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Thread: Help with Stainless Steel Cooking

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tristan's Avatar
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    Help with Stainless Steel Cooking

    Hi People, I've moved to stainless from predominantly cast iron and non-stick cookware. But I'm having real problems.

    Each time I cook, I get really bad burn in spots. Food release isn't such a problem, but as an example, the entire pan turns dark brown/blackish when I pan fried a steak earlier. The burn in didn't release either.

    Any tips on when stainless isn't a great idea, and fast ways to release the grime? I resorted to tons of scrubbing with cream cleansers. Got maybe 95% of the grime off and then gave up.

  2. #2
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    what kind of oil are you using? what temperature? i don't get anymore burnt residue in my stainless than i do in my cast iron.

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    Its all in the heat distribution. how thick is the base of that SS pot/pan of yours? A nice thick, heavy base will give a better rate of heat distribution and so cut down on the burn spots. Oil in the pan or no? And finally, do not expect SS pots and pans to be all bright and shiny. They will not stay that way. 'Jif' steel wool lol. Otherwise soaking in vinegar or other acids will do as well for the really hard to remove stuff. Cast iron is good, non-stick not so.

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    I have had good luck with Bar Keepers Friend for cleaning. Also, try just turning down the heat. My Demeyere pan needs about 25% less heat. I think because it is so heavy and retains and distributes heat better than a thinner pan.

    -AJ

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    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    with a good pan, i tend to blast it until i get the temp i want, and then i turn the flame down to maintain it.

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    Senior Member FryBoy's Avatar
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    I've had good stainless cookware for over 40 years, and I love it. My suggestion (in addition to Barkeeper's Friend) is to keep your cast iron for pan frying steaks. Does a better job, tolerates all the heat you can provide without a blast furnace, and easier cleanup.
    Doug Collins
    Hermosa Beach, California

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    Steak in a SS pan? Why would you do that when you've got a bunch of cast iron laying around?!

    Sounds like the heat was too high for the fats involved, but I still would have gone with a cast iron pan.

    Also, when you take the food out, if it looks like it'll be a problem to clean, dump some hot water in the pan while it is still hot. Deglazing the pan, and leaving it soaking while we eat was mandatory when I was growing up.

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    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johndoughy View Post
    SDeglazing the pan, and leaving it soaking while we eat was mandatory when I was growing up.
    same here. i remember camping with my Boy Scout troop, the kids who let the burnt pans cool before washing sure looked at me jealously at clean up time.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Tristan's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, lots of good tips here.

    Why SS when I have cast iron? Erm, no good answer to that. I was just trying to rotate SS pans into all the various methods of cooking that I do. Did a steak on it... had to give it 1.5mins on each side and all around the rest of the pan it started turning brown then black.

    I use E.V. Olive Oil, sometimes with butter added, tend to add oil to a medium warm pan, then add in food when the oil viscosity looks good long before it nears smoking point, then cook the food. Please chip in if I'm doing anything wrong here.

    I'll try lowering the heat after the target temp is reached. I'm using 2 All clad irregular copper cores (the lovely copper band on the outside has tarnished already), one a frypan and the other a saute.

    So what types of cooking are SS pans best suited for? I use my non-stick scanpan for eggs/fish, Japanese cast iron wok for stir frying, used to use heavy cast iron for steaks (think I'll go back to that now), so the SS pans need to find a role in the kitchen. Advise?

    Question summary:
    1. What tasks are SS pans good for?
    2. Deglaze with vinegars post cooking always? Or what do you recommend deglazing with from a cleaning standpoint (not recipe)
    3. Always cook with a lower temp on stainless? I'm used to very direct heat transfer due to woks and I use high heat. I use much lower heats with nonstick.

    Thanks guys. Yeah I use Jif (same as comet cream cleanser I think, Cif). Can't find barkeeper's friend or flitz locally. Don't dare to try the more aggressive metal polishes - not sure if it is a good idea with food pans.

  10. #10
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    You probably got talked into buying pans instead of pots no?

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