How to Use Stainless Steel Pan Without Sticking?

Stainless steel pans are classic cookware due to their excellent performance and durability. Their shiny and bright appearance adds to the aesthetic value of your kitchen. However, they aren’t non-stick, and this can cause burnt food residues, but you can bypass this.

This article will cover

  • Why Are Stainless Steel Pans Popular?
  • Differences between Stainless Steel Pans and Non-stick Cookware
  • How to Stop Food From Sticking to Your Stainless Steel Pans
  • 4 Tips For Taking Care Of Stainless Steel Pans

Why Are Stainless Steel Pans Popular?

In almost every kitchen, you will find stainless steel cookware. Below are some of the reasons stainless steel pans are popular:

Easy to clean and maintain

First, stainless steel pans are easy to clean and maintain. Even though they are not non-stick, they have porous and smooth cooking surfaces that make them easy to clean. Besides, you can scrub burnt food residues off without damaging the cooking surface.

You can also use items like lime and salt or soak the pan in water to remove the burnt food residues. It is dishwasher-safe so that you can put it in the dishwasher.

However, ensure the manufacturer recommends that the pan is dishwasher-safe. Also, maintaining stainless steel pans doesn’t require much effort. There are no special rules to follow. Just ensure you clean it after use.

Safe for you and your family

how to cook with stainless steel pans without sticking

Stainless steel pans are one of the safest types of cookware you can use to cook. They don’t react to acidic foods such as tomato sauces, etc., unlike most non-stick cookware.

There is no fear of the surfaces getting damaged and leaching metals into your food, unlike non-stick cookware when they get scratched. Stainless steel pans have no dangerous toxins and unpleasant side effects. As such, they are perfectly safe for you and your family.

Fit every kitchen decor

In addition, due to their polished, elegant appearance, stainless steel pans fit every kitchen decor. Their beautiful designs give your kitchen a classic look. Even though they aren’t available in different colors, they look amazing on your cooktops. They improve your cooking experience. With proper use and maintenance, they continue to look as new as when they were bought.

stainless steel cookware sticking


If you want indestructible cookware in your kitchen, you should consider getting stainless steel pans. They don’t get chipped or warped. Among other cookware metals, they are outstanding. For instance, aluminum cookware chips off with use, while ceramic and glass are durable but break easily.

With a stainless steel pan, the higher the quality of the pan, the more durable it is. They can last for decades without changes and even be passed down to generations. In light of these benefits, stainless steel pans are one of the best cookware to have in your kitchen.

Differences between Stainless Steel Pans and Non-stick Cookware

how to cook with stainless steel

Usually, stainless steel pans are made with many metals such as chromium, carbon, iron, vanadium, copper, titanium, etc., in unequal quantities. They usually have multiple layers, which makes them heavier and stable on cooktops.

On the other hand, non-stick pans are made with non-stick coatings such as ceramic, silicone, polytetrafluoroethylene, etc. Here are some differences between stainless steel and non-stick pans.

Cooking performance

Both cookware cooks certain foods best. For instance, stainless steel pans aren’t suitable for cooking delicate dishes such as scrambled eggs because they aren’t non-stick. Therefore, delicate foods will fall apart because they will get stuck in the pan.

You can’t easily toss food around in a stainless steel pan, unlike a non-stick pan. Non-stick pans are best for cooking delicate foods such as pancakes, eggs, etc. Also, non-stick pans can’t withstand high heat temperatures as much as a stainless steel pan.

For instance, you can’t place a non-stick pan in an oven with maximum heat because overheating breaks down the coating of its cooking surface. However, stainless steel pan has no such limitation.

stainless steel pan sticking


Stainless steel is one of the most durable materials used for cookware. If you use and maintain your stainless steel pan well, you can use it throughout your life.

However, non-stick pans usually don’t last beyond five years. The coating on their cooking surfaces eventually breaks down, and this makes them less effective. You have to replace your non-stick pans if you want to keep using them.

Non-stick properties

Usually, stainless steel pans aren’t non-stick. This is why they aren’t suitable for cooking delicate dishes. On the other hand, food easily comes off non-stick pans.

However, this is conditional. Non-stick pans require regular seasoning to remain non-stick for some years before the non-stick coating eventually wears off. Besides, some non-stick materials aren’t entirely safe as they release dangerous fumes and cause certain diseases.

How to Stop Food From Sticking to Your Stainless Steel Pans

Even though stainless steel pans have outstanding features among other cookware materials, they aren’t non-stick, making food stick to their cooking surfaces. This happens because the cooking surfaces have microscopic pores that open up when the pan is placed on heat.

As such, the pores hold on to the cool food in the pan, making both sticks together. Also, the food particles form chemical bonds with the metals’ atoms sometimes. However, this isn’t unchangeable. Here are ways you can stop food from sticking to your stainless steel pans:

Ensure the cooking surface is clean and dry

how to keep food from sticking to stainless steel pans

Dirty cooking surfaces have small food particles that cause food poured into the pan to stick. Always ensure the pan’s surface is clean before cooking. Also, don’t put cold food inside the pan. Allow frozen foods to thaw for some time at room temperature before you cook them.

Cold foods stick easily when you cook them in stainless steel pans. Ensure the pan’s surface is dry too. You can also apply some oil to the surface before you start cooking.

Ensure the pan is hot before you put it in your oil

how to stop food from sticking to stainless steel pan

Wait for the pan to get hot before you add your oil or butter. The oil should be at room temperature before you add your food. Don’t overheat the oil till it starts to smoke. The oil should cover the pan’s bottom from edge to edge to prevent food from sticking. Also, use healthy fats for cooking.

Don’t crowd the pan

Putting too much food in the pan lowers its temperature and releases moisture. The temperature becomes incapable of browning your food and bringing out its flavors. Instead of crowding the pan, divide your food into batches and cook them one after another or use another pan on another cooktop.

Don’t turn the food hastily

how to keep stainless steel from sticking

Moving food around quickly in the pan also causes food to stick. Even if your foods stick initially, they will be released from the pan on their own after some time. Sticking means that your food isn’t done yet, so you should give it more time. You can also reduce the heat.

4 Tips For Taking Care Of Stainless Steel Pans

how to use stainless steel pan without sticking

As much as stainless steel pans are excellent kitchen tools, they need to be adequately maintained. You have to protect them from discoloration and damage. Below are some tips on how to do so:

1. Use non-harsh sponges and soaps

Using harsh sponges and soaps to clean your stainless steel pans will scratch them permanently and make future cleaning harder. You can easily remove water spots, marks, etc., by boiling the pan in water mixed with baking soda, applying the mixture of elbow grease and baking soda to the effects,  etc.

Stay away from abrasive cleaners and harsh scouring pads that can damage the polished finish of your stainless steel pan. Also, when cleaning your pan, don’t go against the grain. This helps to preserve the pan’s appearance.

everything sticks to my stainless steel pan

2. Season your stainless steel pan regularly

Stainless steel pans don’t need to be seasoned before they work well. However, seasoning them fills the porous pores on the cooking surface, making the surface smoother and non-stick.

However, you should season your stainless steel pan before and after cleaning as soap and water remove the seasoning. Avoid overusing cooking sprays as excessive use can cause buildups in your pan and make food stick.

3. Salt only boiled water

Another important thing to take note of is to saltwater only when it has boiled. If salted water hasn’t come to a boil, corrosion happens. The salt falls to the pan’s bottom and leaves minor but irreversible marks similar to a nail’s shape before it finally dissolves. To prevent this, you can stir the salted water well.

4. Don’t cook cold foods in the pan

Ensure your foods are at room temperature before you cook them. Foods with moisture readily stick to the pan’s surface. This is because steel contracts when it is exposed to cooler weather. Don’t cook refrigerated foods immediately. You can remove excess moisture from the cold foods with paper towels. Also, ensure your food is ready before you start cooking.


It is possible to cook in a stainless steel pan without food sticking to the surface. You need to get a high-quality stainless steel pan first. Also, ensure the heat is neither too much nor too little, your pan is rubbed with oil before you cook, and you maintain the pan properly.


how to use stainless steel pans

1 thought on “How to Use Stainless Steel Pan Without Sticking?”

  1. Can you really use ordinary stainless steel pans inside an oven?! I always thought you had to use an oven-specific pan.


Leave a Comment