Cooking with Stainless Steel
Cooking with stainless steel pots and pans can get a bad reputation, because food can stick to this cookware more easily than it sticks to nonstick pans, but there are a number of benefits to using stainless steel cookware to prepare your paleo foods, and it can be quite easy to cook with them, when a few simple tips are followed.
Stainless steel cookware is beneficial for a paleo kitchen because unlike nonstick pans, you won’t run the risk of being exposed to harmful chemicals. Stainless steel cookware is also very durable and scratch-resistant. When using non-stick cookware, it’s not possible to cook with metal utensils, because they will badly damage the pots and pans, and it’s also possible that bits of the pan can flake off and end up in your food.
In general, the biggest drawback of cooking with stainless steel- the fact that food sticks easily- is most prone to happening when proteins are being cooked, which are of course, a key staple of the paleo diet. When cooking with stainless steel, the following tips can help prevent your meats and other foods from sticking:
-Make sure the pan is completely clean. Small pieces of attached food can cause the new food to stick more than it would on a clean pan.
-The surface of the food you are cooking should be free of moisture, and not too cold. You should remove meat from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for a period of time before cooking. Very cold meat adheres to stainless steel much more easily once cooking begins, versus meat that is room temperature. You should also pat meat dry before cooking begins, because when moisture touches the oil you’re using to cook with, it lowers the temperature of the oil, which leads to sticking.
-The oil you are using should be very hot when the food is added. You can either add cold oil to a hot pan or heat the pan and the oil at the same time, but either way, the oil should be hot when you place your food into the pan. When a pan is hot enough to begin cooking, the oil will have begun to ripple across the pan. The ideal point to add food to a stainless steel pan is right before the oil begins to smoke. When the oil is hot enough, you can also tell by flicking water droplets into the pan. If the oil is ready for cooking, the oil will vaporize immediately.
-Don’t cook too much food at one time. The food you’re cooking shouldn’t be crowded in the pan, because this can release excess moisture which will lower the temperature of the oil.
-Listen to the sounds being made by the cooking food. If your food is making a sizzling sound, this means there is adequate moisture in the pan, and your food isn’t burning. If you hear splattering, this means the food has reached a point where burning is possible.