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Old 12-23-2009, 12:17 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Northern California
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Stainless Cookware Question


We're first-time owners of Calphalon Stainless cookware set. We read about how to properly oil the pans before cooking to avoid no sticking. However, we are still experience a lot of sticking. On top of that, brown areas on the pans after use on the stove. I've read that the brown burn spots are normal and just require special cleaning. But I guess I'm wondering, what is the benefit to having a stainless set if you experience sticking AND hard to clean spots? Am I using too much heat? We have a gas stove. I'm baffled, is there something I'm missing? Please help if you have any advice.


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Old 12-23-2009, 12:31 PM   #2
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Brown spots that come off with some scrubbing or BKF I wouldn't worry about.

Badly burned spots - examine your cooking technique or as you said oil you are using

The advantage is that you get a reliable, even cooking surface which is non-reactive to flavor. It doesn't chip or dissolve chemicals into your food like non-stick. It doesn't look ruined after 5 years like non-stick does.

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Old 12-23-2009, 12:33 PM   #3
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Use Barkeepers Friend to clean the spots off.

When cooking, add some oil to the pan and cook your food. Then wash the pan and don't re-oil it. Stainless does not need seasoning like cast iron.

The key to non-stick cooking is to start with a hot pan and hot oil. Then add the food. When cooking proteins, (meats, poultry or fish) it's important to start with a hot pan and oil. Place the food in the pan and don't try to move it around at first. It will stick to the pan. After a couple of minutes a crust will form on the bottom and it will release itself. Then you can turn it over and cook the other side.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:38 PM   #4
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Some food will naturally stick while using stainless steel... UNTIL it reaches a certain temperature (and it's not high), just a certain level of "doneness". Testing things with the edge of a spatula or tongs, such as a steak or cut potatoes is normal. And use of oil while the pan is heating, is nearly always a must... not just as a way of seasoning your pan between uses.

There are others here who have more experience than me with restaurant quality seasoned stainless steel pans, and I'm certain they will be able to guide you further.

AndyM beat me to a lot of this... not typing as fast as he does!
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:00 PM   #5
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Thank you all very much. I'll commit myself to these tips.
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:14 PM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Illinois
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I always use the 'Frugal Gourmet's' tip. Hot pan cold oil foods won't stick. Heat your pan on low to med to med/high heat. Then add your oil once the pan is heated up. Then add food.

As the other posters have said, SS does not require 'seasoning'. Use Bar Keepers Friend to clean your pans and a nylon edge sponge.


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