Stainless Steel+Induction Confusion

The friendliest place on the web for anyone that enjoys cooking.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Krijishy

Assistant Cook
Joined
Oct 14, 2022
Messages
7
Location
United States
So I got myself a set of Stainless Steel Pans... I watched all the videos and read all the guides.... And for the most part I can grasp the way to use them but the thing I am not getting is this mercury ball test to know when to add the oil.... I start heating it up and I put the water in and it does nothing so I wait... So then I put water in and it just sizzles and so I wait... So then I put water in and and it really pops and somewhat does the mercury ball thing... When I put the oil in at this point (EVOO)... It smokes really bad and seems way too hot... Is this something to do with using the pans on an induction cook top? Is there something I am missing (doesn't seem like there was something to miss)? I have tried this on different temperatures with the same result...
 

JohnDB

Cook
Joined
Oct 12, 2022
Messages
76
Location
Nashville tn
Yep...
EVOO is not really a good cooking/Sautee oil. The smoking point is too low for the pan you are using. You need to choose an oil that has a higher temperature smoking point.

smoke-point-oils-infographic.jpg
 

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
49,838
Location
Massachusetts
You have to adjust the heat level based on what you are cooking. The key is to heat the pan to the appropriate temperature before adding the oil. Recipes will often say "...heat the pan over medium heat and sauté the onions." for example. That's what you use as a guide.
 

Krijishy

Assistant Cook
Joined
Oct 14, 2022
Messages
7
Location
United States
@JohnDB
Well, I will try it using my Grape Seed oil then... I've been cooking with EVOO for years with other pans so that was my go to...

@Andy M
Yep, this is the way I've always cooked until I bought these pans and everything I watched and read kept saying... "If the pans don't reach a certain temperature, before adding the oil even... You will get food sticking..."

I still feel as though the pan is getting hotter than it should before this "mercury ball effect" is actually occurring and I don't know if it is due to the induction cook top or what...
 
Last edited:

dragnlaw

Site Team
Staff member
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Messages
7,989
Location
Waterdown, Ontario
Heat is heat whether or not you got there fast or slow. Water bounces at a certain temperature - not below. If pan is too hot the water will literally vapourize when it hits.
 

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
49,838
Location
Massachusetts
I still feel as though the pan is getting hotter than it should before this "mercury ball effect" is actually occurring and I don't know if it is due to the induction cook top or what...
You need to forget about the "mercury ball effect"! It's wrong more than it's right. Many foods are cooked properly at temperatures below that level. So follow recipe directions.

Preheat your pan to the temperature level called for in the recipe then proceed with adding oil and food.
 

jennyema

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Mar 1, 2002
Messages
10,523
Location
Boston and Cape Cod
Extra Virgin olive oil is great for sautéing. Ive been using pretty much only evoo for 30 years quite successfully.

It’s smoke point is high enough. According to the North American Olive Oil Association, extra virgin olive oil's smoke point is 350 to 410 degrees.

IMO you are overheating your pan when you Pre-heat it. Ratchet it down and forget about the water test.
 
Last edited:

Krijishy

Assistant Cook
Joined
Oct 14, 2022
Messages
7
Location
United States
Ok, forgetting about it. I just don't want food to stick and then end up hating the pans but I am tired of buying non stick pans every year because their coating starts to degrade... Thank you all for the help.
 

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
49,838
Location
Massachusetts
Ok, forgetting about it. I just don't want food to stick and then end up hating the pans but I am tired of buying non stick pans every year because their coating starts to degrade... Thank you all for the help.
Foods will stick to the pan. HOWEVER, they will self-release given a few minutes. For example, you prepare your pan and add a piece of steak. It will be stuck to the pan. Don't force it to unstick. When the surface is cooked and browned, the meat will let go of the pan (or the pan will let go of the meat if you prefer) and you can flip it.
 
Top Bottom