The Sticky Reason You Should Never Fry An Egg In A Stainless Steel Pan

Every home cook should have a set of stainless steel pans for their versatility. Unlike cast iron pans, stainless steel cookware can handle acidity. Stainless steel can also handle high heat, so you can stick these pans into the oven to create a nice crust on your food. While there are plenty of situations when you should swap your nonstick pans for stainless steel, there are some times when you should avoid breaking out the stainless steel cookware. For example, avoid putting stainless steel on the grill, and if you're planning to make eggs for breakfast, you're probably better off using a nonstick pan.

Frying eggs in a stainless steel pan will likely lead to frustration because it's possible that your cooked eggs will stick. Foods that are high in protein, like eggs, tend to stick to stainless steel because the protein forms a bond with the metals in the pans. Plus, food sticks to stainless steel if the temperature is too high. If you are craving eggs for breakfast or want to fry an egg to top some avocado toast, here's how to get the perfect bite.

How to prevent fried eggs from sticking

Although fried eggs are a relatively simple food to cook, there are still some mistakes that people make when frying eggs. One of these errors is cooking eggs in a stainless steel pan. The easiest change is to fry your eggs in a nonstick pan instead. The next thing to do is to add some butter or oil to the pan, which will also prevent your eggs from sticking to the surface as they cook. 

That being said, if all you have on hand is a stainless steel pan, it is still possible to cook fried eggs in them with minimal sticking. Butter or oil is especially important in this situation, as is preheating your pan to medium-high heat. Remember, since high heat could also lead to sticky eggs, avoid using the highest setting on your stove. Test whether the temperature of your pan is right by using a few drops of water in a dry pan. If the drops of water move freely around the pan without sizzling or evaporating, you're free to add your fat of choice and fry some eggs! Just be sure the pan is dry again before adding any butter or oil. 

Now that you know how to perfectly fry an egg in stainless steel, it's time to make them the star of your dish. Bring some extra freshness to breakfast with this pesto egg recipe or take some time over the weekend to make 30-minute chilaquiles for brunch.