Here’s how to clean a burnt pot or pan. It’s not easy to clean a burnt pot, especially if it’s very burned and greasy but this method should help.
How To Clean A Burnt Pot Or Pan?
“Can you tell me the quickest way to remove years of burned on grease on the bottom of my flat pan.”
“I’ve used Awesome, Scrub Free, and Dawn Dish Detergent (the one used for cleaning oil from the birds during Valdez oil tanker that ran aground in Alaska).”
“With the combination of the three, some has come off with hard elbow grease, but would like to use one product that would make it easier.”
Tawra: I am the queen of burning things. One time I even melted the tea kettle to the burner! No kidding, Mike and mom still tease me about it. I have tried over the years many things to save my pots and pans. Here’s what I do.
I wasn’t clear if you meant the bottom of the inside of a pan or the outside, so I’ll address both.
If you mean to clean the inside of the burnt pan, these two things work the best:
- Place a generous amount of baking soda (about 1/2 cup) in the bottom of your pan. Make sure it covers the bottom of your pan. Fill with water and then simmer for an hour or so. Most of the burnt on stuff should come right off. You can do this more than once if needed.
- If the grease doesn’t all come off the burnt pan with the first method then I take a razor blade and scrape off the last of the burned on food. I scrub with an SOS pad and after that the pans are usually good as new!
If the burnt on grease is on the outside bottom of the pan, then go straight to the SOS pad and scrub hard. Unfortunately, the only easier way we have found to deal with this is to buy a new pan, which was the first thing Mike recommended when he noticed “quickest” and “easy” in your question ;-).
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I used to use iron skillets a lot and over time they would get baked on grease also. When we camped I would take a skillet with me and when we went to bed at night I would put the skillet on top of the campfire. In the morning all of the burned on junk would be gone. I would only have to reseason the skillet (rub bacon grease or Crisco on the inside of the skillet and put in a 200 degree oven for 2 hours) and it was as good as new.
This works beautifully for me every time .Place your grease burned pan in a garbage bag with a cup of ammonia beside it then blow in the bag to trap the air. Close with a twist tie and lay the bag on the grass overnight. The next morning you’ll be amaze how easily the burned on grease will come off. works great for me everytime.
Sounds weird, but it might just work but do you have to lay it on grass..i live in an apt.
Because of the ammonia, it has to be outside.
Lay it in your tub/shower. I know this works. I do this with my BBQ grill/smoker.
For greasy pan,use dry salt to remove greasy foods and oils. Then wash with hot soap dish water.
the salt makes easy clean up,works for me.
If you have a self-cleaning oven and you are dealing with a cast iron pan, put it in the oven and set the oven to “clean”. About an hour. Cast iron pan comes out like brand new! Reseason. I learned this one by accident and have used it ever since.
And Carmelle, do you mean to put the ammonia BESIDE the bag or INSIDE the bag?
I read it to mean inside the bag,next to the pan.
I put it directly in the pan.
For stubborn stuck on or burnt food on pans, after soaking in hot water and dawn, dump the water. With the pan still wet sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda in the pan. With a scrub pad, scrub the pan, using the paste of the baking soda.
The was I remove burned food from a pan is to lay a sheet of fabric softener in the pan and fill it with water and let it sit over night. Works great.
After all the teasing I do to my daughter about her cooking I burnt a pan royal the other night. ((Isn’t there something in the Bible about pride going before a fall? HA!HA!)Any way I don’t have a dryer so no dryer sheets on hand but I did grab my Downy fabric softener. Coated the pan. Let it sit over night and it wiped off really nice the next day. So far the fabric softener sheet (or in my case fabric softener) seems to be one of the best ways to clean a burnt pan.
I have always used vinegar and it really works but I have heard about the dryer sheets and if I every burn a pan again I am going to try that.
The way I remove burned grease froma flat pan is by placing a fabric softener (dryer) sheet in teh bottom of it and letting it sit overnight. Usually it will wash right off.
I had a cast on my fingers when I posted the comment above. Didnt realize I could make so many typos. LOL
The method of putting the dryer sheets in a pan to remove burned food from it still works better than anything else I have tried so far.
I have learned that one of my friends uses liquid fabric softener when she burns food onto her pans. She puts about 1 tablespoon fabric softener in the pan with hot water.
I just put the pan back on the stove with a little hot water and let it come to a boil
If you have pans that can go into the oven you can put them in on the self cleaning setting when you do clean your oven. It takes the marks off with no fuss for you.
One friend uses oven cleaner on her burned pots and she has pans so nice they look new.
If you do put your pot or pan in the oven on the self clean cycle, be sure they don’t have plastic handles. The temperature goes up to 500*. That would cause a whole new problem.
Grizzly Bear Mom
Consider unscrewing the plastic handles and only then using the self cleaning function to wash your pans. Can I clean grease-grossed cookies sheets like this?
If it is a cast iron pan just put it in the oven when self cleaning the oven, will look like new when you are done, just reseason it. This also works on a dirty pizza stone.
I have a pan that has some kind of food baked on that nothing I’ve tried helps. It is an enameled cast iron frying pan with the griddle bars in the bottom. I’m not sure what was cooked in it anymore, but we were able to get the grease out. Now there is some truly baked on, dried SOMETHING still in the grooves at the bottom. I don’t want to use a razor blade or anything like that because I don’t want to ruin the enamel. Anybody have any suggestions?
That sounds like a tough one Kris.I might try soaking it with hot water and a little dish detergent for a couple of days. Then scrub with a scrubby pad and some baking soda. It is amazing how much will come off after soaking if for a very long time.
I used to have some really nice french pans that I brought back from Germany and my renter (a neighbors daughter stayed in the apartment for almost a year during her divorce) burned stuff on them an threw them away. I didn’t know until she moved out and found them gone. I was so mad. they were really nice ceramic coated pots. I have some at my house and use them all the time but I have never burned anything on them yet.
I have a nonstick pan with some sort of baked on layer of mystery crud on it. Been there for months. I didn’t think food could stick to nonstick pans but it absolutely can. I’ve just accepted the layer of crud as part of the pan now… ? Is it salvageable or should I trash it?
Robin if I have a pan that I am debating on tossing anyway I will pull out a good old fashioned SOS pad and have a good scrub at it. I use and SOS pad on even my non stick pans with a light hand all the time and don’t seem to have a problem at all. Now when I do have to totally get rid of a pan it us usually because I have burnt something really bad in it and from that point on any thing I cook in it seems to burn so then I know it is time to toss. But if you are going to toss anyway try the SOS pad
Thanks ladies for all the tips. Il 32 years ago my mom bought me a revereware set and I will never get rid of them. She’s no longer here and I think of her often and feel blessed to have them. I also like how you all are not afraid to use some good ole elbow grease!
For a pan that is burnt on the inside, I just fill it with water and boil it. Works like a charm every time. I don’t even have to put anything in it.
I keep dishwasher detergent on hand – even tho I don’t currently have a dishwasher. When I burn something to pan, I pour some dishwasher detergent into the pan, fill with water and let soak til the next day and it usually comes off really easy. Sometimes, I’ve also added Dawn – but that mostly depends on my mood and how bad it is :)
Soak over night in a strong solution of bio-washing powder. An army trick when leaving married quarters. You pay for anything that is not as new.
Sprinkle baking soda on the burn part , then pour vinegar over, bring to a boil for a couple minutes, cover let sit overnight.
Most will come off, scrub the rest with an SOS pad. I always seem to burn the oatmeal and this works great for that ;-)