Useful Tips

Rules for the selection and operation of a stainless steel pan for the home


Kitchenware is most often metal, thereby providing greater reliability and practicality in use. Although some types of metal tend to corrode, which greatly complicates the operation of products. And when a new frying pan is purchased, the hostess often raises the question: - How to prepare it for use, so that it would serve for a long time and for good? Let's find out.

How is a steel pan prepared?

Steel utensils are completely not susceptible to corrosion, if the alloy has the correct proportion of chromium and nickel (18/10), but nevertheless it must be prepared for first use, namely, calcine the pan when it is new.

To do this, the product is thoroughly washed, dried. Vegetable (refined) oil is poured into the bottom about 1 cm thick, salt is poured, the frying pan is put on medium heat for 15-20 minutes. As soon as the first haze appears, the fire turns off - the calcination is over.

The final step. The salt and oil from the pan are removed, the excess oil is thoroughly cleaned with a napkin. The product is not washable and as such is ready for first use.

How is cast iron cooked?

A new cast-iron skillet must go through the stage of calcination in oil, which creates a natural non-stick layer, which further ensures a golden crust on the product and does not stick to the bottom. How does this happen?

The pan is washed thoroughly with warm water and a dishwashing detergent (e.g. Fairy, Aos). The outside is wiped, the inside remains wet. The product is placed on the stove over medium heat. As soon as the last drops evaporate, this is a signal that the pan has warmed up to 100 ° C.

Next step. Protective mittens are put on (gloves) and the inside of the hot pan is greased with vegetable or linseed oil. Time is given for the product to cool to a warm state. Then the same procedure is performed a couple more times: it is heated, lubricated inside with oil, cooled. If there is a cast-iron lid in the kit, then this procedure must be done in the oven, and not on the hob, turning the product itself.

Do I need to calcine with salt? It is necessary if the new cast-iron product is heavily coated with industrial grease. It can be extremely difficult to completely wash with water and detergent. Then the salt is poured into the pan, closing the bottom and walls as much as possible. The product is placed on medium heat. As soon as the salt begins to change color (this happens in 20-30 minutes), the calcination ends. Then the hot frying pan is also rubbed with oil, cools down and heats up a couple more times, rubbed and cools down.

Some manufacturers bake cast iron cookware and create a natural non-stick layer on their own. To find out, you need to carefully read the label. In this case, the new pan is simply washed, dried and ready for use.

If the product was subjected to strong mechanical stresses during cleaning and washing (scrapers, metal sponges and active chemicals were used), then after this procedure it must be dried on a fire and greased the inside with a small amount of vegetable oil.

How is an aluminum product prepared?

Preparation follows the same principle as in the case of a steel pan. The product is washed, dried and filled with vegetable oil per centimeter with two tablespoons of salt. Put on medium heat. After 15-20 minutes, salt, as a rule, changes color and a slight haze appears.

Next step. The aluminum skillet is cleaned of salt, oil, excesses are thoroughly wiped with a napkin. It is rinsed with warm water (without detergents) and wiped dry. Although you can not rinse.

How is a non-stick pan prepared?

Products with non-stick coatings should never be calcined. In this case, the pan is washed thoroughly with a sponge and a mild dish detergent, and it is well dried. The inside is wiped with a cloth moistened with a small amount of vegetable oil.

Later, during operation, the inner layer can be periodically lubricated with a small amount of vegetable or linseed oil to maintain the best non-stick surface properties. The same can be done with ceramic dishes.

Watch a 5-minute video that shows how professionals prepare new frying pans for first use:

Can I use a dishwasher?

Which pans can be washed in a dishwasher and which cannot? A question that worries many. As practice shows, all pans, except steel, are not recommended for washing in a dishwasher. There is only one reason: the non-stick layer disappears. As a result, the pan is washed “to squeak”, but completely devoid of non-stick properties. Although manufacturers often recommend the use of a dishwasher during the operation of pans. This is cunning and a clear marketing technique to increase sales of their products.

Advantages and disadvantages of stainless steel frying pans

Uncoated steel pans shining with a mirror shine stand out against the background of cast-iron and enameled cookware. And if earlier baking sheets and roasting pan made of stainless steel could be found mainly in professional kitchens, now they are actively buying for home. There are at least two reasons for the increase in popularity: the appearance of induction cookers and new technologiesthat increase the thermal conductivity of the metal.

The benefits of stainless steel in the kitchen

The positive aspects are proven and do not cause doubts:

  • Corrosion resistance - stainless steel utensils are not afraid of contact with acids and alkalis. In braziers, you can safely stew vegetables in acidic sauces from berries and tomatoes. And use stewpan as a dish for jam in small volumes.
  • Resistance to rust - pans can be left flooded with water and in the wet state without the risk of detecting rust spots. True, the drops leave dull spots on the mirror surface, so it is better to wipe.
  • There is no risk of deformation and destruction from temperature contrast, you can pour colder water into hot dishes and vice versa.
  • Not afraid of scratches - there is no need to choose silicone and wooden shovels and forks, metal ones are quite suitable.
  • Easy care - can be washed by various means and folk methods, pour water and clean.
  • Durability - an indestructible stainless steel cooking utensil has been around for decades.
  • Versatility - Suitable for all types of plates: gas, glass-ceramic, induction.

Then why are steel corrosion-resistant pans in doubt, and reviews about them are not only positive, but also negative? It's simple - such dishes have disadvantages.

Weaknesses and weaknesses

The most significant disadvantages of stainless steel: low heat capacity and low thermal conductivity. According to these important indicators for cookware intended for frying, corrosion-resistant steel is inferior to cast iron and aluminum.

Stainless steel frying pan does not heat upnecessary for full frying over high heat, like cast iron or aluminum. On a steel skillet, it is more difficult to achieve a fried crust.

Cookware made of food steel takes longer to heat up. And if you can pour the dough on an aluminum crepe pan in a few seconds, you will have to preheat the stainless steel well. In this case, excessive heating must not be allowed, otherwise the steel pan burns and smokes.

Another fly in the ointment - the inability to cook on a dry surface without oil and fat. It is advisable to use steel pans with a conventional single-layer bottom for stewing and frying without prolonged heat treatment.

How to understand steel grades

Frying pans, pots, cutlery and other kitchen utensils are made from food grade stainless steel, an alloy that is hygienic and safe in every way. In the characteristics of the goods should be indicated steel grade.

  • Best for frying pans and other cookware for the stove is nickel chromium steel 304. But products from this alloy are the most expensive.
  • In the budget segment, they use cheaper stainless steel grades 202 and 201, which can also be identified by marking 18/10.
  • The outer covering of the bottom can be made of steel brand 430 (nickel-free ferritic).

Stainless steel polishing can be matte or mirror. Mirrored look beautiful, but require careful handling and gentle care. It is better to wipe such dishes immediately after washing dry, and periodically wash with special means.

Bottom Types and Thickness Requirements

Stainless steel pans would have remained the catering equipment if they hadn’t invented encapsulated bottom. The features of this technology are not only in thickness, but also in a special layered structure.

The triple bottom is a sandwich of two stainless steel plates and an aluminum or copper disk between them. Aluminum and copper are characterized by high thermal conductivity, so the bottom heats up quickly and evenly, and the products do not stick and do not burn.

The thickness of the heat-distributing aluminum plate according to GOST is at least 3 mm, but a good stainless steel pan should be with a plate of 4.5-5 mm. A thickness of 1.5 cm is sufficient for copper.

A more complex thick encapsulated bottom consists of five or even more layers. In this case, the design includes carbon steel discs. They give strength and protect against burning. A particularly strong bottom is needed for gas stoves.

The multilayer bottom is not in vain called heat storage. Thanks to the aluminum inside the sandwich, the dishes remain hot for a long time, so cooking continues even after turning off the stove. In this way, energy can be saved.

Thin stainless steel frying pans with the usual single-layer bottom should be considered only for stewing and cooking quick and simple dishes in small quantities.

The inner part of the bottom is also different. In addition to smooth, corrugated or cellular is found. This is not a grill. The corrugated surface reduces the contact of foods with fat, making the dish more dietary.

Types of pens and choosing the best

The ideal handle for the pan should not be afraid of high temperatures, while remaining comfortable for the hands. In stainless steel dishes there are handles made of different materials:

  • Of stainless steel - practical, as they are not afraid of high temperatures and flames, easy to care for. Minus - they get very hot, you need tacks.
  • Bimetallic - they seem to look steel, but the design consists of several types of metals, due to which the handle remains cold, without heating from the vessel. This is the best handle, but it can get warm if it is near a burner.
  • From thermoplastic - in this case, the handle is put on a plastic cover that prevents burns.
  • From wood - in modern production, pressed wood is used, it does not dry out and is not afraid of water.

Mounting handles on steel dishes can be welded or riveted. Rivets are reliable, but some do not like the fact that they are visible. Spot welding is practically not noticeable, but for low-quality products this option is less reliable.

Cover as an important addition

It is advisable to buy a stainless steel pan complete with a glass lid. Such covers are made with metal rims for greater strength. A hole is provided in the glass for steam to escape.

The main requirement for the lid is a snug fit. Otherwise, during the quenching, it will begin to tremble, creating an unpleasant noise. Also, a poor fit will lead to the release of steam, which is not always appropriate.

What to look for when inspecting

To buy a good and durable stainless steel frying pan, do not be too lazy to carefully examine a potential purchase. What to look for:

  • The thickness of the metal. The wall thickness should be at least 1.2 mm, and the bottom - at least 3 mm.
  • Build quality. Check the bottom, especially the multi-layer. Evaluate the reliability of mounting the handles - they must be firmly fixed without a hint of displacement.
  • Smooth surface. The inner and upper surface should be smooth, without scratches and stains.
  • Diameter of the bottom. It must correspond to the size of the burner, especially if there is an electric stove in the house.

When choosing a manufacturer, pay attention to the credibility of the brand and the guarantee, study the reviews of those who have already managed to evaluate the quality in practice.

Types of steel pans in shape and purpose

Classic uncoated stainless steel pan designed for everyday cooking. In such a convenient way to prepare sauces for second courses and frying for first courses, fry pancakes and meatballs, stew a small amount of vegetables or mushrooms.

The walls of universal pans are slightly beveled or almost straight, the depth is small, there is a lid. Typically, classic pans have one long handle with heat protection.

Crepe maker easily recognizable by its small diameter and low slightly beveled sides, which facilitate turning and tipping over the finished pancake. A pancake steel pan is suitable only for experienced and patient housewives, as if the dough is not properly heated, the dough will burn.

Stewpan It has high walls, so it is sometimes referred to as a variety of pots. In a deep stainless steel pan, it is convenient to stew coarsely chopped and stuffed vegetables, large pieces of meat and poultry. Unlike an uncoated aluminum frying pan, you can not be afraid to add acidic vegetables. Stews prepare sauces, sauces, and thick soups.

Brazier in height below the saucepan and is intended for baking and stewing. It is important that the bottom is thick, as cooking takes a long time.

Wok pans also made of stainless steel. A distinctive feature of the dishes is a rounded narrowed bottom and wide walls, on which the fried pieces are removed, so that they remain hot and reach readiness without oil and high temperature. For wok, it is important that the bottom is capsular, otherwise the desired temperature will not be. Practical kits, including an insert for a double boiler.

A stainless steel grill pan is good for frying steaks of delicate fish. Having caught it, you can get delicious entrecotes. The easiest way to fry vegetables and sausages in the shell. The griller has a ribbed bottom to help reduce the amount of fat in dishes. For a stainless steel grill, it is important that the bottom is thermal storage.

The grill range includes non-stick coated stainless steel pans. This is a good choice, since it is difficult to ensure that meat or fish do not bother with stainless steel with a small amount of oil. Most often, the coating is made ceramic.

Grill gas - A special dish consisting of a roasting pan with a hole in the center, a lid and a wire rack. If you are not familiar with such a device for cooking dishes in the kitchen, such as grilled, then read our article. Almost all grill-gas pans are made of stainless steel, as this metal is ideal for the cooking principle.

Frying pans for cooking paella over an open fire are made of carbon steel, and for the stove cookers are made of stainless steel paellers. These are round frying pans with low slightly beveled sides and small handles.

Overview of interesting models from different manufacturers

We do not make ratings or advertise products of any manufacturers. This review is intended to familiarize you with the models and help you decide on the purchase of a suitable stainless steel pan without a non-stick coating.

The inexpensive classical frying pan from stainless steel of MAINTZ with a diameter of 20 cm from the Gipfel company is made of food anticorrosive steel 18/10. The inside is glossy, the outside is matte.

A five-liter DELUXE wok pan with a bottom diameter of 32 cm is made of durable nickel-chromium steel. The cover is steel in the shape of a dome.

LILAS stewpan with a volume of 2 liters and a bottom diameter of 28 cm is suitable for frying, stewing, sauces. Inside there is a scale of division in liters. The wall thickness is 0.6 mm. The thickened bottom by capsule technology is 3.5 mm. Material - stainless steel 18/10.

A small pan with a Regent LUNA vitro stainless steel lid with a diameter of 20 cm is ideal for serving vegetables, preparing sauces and dishes in small portions. The thermal distribution bottom simplifies cooking and helps save energy.

Casteline removable steel griddle from the French manufacturer CRISTEL, 1 liter, is suitable for frying and baking. Two small handles on rivets are not afraid of cooking in the oven. You can cook paella.

How to prepare a stainless steel pan for first use

A new pan of uncoated steel does not need to be calcined for a long time, like a cast iron or aluminum. There are no pores in the stainless steel, therefore it is enough to wash the product using a specialized or universal dishwashing detergent.

To prevent food from sticking or sticking to a steel skillet, treat it with vegetable oil. The procedure for preparing for the first use is simple:

  1. After washing, let dry.
  2. Pour into the bottom refined deodorized oil suitable for frying. Можно купить недорогое соевое или подсолнечное. Дно должно быть закрыто полностью, но много масла не лейте.
  3. Включите плиту на средний нагрев. No need to make a strong fire or heat the electric burner - this will not allow the metal to evenly warm up.
  4. Place a frying pan with oil on a burner and heat for several minutes.
  5. As soon as the smoke appears, remove from the stove and leave to cool.
  6. Pour the cooled oil down the drain.
  7. Wipe with a paper towel.

Recommendations for use

So that products are not burned or pestered to a stainless steel pan, it must be slowly, but well heat up, and only then pour oil. Experienced housewives do this by eye, and beginners can check the degree of heating with water. Pour to the bottom of the water, if it starts to boil quickly, then you can pour out the water, dry the dishes on the burner and pour oil.

If the pan is overheated, then the water will immediately begin to hiss and evaporate noisily, like on the sole of a hot iron. In this case, it is necessary to cool slightly, and only then add the cooking oil.

Need to cook with medium heat. In case of excessive heat, the stainless pan burns, and in case of insufficient heat, everything sticks to it. To avoid pestering, do not fry cold foods, but preheat them to room temperature. You can use the microwave, enough for a few seconds.

If cooking in water or sauce, add salt only after boiling. Otherwise, scale will form. After a few preparations, you will get used to it, be sure to make friends with new dishes and begin to enjoy cooking.

Care Tips

For all its practicality, anti-corrosion steel requires proper care. Do not clean the pan or baking sheet with stiff washcloths and brushes. Do not use detergents and cleaners containing abrasives, chlorine or ammonia.

The easiest way to clean a stainless steel pan from burnt food with ordinary baking soda. Soak the dishes with hot water, then drain the water, sprinkle more soda and rub with gruel. Also, soda can wipe off droplets of fat on the front side of the walls. Just do not use hard washcloths, preferably with a soft sponge, cloth or hand.

It is easy to return a mirror shine by wiping the surface with a solution of vinegar or lemon juice. The acid must be washed off with running water, and then wipe the walls with a dry cloth. If you do not like folk methods, take a specialized remedy.

We wish you to find and buy a good stainless steel pan, which will last a long time and bring pleasure in the kitchen. Be sure to read how to choose a stone pan and what to consider when buying an aluminum pan.

Part 1 Burnout Prevention

  1. 1 Use a trick with a hot pan and cold oil. The best way to avoid burning food is to start by heating the pan. Heat it over medium heat (never over high) and pour butter or vegetable oil into it right before putting food.
  2. 2 Adjust the cooking temperature. Cooking at too high a temperature is guaranteed to provide you with a burning of food in the pan. Remember: the HIGH fire mode on the stove is needed for boiling water and deep frying, but no more. To avoid burning and burning foods, lower the cooking temperature.
  3. 3 Reheat food before cooking. Cold food in a hot pan most often sticks. Get rid of this problem by taking food out of the refrigerator well in advance of cooking and letting it take room temperature. But do not leave her for long!
  4. 4 Do not overfill your pan. Having laid too much food, you create chaos in the temperature regime of your pan, and this, in turn, provokes sticking and burning. It also causes your food to cook unevenly!
  5. 5 Avoid non-stick and cooking sprays. Sprays leave behind the remnants of a substance that create problems with adhesion more than they solve, especially along the edges of the pan, where the spray does not burn out.
  6. 6 Always maintain Teflon coating. If the pan has a non-stick coating, you should try to maintain it in good condition. Never use metal appliances on the surface of a non-stick pan, and also do not cook on it over high heat and NEVER wash it with abrasive materials such as a stiff dishcloth or metal sponge.

Part 2 Use the pan correctly

Different types of pans are designed for cooking different types of food. Using the right pan will greatly help you keep your dishes in excellent condition.

  1. 1 Use a stainless steel pan for sauces, liquids, and acidic foods. Stainless steel pans are best suited for making sauces, gravy and other liquid foods. They are also very useful in the preparation of acidic foods, because non-stick coating and other types of pans will begin to react with acidic substances and due to this deteriorate over time.
  2. 2 Use non-stick pans to fry eggs and similar non-stick foods. Teflon, cast iron or carbon steel (the last two need to be processed) are pans in which you need to cook sticky foods like meat, eggs and pancakes.
  3. 3 Use copper pans to cook at high temperatures. Copper pans are best suited for foods that are particularly sensitive to heat, or for food that needs to be cooked at very high temperatures (high heat is not safe for other types of pans). Previously, they must be properly lubricated with oil, but these are just the pans that need to be used for quick frying and other products that cook on high heat.

Part 3 Alternatives

Although not recommended, this is the most common way to process stainless steel pans.

  1. 1 Pour salt into the bottom of the pan. Pour a few tablespoons of salt into the bottom of the pan.
  2. 2 Add oil. Add heat resistant oil like peanut butter.
  3. 3 Preheat the pan. Heat the pan over high heat until smoke comes out of the oil.
  4. 4 Let it cool. Turn off the heat and let the oil cool.
  5. 5 Wipe it. When the oil has cooled to a safe temperature, pour it out and wipe the pan with a paper towel or rag. Remember that after you have processed the pan, you can never wash it again.