How to Keep Stainless Steel Pans From Sticking

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Stainless steel pans are great for cooking, and are preferred by many professional cooks because of their lightweight design and ability to go into the dishwasher or oven. A common hassle with stainless steel pans, however, is food sticking to the bottom. This happens because stainless steel is a poor heat conductor. Buying pans with a copper bottom or core, cleaning your pans correctly, and using oil or non-stick cooking spray can help prevent foods from sticking.

Things You'll Need

  • Aluminum-bottom or aluminum-core stainless steel pans
  • Liquid soap
  • Non-stick cooking spray or cooking oil

Keeping Pans from Sticking

Buy stainless steel pans that contain an aluminum or copper bottom, which aids in proper heat distribution.

Make sure your pan is clean, as any food particles can cause sticking. When you clean, avoid metal scrubbers, which can create scratches in the finish where residue will build up.

Heat pan on medium heat until hot.

Spray non-stick cooking spray or oil into pan. If using oil, shake oil in pan until thoroughly coated.

Cook food in pan immediately after spraying non-stick spray or spreading oil. Make sure not to crowd the pan. This will result in better food and less sticking.

Wash pan with a sponge immediately after cooking. Dry with a towel or paper towel.

Tips & Warnings

  • If using cooking oil, olive oil provides great taste and is a healthy option. If using non-stick spray, spray on a cold pan and then heat. Note that non-stick spray can leave a build-up and cause food to stick.
  • Make sure you heat the pan properly before adding the food. Take your food out of the fridge 10 minutes before cooking to reduce the difference in temperature between the pan and the food.

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