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Old 07-25-2009, 03:19 AM   #1
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Stainless Steel Frying Pan - sticking

Although I do most of my frying in a non-stick frying pan I have a large deep-sided stainless steel frying pan that I like to use when preparing larger quantities of food that need sauces adding. My problem is that whenever I try to fry cubes of chicken the chicken pieces always stick. I always try to heat the pan before adding the oil and make sure the oil is hot but it always sticks. Is it because the chicken has too much water content or something else.

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Old 07-25-2009, 08:12 AM   #2
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There are three reasons it would be sticking. You mentioned one already which is to make sure the pan and oil are hot enough. The second would be to make sure you are using enough fat (oil in your case). The last reason is a little trickier and I bet it is the cause of your sticking.

When you use stainless steel the food will stick initially. The trick is to put the food in the pan and don't touch it for a short while. Put it in and let it cook. First it will stick, but after a short time it release. The trick is to not play with the food as soon as you put it in the pan, which is what most people want to do. Put the food in and then step back and be patient. After 30-60 seconds test one piece by trying to move it. If it still sticks then wait a little while more. If that does not work then it means either your pan is not hot enough and/or you are not using enough heat.
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:47 AM   #3
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To add to GB's comments, which are right on, you must start with a very clean pan. I always clean my SS skillets with Barkeeper's Friend (a scouring powder) to ensure the cooking surface is clean for next time.

Also, if you want to brown meats in hot fat, you should ensure you are starting with dry meat surfaces. If the meat has been marinating or just moist, pat it dry before putting the meat in the pan. this is not a sticking issue, just a response to your moist meat comment.
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:55 AM   #4
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Thanks to both of you for your very informative comments. I must confess to always wanting to move the chicken around immediately so that's something I can stop doing from now on and also I never dry the chicken so another great lesson learned. Thanks very much :)
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Old 07-25-2009, 02:44 PM   #5
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Waiting for the chicken to almost move itself is the right idea....Patience!!!
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Old 07-25-2009, 02:53 PM   #6
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the chicken will release when the browning is done. same goes for fish or mushrooms etc.
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:13 AM   #7
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Try basting your pan: Heat the pan when it is really clean and then as if you were greasing a baking tray take a clean (and heat proof) cloth, add a little oil onto the cloth and simply rub it all over the surface of the pan and then allow this to cool down.

Don't wash the pan afterwards.

Beleive it or not stainless steel is slightly porous - doing this will help you build up a patina which will stop your food from sticking as readily. Do this about once every 6 weeks and see if it makes a difference.
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CeliaGates View Post
Try basting your pan: Heat the pan when it is really clean and then as if you were greasing a baking tray take a clean (and heat proof) cloth, add a little oil onto the cloth and simply rub it all over the surface of the pan and then allow this to cool down.

Don't wash the pan afterwards.

Beleive it or not stainless steel is slightly porous - doing this will help you build up a patina which will stop your food from sticking as readily. Do this about once every 6 weeks and see if it makes a difference.
Thanks Celia I'll give that a go and see if it makes things better. I used to do that with my carbon steel wok but didn't realise the same would apply.
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyjonny_uk View Post
Thanks Celia I'll give that a go and see if it makes things better. I used to do that with my carbon steel wok but didn't realise the same would apply.

In my opinion, it's not the same as for cast iron and carbon steel. SS does not benefit from this oil coating.

Refer back to the posts about the pan's having to be clean to prevent sticking.
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:36 AM   #10
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I agree with Andy. Seasoning a stainless steel pan would not be a good idea. They are designed to be cleaned thoroughly with soap and water so that the cooking surface is very clean and free of everything.
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