It’s easy to end up with burnt food stuck in pots and pans. Even if you seriously watch your food on the stove, it won’t take long for it to burn. Here’s how to clean your cookware.
Cleaning scorched sinks may seem like a difficult task, but there are a few tricks to cleaning them. Keep in mind that what works for some ceramic pans may not work on cast iron. For most pans, it’s best to avoid abrasive cleaners and scrubbers that can leave them scratched.
Stainless steel and enamel sinks
It is easy to clean burnt food from enamel and stainless steel utensils if you follow the correct steps. If your pans are nonstick, you may not need to follow any of these recommendations. Not sticking doesn’t mean you can’t burn things.
Try one of the following methods:
- Dissolve in hot water or vinegar: This is a great way to loosen up the sticky substance so you can remove it easily. Heat the pan on the stove until it’s hot enough to make a drop of water sizzle. Then pour 1 cup of water or vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat and allow the liquid to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Use a nylon spatula or wooden spatula to scrape the burned areas. Hot water loosens anything stuck. Vinegar cleans deeply and will probably work if the water doesn’t do it. Be careful not to burn yourself in the hot pan!
- Remove glaze with hot water and baking soda: Similar to the previous idea, but great if you don’t like the smell of really hot vinegar. Fill a pan with water, empty out ½ cup of baking soda and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for five to ten minutes and then use a spoon or wooden spoon to scrape off the burned areas.
- Baking soda scrub: If your pan is not too burnt, you can also try using equal amounts of warm water and baking soda to make a peeling paste that isn’t too harsh. Rub the paste on the burned areas until it starts to fade. Rinse and repeat until pan is clean.
You can skip the nonstick pan heating method. If your pan is old and not working as well as it used to, you may need a little extra soaking to remove burnt food.
Here are some ways to make your nonstick pans clean:
- Basic Soak: If you have enough time to wait for the pan to clean, try this method. Put two drops of dish soap in the pan and add some hot water to it and then let it sit. It should do the trick a few hours, or you can leave it on overnight. After soaking, the nylon dish detergent should be enough to remove the burnt sticky material from the pan.
- Soak dryer sheet: Dryer papers have a softening agent coating that can loosen burnt food in pots and pans. Fill a pan with warm water and place a drying sheet in it. Make sure to push the sheet down into the water until it is completely submerged and saturated. After soaking for a few hours, you can use the cloth to scrub the diluted food. Follow this up with a good wash with dish soap until you can remove all of the dryer sheets.
Use salt on your cast iron cookware
Cast iron is a completely different cooker than your standard kitchen sinks. They cook differently and need different care and cleaning.
Cast iron skillets can cause a lot more abuse than generic cookware. However, water is not their friend because it can cause rust if you do not dry them completely before discarding them.
Coarse sea salt or kosher salt is the best scrubbing agent for removing burnt food from cast iron pans. Use a damp cloth to scrub.
If that doesn’t work, you can use a file plastic scraper Made specifically for use in cast iron pans. Don’t use polishing pads or a metal loofah on cast iron cookware, as they remove seasoning from the pans.
Removing burnt food is frustrating, but with a little bit of soaking and elbow grease, you can clean any frying pan again.