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Old 12-07-2006, 04:32 PM   #1
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Cooking with SS...

I used my new all-clad frying pan for the first time last night. I fried up some steelhead fillets (salt & peppered only) in EVOO. I have an electric range, and the heat goes from low-1-9-high. I heated the pan on the 5 setting, added enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, let the oil heat for a min or two, and then added my fish. The fillets didn't stick terribly, but they did leave stuff stuck to the bottom when the were moved/flipped, and they didn't release as easy as I had expected. What am I doing wrong? It didn't seem too hot. If I was using my non-stick pan, I would have used a heat setting of 7 or so.

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Old 12-07-2006, 04:38 PM   #2
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Not sure, but I think you should have done two things. 1. Add more EVOO or a pat of butter. 2. Higher heat initially, then turn down.

There really is a trick to knowing when to flip something. I think the extra fat would help though.
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Old 12-07-2006, 04:50 PM   #3
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I would prefer to not use butter for nutritional reasons, is there any problem with only using EVOO?
So higher heat at first, then turn it down. I realize you have no experience with my range, but judging from the numbers I gave, what would your best guess be for the heat setting(s) to use?

Also, should I avoid moving something until it is time to flip it? Because periodically I would take the pan off the burner and shake it to make sure the fish wasn't sticking real bad. Finally, what's a good rule of thumb for how much oil to use?
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Old 12-07-2006, 05:02 PM   #4
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Oil alone will work fine.

The trick is to have a hot pan with hot fat in it before you add the fish. Place the fish into the pan and don't touch it for several minutes. No shaking, prodding or poking.

When the fish is placed into the pan it will stick. As it cooks, it will unstick itself and you'll be able to flip it easily.

Same rules for side two.
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Old 12-07-2006, 05:07 PM   #5
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There is defintely a trick to using SS. You have to let the pan come to temperature completely dry. Only add the oil when the pan is hot. Then, when first placing the food in the hot oil, immediately move it so that it creates a thin film of oil between the pan surface and the food.

Of course, those bits that were left in the pan are called by the French, fond. It is flavorful and often used to make gravies and sauces after deglazing with water, or some combination of watery liquids such as broth, stock, or wine.

So, if you want stick-free performance, preheat the pan before adding oil. If you want to use the fond, then add the oil while the pan is cold.

You can also dry-fry in SS, but the food really sticks then. This method is good for searing large chunks of beef and produces lots of flavorful bits from which to make gravies and sauces.

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Old 12-07-2006, 05:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
...When the fish is placed into the pan it will stick. As it cooks, it will unstick itself and you'll be able to flip it easily.
ah that clears things up! Thanks, brother.
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Old 12-07-2006, 05:08 PM   #7
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Remember, I'm no expert!

Good things:
  • Did the oil get all funny surfaced right before you put fish in?
  • Did it sound like PSSH! when you laid the filets in the pan?
  • Were you able to resist the temptation to fiddle with them after they were in the pan?
  • Did it take two or three minutes (maybe four for thick ones) for the filets to become nicely browned on the bottom and cooked about two-thirds of the way up the sides?
  • Do you have blisters on your tongue from tasting the fish too soon?
Bad things:
  • When you laid the filet in the pan were there screams? Did any neighbors call 911?
  • Were you less than satisfied without knowing how to improve next time.
  • Do you have blisters on your tongue from tasting the fish too soon?
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Old 12-07-2006, 05:10 PM   #8
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Goodweed: thanks for the advice. I'll heat the pan first, then add the oil after the pan is up to temp. About how long should the food go in after the oil is heated?
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Old 12-07-2006, 05:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker
Remember, I'm no expert!
Good things:
  • Did the oil get all funny surfaced right before you put fish in?
    yes, but I may have waited too long before adding the fish.
  • Did it sound like PSSH! when you laid the filets in the pan?
    yes
  • Were you able to resist the temptation to fiddle with them after they were in the pan?
    no! Fortunately you guys have set me straight.
  • Did it take two or three minutes (maybe four for thick ones) for the filets to become nicely browned on the bottom and cooked about two-thirds of the way up the sides?
    some of the thinner pieces I took out before they had a chance to brown nicely, because I was scared of overcooking them WAY too much. The thicker pieces were excellent, however. I think in the future I will choose crunchy browning over internal temp for the the thinner pieces.
  • Do you have blisters on your tongue from tasting the fish too soon?
    fortunately, no.
..............
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Old 12-07-2006, 05:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eatsOats
Goodweed: thanks for the advice. I'll heat the pan first, then add the oil after the pan is up to temp. About how long should the food go in after the oil is heated?
Not to answer for Goodweed but, in my opinion, put the fish in when the oil starts to look funny surfaced. Watch carefully and you'll know exactly what that means.
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