For the longest time I resisted the idea of cooking with stainless steel. It’s ‘stick cookware’, right? And who wants to spend their time scouring pots and pans? Let’s face it, once you’ve gotten used to non-stick pans, you get used to the idea of food not sticking to the pot and effortless clean up of the pans.
But there is something about stainless steel cookware. Apart from the nice and shiny appearance, of course.
For one, you just can’t get the same sear on meats with non-stick as you can with stainless steel cookware. And don’t ask me why but food does taste better when cooked in stainless. And seriously, it’s pretty low maintenance… you can scratch it, stack it, use metal utensils, bang it together (those with kids will understand!) it’s still intact and still performs.
So it was time to look at cooking with stainless steel cookware as an option. And that’s when I discovered:
The Five Secrets to Cooking with Stainless Steel!
1. Non-Stick. The trick to making a stainless steel non-stick can be summarized as ‘hot pan, cold oil’. Heat the empty pan on medium high till you can place a hand above the pan and feel the heat rising. Add a bit of oil at room temperature, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Wait for the oil to become hot. You will notice a tiny bit of smoke coming out. This tells you the pan is ready. Voila, you just turned your stainless steel pan into a non-stick cooking pot.
2. Searing: When searing meat, don’t force the food to flip. Meat will stick to the pan but will release when ready.
3. Heat: Another secret to cooking with stainless steel is to cook on medium heat. Cooking at too high a heat can also cause foods to stick.
4. Cool off: After you are done cooking, I know you are in a hurry to soak the pan so that nothing stays stuck (guilty!). But wait! Let the pan cool to room temperature before adding water. Otherwise you could end up with warped pans.
5. Soak: Once the pan is cooled off after cooking, soak it in soapy warm water for a while. Then when you are ready to clean, the food easily wipes off.