eggs sticking to stainless AC pan

stacyinpasadenaNovember 26, 2006

Finally, we were able to afford a nice pan to cook our eggs in. I chose the All Clad frying pan and my husband cooked his egg in it this morning. He used more oil than usual, but it still stuck - it was just a plain egg (no water, etc.)! It is not teflon-coated.

I'm assuming this quality pan distributes heat better and that could be a contributing factor.

What could we be doing wrong? I don't want to go back to teflon.

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Several possibilities, Stacy.

First, the heat may have been too high. Stainless works best at lower temps than you may be used to, particularly if you've used aluminum or non-stick in the past.

Second, failure to pre-heat. Stainless should be preheated over the size flame you'll be using to cook with. This achieves several things, not the least of which is causing the metal to expand, and seal pores. In future, let the pan preheat, add the oil to the hot pan, then put in your eggs.

Next, dirt. If stainless isn't cleaned completley, any residue or stuck food particles can cause things like eggs to stick.

Finally, bad pan. It happens. Unfortunatly, in my experience All-Clad's customer service is non-existent. So if it's a bad pan, and the retailer won't exchange it, you're stuck with it. But the likelihood is that its one or the other causes, or a combination of them, rather than a badly made pan.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 3:37PM
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But most chefs will recommend a teflon non-stick pan for eggs anyway. Maybe you want to avoid non-stick, but for what you describe, it is the best.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 12:18AM
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I don't know about most chefs, Fairegold. But the only place I see that recommendation is on this group of forums (i.e., cooking, cookware). I've been in dozens of restaurant and commercial kitchens, and, with one exception, have never seen a non-stick pan outside of B&Bs and country inns.

I cook eggs in stainless and cast iron all the time, and have yet to have one stick.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 7:47AM
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Fairegold, I have no idea about the recommendations of most chefs, whose situation is dictated by very different conditions than the average home cook. But I do know that I love my nonstick skillets and pots for anything that tends to stick and be a pain to clean up. They are just simply easier. For all other foods, I prefer SS or anodized.

But those who, for whatever reason, will not use nonstick should find gardenlad's recommendations as to how to cook eggs in SS very worthwhile.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 1:27PM
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I watched Hell's Kitchen and remember the Master Chef screaming at someone to use a non-stick pan. "THATS WHY THEY CALL IT NON-STICK!" Loved that show. Sandy

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 11:14PM
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I've seen that show twice---the first and last time. Thought it was the stupidest show ever produced.

Let's see: A neoNazi spends his time screaming at a bunch of people who don't know their way around a kitchen. And whoever withstands his abuse best gets to run a multi-million dollar restaurant into the ground. But it's hard to be last-man-standing because he keeps changing the rules at whim.

Among other wondeful events in the episode I saw: One of the contestants didn't get his meal cooked because he had neglected to turn the gas on to his oven. And this guy was, apparently, one of the better qualified.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 8:28AM
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I cook my eggs in an aluminum pan with a non-stick finish...from a commercial cookware place...given to me by someone who is in the business of selling cookware to professional chefs...
But maybe all the non stick ones are sold to us non-pro people...whatever I like the non stich for eggs...perhaps because it allows me to cook them in less fat. I can cook a mean egg or 2 in a SS pan but it takes more oil/fat...
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 7:59PM
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If you want nice light colorless scrambled eggs a nonstick pan is OK. But if you want "real" fried eggs or a nicely browned puffy omelette cast iron or carbon steel is the only way to go. I have never seen nonstick pans used in a restaurant kitchen.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 11:20PM
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wildchild, I have cooked scrambled eggs in both nonstick and regular pans. I would not say that my scrambled eggs in the nonstick pan are "colorless." And even if they were slightly lighter in color, I'll happily accept that in return for the simplified clean-up.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 12:25PM
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Wildchild, I don't use nonstick anything. But the color (as well as much flavor) comes from the oil you use, and, from what I understand, nonstick still requires some oil; only less of it I'm told.

So, just a guess on my part, but I can't imagine why eggs would have a much different color cooked in nonstick versus other materials.

If you really want to see color differences, check out free-range eggs vs. regular commercial eggs.

>cast iron or carbon steel is the only way to goI don't think so. I use both, as well as stainless, and the food comes out pretty much the same in all three.

In my experience, though, food is more likely to stick in the carbon steel than in any other material.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 1:29PM
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Stacy, IMHO just use more oil. And do preheat the pan and be sure the oil is hot when you crack the eggs. Just a little learning curve with the new stuff;~) That's the downside of cooking 'without' nonstick, you gotta use more oil. It won't take long to find out just how much oil you need--trial and error.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 11:29AM
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