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Cleaning Burnt Food From Non-Stick Pan

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I have burnt food stuck to my non stick pan. Any ideas to get it off?

By Seamus from Cheshire, England

Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Witty6407/11/2011

I am so grateful! The burnt food came off quite easily from my Teflon pan. I did have to soak it in the mixture(Bicarbonate of soda and vinegar) twice for 20 minutes and I did use my fingernail to scrape the gunk off but it sure worked. Thank you so much.

By Hallie [5]01/03/2011

Try soaking it in the hottest water you can get, until it's soft enough you can just wipe it off. :)

By Nathalie01/03/2011

I'm going to also recommend either cast iron or stainless. With stainless, just use nonstick spray (it comes even in just olive oil) and things really don't stick. If you scratch your nonstick coating, and heat it high enough to burn stuff in the future, there's the possible risk of fumes. Also, you don't get the same searing that you would with either cast iron (the old fashioned kind) or stainless. I stupidly tossed my grandmother's cast iron pans thinking they were too heavy. Now I'm using cast iron again and I could kick myself! It cleans so easily if you "season" the pan first, and when you clean it. You just use hot water, a plastic scrubber, and everything comes off of it. Rub it down with a little oil and heat for a moment when you dry it. Turn the burner on til it's just warm, then off, to spread the oil. It's unbelievable how well things brown and cook without burning! Heat distributes better, so you don't get the scorches like you do in nonstick pans. Try one piece of each, a smaller 10"-12" cast iron, Lodge is best, and a large stainless skillet since it'll be lighter. :) Try discount stores like Marshalls for the pans to experiment without spending a lot of money.

By Caph [1]12/31/2010

I sympathize with you ruining your Non-stick pan but if you haven't rubbed off the non-stick teflon than use this to try to get anything burnt on it off. Sprinkle baking soda on the burnt spots and pour vinegar over the baking soda. When it stops bubbling; with a dishcloth softly rub the pan clean with hot water and detergent. Voila, it's clean,hopefully! Use a little more strength if you need to.

My second advice is to buy stainless steel pans; they are easy to clean and non toxic. Be patient when using low heat at first and watch what your cooking so not to get anything sticking but stir often. Stainless steel holds heat better also. So if you use high heat just remember to lower the heat after the food starts cooking. If something burns clean it the same way as above. Or use Dianna's method: Try filling your pan with enough baking soda to cover the bottom of your pan add enough water to cover the baking soda plus about 1-2 inches. Put back onto the stove and bring to a boil, remove from stove and let sit overnight, and wash as usual. This has always worked for me, hope it helps you. By Dianna

By Caph [1]12/31/2010

Sprinkle baking soda on the burnt spots and pour vinegar over the baking soda. When it stops bubbling; with a dishcloth softly rub the pan clean with hot water and detergent. Voila, it's clean, hopefully! Use a little more strength if you need to.

By frances [1]12/30/2010

Put a drop or two of dish detergent (the liquid, not the kind for dishwashers) in the pan. Fill it about half full of water and place it on the stove. Bring it to the point that the dish soap is starting to bubble up. At that point, take the pan off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub it with a non-abrasive type scrubber. If that doesn't remove all the burnt-on gunk, you may need to repeat the process. This should get the pan clean, but it will probably never be completely non-stick again.

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Archive: Cleaning Burnt Food From Non-Stick Pan

I think I ruined the pan! I think I destroyed my non-stick pan by burning peaches, water, sugar and lemon sauce. I'm afraid that if I haven't already ruined it, different remedies might be bad for the surface.

Can anyone help me?

Debby from San Diego, CA


RE: Cleaning Burnt Food From Non-Stick Pan

If it's that bad you've got nothing to loose so try this, I've used it many times and it's always worked: sprinkle the skillet (and I mean totally, a thick layer) with non-scratch cleanser. Add enough water to make a paste. Cover with plastic wrap (so the water won't evaporate). Let set overnight. Next day, run water in the pan to wash out the cleanser. This may be enough to remove the mess. If not, wash gently with a sponge. You may need to do this 2-3 times, depending on how bad it is, but it will come off eventually with this method. (09/11/2007)

By perfume and powder

RE: Cleaning Burnt Food From Non-Stick Pan

Honestly, with any non-stick, you don't want to use it if it's been exposed to heats higher than it should be. That means the Teflon is compromised and then can release toxic chemicals into the air. Better safe than sorry, scrap the pan, try finding a nice new one at a discount place like Ross, Marshall's, or a local restaurant supply.

Also we just switched to stainless steel. Honestly, it sticks way less, the food cooks much better and browns beautifully! We use olive oil or olive oil non-stick spray (safe even around birds) and nothing sticks. Why risk your own health? (09/14/2007)

RE: Cleaning Burnt Food From Non-Stick Pan

Have you thought about trying good old fashioned cast iron? There's nothing fancy about them, they're heavy, a little cumbersome at first, but they're wonderful in a broiler (good potholder is a must) and they're really quite hard to ruin once you season them. If used properly, they are virtually nonstick and last for generations. (09/15/2007)

By U*u*U

RE: Cleaning Burnt Food From Non-Stick Pan

You may want to try spraying your pan first with non stick spray next time. Also, a trick my grandma used to do was put water in the pan and boil the heck out of it, it usually works, also Dawn Direct Foam is a great dish soap for soaking over night. Good luck. (09/15/2007)

By diana1117

RE: Cleaning Burnt Food From Non-Stick Pan

I have read many times that baking soda will loosen burnt-on "stuff". I had not tried it until one day it was in my shaker next to the sink. I was amazed at how all I had to do was rinse the stuck on food right off after sitting awhile! Not everything can be rinsed off, but it doesn't take a lot of elbow grease to get it off! I would usually put the pan back on the stove and boil water awhile until it could be scraped off.

As to the olive oil, you can't turn heat up as high with that as you can other oils. It will burn faster. My husband is from the school of, "if the flame goes that high, then it must be OK to use it"! Don't use the highest setting and always stir, then no more burnt food. (09/15/2007)

RE: Cleaning Burnt Food From Non-Stick Pan

Try filling your pan with enough baking soda to cover the bottom of your pan add enough water to cover the baking soda plus about 1-2 inches. Put back onto the stove and bring to a boil, remove from stove and let sit overnight, and wash as usual. This has always worked for me, hope it helps you. (09/15/2007)

By Dianna

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