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Author Topic: I HATE MY STAINLESS STEEL POTS AND PANS.  (Read 22742 times)
Mandi
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« Topic Start: December 30, 2007, 07:20:59 pm »

Everything sticks, you have to cook on lower heat which helps minutely, but still babysitting and stirring nearly constantly.  They need special cleaning, in order to keep them purty they need to be polished with a cleaner specifically for them, they want washing immediately after eating to prevent them from turning ugly - they are worse than a whiny girlfriend.  High maintenance doesn't even begin to describe it.

What am I doing wrong?

I've already fished my old teflon pans out of the garage and am using them in secret because I'm not in love with stainless AT ALL.
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« Reply #1: December 30, 2007, 07:28:45 pm »

Everything sticks, you have to cook on lower heat which helps minutely, but still babysitting and stirring nearly constantly.  They need special cleaning, in order to keep them purty they need to be polished with a cleaner specifically for them, they want washing immediately after eating to prevent them from turning ugly - they are worse than a whiny girlfriend.  High maintenance doesn't even begin to describe it.

What am I doing wrong?

I've already fished my old teflon pans out of the garage and am using them in secret because I'm not in love with stainless AT ALL.

Doop doop de doop. Now you know why I bought non-stick Calphalon.

I have a stainless 5 quart covered stainless skillet that I love. And a couple of hard anadoized pieces from Calphalon, but my forever go to is their non-stick. Not only that, but stainless looks like shit after awhile. If I won't polish my sterling, I'm sure as hell not polishing my pots and pans.
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« Reply #2: December 30, 2007, 07:36:29 pm »

Everything sticks, you have to cook on lower heat which helps minutely, but still babysitting and stirring nearly constantly.  They need special cleaning, in order to keep them purty they need to be polished with a cleaner specifically for them, they want washing immediately after eating to prevent them from turning ugly - they are worse than a whiny girlfriend.  High maintenance doesn't even begin to describe it.

What am I doing wrong?

I've already fished my old teflon pans out of the garage and am using them in secret because I'm not in love with stainless AT ALL.

We have one stainless steel skillet and I'm not enamoured of it either.  I've decided, though, that as long as the food is still safe I don't care if the steel isn't spotless.  I clean it with hot soapy water and baking soda when things get tough.  Hubby also tends to put it back on the heat with water in it, which helps loosen things up.  We don't use it over high heat (but then all we really do over high heat is boil water anyway, which one doesn't do in a skillet), but we do go up to medium-high with it.  The bottom of the inside's a little discolored after a few years of use, but not too badly.

Hubbs just bought a couple of enamel-over-cast-iron pieces.  I have high hopes for them; we'll see, I guess.
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« Reply #3: December 30, 2007, 07:57:08 pm »



Hubbs just bought a couple of enamel-over-cast-iron pieces.  I have high hopes for them; we'll see, I guess.

I have a couple of the Le Creuset Dutch ovens and I love them. However, they weigh a ton, you have to use wooden or rubber spoons to not scratch the enamel, and you'll want to watch your heat/liquid. Cared for properly, they'll last your lifetime and probably your child's.
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« Reply #4: December 30, 2007, 08:29:27 pm »

I have a couple of the Le Creuset Dutch ovens and I love them. However, they weigh a ton, you have to use wooden or rubber spoons to not scratch the enamel, and you'll want to watch your heat/liquid. Cared for properly, they'll last your lifetime and probably your child's.

*nods*  We don't use metal utensils when cooking anyway, so no problems there.  The weight is a little bit of a problem for me, but Hubby's ecstatic (sp?) about it ("feel how HEAVY they are!!!  isn't that GREAT?!?!?!") and he's mostly going to be the one using them (and is much stronger than me), so I really just have to worry about cleaning them.  Wink  But I'll survive.  Smiley  The heat will mostly be what we have to watch, I think, but as I said we don't do a whole lot at really high heat anyway, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

What he bought is from Mario Batali's line, which I feared might have been overpriced due to the name, but then I looked at the Le Creuset stuff sitting next to it and decided it wasn't really.  It still wasn't cheap, of course, but then good quality pans never are.
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« Reply #5: December 30, 2007, 08:30:50 pm »

Everything sticks, you have to cook on lower heat which helps minutely, but still babysitting and stirring nearly constantly.  They need special cleaning, in order to keep them purty they need to be polished with a cleaner specifically for them, they want washing immediately after eating to prevent them from turning ugly - they are worse than a whiny girlfriend.  High maintenance doesn't even begin to describe it.

What am I doing wrong?

I've already fished my old teflon pans out of the garage and am using them in secret because I'm not in love with stainless AT ALL.

Stainless = bullet proof.  Just cook with it.  Olive oil first, God I love the fragrance as the oil heats up, then cook with a lower flame.  So what if it scratches?  It's cookware, not china. 

When you get done cooking, let them cool a little and load em with water and a touch of soap.  If you keep your stainless too clean or polish it up, bad things happen.  Clouds gather to block the moon, fresh cream will spoil in your fridge, your cat could even lose it's meow.  So treat it rough, your hubby will respect (fear) the aggression.

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« Reply #6: December 30, 2007, 08:35:56 pm »


That's highly odd, Mandi.

I, and my mom, have used my mom's stainless to cook in for years and have never had things stick that badly. In fact, I cleaned up her biggest pot (probably 5 quart) so I could make the spaghetti we're having for dinner tonight earlier and that had scorched mushroom soup from last night's dinner in it. All that took was soap and water and a scrubbiethingie.

I've actually had things stick in my nonstick skillet worse than in one of her stainless steel pans and we've burnt things pretty badly sometimes.  We've also used them on high heat and have had absolutely no problems with em, either.

The brand of her set is Rena and she's had them for........ermmmm.....30 plus years and we've never had a complaint about em.
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« Reply #7: December 30, 2007, 08:39:01 pm »

Everything sticks, you have to cook on lower heat which helps minutely, but still babysitting and stirring nearly constantly.  They need special cleaning, in order to keep them purty they need to be polished with a cleaner specifically for them, they want washing immediately after eating to prevent them from turning ugly - they are worse than a whiny girlfriend.  High maintenance doesn't even begin to describe it.

My mom got me a set of stainless pots and pans for Christmas and aside from the fact that I can't run them through the dishwasher (the manufacturer specified this was a bad idea), I love them. You just have to cook at a lower temperature than usual, as they tend to heat up differently from a Teflon pan, and I wash mine in warm soapy water.

Clouds gather to block the moon, fresh cream will spoil in your fridge, your cat could even lose it's meow

ROFLMAO

I've actually had things stick in my nonstick skillet worse than in one of her stainless steel pans and we've burnt things pretty badly sometimes

Same here.
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« Reply #8: December 30, 2007, 08:41:49 pm »


What he bought is from Mario Batali's line, which I feared might have been overpriced due to the name, but then I looked at the Le Creuset stuff sitting next to it and decided it wasn't really.  It still wasn't cheap, of course, but then good quality pans never are.

There are some very good options out there. I got these two because mom was working at Tuesday Morning and they had them there. No way I could have afforded them on my own. I finally gave in and started using an old Wagner aluminum Dutch oven that was my grandmothers. Looks like hell, but works beautifully and the fact that it's the aluminum means I can do up a small batch of soup and still carry the thing over to the sink. LOL
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« Reply #9: December 30, 2007, 08:49:12 pm »

My mom got me a set of stainless pots and pans for Christmas and aside from the fact that I can't run them through the dishwasher (the manufacturer specified this was a bad idea), I love them.

Mine were specified that way *to keep the finish*.

I wash 'em in the dishwasher.  Didn't buy 'em for looks! Cheesy
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« Reply #10: December 30, 2007, 09:06:45 pm »

What am I doing wrong?

Sounds to us like you're not letting the pan get hot enough *before* putting the food in and then lowering the heat slightly.

We've got surgical-grade stainless steel pots and pans that are AMAZING to cook with. They're about 11 years old. Previous wife didn't like them, didn't clean them right, didn't do much of anything with them except use the Dutch oven to boil water for pasta. When I "took over" I cleaned up ALL the pans (skillets and everything) and that's the ONLY cookware I use here. Period. Frying, sauteing, you name it. The trick is that initial heating-up of the pan before adding the food. If you can sprinkle a few droplets of water into the pan and they "dance" or "skitter" it's hot enough. No dancing, not hot enough. And if it goes directly to steam, it's TOO hot. :-)

I even scramble eggs in the big skillet and they don't stick *that* badly. And if they do, I put water in it after serving up, and then I have at it with my nylon scraper (thank you Pampered Chef) to get the nasty stuff out before I put the pan into the dishwater. (Not "dishwasher," don't have one of those. I *am* the dishwasher.)

HTH.

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« Reply #11: December 30, 2007, 09:07:31 pm »

What am I doing wrong?
My guess is that it's a matter of expectations; you have ingrained habits based on the ways that Teflon is forgiving.

I've been cooking with stainless all my life (my mom's and my own), and a lot of what you said made me go "huh?" until I thought about it some more - my ingrained habits are based on the ways stainless is forgiving.  I hate Teflon; in context of my habits, I find it to be annoyingly fussy about what I can and can't do with/to it, and, well, as high-maintenance as a whiny GF.

I can probably give a great deal of advice on how to adjust to your new cookware - and in return, probably learn things about working with Teflon (and other nonstick coatings) that will make it easier for me to deal with when I have to use it.  We may neither of us ever love what we now despise, but I think we can get so we don't hate it.

I'm not going to start spouting advice right away, for two reasons.  One, I'm not sure how much this was a call for advice outright, and how much it's just a vent (and maybe a call for commiseration).  Two, it makes a difference whether your stove is electric or natural gas (or something else).

I see that between starting this and hitting post, a few other stainless-lovers have gone "huh?" as well.

Sunflower
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« Reply #12: December 30, 2007, 09:08:29 pm »

Everything sticks, you have to cook on lower heat which helps minutely, but still babysitting and stirring nearly constantly.  They need special cleaning, in order to keep them purty they need to be polished with a cleaner specifically for them, they want washing immediately after eating to prevent them from turning ugly - they are worse than a whiny girlfriend.  High maintenance doesn't even begin to describe it.

What am I doing wrong?



Carol had some "waterless" stailess steel from the 70's.  Some of the handles are gone, but for everything but frying I like them better than the enamel set.  The 2 fry pans are small and just a little bigger, so they don't get used much, but they work well when I need to put something in the oven.

A little olive oil and thing don't stick to bad.  If something sticks, then the non-metal scrub pad takes it off.  Once in a while I'll use comet.  Do they look pretty?  your joking, they were crusted in places when I showed up, still are.

Problem with teflon is it loses it non-stick even if handled with care.  And at that point it might not be the best think to cook in.   But then I do it anyway with the larger fry pan.
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« Reply #13: December 30, 2007, 09:10:47 pm »

Mine were specified that way *to keep the finish*.

I wash 'em in the dishwasher.  Didn't buy 'em for looks! Cheesy

Looking at the paperwork again, mine say that too...As long as it doesn't hurt the cooking quality...What the hell, right?
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« Reply #14: December 30, 2007, 09:49:12 pm »

That's highly odd, Mandi.

I, and my mom, have used my mom's stainless to cook in for years and have never had things stick that badly. In fact, I cleaned up her biggest pot (probably 5 quart) so I could make the spaghetti we're having for dinner tonight earlier and that had scorched mushroom soup from last night's dinner in it. All that took was soap and water and a scrubbiethingie.

I've actually had things stick in my nonstick skillet worse than in one of her stainless steel pans and we've burnt things pretty badly sometimes.  We've also used them on high heat and have had absolutely no problems with em, either.

The brand of her set is Rena and she's had them for........ermmmm.....30 plus years and we've never had a complaint about em.

So then what are you doing differently? 

I did spanish rice tonight and I was so frustrated.  As soon as liquid hits the pan everything in it seals to it.

 Huh
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And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
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And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir

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