When cooking with vegetable oils, butter, margarine, and other forms of grease, your cooking pans may accumulate burnt grease on their surface. It can be a pesky task to remove burnt grease from cooking pans, but it’s not impossible.
Lucky for you, this guide brings together our best tips for how to clean burnt grease from pans (inside and outside). We’ll dive into the best soaps and cleaning materials to use so that you can successfully de-grease your pans without damaging their surfaces.
How to Clean Burnt Grease From the Outside of Pans
First off, let’s tackle a misconception. You might be under the impression that the cooking surface (inside) of your pans is the only part that can accumulate burnt grease. Well, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The reality of cooking on a stovetop is that grease will inevitably get onto the outside of frying pans, whether it’s due to splattering, splashing, or dripping. When this happens, it’s only natural that it burns up and collects on the bottom of the pan since that is the part of the pan that gets the hottest.
Here’s how to tackle cleaning off this burnt grease gently so that you don’t scratch, damage, or dull up the outside of your pans.
Try a Soap-Hydrogen Peroxide-Baking Soda Concoction
This combination of ingredients is a very effective way to break down tough grease burns and stains on a frying pan. Add some antiseptic hydrogen peroxide to baking soda until a thick mixture forms.
(Baking soda is a mild form of abrasive, as well as a substance that naturally breaks down grease, so it works wonders for burnt grease that you would have to chip off otherwise.)
Then, add some dish soap to this mixture.
Now, you can apply this mixture to the outside of your pan with a gentle scrubber or dish scrubbing pad. It’s important to choose a gentle scrubber so that you don’t damage or scratch up the bottom. Scratches and etching in the surface may lead to rust over time.
Once you have applied the mixture, let it sit for a good 45 minutes. Finally, you can scrub off the grease residue and mixture with a new scrubber and wash it clean. You may need to do a couple of rounds of this until you’re satisfied.
If you are short on supplies but still want to get the job done, you might consider using just vinegar. Vinegar is pretty acidic, so it works well to break down grease.
All you need to do is put the stopper in your sink drain and fill it with enough vinegar to submerge the bottom of your pan. This vinegar bath should do the trick within an hour or two.
To clean it off afterward and get rid of the vinegar smell, use some soapy water and scrub off the remaining residue.
Try Using Ketchup
This may seem unconventional, but it actually works most of the time. You’ll also need some dish soap to make this method work. Furthermore, it’s going to be a longer process than vinegar and baking soda due to what ketchup is made of.
Coat the bottom (outside) of your pan with ketchup. Let the pan sit overnight with the ketchup applied to it. The next day, return to the pan and scrub away the ketchup with dish soap and a dish scrubber. Wash it clean, and it should help to lift up the grease and remove it.
The reason that ketchup works are because ketchup actually contains approximately 23 percent vinegar.
Related Read: Skillet vs Frying Pan
How to Clean Burnt Grease From the Inside of Pans
Now, onto the good stuff. Almost every home cook has encountered the buildup of burnt grease on the inside of a pan. Maybe you were cooking a dish with olive oil for too long. It surpassed its smoke point, and after that, you were left with a black and charred pan surface.
So, what can you do to get rid of it? Here are a few effective ways to do so at home.
Try a Salt-Baking Soda-Vinegar Concoction
If you didn’t notice already, vinegar and baking soda make great substances to break down grease. Getting rid of burnt grease and stains should work well with a mixture of baking powder, sea salt, and vinegar.
Give it a good scrub with a gentle scrubber. This should help you to break down and rub off the remaining residue. Just note that salt, especially sea salt, can be somewhat abrasive to pans, which is good for breaking down grease, but can be damaging to the pan surface. This is especially true if it’s a Teflon non-stick pan.
Try Using Heat and Soapy Water
If you aren’t afraid to get a little more hands-on, you can heat up your pan before cleaning it. Make sure you don’t get it so hot that you start burning the grease again. Once it’s warm, remove it from the stove and pour very cold water onto it, being careful not to get burned by steam.
This will help to get the grease lifted up from the pan’s surface so that you can then scrub it off with dish soap and warm water.
Try Using Oven Cleaner
Finally, one other effective way to remove burnt grease from cooking pans is to use oven cleaner. Although oven cleaner has some chemicals and isn’t totally natural, it works well and for the same reason that it works in the oven.
This is a good option for ceramic pans, as well as non-stick (Teflon) pans. Coat your pan in the substance, let it sit overnight or for several hours, then scrub it off. Next, wash it in soapy dishwater until it’s clean.
Related read: Oven Cleaners
Scouring and scrubbing pans with burnt grease on them can be a chore. However, there are several products you may already have at home that could make this task a lot easier for you. Gather your vinegar, dish soap, baking soda, and ketchup, and get to work!
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