Stainless steel has long been a favorite among chefs and home cooks alike thanks to its excellent versatility. Few other materials can go from stove top, to oven, to a sink full of sudsy water, all the while providing even heat distribution and conductivity.
… But every rose has it’s thorn, am I right? Stainless steel’s got one hell of a thorny edge when it comes to food sticking, but we’ve learned that with the proper foundation and knowledge of cooking with stainless steel you’re much more likely to get the results you crave (ha ha).
After purchasing your new stainless steel cookware set, make sure to give those bad boys a good wash in warm, soapy water. Adding a 1/4 of vinegar is a nice touch as well. Either way, just make sure to remove all the potential debris that has accumulated during sale and transit. The vast majority of stainless steel is dishwasher safe but we like to hand wash ours to keep them in tip top shape for as long as possible. Who doesn’t love a nice, shiny set of pots and pans? Swooooooon!
Don’t Go Heat Crazy
Depending on what type of cookware you are accustomed to using, you’ll have to adjust your cooking style accordingly. Cooks who are accustomed to cast iron, a material that is known for its sloth-like pre-heat period, may have to fight the urge to crank the heat up. Similarly, if you’re kitchen is stocked with non-stick cookware, the liberal use of oil or butter may initially shock and awe you and your cardiovascular system. Get over it folks, this is the land of stainless steel.
For all intents and purposes, you’re never going to want to crank the heat up past medium high. Stainless steel is an excellent heat conductor and just doesn’t need that much power behind it, plain and simple. Doing so may cause irreversible stains and discoloration, not to mention the havoc it will wreck on your grilled cheese, quesadilla, or pancake breakfast.
Stay away from metal on metal
In a perfect world we’d remove our makeup every single night, engage in 150 minutes of high intensity cardio every week, and refrain from ever using metal utensils on our stainless steel cookware. Like we said, perfect world. That being said, if you could be so kind to your stainless steel cookware and keep to wood, rubber, and silicone utensils 80% of the time, you’ll be in good shape. Metal utensils can cause scratches and while this is mainly cosmetics, deeper marks can contribute to sticking. Best to avoid if possible.