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May 21, 2014 05:04 PM

Sticking and sliding on stainless steel pan

Okay, got a nice stainless steel pan yesterday. Omelet on the first morning came out perfectly; slid right out of the pan.

Next day, a disaster. a fried egg stuck like glue.

I did use butter the first time, oil the second. Fat is fat.

What is everyone's experience getting stainless to not stick?

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  1. Make sure the egg isn't cold. Heat the pan, then add fat. Let the fat heat up before adding the egg.

    My best guess is that your omelet egg was warmer than the one you fried. Did you prep other ingredients for it, cheese, onions, 'shrooms, etc...? If you pulled it all out of the fridge at the same time, the egg had time to lose it's chill by the time everything else was ready to go.

    There are also any number of Youtube vids showing different methods. Find one that works for you and you'll be set. Me, I like to heat the pan, swirl about ΒΌ" of oil in the bottom, bring it to just barely at smoke point, let it cool, then dump the oil and start cooking. Nonstick!

    6 Replies
    1. re: DuffyH

      Thanks, but that's what puzzles me. Everything was the same -- eggs out on counter for a half hour. Pan on medium high, added oil until is started to shimmer, turned down for a minute or so, added egg.

      Only thing I can think of is that the oil has a higher smoke point than butter so the pan was hotter.

      1. re: Skip60

        Butter has a significant amount of water in it... the temperature will stay at 212F until the water has boiled off...

        1. re: Skip60

          Well, butter actually is known to help reduce stickiness, not just egg, but other foods as well. In addition, like you said, typical cooking oil has a much higher smoke point. So the pan was hotter.

          1. re: Skip60

            Hi, Skip:

            IME, whites stick more easily than beaten.


            Edit: Let me give you the best advice I can. If you cook a lot of eggs and you can justify it space and money-wise, get and keep a dedicated egg pan. Some people like clad, others bare cast iron, PTFE, etc. (I favor very thick bare aluminum) Season it appropriately for whatever surface you choose. The pan should be one that heats exceedingly evenly *and* holds heat (hence my favorite).

            Use enough *salted* butter and fresh, room-temperature eggs. Use the lowest heat possible for the prep, but don't hurry your pre-heat.

            Thereafter, do not use soap or scouring agents on your egg pan unless someone holds you at gunpoint. A rinse and wipe is preferable, or scrub away gunk with salt and oil. If you're a neat freak and can't abide some brown grunge up near the rim, you just have to pay the price and reseason a lot more often.

            Learn to shake the pan--sometimes violently--as the eggs begin to set. If you can break friction early, they have a hard time sticking later.

            Also, learn to lid your prep at some point so that you can keep the moisture in, heat low or even let it finish completely off the heat.

            1. re: kaleokahu

              Hi, K,

              Makes sense, with egg yolks having so much fat and egg whites so little. Fatty foods stick less than lean ones, IME.

              1. re: kaleokahu

                My favorite egg pan isn't restricted to eggs, but it never, ever sees high heat, and it never, ever gets washed. It's used for eggs, crepes, pancakes and grilled sandwiches. It is always heated on med or lower, and we use butter exclusively on it.

                Mine is a deBuyer Force Blue crepe pan. The lovely thing about carbon steel pans is that they're only a little bit more than the cheapest nonstick pans but will last forever.


          2. Go to Bed, Bath and Beyond and buy a Tramontina or something like that non stick pan for about $15 bucks. Why mess around with stainless for eggs? There probably isn't a diner in the USA who isn't using non stick for their egg cooking. Save the stainless for something where you need the fond from the meat.