Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cooking With Stainless Steel

The two most common concerns I hear about cooking with stainless steel is that the food sticks, and that it's hard to clean. I have a few good tips here I would like to share with you on how to cook with stainless steel cookware and I hope you find them useful:

1. No More Stuck on Food - The first and crucial step is to heat up the pan without any oil in it. Yes, do not put oil in it. Heat up the pan to about 170 degrees Farenheit. It took me about 10 minutes on medium fire to reach 170 degrees. Keep in mind that time will vary depending on the thickness of your pan and fire setting. The pan will be very hot but not smoking.
The second step is to add the oil. Now that your pan is heated up, you can add the oil. I don't know the science behind this, but it works! If you swtich these two steps, you will have stuck on food.

How much oil should you use? Accept the fact that you will be using more oil on stainless than you would on teflon. For starters, you will probably use about double the amount. It is trial and error at first, but pretty soon you will get the hang of it. Let the oil sit for about 15 seconds to make sure it heats up thoroughly in the pan. Depending on what you are cooking, if it is delicate and cooks easily like eggs, you might have to turn down the fire to low, or even off, and wait about half a minute before putting in the eggs. But if you are cooking chicken or fish, you don't need to lower down the heat.

The pan is ready at about 170 degrees Farenheit.

Scrambled eggs are not sticking to the pan.

Fried rice releases cleanly from the pan.

2. How to Get it Clean - Once your pan is completely soiled from food like chicken or fish or hard to clean food, I recommend soaking it in water first with a mild dish detergent. Use a dish brush to scrape off the remaining food. I then use Bar Keeper's Friend powder cleanser and a soft sponge to scrub it all off. My favorite sponge is a soft foam that has a net around it. It does not scratch the pan and you can find it in most stores. The brand I use is Quickie. If it's still greasy, wash it a second time with a regular dishwashing detergent. If you wash your pan in the dishwasher and it comes out looking dirty, like it has a whitish film on it, Bar Keeper's Friend will get it back to gleaming again.

This is how it looks after coming out of the dishwasher.

Bar Keeper's Friend makes it gleaming again.


Anonymous said...

Can i use margarine instead of butter for scramble eggs?

Gingham Girl said...

I have never tried cooking eggs with butter or margarine. There is no harm in trying though. since butter or margarine burns fast, i suggest you use a non stick pan on low heat.

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