Difference in technique for cooking with non-stick and standard pans?

  • Difference in technique for cooking with non-stick and standard pans? DMA57361

    Following up from my previous question, which I'd raised because I have concerns that my non-stick wok will need replacing very soon (again), and was having a think about "standard" pans.

    I'm not currently interested in differences in care/cleaning/etc, I think those are quite well covered in other questions.

    So, I'm wondering what's the difference in the required technique when using them to cook food?

  • Well, standard pans 'stick' more. You can either try to prevent it, or gain advantage from it. The common advantage being caramelization / sticking / dissolving, for flavour, or getting a maillard reaction going.

    Have a look here as well.

  • The big thing that you you are going to see cooking in regular pans vs. non-stick is the addition of pan sauces to your table. It is almost impossible to get a pan sauce out of the non-sticks because they prevent the formation of fond in the pan. As for stick in a regular pan, it is not much of a concern for most items, but there are a few things that non-stick are invaluable for so I generally keep a cheap non-stick around for those. (Talking cepes and eggs, mostly) The biggest trick with regular pans is learning to stop messing with your food while it cooks. You want to let it form that crust which as a by-product will help prevent sticking. Also, you will find that you start at a higher tempature when cooking with regular pans.

  • You can get the benefits of both non-stick and fond by prepping the stainless steel pan so it's more non-stick:

    Use the "water test" to know when a stainless steel pan is hot enough to add oil. Besides being fascinating to watch, passing the water test ensures the pan becomes amazingly non-stick.

    When the pan is hot enough, water will ball up like mercury and slide around the pan without evaporating. The temperature required is pretty high, but I've found the non-stick properties remain if I add the oil and let the pan cool to the cooking temperature I want.

    Note: preheating the pan like this applies to non-stainless steel pans, but water only balls up like mercury on stainless steel.

    Detailed explanation of how/why this works: On properly heating your pan

cookware non-stick
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