Why You Shouldn't Shake Your Pan While Cooking

If you’ve ever watched a cooking show (or cooking scene in a movie), you’ve seen this move: A chef, slaving away over a hot stove, picks up his or her skillet and shakes it back and forth over the heat. Sometimes flames are involved. 

But, according to Ben Daitz, chef and co-founder of Num Pang Kitchen in NYC, this seemingly fine habit is actually bad for the finished product. 

“Amateur cooks tend to shake their pans a lot because they see chefs doing that on TV,” he told us. “Shaking a pan to move things around actually cools down whatever you are cooking and prevents caramelization. Instead of getting a nice sear that’s crispy, you can end up steaming your food. Leave that pan alone!” 

Less dramatic? Yes. Better results? You bet. 

sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...