[Sca-cooks] hot pan, cold oil ( was Re: ot help with soy...)

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sat Jul 21 13:20:40 PDT 2007

On Jul 21, 2007, at 12:46 PM, Barbara Dodge wrote:

> "Cold oil hot pan, food won't stick" seemed to be the Frugal  
> Gourmet Jeff
> Smith's mantra.  I've never forgotten it.
> Felicia

Me, neither. I don't know that I buy this "layer of steam" stuff; it  
sounds highly speculative unless someone has done a pretty serious  
and controlled study of this, and if it wasn't Harold McGee, I'd be  
curious as to who it would be. (Don't even mention Robert L. Wolke to  
me in this context.) But certainly it bears respect as a hypothesis  
and starting point.

My own would be that you heat the pan first to make it expand and  
become slightly more porous, then add unheated oil to both control  
potential overheating of the pan and prevent the oil from spending a  
prolonged time heating without any additional heat sink (such as  
food), thus perhaps protecting it from burning, plasticizing, going  
rancid, etc. The further possibility (I think) is that when the  
expanded/porous pan with oil has cold[er] food added to it, it cools  
and contracts in that spot, pushing up a minute layer of oil (like a  
squeezed sponge) that may have an effect.

Also an untested hypothesis...


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