Home / Ask Kary / How do You Cook in a Stainless Steel Frying Pan Without Food Sticking?

How do You Cook in a Stainless Steel Frying Pan Without Food Sticking?

It might be tempting to heat the pan on high and then turn the heat down before the food goes in. Doing this will heat the pan quickly, BUT the heat will be uneven. This contributes to food sticking and burning to the bottom of the pan.

how do you cook in a stainless steel frying pan without food sticking

So, what do you need to do to cook in a stainless steel frying pan without food sticking?

To keep food from sticking to a stainless steel pan, heat the pan just under medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes. Heating the pan longer and over a lower heat allows the heat to distribute more evenly and prevents hot and cold spots.

Once the pan has been heated, add your fat, like butter or oil, swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan, and then add your food. You’ll have a nice, evenly heated cooking surface and your food won’t stick!

This video is SO awesome – Wiselad77 shows how to cook an omelette in a stainless steel frying pan without the egg sticking! Try it, it works!

Did You Know You Can Season a Stainless Steel Frying Pan?

To season your stainless steel pan, making it non-stick, here’s a little trick I learned from my favourite teacher at George Brown, Chef Field.  This will make an egg slide right out of the pan, no butter needed!

Seasoning Instructions:

  1. Heat your stainless steel frying pan until it’s SMOKIN’ HOT!
  2. Add a little vegetable oil, and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
  3. Remove pan from the heat.
  4. Add a few tablespoons of fine grain salt to the pan.
  5. Scrunch an old dish rag in your hand and carefully polish the salt into the pan.
  6. Wipe excess salt out of the pan.
  7. Your pan is now non-stick.  Try cooking eggs or pancakes and be amazed!  It’s a chef secret – Thanks, Chef Field!

Remember: your stainless steel pan will be VERY hot when you season it. Be careful not to burn yourself.

To keep your pan non-stick, just wipe it out after you finishing cooking with it. Washing the pan with soap will wash away the non-stick coating.


  1. By “carefully”, I mean be careful not to burn yourself, the pan will be smoking hot!

  2. What do you mean exactly by “carefully polish the salt into the pan” for seasoning?
    Don’t rub hard? Don’t use too much salt? Not clear. I just got a huge stainless steel 14″ Cuisinart pan and so far everything is sticking.

  3. Hey Rita,

    Seasoning a cast iron pan takes a bit more work, but it’s totally worth it! Plus, the more you use a cast iron pan, the more seasoned it becomes – so use it often. Here’s a great article telling you everything you need to know about seasoning a cast iron pan: http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/06/how-to-buy-season-clean-maintain-cast-iron-pans.html

    Hope this helps,
    xx k.

  4. Kary: I have a cast iron frying pan from Heritage which I love. It is non stick. Can I use the same method to heat it up as you describe for a stainless steel Pan?


  5. Hey Linda. Yup, no problem. Give it a good clean first. And remember to use fine grain salt. Let me know how it turns out :)

  6. Kary does the seasoning of a stainless fry pan work if the pan is older? Can it still be seasoned. Also can it be made to non stick if it is older? I purchased a beautiful wear ever at a flea market and would love to season it.

    Thank You


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