EMERGENCY! I F#%Ked up...

Joined Feb 3, 2010
Boiling water with baking soda always works for me. The burnt on bits just float to the surface. No elbow grease required.
Joined Mar 12, 2005
Here's what I do:
Try soaking with soap and hot water

If that doesn't work use Bar Keeper's Friend

If that doesn't work use steel wool SOS pads
Joined Dec 1, 2009
The easiest thing I found to clean burnt pans was coke. Put some coke in the pan and bring it to a boil. While boiling for a few minutes take a wooden spoon and scrape the pan. The burnt food comes up easily. (Trust me the first time I heard this I laughed. Then I tried it and it worked beautifully)
Joined Jul 18, 2000
Several options here.

1st is to boil back with vinegar and water
2nd option is to scrub back with a half lemon with salt.
3rd option would be to spray out the pan with oven cleaner, and while you do this, you may as well spray out your oven, put then pan inside and let the whole lot soak out together.

of course, if you have access to a combi oven, then thats another story altogether.
Joined Aug 15, 2004
BDL is right. Washing Soda used to be pure Sodium Carbonate but even 30 years ago, A&H started adding other ingredients. Baking soda on the other hand is Sodium Bicarbonate, and is still available pure.

I sprinkle dry baking soda on scorched black spots, and add just enough water to make it pasty. Overnight usually is enough to make the stain come off with a little rubbing with a plastic scrubber. No steel wool. It scratches the surface and leaves tiny grooves which food will stick into and make your pan harder to keep clean in the future.

Joined Aug 7, 2008
If you think this is really an issue you may want to try finding some close up photos of any SS cookware that's new. There is really no such beast as SS cookware with out minute scratches. A ss pad, brillo, scotch brite etc is not going to hurt the interior of your SS cookware. The stewards at nearly every restaurant in the land are using SS scrubies on SS pans etc. and have been for many, many years. A pan with a few extra micro scratches is far better than a pan in the trash. ;)
Joined Aug 15, 2004
DuckFat;297588 A ss pad said:
I don't know. We had a $450 22 QT All-Clad stock pot with SS finish inside. It worked great until the wife used a Brillo steel wool pad on it. Now, the food always sticks to the bottom and forms a burnt spot. Using the same ingredients and same proportions and same heat and same cooking time. New vs. post-Brillo did make a tremendously big difference.

Joined Feb 3, 2010
This is my trick too. I use a flat-ended wooden spatula and gently nudge the hideous crust off the bottom while it boils merrily away. Any residue or discolouration remaining tends to come off with a nylon scrubbie when the pot has been rinsed and cooled a bit.

Only once did I think I had killed my favourite stock pot, but happily she recovered beautifully. :crazy:
Joined Feb 3, 2010
I wonder if a micro-abraision polish, and then a tich of seasoning might help your stock pot recover?
Joined Aug 13, 2006
I think some of you are talking about black burnt stuff which is quite different from the oil that gets burnt on, which is what tdurden asked about.  The burnt black stuff is way easier to get off. 

What tdurden asked about is when you leave oil in the pan and it burns on, just oil.  It makes a film that is really difficult to remove, even with a metal knife! 

The burnt black thick stuff (burnt food) is easier, and gets soft with soaking.  No amount of soaking gets the oil film off.  Unless you soak with a specific solvent. 
Joined Jul 14, 2010
I've had something similar happen with several of my All Clad SS pans.  Not sure what all of the substances were (someone had my pans for a few months), but after boiling with baking soda to get the heavy stuff off, the brown shiny glaze that was left appears to be some kind of oil based substance.  (Looks similar to the coating on cast iron pans when improperly seasoned in the oven.) 

BKF and elbow grease worked well for most of it, but the really stuck on stuff, especially around the rivets, didn't want to come off.  What eventually worked, and took minimal elbow grease, was Soot Away.  (You can get it at Home Depot, Lowes, etc.)  I use it to clean the mineral glass doors on my fireplace and it works like a champ. 

I sprayed it on the stuck on oil and let it sit for about 10 minutes.  Hit it with a nylon brush (the kind you would use to clean cast iron) and everything came up clean and shiny.  The bottle claims it is also great for cleaning grills, but I have never tried it.  I believe there is a little muriatic acid in the mix, so be careful and use some gloves if you have sensitive skin.

If you want to get really aggressive, try engine cleaner...  Stronger than oven cleaner.  I'd recommend using it outdoors as some brands smell like diesel fuel.
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