticket!

                                                        I love my hand hammered, carbon steel male wok and portable butane burner with small batches of food at a time works fairly well, but I've always missed the searing heat of a volcano burner.

                                                      2. re: jeniyo
                                                        Sam Fujisaka Mar 6, 2009 03:48 PM

                                                        Carbon steel and good hard use is the only way to go for woks. First cure with the oil and molten heat business.

                                                        1. re: jeniyo
                                                          m
                                                          MartinDC Mar 10, 2009 11:52 AM

                                                          Agree on banning non-stick woks. They have to be heated way too hot for a non-stick surface. But cooking omelets is a different story. I use a $15 non-stick pan I found at Marshall's. It's from Italy so it looks nice, but it cooks eggs like any other.

                                                          1. re: MartinDC
                                                            paulj Aug 26, 2009 08:55 PM

                                                            For authentic Chinese stirfry woks need to be heated too high for nonstick. But the wok shape is handy for other, low temperature, cooking.

                                                            Some years ago I bought a set a Tramontina nonstick pans from a Walmart clearance. The 8" skillet and the 'stirfry' pan (flat bottom wok shape) were the first ones to wear out - because the got the most use.

                                                            1. re: paulj
                                                              greygarious Aug 27, 2009 11:28 AM

                                                              Calphalon routinely issues a"two-fer" packaged nonstick pan set - always over the holidays but sometimes available other times of the year, in Bed, Bath&Beyond and elsewhere. It's either an 8" and 10", or a 10" and 12", for around $40 or $50, respectively. That's pretty much half-price, less if you have one of the frequent BB&B coupons. They are good quality pans that last many years unless you goof up and forget them while they are empty on a hot burner....which is why I keep a spare set in the closet!

                                                  2. re: slacker
                                                    EWSflash Jan 28, 2013 05:16 PM

                                                    I have some SS cookware that's fabulously nonstick, and some that sticks no matter what. It was the same way with the old Calphalon anodized line, I have three stir fry pans, a couple of pots and a 9" skillet. That skillet has been a piece of crap from the beginning. I even used it for semi deep-frying only for quite a while, and it never quit sticking like mad.
                                                    Some of my cast iron (I actually collected cookware for a long time and have way too much) is SO nonstick it blows me away. I have some others that need to be done over, like the corn muffin pans my favorite auntie got me that have petrified oil in the corn divots, but one of my very favorites is the Lodge stir-fry pan, despite being a little too big and a little too heavy, it started out and has remained a beautifully seasoned wonder. I'm not sure if my stove is even up to the pan, but it never disappoints. I'm a little afraid to use it on the grill but one day I'll get up the nerve to do it.

                                                  3. j
                                                    jerry i h Mar 6, 2009 08:53 PM

                                                    a few tips from an ex-breakfast-short-order-cook:
                                                    *always use one of those black, teflon non-stick skillet
                                                    *if you insist on SS, a BIG handfull of butter, maximum heat, agitate the skillet continuously
                                                    *if you cook eggs daily, a french carbon steel skillet reserved only for eggs is an excellent idea
                                                    *if you have a cast iron skillet that you have been using constantly for many years and have preserved the seasoning, this is very non-stick and perfect for eggs.
                                                    *stainless steel CANNOT be seasoned like cast iron

                                                    1. k
                                                      Kishari Mar 6, 2009 11:33 PM

                                                      It's mostly technique! I have a little All-Clad that I use for eggs in the morning, and here's the trick I learned from a cookbook somewhere. Heat up the pan for a minute or so to get hot before you put ANYTHING in, which closes the pores in the pan. Then add the oil, swirl it around to coat, and letting that warm up too. Then add the eggs. That should do the trick.

                                                      That being said, I LOVE my cast iron for just about everything else. Again, heat the pan for a while first, at least 10 minutes if you're cooking meat. Add your oil, then go at it. Hot water rinse right after the cooking is done, and heat it dry on the stovetop. A little oil if it looks dry.

                                                      And I have a cast iron GRILL pan from Lodge. I think it was like $25. Most meat cooked on this cooks fast and tastes amazing! Not quite like outdoor grilling, but better than frying in a flat pan. Just make sure to get a grill pan that has high ridges, or the fat can't accumulate and smoke like a bbq.

                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: Kishari
                                                        a
                                                        Abba Rubin Mar 30, 2009 06:45 PM

                                                        I have an infrared thermometer that shines a beam on any surface and tell me the temperature. Great device. When you say heat up the stainless steel pan with nothing in it, any idea to what temperature? They tell you not to put an empty stainless steel pan on a lit burner, but I think they simply don't want the pan to get too hot -- whatever that is. But does anyone have an idea how hot is hot for stainless steel and for cast iron?

                                                        1. re: Abba Rubin
                                                          Full tummy Mar 31, 2009 08:28 AM

                                                          Hey, that's cool. Where did you pick up such a thing?

                                                          1. re: Full tummy
                                                            a
                                                            Abba Rubin Mar 31, 2009 12:22 PM

                                                            Hmmm where did I pick up the thermometer... I don't remember, but I'm sure you can find it on the web. It's made by Mastercool and has a model number: 52224-A. I use it all the time. Between that and my thermapen things do come out just right. But, meanwhile, anyone have any idea what temperature "hot" is for a stainless steel pan or a cast iron pan? Or what's medium? What's low?

                                                            1. re: Abba Rubin
                                                              Full tummy Mar 31, 2009 05:25 PM

                                                              Thanks, I'll look it up. Do you think that would have a secondary use as a draft locator? Hahaha.

                                                              1. re: Full tummy
                                                                b
                                                                bearfromobx Aug 26, 2012 02:50 PM

                                                                Try Harbor Freight if there is one locally or on the web; they offer one I've used for work which is fairly reasonablly priced and is placed on sale fairly regularly (about $30.00 on sale), but I don't use it in the kitchen. There, I prefer to trust the Leidenfrost effect, which is what makes water drops "dance" on a hot pan or the thermal "swirl" effect in cooking oil when oil heats up to around 350 degrees to test for heat levels.

                                                                BTW: if you use the IR thermometer, don't forget a shiny pan and and a dark colored pan at the same temperature can give two different readings due to the surface emissivity and its effect on the IR signature. As for draft searches, the IR can find colder and hotter materials, but does not sense the air temperature directly.

                                                                Hope this helps...

                                                                1. re: bearfromobx
                                                                  a
                                                                  Abba Rubin Aug 26, 2012 02:54 PM

                                                                  Hi Bearfromobx. I find your messages informative and helpful. However, I should say I think there is some identity confusion. I never asked any of the questions you seem to be answering. I'm sure someone is asking and would, no doubt, appreciate you clearly knowledgeable answers. It's just not me. Abba

                                                          2. re: Abba Rubin
                                                            b
                                                            blaireso Jan 30, 2013 01:42 PM

                                                            I heat my pans on medium heat to the point where a drop of water will bead and skitter around, then add the oil. The heating process takes awhile, so be patient (don't walk away, just continue your prep and watch it). I seldom cook on high heat anymore, except for wok and steaks. Your pans will thank you--especially the nonstick ones!

                                                            I don't have an infrared thermometer, I hold my hand over the pan about an inch away and keep sprinkling water until it's skittering around. I put the oil/fat in and when the oil shimmers it's time to add the protein. With butter, you may have to swirl it around to prevent burning, and make sure you've got your eggs ready to go. Cast iron can handle a lot of heat, to smoking, same with steel, as long as you let it cool down a bit before washing.

                                                        2. d
                                                          ddelicious Mar 31, 2009 12:41 PM

                                                          you don't need cast iron, your pan is perfect. use medium heat, not high. the eggs won't stick. maybe a little extra butter or oil until you get the hang of the heat. but medium is the key.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: ddelicious
                                                            Full tummy Mar 31, 2009 05:25 PM

                                                            Thanks, ddelicious, I think I just need to acclimate to it... And what about washing between uses?

                                                            1. re: Full tummy
                                                              d
                                                              ddelicious Apr 1, 2009 10:54 AM

                                                              Yes, absolutely wash it!

                                                              1. re: ddelicious
                                                                Full tummy Apr 1, 2009 03:01 PM

                                                                Thanks!!!!

                                                          2. m
                                                            Marlana Aug 19, 2009 09:36 AM

                                                            This is a common problem with stainless steel, however I've found rouxbe.com very helpful with video instruction on how to use stainless steel properly.

                                                            Try this link:

                                                            http://rouxbe.com/cooking-school/less...

                                                            8 Replies
                                                            1. re: Marlana
                                                              Full tummy Aug 19, 2009 02:03 PM

                                                              Wow! Thank you so much for this.

                                                              1. re: Marlana
                                                                cityhopper Aug 26, 2009 05:31 PM

                                                                You have saved my cooking life. Thank you so much for that link. I have about 90% stainless steel cookware and completely put-off by non-stick cookware but have yet mastered the skill for pan frying. This is awesome and free!! Thanks, Marlana.

                                                                One of my biggest crimes in pan frying is incorrect heat level. All the errors the video shown, are exactly how I end up with one quarter of the meat stuck to the pan. I am sure this will still take some trial and error but I will get this as I will only cook with SS cookware.

                                                                1. re: cityhopper
                                                                  StriperGuy Aug 26, 2009 08:20 PM

                                                                  Buy one good cast iron pan for $25 it will change your cooking forever. WAY more versatile then stainless. You can char a steak with cast iron in a way that is IMPOSSIBLE with stainless. You can cook corn bread in cast iron, also impossible with stainless. You can do a fairly authentic, very hot stir fry in cast iron, need I say it, impossible with stainless.

                                                                  The range of heat at which you can cook is very limited with stainless. I own lots of cookware, since I started using cast iron all my fancy stuff stays in the cupboard.

                                                                  1. re: StriperGuy
                                                                    cityhopper Aug 27, 2009 10:47 AM

                                                                    Odd for you to mention as I am awaiting the delivery of the Lodge Combo Cooker (3-Quart Dutch & 10 1/4 Skillet/Lid). I pretty excited about it and hope I can be as versatile with it as others have. I have been a bit stand-offish to cast iron in the past but now that I am learning to cook it really seems like an excellent piece(s) to have in a cookware set. The only part I am still nervous about is seasoning the pan.

                                                                    1. re: cityhopper
                                                                      StriperGuy Aug 27, 2009 11:14 AM

                                                                      Seasoning is not at all scarey. People mystify it, but there is nothing to it:

                                                                      - Apply oil, heat pan (good and hot) for 20 minutes
                                                                      Repeat when necessary

                                                                  2. re: cityhopper
                                                                    cityhopper Aug 27, 2009 11:02 AM

                                                                    And kudos to me for pan-frying correctly the first time in a SS pan today. I followed a lot of the tips from the video and unbelieveable my salmon cakes did NOT stick. (Okay, just a little to the side when I flipped them against the edge). Overall, I feel a lot more confident about using the technique in the future with SS.

                                                                    1. re: cityhopper
                                                                      b
                                                                      bearfromobx Aug 26, 2012 02:52 PM

                                                                      <stands up and claps for you>

                                                                  3. re: Marlana
                                                                    d
                                                                    DCcook Jan 5, 2011 05:58 AM

                                                                    "This is a common problem with stainless steel, however I've found rouxbe.com very helpful with video instruction on how to use stainless steel properly.

                                                                    Try this link:

                                                                    http://rouxbe.com/cooking-school/less..."

                                                                    I just came across this. Wow! Fascinating! Thanks for posting the link.

                                                                  4. e
                                                                    escondido123 Jan 5, 2011 08:04 AM

                                                                    I continue to find SS pans challenging. Jeff Smith, a TV chef from the past, had a mantra "Hot pan, cold oil, food won't stick." It seems to work most times. Having said that, I still do all my eggs in a non-stick pan while my husband continues to fry sliced potatoes in his wonderful SS pan, cursing and grumbling the whole time as they continue to stick. He is an impatient cook at times, though, and tries to turn things before they're ready to be turned.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: escondido123
                                                                      oana Jan 7, 2011 08:48 PM

                                                                      High heat.
                                                                      Loads of fat.
                                                                      Happy eggs.

                                                                    2. a
                                                                      anna59 Dec 12, 2011 06:53 PM

                                                                      I rub the inside of my stainless steel pans every couple of months and I don't need to crank the heat to high to get results I want. Found the lower temp and routine oil has kept food from sticking.

                                                                      1. m
                                                                        mpalmer6c Dec 13, 2011 01:14 AM

                                                                        It's easiest just to keep a non-stick for eggs and crepes
                                                                        and such You can get a nice Wear-Ever at
                                                                        an economical price (that's what I use).

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: mpalmer6c
                                                                          t
                                                                          Transplant_DK Jan 3, 2012 02:20 AM

                                                                          I make crepes in my cast iron pan and never even get a tester/throw away crepe anymore. I don't have any non-stick pots and pans, not sure why they are needed.

                                                                          1. re: Transplant_DK
                                                                            StriperGuy Jan 3, 2012 06:54 AM

                                                                            Yah, cast iron is the BEST for crepes as well. Once you go cast iron, you never really use your other pans much any more.

                                                                            1. re: StriperGuy
                                                                              s
                                                                              Symmetry Apr 16, 2014 04:26 PM

                                                                              I still use carbon steel woks and for a few other purposes, but...yeah, cast iron is where it's at. It takes a while to come to heat, and that's the #1 mistake of newbie cast iron cooks: they start cooking a few minutes after turning on the heat.

                                                                        2. s
                                                                          SteveIH Jan 3, 2012 09:23 AM

                                                                          Prepare the pan as follows: Start with a clean pan, heat butter or margarine and when hot add about a teaspoon of salt. Rub the salt around the pan with a cloth or wad of paper towels. Once finished, wipe the pan with a clean dry towel and it is then ready to use.
                                                                          Try an egg to see if the pan is ready by adding butter or margarine and then your eggs, they should not stick but if you are still having problems, repeat the above preparation technique. They the problem should go away. Do not wash the pan, only wipe clean with a dry cloth and it will stay ready.

                                                                          1. d
                                                                            Dyllabox Aug 9, 2012 01:42 AM

                                                                            SHAKE THE PAN!!!

                                                                            Sorry for the all caps, but if you gently shake the pan/skillet whatever you don't damage the eggs and they won't stick. Think about what chefs do when they are cooking; they often shake the pan instead of using a spatula.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Dyllabox
                                                                              p
                                                                              Puffin3 Jan 28, 2013 06:24 AM

                                                                              "Stirred, not shakin" LOL

                                                                            2. s
                                                                              smilingal Aug 26, 2012 10:02 AM

                                                                              Interesting to read all the variety of experiences re: cast iron pans. I have had one for about 30+ years and it is only recently starting to get used kind of often. I think the intimidation was getting it seasoned properly - and what is properly? - I guess that is determined when you realize how easily and nice you have things cooking in it. Yesterday, I used it for pancakes and was delighted. I have been doing fish a lot in it - and also have been doing searing of meats. I finish the fish and meat off in the oven - my only hitch is that once it comes out of the oven and I put the pan back on a burner, I inevitably burned my hand when I forgot that the handle was scorching! I bought one of these rubber handle mitts that I place over the handle as soon as I take the pan out of the oven. Just don't give up on trying to get your pan "seasoned" - and I think you will be happy with the eventual ease and results. I look forward to more investigating of it's uses. Oh - and I also do use very little soap and lots of water with gentle scrubbing to wash( but as I am doing this I keep in mind that I shouldn't be!) - it just goes against me not to clean it out! Make sure to dry it well and I put it on the stovetop to completely dry before putting it away.

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: smilingal
                                                                                b
                                                                                bearfromobx Aug 26, 2012 03:09 PM

                                                                                IMHO, a properly seasoned cast iron or mild steel pan is the one that doesn't rust! Everything else is a matter of time and use, which allows the oil to slowly carbonize into a hard layer inside the pan. I use my pans regularly and dry over heat, which prevents the outside from rusting, but my primary concern is the inside surface. If your experience is similar to mine with a new or neglected pan, the first cleaning to remove every last trace of production material and rust is tedious and time consuming, but worth every second invested. I do my first seasoning with the highest smoke point oil I can (usually peanut oil) and in a 400 deg oven over about two hours. After the first seasoning, the pan will need more oil to cook in, which will taper off to almost none as the pan is used and forms a thicker carbon glaze layer with repeated use. Check out these links:
                                                                                For cast iron http://www.lodgemfg.com/use-care-seasoned-cast-iron.asp
                                                                                For mild steel woks http://www.wokshop.com/tips_hints.html

                                                                                1. re: bearfromobx
                                                                                  a
                                                                                  Abba Rubin Aug 26, 2012 03:15 PM

                                                                                  I agree with the things you say and I, too, take proper care of my cast iron and my carbon steel pans. But did you ever try to cook an egg white omelette in one? I find that no matter what I do, they stick. Oddly, they stick now worse than the first few months. Can't figure it out.

                                                                                  1. re: Abba Rubin
                                                                                    s
                                                                                    shaun theewe Aug 27, 2012 04:13 AM

                                                                                    Try a Spanish omelette. The egg white proteins will have a chance to firm up and form a non stick "crust" before flipping. The French omelette requires jiggling and movement to avoid that same "crust", resulting in a looser texture.

                                                                                    1. re: Abba Rubin
                                                                                      EWSflash Jan 28, 2013 05:22 PM

                                                                                      Hmm. I wonder if the makeup of the egg white makes it more likely to stick? Well, if fried eggs don't , then they shouldn't. Do you use a prepared egg white mix?

                                                                                2. r
                                                                                  RareTulip Jan 27, 2013 04:27 PM

                                                                                  cheflars- THANK YOU! I knew how to season cast iron...the long way, but did not know the quick season method. Awesome! I just made an omelette and for the first time, it came it perfectly. The fry pan is 18/12 so I will be using it for everything...now that you have shown me how. Thank you.

                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: RareTulip
                                                                                    C. Hamster Jan 28, 2013 04:08 PM

                                                                                    The question was about stainless steel pans. You season cast iron pans but there is no reason to season stainless steel.

                                                                                    1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                      p
                                                                                      Puffin3 Jan 29, 2013 07:28 AM

                                                                                      'Google' 'seasoning stainless steel pans' and you get about 278,000 results. Most pots/pans are '18/10 ss.. T304 surgical ss pots and pans are A LOT more expensive but are more 'non-stick' b/c the quality of the metal/s used means there are less microscopic craters for food to get into hence less 'sticking'. Hundreds of thousands of cooks, if not millions 'season' their ss pots/pans regularly with salt and water or salt and oil as do I. Those that do not 'season' apparently think b/c the ss pot/pan is 'shiny' food will not stick to it and consequently they end up not using their ss pots/pans b/c food invariably does sticks. Those cooks who do season their ss pots/pans find cooking with them a joy, as do I.
                                                                                      I trust these scientific facts have been of some use to you.

                                                                                      1. re: Puffin3
                                                                                        C. Hamster Jan 29, 2013 07:48 AM

                                                                                        My unseasoned AC SS pans were a joy right out of the box!! :-)

                                                                                        My food does not stick unless I want it to.

                                                                                        1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                          p
                                                                                          Puffin3 Jan 29, 2013 08:24 AM

                                                                                          Good for you. So I guess all of us hundreds of thousands of cooks who 'season' their ss pots and pans are just wasting our time and salt right?
                                                                                          Congratulations. You are the first cook I've heard of who wants food to stick to a pan.
                                                                                          How about putting your method on Youtube?

                                                                                          1. re: Puffin3
                                                                                            p
                                                                                            parapapa99 Jan 16, 2014 09:57 AM

                                                                                            I don't know Puffin3... Maybe C. Hamster doesn't cook the same food than you do.

                                                                                            Using proper techniques, most food won't stick to my unseasoned SS fry pans, except maybe delicate fish and very thin cuts of meat except if you move them around constantly, defeating the purpose. Other than that, it does fine while a minimal amount of sticking or no sticking at all.

                                                                                            I agree that seasoned SS is truly non-stick and thus, you can cook virtually any kind of food and thin cuts of meat, fish and seafood, but a lot of people at home don't like the fact that you can't clean them properly after each use. In a professionnal setting, it might be the way to go, but I probably would use carbon over SS.

                                                                                  2. biggreenmatt Jan 27, 2013 05:24 PM

                                                                                    There's a cowboy trick I learned a while back.

                                                                                    Take parchment paper and place it in a pan. Lightly coat with oil. Bam- instant non-stick pan.

                                                                                    Mind high heats, though, just like you would with an ordinary non-stick.

                                                                                    1. p
                                                                                      Puffin3 Jan 28, 2013 06:22 AM

                                                                                      I only use ss pans and 'season' them with Kosher salt and any oil handy. The ultimate in ss cookware is 'T304' surgical steel. I have two of them and I season them when I do the 18/10 pots/pans.

                                                                                      1. e
                                                                                        EGEV81 Feb 19, 2013 05:31 AM

                                                                                        i found this video really helpful -- i've never had an issue with eggs sticking to my SS pans again!
                                                                                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5A3Y1...

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: EGEV81
                                                                                          b
                                                                                          blaireso Feb 21, 2013 11:26 AM

                                                                                          thanks egev81, not only am I going to try this, I'm going to send it to my stepson! So few people understand the importance of preheating adequately, and not using high heat.

                                                                                          1. re: EGEV81
                                                                                            b
                                                                                            blaireso Feb 23, 2013 01:38 PM

                                                                                            This really works. Tried it. Helpful to be reminded of a basic skill, I've had a dedicated egg pan for so long I'd not tried a different technique in years. No seasoning necessary, just proper heating and mis en place.

                                                                                            1. re: blaireso
                                                                                              p
                                                                                              Puffin3 Feb 24, 2013 04:57 AM

                                                                                              Yup. 'Low and slow'. Good video. I preheat the pan also but I also 'season' my SS pans.

                                                                                          2. r
                                                                                            rorechof Jun 8, 2013 12:55 PM

                                                                                            4 on 2 OE 6 on 3 OM 3 on 1 Scrambled

                                                                                            From One short-order Cook's PoV
                                                                                            &
                                                                                            Generally speaking
                                                                                            ~
                                                                                            Get your SS pan HOT - water will skittle around the pan
                                                                                            ~
                                                                                            Add clarified butter, butter, oil
                                                                                            &
                                                                                            Let IT heat up

                                                                                            Crack your eggs into the pan
                                                                                            &
                                                                                            Let the eggs cook & 'firm up' as desired on the pan side
                                                                                            then
                                                                                            When ready to flip - shake the pan to loosen the eggs -
                                                                                            note:
                                                                                            IF a sticky point is encountered, use a spatula at the sticky point ONLY
                                                                                            now
                                                                                            Flip 'em
                                                                                            &
                                                                                            Let the 'flipped eggs' BE until they're ready for the 'final flip', dismount (plated) and served...

                                                                                            To get the hang of flipping eggs...
                                                                                            Well,
                                                                                            My 'mentor' made me flip a pancake in an egg pan for about... too long...lol

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: rorechof
                                                                                              coll Jan 17, 2014 07:09 AM

                                                                                              I like this idea of clarified butter along with some regular; a friend just yesterday had me thinking along those lines. Even though this is an old post, very timely for me.

                                                                                              Also see it was mentioned way up on top, guess I wasn't ready to be enlightened at the time!

                                                                                            2. KaryOsmond Feb 5, 2014 09:49 AM

                                                                                              The key is pan temperature. Heat your stainless steel frying pan just under medium heat for 2-3 minutes. If a pan is heated too quickly over too high a temperature, you're pan will have hot and cold spots = sticking! After you've heated your pan properly, add your fat, then your eggs or bacon. Presto, no sticking!

                                                                                              Here's a full explain + video + how to season a stainless steel pan to make it non-stick: http://karyosmond.com/cook-stainless-...

                                                                                              1. j
                                                                                                JTPhilly Feb 5, 2014 12:11 PM

                                                                                                Watch the fry cook at your local greasy spoon or sandwich truck - he/she is probably cooking on a flat stainless steel griddle - its all about enough fat and proper timing

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: JTPhilly
                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                  bearfromobx Feb 9, 2014 11:34 AM

                                                                                                  Actually JT, flattop grills usually have polished mild steel tops because stainless does not transmit heat particularly well. The sides and structure are stainless for health code reasons and sanitation standards. How do I know? I am a commercial refrigeration and commercial appliance service technician with about 20 years experience.

                                                                                                  1. re: bearfromobx
                                                                                                    StriperGuy Feb 10, 2014 06:27 AM

                                                                                                    Yah I knew whoever was saying that flattops are stainless was not correct.

                                                                                                    1. re: bearfromobx
                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                      JTPhilly Feb 10, 2014 08:23 AM

                                                                                                      interesting - makes sense. Does the milled finish vs stainless finish impact sticking? Is stainless stickier than milled or is the more even transmission what is helpful at avoiding sticking and giving spread? I am always curious about different cooking surfaces - one I don't have at home is carbon or milled steel I have aluminum and cast iron griddles but I use the CI - the AL (a big thick octagon guardian service) I use as a heat diffuser - I feel like if I tried to cook eggs on it they would adhere permanently LOL

                                                                                                  2. breadchick Feb 10, 2014 07:20 AM

                                                                                                    I finally tried it out, using my AC skillet. Using the method for seasoning described in previous posts using oil and salt. It works! I did two easy-over eggs and they slid around with no problem. I would have never believed it.

                                                                                                    I have carbon steel for eggs, but just had to try using s/s for kicks.

                                                                                                    1. c
                                                                                                      Chandler114 Apr 16, 2014 01:07 PM

                                                                                                      I did it!! I just did it!!
                                                                                                      I heated the pan on low and added a butt load of butter! And I would swish the egg every few seconds and I did it. Twice! Great eggs and none of it stuck!!

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: Chandler114
                                                                                                        StriperGuy Apr 17, 2014 06:20 AM

                                                                                                        If you put enough butter on a hot rock you can cook an egg on it and it won't stick.

                                                                                                      Show Hidden Posts