Heating up your Pan

Something I learned in the past week or so is the importance of pre-heating your pan. If you don’t use cast iron or non-stick, you probably have stainless steel pans. It is essential to heat them up before you add your oil and food to prevent sticking. This is something that makes sense to me now, like a light bulb just went on above my head. I feel a little silly that I didn’t think about it earlier. 

When you heat up the pan the molecules of the metal start to move and expand, which opens and closes the pores on the surface. These opening and closing pores can grab at the food if you put it on too soon making it stick! All pretty simple science when you think about it. But I have put oil and food in a pan many times without letting it properly heat up. In a non-stick pan, however you do want to put oil in first and then heat it. You never want teflon to heat up too much, so oil then heat is ok in those pans. 

A test you can do that is pretty fun just to see it is to flick some water into the stainless steel pan (make sure it is stainless steel…any other pans won’t work) as it is heating up. If the water evaporates slowly the pan is not hot. Once it is hot enough, the water floats on the surface of the pan in a mercury-like ball. Check out my video to see it happen. Or try it for yourself!