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Feb 1, 2010 12:18 PM

Stainless Pans and Oil temp?

OK.. I'm just curious. which is it when cooking with stainless steel pans...
I've read people recommending - hot pain with cold oil = less sticking
and just as many stating the opposite - heat oil in pan as you heat up pan - that = less sticking.

Which is accurate? I'm sure there will be just as many on the fence here, but has anyone tried both methods and which brand/type of pans are you using?


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  1. With my All Clad skillets/saute pans I go with med high heat - not too high, it's not needed. Add the oil after the pan heats up - and when I fry anything I give it some time to brown before I turn it over. It rarely sticks if it's had a chance to brown. This goes for meat, fish, or veg. I've learned to be patient.

    I don't use S/S that often anymore, as I'm in love with deBuyer fry pans. I won't go into the whys about the dBs now, I've expressed my happiness with these pans in other posts.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!

    1. I've always done the hot pan/cold oil thang, but I've only had my All-Clad skillet for four months. The All-Clad site has a few good tips on it. One of them, as breadchick says, is to not use too high of a heat setting. For my electric range, I now use a setting somewhere between 1/3 to 1/2 of the dial. (I started out too high & everything stuck.) Another tip the AC site has is make sure your food sizzles but doesn't crackle. If it crackles, then your pan is too hot.

      1. Grnidkjun,

        They are both correct. If the oil is hot, then the foods will not stick because the food surface will caramelized before hitting the pan surface. Now, the oil layer cannot be too shallow. The hot pan cold oil method is really hot pan hot oil because the oil will heat up very fast before the foods are tossed in. The advantage of heating the pan up first and then pour oil in the pan is to minimize the oil smoking time.