It’s true. I learned to cook from… my husband. Our first married fight was over macaroni and cheese, no lie. Yep, Mr. Napping taught me much of what I know. When I got married the only kind of cookware I had ever used was no-stick stuff. Usually with some sort of Teflon liner. Mr Napping had a couple of stainless steel pans and I quickly learned that I absolutely DESPISED cooking in stainless steel. Everything stuck and it was a nightmare to clean. I hated everything about it. I pretty much shoved those pans in the back of the cupboard and they only ever saw the light of day when Mr Napping used them. I even refused to wash them, I hated them THAT much.
Not so long ago though, Mr Napping came to my rescue once again. I don’t know where he gleaned the information, but it has been a secret that has completely changed my attitude toward stainless steel cookware. I no longer banish those pans to the back of the cupboard. I made spaghetti sauce in one last night, in fact. I can honestly say that I adore cooking pasta sauces in stainless steel. I use them for a lot of other things too, but that’s my favorite. Would you like to know the secret?
THE SECRET TO COOKING
IN STAINLESS STEEL COOKWARE
The big secret is this… HEAT THE PAN before you put anything in it. Most people don’t let the pan heat up enough before they start trying to cook in it. I am one that doesn’t have a lot of patience to sit around and let a pan heat up, so definitely guilty of trying to cook before the pan is ready. But, when cooking in stainless steel, this will absolutely make or break your cooking experience (and the clean up too)!
How do you know if the pan is hot enough? Actually there is a really cool, super easy way to tell if the pan is hot enough to cook in. Ready? Pour just a few drops into the pan. If it sizzles away it’s still not hot enough. If, however, it creates a water bubble that looks like it floats on the pan, you’re good to go.
Check out the video below and see just what I mean. You might heat up the pan and do this for fun… it looks pretty neat. It’s called the Leidenfrost effect. Sorry for the vertical video syndrome…
“The Leidenfrost effect is a physical phenomenon in which a liquid, in near contact with a mass significantly hotter than the liquid’s boiling point, produces an insulating vapor layer keeping that liquid from boiling rapidly…”
The explanation above comes from wikipedia… It was the easiest to understand. There’s actually a great diagram on the wikipedia page that illustrates what happens, if you want to learn more about it.
… In case you wondered. Now go get out the stainless steel pans and try it!