How to Remove Baked on Grease From Pans


Cooking is a popular and enjoyable hobby for many people. However, the less enjoyable part is dealing with the tough-to-clean oils, grease, and burnt food residues left on pots and pans after cooking or baking.

Those stubborn grease stains are not just unpleasant to look at; they can also introduce harmful toxins into your food and damage the quality of your cookware, especially non-stick pans. Here’s a simple way to get rid of baked-on grease and save your pots and pans:

What You’ll Need

To clean a stained pan, you’ll require a few common household items. While an oven cleaner can work, you can also use baking soda and vinegar as a safe and cost-effective alternative.

How to Easily Clean Baked-on Grease from Pots and Pans: Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Boil Away the Grease

Start by filling the pan with tap water and adding a few drops of dish soap. Place it on low heat and let the water simmer. This will soften the burnt-on grease, with the dish soap helping to dissolve the oils. For oven-safe pans, you can do the same in a hot oven. Once done, remove from heat and let it cool until warm.

Step 2: Make a Cleaning Paste

Create a paste by mixing baking soda with white vinegar (2 tablespoons of baking soda to 1.5 tablespoons of vinegar). The paste should be thin enough to stay moist but thick enough to stick. Apply it to both the interior and exterior of the pans.

Step 3: Let the Paste Sit

Allow the paste to sit for at least 15 minutes, or longer for heavily stained pots and pans. Test a small area with a paper towel; if the grease is removed, proceed to clean the residue. If not, reapply the paste and wait for an additional 10-15 minutes. Add a bit of vinegar if the paste dries.

Step 4: Scrub Away

Use a scouring pad to gently scrub away the burnt-on grease. Use the abrasive side for the bottom of pans and the soft side for non-stick surfaces.

Step 5: Wipe Clean

Wipe away the residue, noticing how easily the softened grease lifts. Remove as much as possible, repeating if needed.

Step 6: Wash and Dry

Clean the pans as usual, then use a kitchen towel to dry them. For baking sheets, you can dry them in a hot oven to ensure all corners are dry before storage. Always store pans dry, not wet.

How to Stop Grease Stains in Their Tracks

Are stubborn grease stains causing kitchen headaches? No matter how non-stick your pans claim to be, grease buildup can be a persistent issue. Here are some practical tips to prevent grease from clinging to your cookware:

  1. Pre-Soak for Easy Cleaning: Soak your cookware before washing to soften dried food bits, making them easier to remove during cleaning.
  2. Shield with Parchment Paper: Use parchment paper or a non-stick baking sheet, even on supposedly non-stick cookware. This acts as a barrier, preventing direct contact between your food and the pan, reducing the chances of staining.
  3. Clean Immediately After Use: Don’t procrastinate. Clean your pans promptly after each use. Waiting allows food stains to set and become harder to remove.
  4. Season Your Pans: Give your cast iron and stainless steel pans some love by seasoning them. This process creates a smooth, non-stick surface that helps prevent the formation of baked-on grease.

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