A couple of weeks ago, at church, my sister walked up to me and, out of the blue, said something about how she had found a way to clean pans that had food burnt on to them. She said something about using vinegar and baking soda in a different way to clean it off.  I really didn’t listen to her, and when she was through detailing the instructions to me, I let her know that I wouldn’t need it, because I really don’t burn food onto pans.

Well, you know EXACTLY what happened.  The very next day, while cooking a pot of short grain brown rice to make red rice for supper, I totally forgot about it and burnt that rice right onto the pan, leaving a blackened mess on the bottom.

scorched pot

 

I wasn’t about to call her. I figured that by removing as much rice as possible and then filling the pan with hot water, I could simply cook the mess away.  After simmering for a while, I managing to remove most of the large kernels with a metal spatula, then began scraping with steel wool and a “greenie”  and baking soda. It still was a mess. I put some vinegar in it and added a bit of baking soda, and scrubbed some more. The appearance improved, but there was still a blackened surface with rice shaped divots.

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My daughters suggested that I could probably figure out something from the internet without letting their Aunt in on the fact that I, who HARDLY EVER burnt things, had made my pan into a burnt mess.  It did not help that this specific stainless steel pan, which had been purchased at a thrift store, already was slightly pocked. I felt threatened that the blackened bottom would remain so.

It was time to research the internet. After looking at numerous videos and many suggested ways to remove burnt on food, including Salt, Vinegar, Baking Soda, Hot Soapy water, Boiling, Steel wool, Bar keepers Friend and other stuff I now can’t remember. It seemed that the best way would be to cover the bottom of the pan with white vinegar, bring it to a boil and add baking soda, before attempting again to scrub it away.

I poured enough straight white vinegar to cover the bottom of the pan about 3/4 of an inch deep, and then waited for it to come to a boil, which seemed to take an eon. I wasn’t going to let that vinegar burn away, with a possible bigger mess. When it finally came to a full rolling boil, I added a couple of teaspoons of baking soda.  The scientist in me enjoyed that experience greatly, as it foamed madly away. If my kids were still school aged, I likely would have called them in to watch.  😀

Bubbling vinegar and baking soda do not photograph well, but it had a good reaction!
Bubbling vinegar and baking soda do not photograph well, but it had a good reaction!

 

I then took the metal spatula and the remaining burnt layer began to lift.

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After I had scraped what I could away, I took a “greenie” covered soapy sponge on a stick and scrubbed it away.  It came up quickly.

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The bottom still looked a little pocked,which is really how it looked before I began cooking the rice.  Finishing with a little “Bar Keepers Friend” sprinkled in the pan, cleaned away any remaining grit, and the pan looked pretty good again.

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Now my sis’ will never need to know.  You won’t tell her will you?

 

 

 


Here’s another cleaning tip for your ceiling fan!

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CLEANING A BURNT SCORCHED PAN

22 thoughts on “CLEANING A BURNT SCORCHED PAN

  • March 3, 2015 at 9:13 pm
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    I just spent the morning using elbow grease and brillo on a couple of my stainless steel. Now I’ll use your technique. It wasn’t burnt on food so much as the sticky oil from pan sauteing. So I hope your method works for this. Great info!

    Reply
    • March 6, 2015 at 7:16 am
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      Thanks, KC for stopping by and for your kind comments. Hoping it works for you too!

      Reply
  • July 24, 2015 at 3:52 pm
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    Thanks for the tip Marjie! Just for the fun of it, I may try adding baking soda to boiling vinegar, I know my kids would get a kick out of watching it foam!

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    • July 24, 2015 at 4:07 pm
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      It IS fun. I clean out my kitchen drains every now and then by pouring a couple of cups of room temperature vinegar down them and then adding a tablespoon or so of baking soda. It is FUN to watch, and cleans out the nastiness that gets down in there!! 😀

      Reply
  • July 24, 2015 at 7:53 pm
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    Thanks for sharing! The drip pans on my stove always get gross so it’s nice to find another way to clean them. I’ve also used a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide that has worked wonders!

    Reply
  • July 25, 2015 at 1:11 am
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    Cute story Marjie!,
    I have had some pans that looked liked your over the years. I’ll keep this tip in my back pocket for future cooking disasters. Thanks! HaHa I won’t tell your sis 🙂

    Reply
  • July 25, 2015 at 1:18 am
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    I had heard to use vinegar and baking soda but didn’t realize boilinhg the vinegar made it more effective. It was great that the burnt stuff came up and your pot was saved. I’ve have to remember this tip.

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    • July 25, 2015 at 6:51 am
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      Thanks, Nicky. It did really make a difference!

      Reply
  • July 25, 2015 at 1:39 pm
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    Yes! I have soooo been there. Baking soda and vinegar are two of my best friends in the kitchen. I also like Bar Keepers Friend (but I’m not sure how green it is). 😀

    Reply
    • July 25, 2015 at 11:47 pm
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      I like Bar Keepers Friend as well, but that vinegar / baking soda combo is hard to beat!

      Reply
  • July 25, 2015 at 7:37 pm
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    This is so ironic! My husband (not me, mind you! :)) burnt spaghetti sauce in a pan. We tried soaking it with hot water and soap. That worked for some of it, but it still needed a lot of help. I put baking soda in it and poured vinegar in it. I let is bubble and sit and it came right off!

    Reply
  • July 27, 2015 at 3:20 pm
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    Thanks for the tip! This is good to know just in case I’ll need it! You know the saying…never say NEVER 🙂

    Reply
    • July 29, 2015 at 6:24 pm
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      Ultimately, I wish that I had actually listened to my sister. I think it would have saved me some time!

      Reply

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