A simple water test can be used to determine if the pan is at the right temperature before adding the oil.
As the pan warms up add about an eighth of a teaspoon of water every ten to fifteen seconds. if the pan is cold the water won’t do anything, but as the pan heats up the water will start to steam and eventually bubble.
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As the pan continues to heat, the water will steam and bubble even quicker, soon the water will begin to evaporate as soon as the water hits the pan.
Then the water will begin to evaporate and disperse into smaller beads of water.
As the pan reaches the correct temperature the water will form a ball, also like a mercury ball that floats on the surface.
If there are still many smaller balls of water then wipe the pan clean wait a few seconds and try again.
When the pan is at the right temperature the mercury like ball will form immediately with little or no other smaller balls of water.
This means that the pan is ready for the oil and sticking will not occur as like the mercury ball the food will glide along the surface of the oil.
If the water disperses immediately and splits into many smaller balls this is an indicator that the pan is too hot.
Allow the pan to cool slightly and then continue with the water test until you reach the mercury ball stage.
Make sure you are ready with the oil and the food as the pan will quickly over heat, this why mise en place is so important when cooking.
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