We all take our eye off the ball in the kitchen from time to time, and sooner or later you’re going to find yourself with a blackened piece of cookware.
What’s the best method for cleaning up your burned pots and pans though?
The good news is that with a little bit of patience and/or elbow grease, even the most unfortunate mistakes can be repaired.
In this article, I’m going to run through five of the best tried and tested methods for bringing your burned cookware back to sparkling life!
(My home cookware guide contains plenty more tutorials and buying tips!)
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Before you start
Different materials respond in different ways to vigorous scrubbing, as well as the chemicals you use to get the job done.
If you’ve not had to recover from a mishap with your own cookware before, it’s advisable to start with the least abrasive method first. In this guide we’ve started with the gentlest, then moved onto more aggressive approaches.
If the first one you try doesn’t work, move onto one of the harsher methods.
Method #1: Deglazing with Water
This is a very simple method that will have minimal impact on the material your cookware is made of.
Add the burned pan to the stove and then heat gently. When it’s hot enough for a drop of water to sizzle on the surface, add a whole cup’s worth.
Once the water’s bubbling, use a non-abrasive utensil to gently scrape the burned food away.
Method #2: Deglazing with Vinegar
This method’s exactly the same as the first one in this list, but this time around you use vinegar instead of water.
It’s a somewhat more aggressive way of getting the job done, so give the water method a good go first.
Method #3: The Big Soak
You’ve problem done this one already after a hard-earned meal, and without us having to tell you about it!
Take the item of burned cookware and add a small dollop of dishwashing liquid. Next, fill the pan with warm water, and allow it to rest for at least a couple of hours.
After this, you should again be able to remove the worst of the damage using a non-abrasive utensil.
If this doesn’t work the first time, and you still have stubborn marks, repeat the process again. This time though, leave the item to soak overnight.
Method #4: Another use for Coca Cola
We’ve all seen the demonstration of what happens to an old tooth that’s left in a glass of cola! The same effect can also be used to repair your cookware.
Add around one inch of any regular brand cola to the pan, then allow the liquid to simmer until it’s cooked down and there’s barely any left.
The sugar in the cola will help to break down the burned bits, while the acidity helps to pull all that detritus up and off the pan surface.
For best results, avoid using diet cola as you really need the sugar to work its magic.
Method #5: The Baking Soda Scrub
Only use this last method if none of the previous four have worked. It’s also not advised for aluminum pots and pans under any circumstances.
Combine equal parts water and baking soda, then use a non-abrasive material to work the mixture into the burned sections and get the muck moving.
When you’re done, rinse thoroughly.
Those are some of the most common methods for restoring even the most blackened cookware.
If you’ve found success by other means, we’d love to hear your tips in the comments!