How To Really Tell If Your Pan Is Hot Enough To Start Cooking

Heating your pan just right is important.

IMAGE Unsplash/Andrew "Donovan" Valdivia

There is a quick way of knowing when your pan is hot enough and ready to be used. Just note that there is such a thing as "too hot" as well as "not hot enough".

You can tell if a pan is hot enough because when you add the first of your ingredients to the pan, it immediately sizzles when it touches the hot oil.   

However, what do you do if the pan is not enough or if the pan is too hot that you burn your ingredients? There's a quick way to determine if your pan is hot enough. If you're wary of holding your hand over a hot pan, there's another way. 

Here's how you can tell if your pan is hot enough to start cooking: add water

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You need is about 1 tablespoon. A few droplets of water aren't enough because your pan can be too hot and if it is, it will evaporate before you can determine whether it's just right or too hot. If your pan is hot enough, the tiny puddle of water shouldimmediately start simmering when added to the pan. If you add oil, it's hot enough if the oil shimmers or glistens when you tilt the pan to coat the pan's surface.

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If you're searing chicken, pork chops, or even a steak, your pan needs to be really hot. To tell if your pan is hot enough to get a gorgeous seared surface, you'll see that when the water droplets dance on the surface of the pan. 

You need to do this every time you heat up a pan on the stove. Heating your pan is just important as preheating your oven before baking a cake but easier to adjust and fix. Learn this easy cooking tip so you can stir fry, sear, and cook better with every dish you make. 

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