Out of all the times you cook a meal for yourself or your family, you’re bound to burn a pan or six. My first burnt pan happened just a few days ago where the entire bottom of the pan had a caked-on, crusted burnt layer. I’m talkin’ really, really burnt. So burnt that soaking for 24+ hours and scrubbing didn’t even make a difference. Thankfully, I’ve always had this little trick tucked into the back of my mind on How to Clean a Burnt Pan.
First, before I get into any real cleaning instructions, I have to share how this pan became a burnt mess in the first place…
I wake up, get ready to leave for work, go downstairs to the kitchen and Alex is making some “surprise” breakfast for the two of us. The smell of bacon was overwhelming, but besides that he wouldn’t let me look at what was being made. I was finishing up getting ready with my back turned to him and then I saw smoke in my peripherals. Long story short, he made us some actually very delicious “bacon wrapped grilled cheese sticks” but he also managed to turn a very nice pan into a burnt brick.
Now, I’m not mad whatsoever because he was being super cute making us some breakfast, and I’ll be honest, that never happens. So I’ll take what I can get. Plus, I also just burnt my Cauliflower Cheesy Breadsticks the first time I made them, so it runs in our little family.
Anyways. He’s forgiven. So now onto the cleaning…
This method uses all natural cleaning products, no chemicals, and hardly involves any scrubbing. Just get some baking soda and vinegar, too easy.
Since our pans are stainless steel, I started out by putting the pan on the stove and cranking up the heat to high. Once that sat for about five minutes and it was real hot, I poured enough white vinegar into the pan to cover the burnt bottom.
After that, I took a wooden spatula and lightly scrubbed at the bottom to loosen up any burnt on bits. You can see there was quite a bit that came off and I only lightly scrubbed for a couple seconds.
Then, once the vinegar started to cool down a bit, I poured in about ½ cup of baking soda. It did fizz up a lot, but that just means it’s workin’ it’s magic. Without rinsing, I then scrubbed the bottom of the pan with the rough side of a sponge.
After I scrubbed for a minute or so, this is what it looked like:
Beautiful! My pan was suuuper burnt, so I’m sure this method would work on those more extreme cases. If anything, just repeat the process and it should be spotless. No amount of burnt on crap is gonna stick through this process. And, it’s nice to know about this trick rather than getting so frustrated from scrubbing that you just throw everything away.
Hopefully you also keep this little cleaning trick tucked away in the back of your mind so that when your partner decides to surprise you with their infamous “bacon-wrapped grilled cheese” for breakfast, you’ll be able to repair your pan, and also your relationship.