I recently bought a new frying pan with a stainless steel cooking surface. It's not high-end but certainly not the cheapest available: the "Domestic Professional" series by Mäser (Austria). I noticed some peculiar stains when I started using it. I have no prior experience with stainless steel frying pans, and I'm wondering whether stainless doesn't mean what I think it does or if there's something wrong with my pan. Can you advise?
The care instructions for the pan instructed me to prepare the pan for usage by the following process. I washed the pan with gentle hand-dishwashing detergent and sponge and dried it immediately. I then put the pan on a burner and turned the burner to high, and then to medium heat, each for a few minutes. I washed and dried the pan again after that. This process left a curious light-brown tint on the cooking surface, and some white-ish stains that reminded me of calcification, although that seems implausible given the little time the pan was exposed to water. See:
Oh well, I thought, perhaps that staining will go away with usage. So I cooked a few buttermilk pancakes in butter and some peanut oil in the batter. Afterwards I cleaned and dried the pan and now it looks like this:
The brownness is a bit exaggerated because of the lighting at the time of the picture. But you can clearly see a large brown stain near the top and a bunch of white ones in the middle. The surface feels completely smooth.
The care guidelines suggested cleaning the pan with vinegar and a cloth to get rid of certain stains, but this had no effect on the stains in the picture.