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Subject: Getting potatos not to stick to stailess steel?
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: russeasby[at]aol.com (Russ Easby)
Date: 2 Jan 1998 17:29:38 GMT
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Hi, for xmass I got my first peice of All-Clad LTD cookware, a 3qt saute pan.  
I have always cooked in nonstick in the past, but got sick of having to buy new
peices all the time from the old ones chipping.  So I guess I need to learn to
cook in stainless.

So I am trying to cook my special home fries in my new pan, and these potatos
stick like mad!  First time I tried, I realized the heat was too high, on
medium, so next time I switched to low, still stuck.  I noticed the skins fell
of and stuck a lot, so next time I peeled them first(which I dont like doing, I
like skins), still no luck.  I also tried cooking with twice as much oil as I
used to, with no luck.  The slime from the potatos seems to slim up on the
bottom of the pan and create a solid layer of burned stuff.   Would rinsing the
diced potatos first help with the slime?

I am up to 4 or 5 attempts now, all ruined beyond eddible :(.  What am I doing
wrong here?  I am using canola oil, is there another oil I can use which will
help prevent sticking more?  Whats the secret to simmering potatos in stainless
steel?

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From: Porter_C[at]*gonzo.tch.harvard.edu (Christine)
Date: 2 Jan 1998 18:33:35 GMT
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>    I also tried cooking with twice as much oil as I
> used to, with no luck. 

Using lots more oil is a good first step.  

>  The slime from the potatos seems to slim up on the
> bottom of the pan and create a solid layer of burned stuff.   Would rinsing the
> diced potatos first help with the slime?

It sounds like your temperature is too low.  The potatoes should start
to crisp in the hot oil before they release liquid (slime).  You'll
need a lot of oil, and you'll need to get it hot first, then add
potatoes.  Potatoes should not be too crowded. 

Many people boil potatoes first, before makign hash browns.  This is
always easier than starting from raw.

> I am up to 4 or 5 attempts now, all ruined beyond eddible :(.  What am I doing
> wrong here?  I am using canola oil, is there another oil I can use which will
> help prevent sticking more?  Whats the secret to simmering potatos in stainless
> steel?

You don't simmer them!  If they are releasing their own juices, you
either don't have the heat high enough, don't have enough oil, or have
them too crowded.  Also, don't cover them.

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From: russeasby[at]aol.com (Russ Easby)
Date: 2 Jan 1998 19:11:52 GMT
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> You don't simmer them!  If they are releasing their own juices, you
> either don't have the heat high enough, don't have enough oil, or have
> them too crowded.  Also, don't cover them.

Hmmm, well.  The way I always cooked my home fries is on lower heat, covered,
for a long time.  This worked fine in nonstick cookware.  Since I dont preboil
them, they require long slow cooking to cook thorougly.  If I threw them in
with the heat hot enough for them to crisp before releasing juices, then they
would brown before cooking to the middle.  Remember, these are Home Fries, not
Hash Browns, so they are pretty thick.

Oil I was putting in about 1/8" covering on the bottom, is that not enough?   I
dont want to deep fry them.

Is my only option if I want to cook them the way I always have(long and slow)
to go back to using nonstick?

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From: rmd103[at]psu.edu (Ron M DAscenzo)
Date: Fri, 02 Jan 1998 18:06:29 -0500
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Russ Easby wrote:
> Is my only option if I want to cook them the way I always have(long and slow)
> to go back to using nonstick?

I occasionally cook homefries in an all-clad 3qt and initially experienced
the same symptoms of your problem. You may want to try slightly more fat,
but not a massive amount. And raise the heat a bit and leave it that way
until the potatoes no longer stick. Then lower the heat and hold until
finished.

It's not totally, non stick but it is certainly usuable.

Give pre-boiling a try to. You may be pleased with the results.

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From: (sf)
Date: Sun, 04 Jan 1998 19:24:07 GMT
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I think you'll discover that some things are better suited than others
for that cookware.  Seems to me that you need to go back to your
original way of doing potatoes and figure out what is better suited for
your shiney new cookware.  If you look closely at the cooking shows
where the chef uses the shiney stuff.... they have a LOT of oil in the
pan to keep things from sticking.

Although it's pretty, I've never invested in that shiney stuff, because
I know I'll be frustrated.   For most of my cooking life, I've used
seasoned caste iron & non-stick "fry" pans and Caphalon pots for
eveything else.  The combination suits me just fine. 

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From: moosmeat[at]wolfenet.com (moosemeat)
Date: Fri, 02 Jan 1998 22:55:28 GMT
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Potatoes should always be rinsed to get rid of the potato starch.

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From: kris[at]vilnya.demon.co.uk
Date: 9 Jan 98 00:06:31 GMT
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        Anyone know if there's any truth to the saying the Frug
has about "hot pan, cool oil, food won't stick"? I think the idea
was something about not burning the oil heating it up or something.

-Kris
        (Who tended to heat up the pan first simply because she
normally makes things like pancakes, and it's easier to test the
temp. of the pan with the flicked water method if there isn't any
oil in there to splatter. :)

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From: nancy-dooley[at]uiowa.edu (Nancy Dooley)
Date: Fri, 09 Jan 1998 20:46:29 GMT
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>        Anyone know if there's any truth to the saying the Frug
>has about "hot pan, cool oil, food won't stick"? I think the idea
>was something about not burning the oil heating it up or something.

It be true.

"Hot pan, cold oil, meat don't stick," in the vernacular.  It is
always true.

However, I don't know if it's true for veggies.

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From: Bolivar <bolivar[at]erols.com>
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 20:31:39 -0500
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Nancy Dooley wrote:
> "Hot pan, cold oil, meat don't stick," in the vernacular.  It is
> always true.

Those are the standard instructions for a wok. Even "Wally Wok" said
so!  :)

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From: Cyndi Peters <clpeters[at]ix.netcom.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 15:10:43 -0500
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I received a stainless steel skillet as a wedding gift (many, many moons ago) that I
use all the time to fry potatoes.  Definitely, get the pan hot then add the oil.  No
sticking problems!  ;-)  Cyndi

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From: dana45[at]aol.com (Dana45)
Date: 2 Jan 1998 19:57:29 GMT
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I cook potatoes, both raw and pre-cooked,  in cast iron and anodized aluminum
(Calophon) skillets.   I've never tried stainless steel, but the Caophon tends
to stick more than stainlesss, I think.   I find the key is to leave the
potatoes undisturbed they start to brown, a minimum of 4-5 minutes, before
trying to shift them about.   I use a medium to medium-high heat for this, and
they come out wonderfully.   Maybe you're just fussing with them too much. 

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From: Gordon Newell <chalcot[at]quantum.net.au>
Date: Sat, 3 Jan 1998 15:59:42 +1100
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Dana45 wrote:
>     I find the key is to leave the
>potatoes undisturbed they start to brown, a minimum of 4-5 minutes, before
>trying to shift them about.   I use a medium to medium-high heat for this, and
>they come out wonderfully.   Maybe you're just fussing with them too much.

Right on the nail.

When I make hash browns, I just grate and add to the hot pan. And I DON'T
touch them till the bottom is brown and crispy, then I flip them over, never
a problem. My wife on the other hand plays with them and do they stick!

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From: ekende[at]banff.net (eva kende)
Date: Sat, 03 Jan 1998 00:12:01 GMT
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I do my home fries with raw potatoes washed and dried with paper
towels. Then I put them in the oil heated at medium and stir it until
a skin forms on the potataoes. Then I lower the heat and mix,
scrapping, occassionally until the potatoes are done. If they need to
have more color I turn the heat up to medium again. There is a bit of
sticking, but it lift off easily with a spatula. These crunchy
scrappings are the favorite of my family.

Hope this helps.


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