Saturday, July 8, 2017

The care and feeding of fry pans.

The high heat oil recommendations were wrong!!!

Oil high in omega-3 fatty acids – in particular, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Free radicals are actually what enable the polymerization. Flax seed oil has the lowest smoking temperature oil I have seen listed but it is highest in omega-3 fatty acids (57% ALA).

The polymerization process is initiated when something causes the release of free radicals in the oil. So the higher the free fatty acid content in the oil to begin with, the quicker it will break down and start polymerization. This is exactly what you want to season a pan.

I used synthetic steel wool made for polishing metal to remove the old seasoning. Then I used capsules fish oil because I refused to spend $15 for a pint of flax oil that would go rancid by the time I used it up.

To Start:
The seasoned surface must be very smooth! Never put cold water in the hot pan, it may crack the plasticized oil surface.

  • 1) Season the pan with a very thin layer of oil runny enough to fill the tiny voids while hot, wipe off as much as possible. Heat aluminum pans slower than steel. Then heat until it smokes for a few minutes. When it stops smoking so much let the pan cool down.
  • 2) Take a coarse steel wool to it and basically remove the visible seasoning out of the pan face;
  • 3) Clean the pan thoroughly of the gray steel/seasoning residue with hot water and towel only (no soap);
  • 4) Re-season the pan for a second time; cool...
  • 5) Use fine steel wool to smooth out the pan face; and
  • 6) Clean thoroughly with hot water and no soap.
  • 7) Apply several more layers of very thin oil, baking on each layer. It will be very smooth.
  • 8) Then for ongoing care, never use soap or abrasives on the pan--just wipe it out with hot water and a towel--and if needed, use table salt or baking soda with a moist sponge as a scrubbing agent.

Use of Pan:
  • Use a lid to help steam the egg, if the oil is smoking hot remove from flame.
  • Soon as the white sets, begin to shake the egg loose
  • A thin, slotted, stainless spatula would be best bet with a fried egg in a stainless pan.
  • There's a reason short order cooks flip fried eggs by tossing them, instead of by spatula. If fried eggs are your life, it's a useful skill to learn ASAP. Practice on something easier, like old pancakes.
  • Do not use margarine to cook eggs as it is normally 50 % water.
  • Stainless steel won't season in the same way as carbon steel or cast iron. The same things that make it stainless are the things which prevent seasoning.

According to one article the trick to test the temperature is to drop a tiny bit of water in the pan, if it bubbles and glides along the pan the temperature is just right. If it instantly evaporates it is too hot. Add a little oil, If the oil smokes remove the pan from the heat before adding the eggs. Or medium low flame.

If you can't get the burnt on food off with a sponge after soaking, use salt or baking soda, and a tiny bit of water to scrub with. Do not ever use an abrasive scrubber and don't even think of using a dish washer!!!! Also soaking with borax and heating, will help loosen stuck on food, but that will take off a lot of the seasoning. Basically you have to re-season a pan every time you have to clean it!

I found naked aluminum pans for $15 with good handles (8 inch pan) but they need a seasoning just like the carbon steel pans (if you're going to cook eggs in them.) This also insulates the food from the aluminum.

But stainless steel is good for cooking vegetables without oil in liquid like tamari and vinegar. So why not pouched eggs?

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