November 07, 2021

Everything 'sticking' to your stainless steel cookware? Well, yes, you'll want to 'season' your new stainless steel cookware set... and yes, it will be 'non-stick' naturally if you do!


I uploaded these photos a week or two ago but then life got in the way and I never got back to actually write the post.  I have to get ready to go somewhere in a few minutes so this will be quick, but I wanted to mention something about new Stainless Steel Cookware.

I realized a couple weeks ago, many people don't realize you have to 'season' them a bit, much like cast iron. A couple weeks ago, I got this set from Target.

I followed the directions for seasoning them, proceeded to use them a couple times and I'm happy to say that they are non-stick now; with very little effort on my part.

I liked them so much that I was thinking of buying a set for someone else for Christmas.  When I went to the listing, I realized there were a lot of people complaining that they were 'awful' and 'everything sticks' to them.  Now, these were people who admitted in the reviews they opened the box, and tried to use a pan immediately to cook things like eggs!!!

I just want to let others know that if you get a set of good stainless steel cookware, please take the time to read the instructions that come with them.   Your instructions will say something similar to what mine did about washing and drying them, then covering the bottom with oil and heating your new cookware on the stove until it just gets to 'smoking'.

The second you see little tendrils of smoke starting, then you remove them from the heat source and let them cool.  Completely.  Go find something else to do or do this at night before bed and then just let them sit there all night.

When they are cold, you wipe out the pans with a paper towel to absorb the oil.  Rub it good - polish it with the oil; the bottom and sides.

Now, pour in a little fresh oil or use a bit of shortening, and rub it around to coat it lightly and store your pan that way.

The first few times you use the pan, be sure you have enough oil for the foods.
When you place the pan on the stove, don't crank it up to the highest heat setting.  A medium high is good and will bring the pan up to temperature gradually.  You can always put it on high after it's completely hot.
Another helpful hint is to be sure your pan is preheated and hot before adding your food.

If you have food that stuck to the pan, remove most of your item and then add water to deglaze the pan (add water and put it immediately back on the hot burner, then use your spatula or utensil to gently scrape the bits and bobs from the pan as the water has loosened them.)

Now you can wipe out the pan with hot water and a dish rag.  Don't use soap until you feel you absolutely have to.  Washing it with hot water is usually sufficient and then add some fresh oil, wipe it with a paper towel and store it again.Scrubbing it hard and using a lot of soap right away is 'undoing' the seasoning.  After a couple weeks of cooking in it though, you'll be able to wash it and use it however you wish - including soap.

After you cook and clean it and store it with a bit of oil a couple times, you'll start to notice it's becoming non-stick naturally.

By the 3rd use of the fry pan, I could cook eggs and they did not stick at all.
I've since made French Toast and pancakes and the pan is basically non-stick already.

In another pan, I've browned ground chicken and ground beef, as well as made bacon.  I had to deglaze the pan a bit at first but now that pan is also 'non-stick' as long as I use a bit of oil to start.  And that was in less than 3-4 uses. 

Don't use your brand new stainless steel cookware straight out of the box
without first seasoning it.  If you read the instructions that come with your set,
you will find out how to season your particular cookware set.

Once seasoned, after a couple uses you'll find they are basically non-stick naturally
and you will have a long lasting cookware set that doesn't have the gross, peeling
'black' non-stick finish to add chemicals to your foods like coated cookware does!



 You can see the oil is getting really hot in the photo below as it's showing 'ripples' right before the whispy smoke tendrils start.


After they were hot and removed from the stove, I simply put them into my oven to completely cool so I could use my stove and my kitchen without hot pans in the way.

The set I replaced with this one is still perfectly wonderful but I am saving that set (a Wolfgang Puck stainless steel set) to hand down to a family member.  I have had it for about 16 years and it's still in perfect condition - including all pans and lids have been washed in the dishwasher and not seasoned with oil in 15+ years.  The more you use stainless steel, the better they age.

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