Stainless steel is the cookware of choice for many home cooks – some choose it for its superior performance and durability, while others prefer cooking on a traditional surface or just love its brilliant look in the kitchen. Stainless steel behaves differently than nonstick or hard-anodized aluminum cookware, but you can get great results every time you cook by following these simple steps for no-stick cooking.
• Take the chill off foods before cooking. Because cold food will stick to a hot pan, remove foods from the refrigerator before you start to cook and allow to gently warm up for 10 or 15 minutes. If you're cooking meat, gently pat dry to remove moisture.
• Pre-heat your pan over medium heat. Calphalon stainless steel cookware has an aluminum core or base, and it holds heat very well. Don't preheat on high thinking that you're going to save time – your pan will probably be too hot when you add the food. It only takes a couple of minutes to preheat Calphalon cookware at the proper temperature.
• Use the butter test to see if your pan is properly preheated. When you think the pan is warm enough to start cooking, test it by rubbing a teaspoon of butter over the inside of the pan. When the butter begins to bubble briskly (it should not brown), it’s properly preheated. If the butter begins to burn and turn brown, the heat setting is too high. Carefully wipe the burned butter out of the pan with a paper towel, lower the heat, wait a minute, and try the butter test again.
• DO NOT use aerosol cooking sprays. Aerosol sprays contain a chemical propellant that is difficult to remove. Instead, use an oil mister filled with olive or vegetable oil, or dab a bit of oil on a paper towel and carefully wipe the interior of the pan.
• Cook with less oil. It's a common misconception that you need a lot of oil to keep food from sticking. If you have pre-heated properly, you only need just enough oil to coat the pan. No more than a teaspoon or so should pool if you pick up the pan and tilt it.
• Turn down the heat! Calphalon cookware is so heat-efficient that high heat can quickly cause food to stick and burn. Keep heat at medium-high or below. In most cases, you just don't need a high heat setting. (Think of your burner settings like the speedometer in your car. The numbers go up to 120 mph, but you really don't need to drive that fast.)
• Give food room to cook. Overcrowding can rapidly reduce the temperature of the pan, which can cause food to stick or cook unevenly.
• Keep your cookware thoroughly clean. Residue from previous cooking or aerosol cooking sprays is a common cause of sticking. While most stainless steel pans are dishwasher safe, we recommend hand washing to preserve the luster of the stainless steel. After each use, wash stainless steel surfaces in hot, sudsy water using a liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn® and a non-abrasive sponge or soft bristle brush – we recommend using Scotch-Brite™ Dobie® pads. Sometimes, pans develop a rainbow-like discoloration. To remove this, use Bar Keeper's Friend® cleanser (or other polish made especially for stainless steel) and a non-abrasive sponge or soft bristle brush.
Dawn® is a registered trademark of Procter & Gamble. Bar Keeper's Friend® is a registered trademark of SerVaas Laboratories.Dobie and Scotch-Brite are trademarks of 3M.