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As careful as we try to be when cooking, burnt-on food and scorched cookware can happen to the best of us! Mostly this happens when the heat or flame is set too high for the amount of ingredients in the pan. Other times, it happens because we have too many things going on at once or we walk away while food is cooking -- both cooking no-no's!
Here's how to clean your burned pots and pans:
• Plunge the pan bottom into cold water to lessen the burnt taste and reduce the temperature immediately.
• If there is a burnt-on, caked-on coating or film of food, try to boil it off buy adding 1 teaspoon baking soda or washing soda or even cream of tartar for each cup of water. The food should float free after about 20 minutes. Then wash as usual.
• If it's not a stainless steel pan, cover the burnt inner bottom with baking or washing soda, and then add just enough water to cover the soda. The soda dissolves the “stick” and usually the burnt food will release in an even layer. Sometimes this can be an overnight process.
• DO wash cookware immediately after cooking.
• DON'T put most pots and pans in the dishwasher unless the manufacturer's directions specifically allow.
• NEVER use bleach, steel wool, oven cleaners, abrasive cleansers or scrape with metal implements to remove burnt on food.