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The Stainless-Steel Nonstick Trick

Written by Amy Snyder | July 24, 2007

A respected chef shared this handy trick with me while we were cooking for an event last year. I was running the sauté station, which had stainless-steel cookware, and the tofu kept sticking to the skillet even though I had added oil to the pan.

Chef came over, took a clean pan, added a small pinch of salt, and heated the pan on the stovetop for a few minutes. He then added just a little oil. Amazingly, the tofu I added to the pan didn’t stick even when I was on the third and fourth batch.

If only I had known this trick when visiting my boyfriend’s parents for the first time. They were skeptical of the tofu that we were going to make them for breakfast but willing to give it a try. I realized the sad fate of the tofu the moment I saw their stainless-steel pans. Until then, I had only cooked with nonstick, and I had no clue what I was doing with stainless steel. The result was this half-burnt, half-raw crumbled mess that stuck to the pan and resembled what most people end up with the first time they cook tofu, but I’ve been doing this for more than 11 years! It was a sad, sad site, but thanks to chef’s essential tip, I’ve had a problem-free relationship with stainless steel ever since.


Commenting is closed.
  • Lisa says:

    This trick worked until I added seasoning like I would normally and then it began to stick again. Any input would be great.

  • Jayme says:

    Wow! What a nifty little trick! Tofu also cooks really well in cast iron with a light spray of evoo

  • Kim says:

    That’s what your supposed to do when you season cast iron pans. I didn’t know it worked for stainless steel.

  • Anonymous says:

    that is really helpful, thank you.

  • Sid Khullar says:

    Thats great. I’ve had this problem for a long long time and didn’t know how to fix. I’ve heard bad things about the non-stick coating on pans and really didn’t have any other alternative, especially when working with delicate foods.

    thanks again! Will try tonight. 🙂

  • PikaPikaChick says:

    This may just be the single most useful household tip I’ve ever encountered, thank you.

  • Xysea says:

    Wow, what a great trick! I’ll have to put that into use. 🙂

  • Natasha Laity Snyder says:

    This is also a great tip for people who use stainless steel pans exclusively because they don’t want to kill their pet birds with the fumes that teflon coated pans emit.


  • Sam says:

    just tried this last night, very cool!

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