How to Clean Burnt Food Off Pots and Pans

What You'll Need
Warm water
Dish-washing liquid
Wooden or plastic spatula
Scouring pad
Baking soda

Burnt pots and pans are an unpleasant part of everyday cooking. No matter how careful you are, accidents do happen. Sometimes the result is burnt, charred food that sticks to your cookware despite all your best efforts. In the worst scenario, dish-washing soap and water are not nearly enough, and you are left wondering how to clean up the mess. However, there are a few cleaning tricks and tips that can help you undo the damage.

Step 1 – Remove the Pan from the Stove      

When cooking, especially on high heat, be on the lookout for any burnt smells. As soon as you smell food burning, turn off the stove and remove the pot from the heat. Without stirring, transfer the food from the top of the utensil to another container, so that it can still be eaten. But most accidents invariably happen when you receive an unexpected phone call or visitor. In such cases, it may be too late to save any food, but you can still restore your pot or pan to its original condition. Remove the utensil from the heat as soon as possible, and wait till it is cool enough to handle. Never pour cold water on hot cookware, as this will cause a temperature shock and damage the utensil.

Note: Before using any cookware, read the cleaning and care instructions. Avoid using any cleaning materials or chemicals that are not suitable for the cookware. Never use steel wood on materials such as enamel or clay.

Step 2 – Scrape out the Residue

Use a wooden or plastic spatula to scrape the burnt bits from the pan. This will make the cleaning job easier. If the residue is not burnt on too badly, it may come off if you follow up by scrubbing with a scouring pad and dish-washing liquid. If not, proceed to the next step.

Step 3 – Boil Water with a Lemon or Dish-washing Liquid

Fill the burnt area with water. Add 1 lemon and some salt in the water. Boil the water, and then let it cool down. Dispose of the water. Alternatively, you can boil water with some dish-washing liquid. Dispose of the liquid when cool, and scrub with a scouring pad.

Step 4 – Boil Water and Baking Soda Solution in Burnt Pan

If the above step does not remove the entire residue, fill the pan with water. Add baking soda at the rate of approximately 2 tablespoons per cup of water. Mix the solution and keep it on the stove. Turn the heat on at a medium-high level and let the solution boil. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat and let the water simmer for about 15 minutes. Do not let the water boil dry, or your problem will be aggravated. Once the water has cooled, dispose it, and wash the pan with warm water and dish-washing liquid. The burnt food should easily come off.