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How do you clean a burnt pan?

It's pretty frustrating to have a burnt-on pan. Especially when that pan is made from steel or stainless steel. The black, caked on food rests may look impossible to remove, making you wonder if this pan is even salvageable at all. Don't worry! We will explain different methods that you can use to clean the inside and the outside of your pans. Whether food is burnt-on, caked or stuck: with these techniques, you will know how to restore your pan to its former glory. Ready for many more years of cooking!

Cleaning the insides of your pans

During cooking, the most stubborn stains occur on the inside of the pan. With the following methods, cleaning the inside of the pan is a breeze!

Cleaning the pan with baking soda and vinegar

Start by sprinkling a generous amount of baking soda on the burnt areas of the pan. Then pour vinegar over the baking soda. Let the mixture soak for a few minutes, so that the fizzing can affect the burnt food rests. Use a dish brush or soft sponge to gently scrub the burnt areas. Rinse the pan thoroughly with warm water and dry it well.

Cleaning the pan with salt and lemon

Sprinkle a layer of salt over the burnt areas of the pan. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice out over the salt. Use the halves of the lemon to scrub the burnt areas with gentle pressure. Let the mixture soak for a few minutes, so that the acids of the lemon can affect the burnt food rests. Rinse the pan thoroughly with warm water and dry it well.

Cleaning the pan with boiling water and detergent

Fill the burnt-on pan with water, enough to completely cover the burnt areas. Add a few drops of dish soap to the water. Place the pan on the hob and bring the water to a boil. Let the water boil for a few minutes. Remove the pan from the heat source and let it cool off. Use a dish brush or sponge to clean the pan and remove any leftover residue. Rinse the pan thoroughly with warm water and dry it well.

Cleaning the outsides of the pans

Especially when cooking on gas or an open flame, the pan can become dirty and blackened. The following methods will help you get the outside of the pan nice and clean again.

Cleaning the outside of the pan with a baking soda paste

Make a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water. Apply the paste to the outside of the pan, especially the burnt areas. Use a soft cloth or sponge to rub the paste on the stains. Rinse the pan with warm water and dry it well.

Cleaning the outside with vinegar and olive oil

Mix equal parts vinegar and olive oil in a bowl. Dip a clean cloth into the mixture and rub it on the burnt areas of the pan. Keep gently rubbing until the stains begin to fade. Rinse the pan with warm water and dry it well.

Cleaning the bottom of the pan

Cleaning the underside of pans with baking soda is a simple and effective method. Start by sprinkling a generous amount of baking soda on the burnt or stained areas of the pan. Add a few drops of water to create a paste. Let it soak for a few minutes so the baking soda can do its job. Then use a dish brush or sponge to gently scrub the bottom of the pan in circular motions. Baking soda functions as a natural abrasive and helps remove stubborn stains. Rinse the pan thoroughly with water and dry it to reveal a clean and shiny pan.

Cleaning a carbon steel pan

After use

Do not forget to clean your carbon steel pan (also known as sheet steel pan)! Fill it with warm water and let it soak, so it'll be easier to remove food rests. Don't use any dish soap! Use a dish brush, sponge or piece of cloth to gently rub the pan clean. Rinse the pan thoroughly with warm water and dry it with a clean cloth.

Removing stubborn stains

If there are stubborn stains or caked-on food rests in your pan, fill the pan with water and add a few drops of dish soap. Bring the water to the boil and simmer for a few minutes. Use a soft dish brush or sponge to gently wipe away the stains. Rinse the pan thoroughly with warm water and dry it well. If the burnt residue is really stuck on there, let the pan soak. Add warm water with some dish soap for a few hours or even overnight. This makes it easier to remove those stubborn stains.

Tackling rust

If spots of rust have formed on your carbon steel pan, scrub them away with a wire brush or fine sandpaper. Rinse the pan thoroughly with warm water to remove all rust particles. Apply a thin coat of oil to the pan to protect it from rust.

Seasoning a carbon steel pan

To keep your carbon steel pan in optimal condition, it's best to re-season it from time to time. Heat the pan over medium-high heat and add a thin layer of oil to the inside of the pan. Rub the oil into the pan with a paper towel or a heat-resistant brush. Heat up the pan for a few minutes to form the protective layer. Then allow the pan to cool down and wipe away any excess oil before storing. Cleaning a carbon steel pan requires some extra care, but with these simple techniques, you can ensure the pan retains its natural non-stick properties and has a long lifespan. Regular maintenance and care will ensure that your carbon steel pan is always ready to prepare delicious dishes.

Get started!

Maintaining your pans is essential for long-term use and optimal performance. Regular cleaning and taking good care of your pans will keep them looking perfect and maintain their cooking quality. Whether it is cleaning off burnt residues, removing stains or taking care of the bottom of the pan. With the right cleaning techniques this is simple and effective. Don't forget to always follow the manufacturer's advice and be careful with abrasives to avoid scratches. With these tips and some TLC, you will prepare delicious dishes with your pans for many years to come!