How to Easily Clean a Pan With Burnt or Baked On Food Stuck To It

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Keeping your pots and pans and baking dishes sparkling clean isn't always easy. Even the most experienced cooks lose track of time or get distracted only to discover a burned pan. Although some pans are more difficult to clean than others, by following a few simple steps, you can remove the burned or stuck food.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden spoon
  • Baking soda
  • Dish detergent
  • White vinegar
  • Salt
  • Scrape excess food from the pan with a wooden spoon or plastic spatula. Do not scratch the coating on the pan.

  • Fill a stuck on pan with cold water and allow to soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Cold water loosens the stuck-on food and makes the pan easier to clean.

  • Pour off the water and scrub the pan with a scrubbie or sponge designed for the type of pan. Teflon, silverstone and other non-stick surfaces require delicate care. Stainless steel can be cleaned with a metal scrubber.

  • Sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 cup baking soda in the bottom of pans that resist your efforts. Add water to cover the soiled area. Place on medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. The baking soda and water mixture typically lifts stuck-on food from the pan.

  • Wash in warm soapy water and rinse with hot water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make a paste of 1/2 cup dish washing detergent, 2/3 cup of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of vinegar and store near the kitchen sink. Use the paste to scrub baked or burned on residue from pots and pans. Rinse to remove residue.
  • Soak stuck on pans overnight with a solution of 1/4 cup salt and cold water.
  • Do not soak stuck-on pans in hot water. This often makes matters worse and makes it more difficult to clean the pan later.

References

  • Photo Credit Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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