Problem Solved! How To Stop Food From Sticking To Stainless Steel

Make Stainless Steel Pans Nonstick - 1. putting fat in a stainless steel pan 2. scrambling eggs in a stainless steel pan with a wooden spoon

How To Keep Food From Sticking To Stainless Steel

When it comes to issues with stainless steel pans, sticking food is one of the most common complaints. Some even avoid them altogether because they think everything sticks to them. (Granted, delicate foods like eggs and fish do have a tendency to fall apart in stainless steel cookware without a generous amount of butter or oil present.)

But stainless steel pans have too many advantages to be written off completely — they’re incredibly durable and versatile, and they retain and distribute heat evenly. Luckily, you can use a stainless steel pan without giving up the convenience of a nonstick pan, and I’ll be sharing the secret that keeps food from sticking to stainless steel with you in this post!

Related: This Is The Most Important Thing To Know About Cast Iron

Using just a bit of coconut oil and salt, you can actually season stainless steel pans to prevent food from sticking and make them even more versatile. And since the “nonstick” surface you’re creating is all-natural, it won’t have any of the drawbacks of traditional nonstick finishes.

How To Season Stainless Steel Pans To Make Them Nonstick

How To Season Stainless Steel Pans - coconut oil, salt, paper towels, stainless steel pan

You’ll need:

How To Season Stainless Steel Pans - putting a spoonful of coconut oil in the pan


Place the pan you want to season on your stovetop over medium-high heat. Put 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in the pan and allow it to melt.

How To Season Stainless Steel Pans - placing the stainless steel pan with coconut oil on the stove

Swirl the oil around the surface of the pan, then pour out any excess oil so that only a thin, even layer of oil remains.

How To Season Stainless Steel Pans - pouring salt into the melted oil in the stainless steel pan

3. Sprinkle a layer of table salt into the pan, enough to cover the bottom.

How To Season Stainless Steel Pans - rubbing the melted oil and salt around inside the stainless steel pan

4. Grab a paper towel and use it to rub the oil and salt around, polishing the pan. Make sure to get the sides of the pan too! Use a clean paper towel to wipe out any excess oil and salt, and your pan is ready to go.

How To Season Stainless Steel Pans - cooking scrambled eggs in the seasoned stainless steel pan, using a wooden spoon

Potential Drawbacks Of Seasoning Stainless Steel

While this method’s advantages make it a worthwhile option (at least in my opinion), there are a couple of minor drawbacks to doing so that are worth mentioning. The first is that the nonstick effect won’t be permanent, meaning you’ll need to repeat the seasoning process when you notice food starting to stick again. (But as you’ve seen, it doesn’t take much time or effort to do, so that may or may not matter to you.)

The second drawback is that, in some situations, you’ll still need to add a bit of oil or butter to prevent your stainless steel pan from sticking. If you’re cooking eggs, fish, or other delicate foods, the thin seasoned layer may not be enough to prevent sticking entirely. With that being said, I don’t consider these two drawbacks to be deal-breakers in the slightest.

Related: 3 Easy And Effective Ways To Remove Burnt Messes From Cookware

The “Problem Solved!” Series

You might also enjoy this post: The Best Ways To Clean Stainless Steel Appliances And More

What type of cooking pan do you use most frequently at home?