What are the biggest complaints about frying foods in stainless steel or cast iron pans? The food sticks to the pan and does not get thoroughly cooked.
What type skillet are you using?
A Teflon skillet will fry food without sticking, but it also does not get food as crispy. Overtime, the skillets lose their Teflon covering and get scratched easily if you are not careful with the utensils.
Cast iron skillets are perfect for browning, but foods can and will stick to the skillet. Stuck food on cast iron skillets can be challenging to get clean.
Stainless steel skillets are also great for getting that brown crust on food. They too can be prone to food sticking and hard to clean.
How to fry food in cast iron, and stainless steel skillets.
Food does not stick to Teflon if the skillet is in excellent shape, so we will concentrate on cast iron and stainless steel skillets. Two things that will make food stick to the skillet are high heat and not enough oil.
Most people pour oil in the skillet, turn the heat on and add the food. Try turning on the heat under your skillet BEFORE you put oil in it. Use a medium heat setting. Let the pan warm for one or two minutes, then add oil or butter to the skillet. Add your food and continue to keep your heat on a medium heat setting. People usually use too high of a heat setting when frying food.
Oil or butter is key to getting food brown and crispy. If you skimp on the oil, the food will have a tendency to stick. The oil acts like a barrier or float. Make sure to cover the bottom of the skillet with at least an eighth of an inch of oil.
Covering the skillet will add moisture to the food and keep the oil spatter to a minimum. Using a lid can also help to ensure that the food is getting thoroughly cooked. When using high heat, the food sticks and many times the food is not fully cooked on the inside. When almost done, remove skillet, so the food will become crispier.
The Right Spatuala makes a difference.
The right spatula makes an enormous difference in whether food sticks to the skillet. I use an ultra thin aluminum spatula to turn the food. Because it is thin, it can easily get under the browning crust. When you turn the food, it does not stick. I find this thin spatula to be especially useful when making fried potatoes or salmon patties.
A person can achieve nicely browned food and not have it stick to your cast iron or stainless steel skillets. Simply use a medium heat setting and a thin spatula.