One of the best things my husband ever bought me was a full set of Cuisinart stainless steel cookware. Prior to this, I had been using crappy Teflon-coated pans like the majority of people in America. We hated using non-stick pans because Teflon is toxic and we don’t need to be eating that in everything we cook. Our big problem we encountered though, was that we did not know how to cook with stainless steel pans!
One weekend while I was working, he was having problems with his eggs sticking to the pan, which was oddly a problem I never really had. He did some pretty extensive research and found out exactly what causes food to stick to stainless steel pans. We love science, and knowing the physics behind the sticking is just plain cool. These two videos explain exactly WHY your food sticks, and how to test that your stainless steel pan is hot enough to fry with.
To sum up, always start out on a med to med-high heat. When you add a drop of water to the dry pan does it just bounce and sizzle away? If so then your pan is not hot enough yet. The right temperature of heat expands the steel closing any small fissures that can grab on to the food and cause it to stick. When you add a drop of water to the fry pan and it forms a blob that just sits there and doesn’t sizzle away, it will look like mercury, then you’re pan is hot enough to now add the oil.
After your oil becomes streaky like when you twirl wine in a glass, you’re all set to start frying! If you wait for these two steps then you’ll never have issues with food sticking to your pan. After a while you’ll instinctively know when the pan is hot enough and you can declare yourself the master at cooking with stainless steel! The only thing that will be sticking is yummy caramelized goodness that you can deglaze and use!
Now that you know how to cook with stainless steel pans and avoid food sticking to them, you can throw out that toxic Teflon. Yuck.
Also, don’t forget to clean your pans well with some Barkeeper’s Friend. That stuff’s amazing!