Do you heat up your pan first before adding butter or do you heat up your pan and butter together? And, does the same apply if you use olive oil instead of butter? I never heated the pan separately before reading about the importance of that technique. However, I also noticed in the same book, some recipes required you to heat the pan first and other recipes required you to heat the pan and butter together. Is there some general rule when you should heat the pan? I was thinking that you might only need to heat the pan first if you wanted to get the browning process on your meats, to get a crunchy crust on those dishes. But, James Beard's recipe for scrambled eggs tells you to heat the pan first over medium heat even though you're not going to brown anything. And, of course, this differs from Cook's Illustrated which tells you to put butter in 10 inch skillet and then set the pan over high heat.