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So I thought I'd buy myself a pan that will outlast me; spend a bit of money and learn how to to cook with a proper pan.
So I did what (I think) you're supposed to do to 'season' or 'seal' the pan - heated up some oil until it was smokin' (and nearly burnt the house down in the process), then left the oil in on a low heat for a couple of hours.
When I wash the pan I only use warm water - no soap - which seems to clean it just fine.
But I keep sticking stuff! Fried potatoes require some serious scraping with a metal spatula, and fried eggs? Nigh-on-impossible.
Are there any experienced metal pan chefs out there who can give me some tips?
You could make my breakfast times so much easier :)
I never heard about the low heat period before.
Here's what the burn-in instructions to my own frying pan say (hand forged iron):
In normal use, those are the recommendations:
In general, the more you use it (correctly), the better it will become, and the less stuff will stick in it. The metal will become black very soon, and it will get a natural protective coating. This coating is not to be considered "dirt". Never listen to any overeager housewive who wants to scrape the thing blank again, its functionality would basically get destroyed in the process.
The best thing to do is to get some Cookeen (ultra cheap cooking fat) - plonk a dollop in the pan and leave it on the heat for 6-8 hours (as long as you can safely).
Then clean it up by wiping out the excess fat with a kitchen towel. That will season the pan nicely.
Never use washing up liquid on it.
Done right, this will make the pan less sticky than Teflon.
It looks like I have to fill the pan with salt and potatoes, loads of oil and leave it on the heat for 3 and a half days ;)
Maybe I should have said that the cooking surface metal is stainless steel.
It did come with instructions, but I was a bit 'kid round the christmas tree' with it and I have absolutely no idea where they went. I'll see if they have a website.
I reckon with these tips, Teflon will be buying my formula off me soon - Cylon - what you reckon? ;)
I am an avid-cast-iron-frying-pan-user-fan-freak. Those indispensable basic cooking items will better value over time.
After you use them, wash them and rub a thin film of olive oil all over, and under the cooking surface. "Seasoned" frying pans is just like SEO/SEM : using 'magic wand' shortcuts at your own risks.
I love my cast iron pan, i just have to remember not to use soap and not to leave it to soak, and to oil it when I'm done cleaning it. Eeeeek-- rust! I haven't used it enough yet-- my mother's cast iron pans are smooth as butter and black as midnight, and you can use soap on them all you want-- it won't penetrate the film of non-stick coating.
On the upside, mine's been heated to white heat to blacken catfish with no ill effects. It can withstand anything.
AND, it's GREAT at resolving domestic arguments, or burglary threats. ;)
I have a stainless steel wok that I'm having more trouble seasoning-- cast iron is in all ways superior except that it's so freaking heavy. The wok, I did the heat until smoking thing, etc., and I have to leave it oiled, but again, i don't use it enough, and the finish hasn't been made permanent. Only consistent use will do it. I don't make stir-fry that often, sadly. But if I did, it'd be a beautiful wok by now. Non-stik woks are terrible, and you can't count on them for longer than maybe two years if you ever actually use them.
I use either olive oil or peanut oil for keeping my non-nonstick pans from rusting.
Hot pan, cold oil, food won't stick.
Stainless will hold the food until it releases it. That is, if you're browning some potatoes, they will stick until they reach the right crispiness. If you try to move 'em sooner, they cling like crazy.
Heat the pan, drop in the oil, then the food.
I need to find out where to get ahold of some goose fat... it's a traditional ingredient in some ethnic christmas cookies i've got to make this year...
But anyhow. Yes, hot pan cold oil is definitely a good tip. And stirring pretty well constantly helps as well.