I know, I know, I know… you don’t believe me, but yes you can cook in a stainless steel skillet just like you would in a non-stick, teflon pan. The only reason non-stick skillets came into fashion is because of the disproven fat=cholesterol-hypothesis fear-mongering rumors that were spread around by our government. Ugh. I get so mad about these issues. How many years have you gone w/o eggs and butter and yummy fats because “THEY” said it was bad for you? Yet, there isn’t scientific data to prove the theory correct. And then after our bodies are starved of essential health building fats, we compound the health crisis with the toxic effects of teflon & non-stick coatings on cheap aluminum pans!! We cook exclusively in stainless steel, cast iron, ceramic and glass. You won’t find coated cookwear at our house!
Enough of my morning rant 🙂 Let’s get back onto our cooking discussion! Here’s the secret to making your stainless steel skillet, nonstick…. (drumroll please)
Hot pan, cold fat, then.. hot fat, cold food.
Yes, that’s how simple it is. Now I’ll elaborate and talk you through frying a egg step by step. Keep in mind you’ll need to practice and every stove/fat/pan is a little different, what works perfectly at our house might need a little tweaking at your house!
I want to *briefly* remind you to always source the best quality foods, Especially when it comes to Eggs. Now we do raise our own laying hens and think it’s soooo much fun, but I understand that’s not for everyone… However, each and everyone of you can source quality eggs from local farmers, the easiest way is to go to your local farmers market (even NYC’ers have beautiful farmers markets with amazing options!) Get to know your local farmers and build a relationship with them, supporting what they are doing is nearly the same as doing it yourself! Eggs from free ranging hens (not grocery store eggs) but farm fresh eggs are nutritional-powerhouses! They are so much better for you!! If you are are close to us, we share our eggs for a $3/dozen donation!
I start out with a “clean” stainless steel skillet. The more you treat your stainless steel skillet like cast iron the better it will work for you (meaning don’t use soap, I use one of those stainless steel dish scrubbers and really hot water.. but occasionally I’ll toss it in the dishwasher cause i’m lazy too) This morning my skillet was clean-clean right out of the dishwasher so it still worked beautifully.
1. Put your stainless steel skillet on your burner and turn on to medium (on my shitty electric stove I put it on #4 which is just under medium) Allow your skillet to heat up until you can hold your hand over it and feel heat but wouldn’t want to touch it because you’d get burned.
2. Add your fat (cool, cold, or room temp is all fine) I used clarified butter today since I had it on hand. Ghee, Lard, Tallow, Bacon Grease, Schmaltz, Coconut Oil or regular Butter all work the same (and note these are the only fats we cook with at our house!!) I don’t measure for cooking like this, but i used a generous tablespoon I guess, just a heaping scoop 🙂 When you add your fat it will sizzle a little, if it sizzles a lot or browns quickly turn your heat down (and remember to turn your stove down a little next time too) Allow your fat to melt, heat up to a nice coating of the pan. The fat should “dance” a little but not really jump/leap from the heat.
3. Crack your eggs into the skillet (or crack them into a little bowl and slide them into the skillet) – again they will sizzle – but you don’t want them to like FRY quickly, adjust your heat, just a light polite sizzle. (I turn my stove down to #3) I set my timer for 4 minutes (makes my whites completely set a little crispy on the edges but yoke is thick but still runny)
4. Cover your pan with a lid – this doesn’t have to be a perfect fitting lid, just something that works half-way decent to trap in some steam. I use a lid from my soup pot that sits inside my skillet but not on top of my skillet and doesn’t touch the eggs.
5. After 1-2 minutes, I remove the lid and ever so gently with a metal spatula lift/scrape any areas that might be a little stuck – so your eggs will freely slide around the pan. You want the egg to be “set” when before you start playing with it. I’ll also tilt my pan to the side and drizzle any excess fat over the egg yoke 🙂 with a small spoon (that I used to add fat to the skillet initially)
6. at 3 minutes I typically turn off the heat and let it continue to cook, still covered for the last minute.. since it’s really close to being done – for my hubby it’s done enough but for me it needs just a little longer.
7. at 4 minutes I remove the lid, give the pan a swirling motion (use my metal spatula if it’s a little stuck) and then slide/pour the egg onto my plate! Salt/Pepper your egg and Enjoy!!!
This is the same method we use to cook in our cast iron skillets too! Pancakes, french toasts, etc all work the with the same basic principal. Now after you’ve cooked your egg, your pan won’t be filthy dirty, just scrap off any little eggy bits, rinse with really hot water and then wipe clean with a paper towel – it’s ready to use next time (we call that seasoning your pan, if you’re a nervous nelly about not using soap – remember you’ll be heating your pan up before you cook in it!!)
I want to know how this works out for you, what you do to be successful! And most importantly I want you to become more aware that you can ruin quality-healthy foods by putting them in toxic cookware. Christmas is right around the corner – Ask santa for a beautiful set of stainless steel cookware and toss your non-stick! Stainless steel isn’t expensive even places walmart and target have very affordable options!