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Old 12-15-2012, 11:52 AM   #1
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Why does everything stick to my pans?

My bf bought me a nice set of stainless steel pans for Christmas last year, and it seems like everything sticks to them. What is going on?? I'm pretty sure we use plenty of oil, and always make sure it is heated up before adding anything to the pan. I hate to use Teflon when we have this nice stainless steel set...

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Old 12-15-2012, 11:58 AM   #2
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I think it's the nature of the beast, Skittle. I try to get mine in the sink with water ASAP.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:07 PM   #3
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Basic rules for SS pans.

1. The pan must be completely clean. No residue from previous uses. Food sticks to residue. This is why there is Barkeepers Friend.

2. Pan and fat (oil or butter or a combination) must both be hot before you add the meat. Add the fat when the pan is cold or hot - it doesn't matter. Just make sure the pan and the oil are hot before adding food. When the oil is shimmering in the pan and beginning to smoke, it's ready.

3. Meat must be dry.

4. Place the meat in the pan and leave it alone. Don't try to move it. Leave it alone.

Meats will stick to the pan initially. As the meat heats up and starts to brown, it will detach itself from the pan. When you turn it over to the other side, it will initially stick again and detach itself after cooking a bit.

The most difficult part of this process is waiting for the meat to unstick itself.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:10 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
I think it's the nature of the beast, Skittle. I try to get mine in the sink with water ASAP.
We have potatoes frying for breakfast right now, and as they start to brown, the browned parts stick to the pan and rip off :/ hard to get nice hashbrowns that way.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Skittle68 View Post

We have potatoes frying for breakfast right now, and as they start to brown, the browned parts stick to the pan and rip off :/ hard to get nice hashbrowns that way.
Andy's advice works for hashbrowns too. When I made S&P'S lovely potato pancakes, I was amazed, they didn't stick! I did use a lot of oil. Dang. Wish I'd taken a pic.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:46 PM   #6
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I have gas stove with the grates. I've found that if I "bounce" the pan on the grate and give it a shake, it will either release the food or tell me it isn't ready to flip yet. I would not do that with all stoves, which is why I mentioned the type I have.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:05 PM   #7
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I have gas stove with the grates. I've found that if I "bounce" the pan on the grate and give it a shake, it will either release the food or tell me it isn't ready to flip yet. I would not do that with all stoves, which is why I mentioned the type I have.
I have an electric stove, and I do kind of the same thing with a Teflon pan- I just flip the potato cubes up and over themselves to rotate them evenly. Next time I'll try it, and if they stick I guess they aren't ready yet. We will see :)
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:11 PM   #8
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I wasn't sure if you could do that with an electric stove. I don't know how sturdy those elements are. It's worth a try if you think it's OK.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:16 PM   #9
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I wasn't sure if you could do that with an electric stove. I don't know how sturdy those elements are. It's worth a try if you think it's OK.
I don't use the element- I pick up the pan and jerk it forward and up to get the potatoes to slide up the edge of the pan and flip back on top of themselves.

There's probably a name for this technique but I have no clue what that would be. I see the guys in the restaurant I work at doing it with the pastas all the time.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:23 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Skittle68 View Post
I don't use the element- I pick up the pan and jerk it forward and up to get the potatoes to slide up the edge of the pan and flip back on top of themselves.

There's probably a name for this technique but I have no clue what that would be. I see the guys in the restaurant I work at doing it with the pastas all the time.
Gotcha. What I was trying to describe is actually bouncing the pan on the grate a little and giving it a shake to hasten, or see, if the food has released.
Heck, I don't even know if it actually does anything, but I do it just the same
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