How to Clean a Burnt Pans and Pots

Whether you love or loathe cooking, having high-quality kitchen tools can significantly simplify your time in the kitchen. From nonstick pots and pans to sharp knives and innovative accessories, the right tools can reduce preparation time and enhance your cooking experience.

Pans are indispensable in kitchens, serving various purposes such as frying, boiling, and sautéing. Most of us use a pan daily, making it essential to care for these frequently used appliances for kitchen success and a lasting relationship with your cookware.

In this guide, we’ll explore proven methods to care for and clean your pans, including tips for removing burnt-on food and oil. If you’re considering upgrading to cast-iron cookware, we’ll also provide guidance on cleaning and seasoning your new pan.

How to Clean a Burnt Pan

So, you’ve accidentally burnt something onto the bottom of your pan – a common mistake for home chefs. Whether you got distracted or forgot to stir, your favorite cookware is now in need of cleaning. You’re probably wondering, “How do I clean a burnt pan?”

What can I use to clean a burnt pan?

There are several effective methods to clean your pans using items you likely already have in your cupboard. These techniques are more than just old wives’ tales; they can yield excellent results.

  • Hot water: Deglaze burnt food by using hot water to lift it off the base of your pan.
  • Salt: Scrub salt into affected areas of your burnt pan using a wet sponge.
  • Lemons: Boil water with cut-up lemons in your pan for 10 minutes before washing.
  • Baking soda & vinegar: Mix equal parts water and white vinegar with a few tablespoons of baking soda.
  • Cola: Let cola soak in the pan for a few hours before scrubbing.
  • Tinfoil: Scrunch tinfoil into a ball and use it to scour your pan.
  • Dishwasher tablet: Add water and clean the burn with a dishwasher tablet.

Cleaning with Boiling Water

Cleaning with boiling water is a simple yet effective technique for removing burnt food from pans. Just as you might deglaze the goodness from the bottom of your pan while cooking, bringing up the temperature and pouring in hot water can help lift away stubborn food and grease.

  1. Place your pan on the stovetop and turn on the heat.
  2. Once hot enough to sizzle, pour in a good splash of water.
  3. Scrape away the burnt bits

Cleaning a Pan with Salt

Chances are, you already have table salt in your cupboards, but if not, it’s an inexpensive purchase at the supermarket. Keeping some affordable salt on hand is a smart idea for various cleaning tasks, tackling tough stains, and enhancing the flavor of your meals.

  1. After your pan has cooled, generously sprinkle salt into the bottom.
  2. Scrub the salt with a damp sponge into any affected areas.
  3. Rinse away and repeat as needed.
  4. Discard the water and lemons, then rinse and wipe away any remaining burnt bits.

Cleaning a Pan with Lemons

Lemons are excellent for cleaning, boasting antibacterial and acidic properties. These citrus fruits not only provide effective cleaning but also leave behind a fresh scent without resorting to harsh chemicals. Here’s how to clean a burnt pan using lemons.

  1. Chop 3 or 4 lemons into quarters, adjusting to your pan’s size.
  2. Toss the lemons into the pan with plenty of water and bring it to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and let the lemons and water simmer for around 10 minutes; you might notice some burnt food floating to the surface.
  4. Discard the water and lemons, then rinse and wipe away any remaining burnt bits.

Baking Soda & Vinegar

Baking soda is a versatile cleaner, effective for various challenging tasks without harsh chemicals. When combined with white vinegar, it becomes a powerful cleaning duo worth keeping in your household for both culinary and cleaning purposes.

  1. Mix water and vinegar in equal measure in your pan.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Add 2 heaped tablespoons of baking soda and observe the fizzing reaction.
  4. Repeat if necessary, adding water and baking soda to create a paste; let it sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Wash as usual.

Cleaning a Pan with Cola

Cola’s carbonic acid makes it a great solution for tackling stubborn dirt and grime on cookware. While cola isn’t the healthiest beverage, its acid is less potent than what’s in your stomach. Here’s how to use cola to clean your pan:

Pour cola into the burnt pan and set it aside.
Let it sit for some hours or even overnight.
Rinse away and clean your pan with dish soap as usual.

Seasoning a Cast-Iron Pan

Before using your cast-iron cookware for the first time or when it looks blotchy, follow these steps to season it:

Heat the pan over medium heat.
Dip kitchen paper towels in oil and wipe around the pan while on heat until the oil smokes away.
Repeat the process 3 to 5 times, allowing the pan to cool a bit between each application.

Now equipped with these care tips, you’ll never struggle with stubborn messes again. Remember to wash your pans thoroughly after each use and give them a more comprehensive cleaning every few weeks to prevent food and grease buildup.

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