diy scorched pan cleaner

how to clean scorched panWe celebrated Cinco de Mayo a day late by whipping up one of our favorites – mexican casserole. The only complaint I have with this dish is the mess that the veggies make of my pan. It is well worth it, but a headache to clean nonetheless.

To be fair Sticky generally does most dish duty. But like anyone else, when he sees a pan crusted with burnt bits of food he fills it with hot water and sets it aside for a later time. Aka “maybe Brand will get to it.” Can’t say I blame the guy. Who really enjoys scrubby baked on food out of a pan?

It wasn’t until recently we realized how easy it was to clean our scorched stainless pans (and Le Creuset’s). All you need is some vinegar and baking soda – 2 things you probably already have in your home. Just look how bad my pan was:

how to clean scorched pan

  1. That’s my nasty pan. I didn’t even attempt to get out the big pieces.
  2. This is my pan after filling it 1/4″ full with vinegar (white or cider) and bringing to a simmer for 5 to 10 minutes – scraping with a heatproof spatula every now and then. For a not so severe pan of scorched food this step in and of itself does the trick. Clearly mine was in need of serious guck removal so onto step 3 we go.
  3. For this go you fill the pan 1/4″ full with water and add a cup of vinegar. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle baking soda on top (about a tablespoon – it will foam when you add it). Let sit for a minute or two and dump everything out – wiping away any bits. The end result for me was much closer to clean and manageable for scrubbing.
  4. If you have some stubborn brown/black spots left – like I did – simply sprinkle baking soda over the area and add a little hot water. Scrub with brush or scoring pad. Good news is you shouldn’t have to put a lot of effort into since you already started the lifting process of getting it off.

Voila! A clean pan! Yes the boiling cider stinks up the house but I’ll take smelliness over endless scrubbing of a dirty pan. Hopefully this helps you with any “I’ll get those later” pans you have sitting around.

Happy cleaning!



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