This is what I've read about stainless steel pans:
- You are supposed to preheat the pan up to the Leidenfrost point (379 ℉ / 193 ℃).
- You can test that the pan has reached the Leidenfrost point by throwing a bit of water onto the pan and seeing if it forms a ball that exhibits the "mercury ball effect". I have an infrared thermometer, but apparently those are inaccurate for stainless steel.
- When searing meat in the pan, the meat will stick to the pan at first, and when it has finished searing, it will naturally release from the pan.
I've been trying to make smash burgers in a stainless steel pan. This is what I do:
- form 80/20 ground beef into 2 oz balls and use paper towels to get rid of some of the moisture
- don't put any oil in the pan because I read that you don't need oil if you're using 80/20 ground beef
- heat up the pan and keep tossing in 1/8 tsp of water until it shows the mercury ball effect, then wipe away the water
- use a burger press to smash the balls into thin patties on the pan
- let the patties sit for 45-60 seconds, then flip them
The problem I've been running into is that after 45-60 seconds, the meat is stuck to the pan and very difficult to scrape off the pan with my fish spatula. The first time I tried it, I scraped the patties off the pan but left all of the crust stuck to the pan - totally defeating the purpose of a smash burger. The second time I tried it, I managed to scrape most of the crust off the pan, but tore up the patties in the process.
Should I be letting the patties sit longer in the pan until they release naturally? I'm afraid if I let them sit too long, the patties will be overcooked/burnt.