How to Clean a Burned Roasting Pan


No one wants to burn a roasting pan, but inevitably it seems to happen -- hardened food or brown or blackened liquid stains coating surfaces. Over time, these marks create an uneven cooking surface that affects the way food cooks and can lead to additional burning of the pan or the food you try to roast within it. Although these stains may seem impossible to remove, usually a short soak and some scrubbing can remove them. If all else fails, a mild acid can dislodge the materials making the pan once again usable.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild detergent
  • Nonabrasive nylon scrubbing pad
  • Soft-bristled scrubbing brush (optional)
  • Brass wool (optional)
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • White or cider vinegar (optional)
  • Salt (optional)
  • Microfiber towel
  • Wait for your roasting pan to cool completely.

  • Fill a sink with hot water. Add enough mild detergent to make the water soapy.

  • Put your pan in the water and soak 40 to 45 minutes.

  • Scrub the burned area gently with a nonabrasive nylon scrubbing pad, soft-bristled brush and/or brass wool to remove the burnt material. If you're dealing with a tough stain, sprinkle baking soda onto the stain and scrub gently with a moistened scrubbing tool.

  • Rinse the pan as you work to see if any portion of the burned area won't scrub away. If after 10 minutes of scrubbing you still can't remove a burn spot, empty the sink and pour white or cider vinegar and salt on the spot. Wait 30 minutes and scrub again.

  • Wash away the residues and/or vinegar with hot water. Dry the pan thoroughly with a microfiber towel.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you're dealing with an aluminum-foil pan and can't remove the marks with light scrubbing, dispose of it or recycle it for use in some type of noncooking project instead of attempting to clean it further; heavier scrubbing will scratch and damage the pan, making it completely unusable for cooking.
  • Never put a hot roasting pan in a sink of warm water. If you're dealing with a glass, ceramic or enamel-clad pan, it can crack or shatter from the temperature change. Additionally, the change can warp the metal, creating an uneven heating surface for future cooking.
  • Never use steel wool to clean your roasting pan. Additionally, never use harsh chemicals, cleaners or abrasive cleaning tools.


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