How To Clean Burnt Pans

How To Clean Burnt Pans

27 January 2021

If you've accidentally burnt your favourite Saucepan or Frying Pan - don't panic! We have three proven ways to clean any burnt pan to share with you, as well as tips to help prevent you from burning food in your pans in the future!
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How To Clean Any Burnt Pan - Three Proven Methods

Whether you're a culinary whizz or an avid recipe follower, sometimes accidents happen. If you haven’t invested in a Circulon Pan just yet, we're still here for you here are our top tried and tested methods to get burnt food or sauces off ANY brand of pan!

1) Bicarbonate of Soda & Vinegar

A cupboard staple that you might already have to hand, this is a quick, easy and all-natural way to clean burnt Stainless Steel, Cast Iron and even Copper pans.

  1. Fill the burnt pan with equal parts water and vinegar
  2. Bring the mixture to the boil
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of Bicarbonate of Soda and stir gently for 1 minute
  4. Remove the Pan from the heat and let the Soda & Vinegar mixture soak for 15 minutes. The mixture will lift the burnt food or sauce from the pan
  5. Pour the liquid down the drain
  6. Use a sponge or scouring pad to scrub away any remaining burnt bits. Don't use a metal scouring pad or utensil or this will damage the surface of your Pan! 

2) Boil Lemons

Another natural way to remove burnt food from your Frying Pan or Saucepan – and it'll remove any burnt smell odours from your kitchen too!

  1. Slice a couple of Lemons and place them in your burnt pan
  2. Fill the pan with enough water to cover the lemon slices
  3. Bring the water to the boil for around 8 minutes
  4. Remove from the heat and allow the lemon water to work it's magic!
  5. When food particles start floating to the surface your pan is ready to be scrubbed. We recommend at least a 15 minute soak for badly burnt pans.
  6. Discard the lemon water
  7. Rinse with hot, clean water and use a non-metal scouring pad to remove any stuck-on bits. Your pan is back in action with no damage to the non-stick and a lovely lemon aroma in your kitchen, getting rid of the burnt pan scent!

3) Dishwasher Tablet Scrub

If you have a really dirty pan with tough, burnt food that won't shift, sometimes using a dishwasher tablet is a great way to get it clean.

  1. Rinse your dirty pan with hot water
  2. Gently scrub the pan under warm water using the dishwasher tablet
  3. Scrub until all the debris is lifted
  4. If there are still persistent stains or burnt residue on the pan, the boil lemons method above will shift any remaining marks!

Why Does Food Stick To The Pan?

There are several reasons food sticks to pans, but the most common is that a chemical reaction occurs between the ingredients and the metal of the cookware. Meat and poultry are particularly prone to sticking because metal atoms, such as iron, form complexes within the proteins.

Another reason your food might be sticking is that all pans have microscopic cracks that expand when heated. This expansion causes foodstuff to become trapped, where it then sticks and burns.

You may also have noticed that if you cook food with little to no fat it has a greater risk of sticking because of the lack of lubrication. This is where vegetable oil or pre-seasoning the pan can help prevent burnt pans, as it adds lubrication to the cooking surface.

How To Stop Pans From Turning Black Over A Flame?

If you're wondering how to clean a burnt pan, you may also be wondering how to stop your pans from turning black too. One of the biggest causes of pans becoming black is because the distribution of heat is uneven.

One of the most effective ways of stopping your Saucepans or Frying Pans from turning black is by investing in cookware with built in Non-Stick. When you opt for cheaper pans, the low-quality material causes uneven heating, which contributes to blackening.

Another quick and easy way to stop your pans from burning and turning black is by keeping your hob clean and free from food, oil and other debris.

Tips To Avoid Burning Food When Cooking

As pioneers of Non-Stick, we are confident our products will last. However, it is also important you look after your cookware in the best way possible. We believe that if you look after your cookware, it will look after you.

To prevent food burning onto your pan, here are some top tips:

  • If you are using a pan with effective built in Non-Stick, you shouldn't need to fry at a high temperature or use excessive oil. If you have doubts about the Non-Stick performance of your pan, pre-season the pan by rubbing the surface with vegetable oil and salt using a kitchen towel. Then try cooking at a slightly lower temperature. 
  • At purchase, your pan manufacturer should advise what material the pan is made from and it's ability to conduct heat evenly. The more evenly a pan can conduct heat, the more evenly you can cook the contents, rather than burning one area. If you're reliant on the centre circle or middle of your pan as your optimum cooking position, you should consider upgrading or testing a new pan.
  • Each brand of Frying Pan or Saucepan has different capabilities but with Circulon Pans you can cook at lower temperatures and still have an even conductor of heat for cooking. Circulon Pans can cook food 20% faster due to the superior materials, so keep this in mind with any recipe you’re following.
  • Always cook with a clean pan and handwash after use with soapy water. Fairy Liquid is highly recommended!

Circulon's Non-Stick Technology

For decades we've been investing in and testing innovative cookware. Transforming the way homes and commercial kitchens cook, we create memorable mealtimes. Our advanced non-stick technology has been engineered for even the most demanding cooks and crafted to last a lifetime. It's why we offer a lifetime warranty on all our products.

If you're ready to cook fearlessly, discover our selection of non-stick pots and pans. From frying pans and woks to saucepans and pan sets, you'll find our non-stick cookware range features what you'll need for a lifetime of delicious meals.

We hope you found these tips helpful. Feel free to contact us if there’s anything else you’d like to know about Circulon pans or cleaning any of your cookware.