To tell you the truth, I never liked eggs and never fussed about eggs sticking on the pan’s surface. But my world changed when I deliberately tried to make eggs a part of my diet to get additional protein.
Being naïve, instead of fretting about non-stick pans, I used a stainless steel pan, and my omelet didn’t stick and glide right out of the stainless steel pan. A happy accident!
How did that happen?
At that time, I didn’t know about seasoning the pan but had seasoned it accidentally prior to cooking an egg in it.
I had heated the pan to cook something else with oil in it, but at the last moment, I decided to cook an egg. Being health conscious, I poured oil into the bowl and cooked the egg without washing! Tada! My stainless steel pan was seasoned – Lady luck was in my favor!
But then I researched and tested the seasoning stainless steel pan properly. Let me share this with you.
To prevent yourself from the hassle of making stainless steel frying pan nonstick, you can check our tested recommendations for the best non-stick pans without Teflon and 10 best ceramic nonstick pan.
- How to Make a Stainless Steel Pan Non-Stick [Quick Steps]
- Oil to Season Stainless Steel Pans
- Wrapping Up!
How to Make a Stainless Steel Pan Non-Stick [Quick Steps]
Step 1: First, wash your pan with soap, hot water, and a sponge before seasoning it. If it has baked-on grease, check this guide to remove it.
Step 2: After the pan dries, heat it on the stove on medium or medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes.
Step 3: Once the pan is heated, pour two tablespoons of oil with a high smoking point. Swirl the oil around the bottom and wall too.
Step 4: Make sure that the oil coats the pan thoroughly; otherwise, the dry parts with no oil will not be seasoned.
Step 5: When you see a faint wisp of smoke from the oil rising in the air, turn off the flame. It will take 4-6 minutes, depending on the smoking temperature of the oil.
Step 6: Throw the oil, and clean it with a paper towel thoroughly.
Step 7: Repeat the procedure twice or thrice for even seasoning.
You can also follow this video to make stainless steel cookware nonstick.
Oil to Season Stainless Steel Pans
Oil that you need to season a stainless steel pan should have:
- High smoke point (the temperature at which oil starts to smoke and burn)
- Low saturated fat or high polyunsaturated fat
Some of the best oil to season your non-stick pan as well as stainless steel pans are:
|Grapeseed oil||421° F|
|Flaxseed Oil||225° F|
From above, you can see that flaxseed oil has a low smoke point, but it’s a natural drying oil. It hardens and makes a solid layer by a chemical reaction with oxygen and polymerizes readily, which is essential to seasoning. For full seasoning procedure you can check our detailed guide on how to season a frying pan.
Oils You Should Avoid While Making a Stainless Pan Non-Stick?
Olive oil shouldn’t be used as its smoking point is low, and the seasoning starts to degrade at high temperatures.
Coconut oil also should not be used due to its strong flavor. Although it has a higher smoking point, it is frozen at room temperature.
How Do You Fry Eggs in a Stainless Steel Pan Without Sticking?
It’s another method of frying an egg that doesn’t require seasoning at all. An excellent technique if you don’t have enough time to season the pan. This method is based on the “Leidenfrost effect.”
In this method, the skillet is heated above “boiling water” temperature. At this temperature, water droplets or anything that comes in contact with the pan’s surface hovers over the vapor layer due to the temperature.
Here’s how you can do the simple mercury test to get the exact temperature of the pan.
- First, heat your pan for up to 2-3 minutes.
- Sprinkle some drop of water on the pan; If the water droplet instantly evaporates or hiss, the pan isn’t ready to cook an egg in it.
- After a few seconds, when you see the droplet of water forming small balls, levitate on the surface without hissing and skitter around; your pan is ready to cook eggs.
- Add a little amount of oil (less than we usually use), let it heat, and cook eggs in it. The eggs won’t stick to the surface.
- For this method to work correctly, your eggs or any ingredient should be warm or at room temperature.
Why Does My Stainless Steel Frying Pan Stick?
- The stainless steel frying pan’s surface looks smooth but has microscopic pores on the surface. When you put the food before heating the pan enough, the food will get into the pores, and upon heating, the food will start sticking due to pore size shrinking.
- Another reason is when you put the cold ingredients in the stainless steel pan without oil. Oil creates a frictionless barrier between the food and the pan’s surface.
- If you have not seasoned your stainless steel pan, it will also result in food sticking.
- Some delicate food like fish, steak, or eggs are prone to sticking more if you haven’t heated the pan or the pan is super hot. The trick here is to get the pan to a perfect temperature and add a dash of oil to create a frictionless surface.
- If you regularly use a rough scouring pad, it will cause scratches, and tiny pores and bumps will lead to food sticking.
How Do You Keep Your Stainless Steel Pan from Sticking?
- The first way to keep your stainless steel pan from sticking is to season it properly.
- Don’t use harsh detergents or soaps to wash the seasoned pan. Only use warm water to rinse the pan.
- Re-season your pan once a month; we recommend you season every 15 days, else the bacteria will grow on the surface due to no use of dishwashing soap in cleaning.
- Another way is to heat the pan enough before adding anything to it. (At temperature above Leidenfrost point).
- Don’t add cold ingredients to the pan.
- Don’t add wet ingredients or wet vegetables to the pan. Dry the ingredients thoroughly.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan beyond its capacity and avoid stirring the food too much.
- Start cooking on medium heat and adjust the heat as you need.
It is practically achievable to make your stainless steel pan non-stick by seasoning the pan or using the Leidenfrost effect. You just need to follow the simple steps and tricks to cook hassle-free. Does it eliminate the need for non-stick pans? Certainly not! Some foods like fish, steak, or other delicate protein-rich ingredients do require the strength of the non-stick coating to cook the food without sticking or burning too much.