Stainless Steel cookware

peegee69February 11, 2007

Recently my wife purchased a set of stainless steel cookware (Philippe Richardson Collection). Accourding to the directions you must cook on a lower heat to keep food from sticking. If she cooks fried eggs on a low enough heat to keep them from sticking, it takes forever (it seems). She is a great cook but has gone back to her cast iron because they are well seasoned and food doesn't stick. What are we doing wrong? Is there a secret?

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You need to let the pan get hot, then add the oil, butter or whatever you use and let that get hot, then add the eggs. This is the way I do it and I don't have a problem with the eggs sticking. It is true that you don't need as high a heat as some other pans.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 2:37PM
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It takes more oil to cook eggs in stainless. It also takes some trial and error in adjusting the heat. That's why most people keep a non-stick pan for eggs. Anyway, why bother with stainless for eggs if you have cast iron? I like my old, old Revere stainless and use it more than any of my other cookware. It's light weight, easy to clean, and over time I have learned to cook almost anything in it. I have a gas range so it's very easy to adjust the heat and that makes stainless very simple. Anyway, your wife will quickly learn the little tricks to using this new cookware;~)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 10:22AM
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Thank you. We'll try that. Cast iron is what I grew up with and I love it.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 10:53AM
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>It takes more oil to cook eggs in stainless.More oil than what?

This is one of the two most repeated comments on these boards. And I don't understand why. I don't use any more oil with stainless than with any other cookware. And my eggs never stick.

What you do need to do, however, is follow Kris's advice, and preheat the pan, then add oil, preheat it, then add the eggs. And do this over a low flame. Many people don't want to bother taking the time to do it right, is all.

>That's why most people keep a non-stick pan for eggs. That's the second most repeated advice. And I've never heard it anywhere except on these boards.

In the first place, I don't believe that "most" people keep a nonstick pan for that reason. Most people are either into nonstick---in which case they've got a kitchen full of the stuff---or they've gotten rid of it in light of the health hazard reports. Sure, there are some people who keep one just for eggs. But the idea that most do is pure invention.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 11:27AM
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I guess I am one of those that keep a non-stick pan for eggs. I admit I don't want to take the time to use SS, when the non-stick is so much easier and faster for me.

I don't see anything wrong with it...

Oh but I do use SS for french toast though.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 3:10PM
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Peegee, your wife's no dummy...cast iron beats stainless any day!
I haven't even tried cooking eggs in a stainless steel frying pan in years and years. Even if clad on the bottom with copper, it gets hot spots and sticks.
I keep a Meyer professional heavy aluminum fry pan with a non stick finish for eggs....but my mother's old cast iron skillet is about as good...but small.
Tell her to sell those stainless skillets on eBay and be so glad she has that good cast iron pan.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 3:56PM
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Disdatmac, I never said there was anything wrong with it. It's your kitchen, and you run it the way is comfortable for you.

I just object to this contstant repetition of something that has no basis in fact.

What is a fact is that nothing beats cast iron, for those who are comfortable with it. My everyday cast iron cookware, for instance, numbers 16 pieces. Plus I have other ironware for camping and historic reenacting.

However, many people are not comfortable with it, because of weight and care issues. For them, other materials are important; and they should know the facts about those materials.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 4:41PM
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When I cook eggs in my All-Clad SS I heat the pan over at most medium heat then add about a little more than a teaspoon of real butter let it melt put the eggs in and after they set to white I shake the pan a little to and fro to loosen them. You must use a very clean pan or they will stick. I then salt and pepper them lower the heat to low and put a lid on to finish. I'm just an amateur cook but it works for me :)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 5:36PM
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A well seasoned cast iron skillet does work well for eggs but I think a well seasoned carbon steel pan works even better, because it gives the cook more control (it heats up and cools off more quickly). This is particularly helpful for delicate dishes like omelets. It's less critical for quick fried eggs with crunchy edges, which I like too.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 6:06PM
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gardenlad, in spite of your objections, many people do have non-stick skillets for eggs onlyÂwell, maybe they do crepes and grilled cheese in them too. Several have posted here already admitting they do. My comments are based on my friends/relatives. Every single one does eggs non-stick (not a single one uses cast iron, not many people do). Your friends may do otherwise.

More oil, being relative. Almost no oil or a little butter/Pam in non-stick, thatÂs what I meant by more oil. Eggs in stainless requires more oil than I like.

I donÂt use non-stick for health concerns but obviously most people donÂt feel that way or stores wouldnÂt sell tons of Teflon. On the other hand, the same people are disgusted with the Teflon coatings pealing off, so they use something else to cook meat, vegetables and boil water inÂthose things donÂt stick. Anyway thatÂs been my observation.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 9:50AM
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I'm also one who keeps a couple nonstick skillets for foods that tend to stick, particularly eggs. I just don't want to worry about how much oil and preheating and all that. I just want to cook an egg.

I doubt I'm part of such a small minority, as I have seen the same comment on other cooking forums and have heard it from friends.

But for foods that aren't a sticky mess, I do prefer SS or infused anodized. We also love regular cast iron for certain foods and enameled cast iron for slow cooking.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 11:23AM
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Suzyq, I agree.

If the majority of people didn't want non-stick, there wouldn't be so much non-stick cookware available, especially when it comes to fry pans.

You don't need any extra oil to cook an egg in non-stick, and that is what some people want....some have whole cookware sets with non-stick.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 10:27AM
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Well I can't tell you if you need to use 'lower heat' on stainless, because I grew up using it and have never had a set of anything else. Also, I'm certainly no gourmet and only a casual cookware forum browser, so I claim no expertise, I can only tell you what I use.

BUT, that said, I do have a couple other pans... a non-stick pan for scrambled eggs or omlets or crepes. And a cast-iron griddle for fried eggs, bacon and pancakes (and grilled cheese, why would anyone use non-stick for grilled cheese, it wouldn't make it nice and toasty on the outside would it?).
I'd be willing to cook my bacon and pancakes on stainless, but I'd only fry an egg on stainless if I had a nice pool of bacon fat to do it in - doing a fried egg alone, I'd pull out the cast iron.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 11:15AM
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About a million years ago I had a whole set of non stick was a "gift"...I use the term loosley! It peeled, it was thin and warped and generally was awful. I reacted with a rebound to enamel coated cast iron and plain cast iron. But then I was given another gift...this time the real thing. 2 Farberware clad saucepans and a Meyer professional aluminum non stick fry pan.
I used that pan for 20 years. It never peeled, the handle got loose, I got a new screw for it, and finally the coating got so scratched it wasn't slippery as it had been. And I found another just about like it.
But in the 25 years since I got that Meyer pan, I have never had any non stick frypan that peeled or lost any coating. I don't understand the objection to non-stick on the basis of peeling.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 7:06PM
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Prabably about 20 years ago, the local PBS station used to carry a show called "Yan Can Cook". Yan's mantra was "hot pan + cold oil = food no stick". Just heat the pan, add the oil and let it heat, then cook. DH claims to be the resident omelet expert and uses a 10" Calphalon hard-anodized aluminum pan. For the most part, his eggs don't stick.

Lindac - I'd never heard of Meyer, but in yesterday's paper there was an ad insert from "Ollie's Bargain Outlet" featuring a Meyer commercial cookware buyout. I take it you like your Meyer pan? The place is located about 40 miles from me, in Frederick, MD, but maybe it would be worth the trip. The prices are 75% off; a 14" open fry pan is 19.99, for example.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 8:22AM
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Just for the record, I believe it was Jeff Smith who coined the phrase, "Hot pan, cold oil, food won't stick."

There is a theory going 'round the Web that Yan Can Cook stole the catchphrase! ;-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Jeff Smith, hot pan, etc...

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 12:24PM
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Well, whaddaya know! I used to watch the Frugal Gourmet too, but don't associate that phrase with Jeff Smith anymore. I stand corrected :)

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 12:35PM
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Virginia....yes it's worth the trip...take orders from Friends and pay for your gas!!
The Meyer professional, at least what I have is heavy aluminum with a very good n on-stick coating. I have 8 inch and a 12 inch fry pan. Eggs for 1 or 2....and eggs for a crowd!
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 1:03PM
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"and grilled cheese, why would anyone use non-stick for grilled cheese, it wouldn't make it nice and toasty on the outside would it?"

Interesting... I never thought that grilled cheese was cooked at a hot enough temperature that nonstick would make a difference.

Jenathegreat's post got me curious so I did a test. I cooked one side of a grilled cheese sandwich in a nonstick pan (inexpensive aluminum), and the other side in an uncoated pan (Calphalon One Infused Anodized). The side cooked in the anodized (not nonstick) pan browned much more evenly, and was crisper.

Both pans were preheated on burners set at the same setting. (GE Profile Performance glass top stove set at 1/3 of maximum heat) The anodized pan cooked a lot slower, making me think the burner temps were not the same, despite the same setting on the knob. The butter (margarine actually) did not sizzle nearly as much in the anodized as in the nonstick pan. The anodized pan is thicker so maybe it needed more time to preheat, but since I cooked in the nonstick pan first, the anodized pan had more time to heat up.

Anyway, this single sample, relatively uncontrolled test produced a much nicer toasted effect in the uncoated pan than in the nonstick pan.

So thanks to Jenathegreat for opening my eyes about sandwich grilling techniques.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 12:43PM
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It's the make up of your non stick....thin, cheap....doesn't heat well or evenly.
Try a good ( read $20,00 for an 8 inch pan) non stick and the calphalon...2 sandwiches, side by side and then tell me what you think...AFTER washing both pans!
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 8:22PM
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Oooh! I'm honored to have been the instigator for your scientific tests, Deepwater!

But now you have to try it with a cast iron pan too - in the name of science of course.

I always thought that it was just a given that non-stick pans didn't brown as well as other pans. Is that not true? I don't consider it a drawback, it just makes them better for some uses than for others.

Lindac - I can't compare to anodized as deepwater did because I don't own any, but my non stick pan is calphalon, so I assume it's good quality. It's just as easy to clean my non-stick skillet as it is my well-seasoned cast iron. But I do agree that either is easier to clean than stainless after making something like grilled cheese!

(sorry peegee for taking your thread off on this tangent!)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 7:30PM
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Back to the original post. I agree totally with the hot pan cold oil approach. Just keep the temperture at about med. and everything works as previously explained. I use a little squirt of spray olive oil and the eggs slide around the pan easily. You can even flip them without the aid of a spatula.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 1:30PM
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Enough of the eggs already! I seem to be having a problem with everything. I have Emerilware and am having problems from eggs to bacon, hashbrowns etc.. Is the trick simply as easy as perhaps a medium heat and cold oil? I will try and get back to y'all. I am certainly hoping that my new set was not a waste of money.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 1:26PM
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There's some discussion in this thread in the Cooking forum.

I'm agreeing with LindaC. No stainless frying pans. Teflon/non-stick or cast iron.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cooking: hot pans

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 1:33PM
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