The Basics of Cooking Meat & Fish Without Sticking


By "Chef" Pete Updike, Authorized Saladmaster Dealer

Most difficulties, when it comes to cooking in Saladmaster, go back to using too much or too little heat or not having enough moisture in the food. This tip should help you avoid foods sticking to your pans. Here’s how you can fine tune your efforts in this area. 

In most cases, when foods are sticking excessively, it is usually because of excessive heat. Sounds simple, but it just takes a few tries to learn your stove and the temperatures you need to cook in Saladmaster, especially if you are new to your pans. Remember, with Saladmaster’s stainless steel and construction you don’t need to cook on high heat like you may be used to.

Baking Fish: Start with a cold utensil. An option is to cover the bottom of the unit with sliced lemons or oranges. Add fish, season, cover and set heat on medium. When Vapo-Valve™ clicks steadily, turn heat to low. Fish will be flaky and tender after approximately 3-5 minutes. Time will depend on the thickness of the filet. For additional cooking tips for fish, check out our tip on vapor cooking.

Roasting Meats: Preheat utensil on medium-high for 5 minutes. Sear meat on both sides with cover ajar. When searing, it is normal for the meat to stick at first while searing and then it will loosen when ready to turn. Add vegetables such as potatoes, onions (thick cut), seasoning and cover. 

Most recipes call for the medium-click-low method, but in order to cook more quickly without losing moisture, simply turn to “almost low” where Vapo-Valve™ continues to click every few seconds. Allow 10 - 20 minutes per pound versus 15 - 30 minutes per pound as indicated in typical instructions. Remember — every Saladmaster cooking utensil can be used as a slow cooker using this method.

Frying Meats: Preheat utensil on medium-high for 5 minutes or 400°F/205°C - 450°F/230°C for the Electric Oil Core Skillet. Place meat in hot utensil and press down to sear. Remember, it is not necessary to use any oil or grease. Extra tip beyond normal instructions: cover meat with paper towel to absorb excess grease from meat and partially cover lid. Meat will stick at first but will release when properly browned. Refer to our tip on roasting meats for cooking times.

Cooking ground hamburger meat: Quickly place meat in skillet with cover on and turn to medium heat. Stir periodically as needed when you lift cover. Your meat will cook more quickly and your skillet will clean up easily compared to browning in an open faced skillet at a higher temperature.  Better yet, cook and degrease your meat in the Saladmaster culinary basket; the meat will stay plumper and have lower fat content.

With meat, you can be more aggressive with your medium setting but with vegetables, fruits and cakes you should progressively use a lower medium temperature.