Non-stick would be great if it wasn’t for those pesky chemicals that can leach into your food at high temperatures…
Also, when you’re making certain sauces/dishes and you want a fond to develop, non-stick coatings wont allow this. This can take away from the intensity of the flavours in the foods you are preparing. Plus I’m pretty certain that you can’t put non-stick pans into the oven, especially at high temperatures, which you might want to do when you’re cooking a steak.
So, I hear you ask, how can you make something as sticky as an egg not stick when you are cooking with stainless steel or cast iron pans and olive oil?
Seal your pan!
Place the pot or pan in question on the stove top and pour in a lug of oil; enough to coat the bottom thoroughly but we don’t want our food swimming in oil.
Turn the heat up high and wait for the oil to start to smoke. This usually takes a couple of minutes, depending on how well your cookware conducts heat and how responsive your stove is to heat changes.
Let it smoke for 15-20 seconds (but if the oil starts to burn, take it off).
Remove the pan from the stove top and turn it in such a way that the entire base and some of the sides get a coating with oil.
Turn your stove down to the heat that you intend to cook on. If you are planning on cooking water-based foods (like sauces) then let it cool down considerable (3-4 minutes) or you will have a mini oil explosion on your hands.
After 30 seconds or so (give or take), return the pan to the heat and begin cooking. What you have essentially done is seal a layer of oil to the base of the pan; the top layer of oil (and food) should slide over this and not stick to the metal.
This might take a few attempts to perfect – it’s scary letting the oil smoke like that when all you can think about is cleaning burnt oil off your pots and pans later on – but give it a couple of goes. You might surprise yourself and ditch the non-stick!