Clean Burnt Pots and Pans

Tired of scrubbing pots and pans? This is the absolute easiest way I have found to clean burnt pots and pans that doesn’t require soaking or scrubbing!

I will freely admit I have burnt my fair share of pots and pans. I like to cook, but I’m easily distracted in the kitchen. I’m always trying to do too many things at once. Unfortunately multi-tasking and cooking don’t go hand in hand.

The other night when I was making dinner, I had my chicken in the oven and quinoa on the stovetop and I went in the other room to check twitter (don’t judge me people…it’s addicting). I was making this Parmesan Lemon Chicken from Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke (which was quite good by the way…two thumbs up from all the kids), and completely forgot about the quinoa. Of course when I came back in, I had a burnt pot. I salvaged what I could of the quinoa, and set to work cleaning my pot.

How to Clean Burnt Pots and Pans in Minutes

  • Add a tablespoon of powder dish detergent to your burnt pot or pan, then add water.
  • Bring to a boil on the stovetop. I usually find 15 minutes is enough time, but if you want to check to see the progress, drag a spoon or any other stirring utensil along the side of your pot to make sure the burnt pieces are coming off.
  • After dumping your water out, give your pot a few swipes around with a scrubby sponge or brillo pad and everything that is left should come off fairly easily.

 What’s your best tip for cleaning a burnt pot?

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102 Responses to Clean Burnt Pots and Pans in Minutes

  1. Janine Huldie
    Twitter:
    says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this, because you do not know how many times I have had dirty pots and pans having trouble cleaning them here. So, I totally pinned when I need it now!! :)
    Janine Huldie recently posted…What’s the Big Deal About Kid’s Toy Messes?My Profile

  2. This is a great tip — I think we’ve all been there. When you saw powdered detergent, do you mean the stuff I put int the dishwasher? Typically I pull out the SOS pad and go for elbow grease. This sounds much easier!
    Seana Turner recently posted…Common Organizing MistakesMy Profile

  3. Did you write this tip for me, Michelle? ;) I am the queen of burnt pots…forever distracted and running back and forth to the computer! Thanks for the tip – Going to pin it in case, er, when, it happens again.
    Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes recently posted…A Simple Spring Vignette…”Faux” Real!My Profile

  4. Kita
    Twitter:
    says:

    You must have known I need this. I have a pot right now soaking int he sink from yesterday that I refuse to clean lol I am about to go and try this method.

  5. Kim
    Twitter:
    says:

    I am a soak-then-scrub-er. This sounds like a great method, though – I will have to give it a try!
    Kim recently posted…Space CadetMy Profile

  6. Tamara
    Twitter:
    says:

    This is great. We have a big lobster pot that we use to make popcorn..or rather..Cassidy uses to make popcorn. The one time I tried I managed to burn the bottom of the pan in three places.
    Cassidy said, “I didn’t actually know it was possible to burn the pan that badly!”
    Tamara recently posted…All The Good Stuff Happens On Twitter.My Profile

  7. AwesomelyOZ
    Twitter:
    says:

    Very good tip! I find just letting it sit in the sink overnight with soap helps too – I’m usually in no rush anyway. :D I’ve also heard of boiling water with vinegar and baking soda but never tried it. Have a great one Michelle! -Iva
    AwesomelyOZ recently posted…The Friendship ConundrumMy Profile

  8. This is such a great idea! And I am with Tamara, those popcorn stains are the worst! I stopped making popcorn in a pan because I just didn’t want to deal with the cleaning.
    Angela Gilmore recently posted…Budget Friendly Recipes For Your FamilyMy Profile

  9. Hey Michelle! We do this with liquid dish detergent all the time.
    Kimberly H. Smith recently posted…It Is Ultimate Blog Party Time Again!My Profile

  10. Great tip! I just may have done this the other night. I haven’t tried boiling with soap. Will try it!
    another jennifer recently posted…Philanthropy Friday: Jewelry for a CauseMy Profile

  11. Michelle Liew
    Twitter:
    says:

    I will try this on a few pots and pans I have!
    Michelle Liew recently posted…Just Do ItMy Profile

  12. Katie
    Twitter:
    says:

    I am the queen of burning things in the kitchen, pots and food alike! I will definitely be trying this.
    Katie recently posted…How Much Do You Know About Sexual Violence? [Take the Quiz]My Profile

  13. popcosmo
    Twitter:
    says:

    Definitely need to try this! As a non-cook and more pots burnt than I care to admit, my husband just rolls his eyes. We have a Mr. Scrubbie (I think that’s the name) and it’s saving my life… and making my husband think I’ve learned a thing or 2. Seriously, the best thing ever… until I read this!
    xo ~kim

  14. Kari
    Twitter:
    says:

    Great tip! I’ve found it works without even boiling water in it though(none of those ackky fumes either). Just fill with hot water a splash of dish soap and a sprinkling of powdered dishwasher detergent. Let it sit for 30 minutes or more and VOILA- it wipes right off!
    Kari recently posted…Magical Scrambled EggsMy Profile

  15. Are…you…KIDDING ME?!?!?!?! This is SO VERY AWESOME!!! I have never had any trick like this and, the way that I cook, it could have come in handy dozens of times in the past year alone. WOW!! This is fantastic!! Whoo Hoo!! You rock!! Who knew???!!!! Thanks!! –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted…Pinterest Nightmare #367: Edible Baby HeadsMy Profile

  16. Carla
    Twitter:
    says:

    Great tip! I’ll be the first to admit that if it’s burnt bad enough it just goes in the trash. I’m for sure going to try this next time.
    Carla recently posted…Five on Friday! #3My Profile

  17. Kathy Radigan
    Twitter:
    says:

    Wow what a great tip! Not that I ever, ever burn a pot!! ( Please, I burn them so often that the kids will walk in the kitchen and say, “Did you do it again?”) I have never heard this one before, can’t wait to try it. I’m sure I will get to very shortly!! Lol!
    Kathy Radigan recently posted…Third Time’s the CharmMy Profile

  18. Bev
    Twitter:
    says:

    I’m always trying to multitask while I’m cooking also and have burnt many pans over the years. I have seen my husband do something similar when a pan really has the food cooked in and definitely seems to do the trick!
    Bev recently posted…Friday Finds: The Runner EditionMy Profile

  19. I’m pinning this awesome tip!
    Amy – Funny Is Family recently posted…The Cracks On My FaceMy Profile

  20. Ray
    Twitter:
    says:

    This is brilliant…. Love cleaning, love not having to kill myself while cleaning. Saving this one on desktop for easy reference til it is burned into my mind. Not that I burn a lot, I have a teenager!!!!
    Ray recently posted…Sports and PassionMy Profile

  21. Gaye
    Twitter:
    says:

    That sounds like a great strategy. Kind of the same idea as deglazing a pan.
    Gaye recently posted…10 Things to Know About Gut Flora, Probiotics and Your HealthMy Profile

  22. Raquel
    Twitter:
    says:

    I have a few pots that need attention. Thanks for this – I love that it is not complicated. I am always distracted in the kitchen.
    Raquel recently posted…The Ultimate Blog Party 2014 #UBP14My Profile

  23. Oh my goodness! Thanks for the tip—I already have tried the boiling technique but never tried it with powdered detergent-love that. I am sure that works like a charm (I am remembering Chemistry from college how detergent breaks down other elements, lol:) Pinning it for a great household tip. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend!
    Rachel Kathyg recently posted…Easy Individual Fruit CrispsMy Profile

  24. Jennifer
    Twitter:
    says:

    I do the same thing but I use the original blue liquid Dawn dish detergent. Works like a charm!

    Wishing you a lovely weekend Michelle.
    xoxo
    Jennifer recently posted…10 Tips To Get Your Blog Posts ReadMy Profile

  25. Rachel G
    Twitter:
    says:

    Brillo pads have come in useful many a time when it comes to burnt on-gunk. Powdered dish detergent? Is that for dishwashers? I guess I’m thinking of dish soap because I don’t have a dish washer–I have heard that dishwasher detergent is a lot more powerful

  26. Tarana
    Twitter:
    says:

    Thank you, because I just burnt a pot today! I usually boil a mixture of baking soda and vinegar in it, but that still requires a lot of scrubbing.
    Tarana recently posted…Our lives, one picture at a time…My Profile

  27. It’s been awhile since I burnt a pot. I can remember burning one so bad I threw it away. My husband was so mad at me because it was a “before me” pot that his mom gave him. Now I know they were really good pots (Magnelite?) I should look on eBay and see if I can find once. Anyway there’s a candy I make once a year, while I don’t burn it, the pots is very had to clean and I just let it soak forever. It slows up the process because I like to make batches back to back for gifts. I’ve pinned it. Now watch I burn something in the next week.
    Kenya G. Johnson recently posted…So I got a ticket. What’s the lesson?My Profile

  28. Nellie
    Twitter:
    says:

    This is great, I actually avoid buying stainless steel pans for this very reason, the cleanup is just brutal! Usually I lets my pots soak overnight but this is a great solution!
    Nellie recently posted…Friday Fitness Check-in: Dear BodyPump, Where Have You Been All My Life?My Profile

  29. Janelle
    Twitter:
    says:

    This is brilliant!! I definitely have to try this out!! I am the queen of burnt pans, most especially!
    Janelle recently posted…Fight for Air Stair Climb Philly RecapMy Profile

  30. Andrea
    Twitter:
    says:

    Never heard of this pot cleaning remedy. This is one for the books. Pinning it!
    Andrea recently posted…Work-Life Ratio – Who Wants Some?My Profile

  31. Eli
    Twitter:
    says:

    I usually use kerosene and a blowtorch. But ambulance rides being as costly as they are …

    I’m going to try this. When I make hashbrowns, I do this. Every time. I keep scraping with the spatula and can’t figure out where all the hashbrowns are going, until I realize they’re all caked and burnt on to the bottom of the plan.
    Eli recently posted…Go Ask Daddy About Pickle Properties, Bony Behemoths and Ballot BustersMy Profile

    • I try to stay away from the blowtorches. Matches too. I only use one of those long handled lighters. Haha. That’s the only way I can start a fire in the fireplace. Yes, you definitely want to stay away from ambulance rides…had that experience. BIG bill. It might be safer to make hash browns in the oven for me.
      Michelle Nahom recently posted…Let’s Get Real Blog Hop #34My Profile

  32. I’ve been doing this with regular liquid dishwashing liquid. I don’t use the dishwasher (that’s an entire blog post) so I don’t have dishwasher powder, but I might invest in some if the results are even better than what I’ve been achieving, Michelle.
    Alison Hector recently posted…No “shade” from the SonMy Profile

  33. Leah says:

    I will have to try this!! (Hopefully not for a while though or that would mean I have burned dinner! )Thanks!
    Leah recently posted…“Motherhood Realized” is launching!My Profile

  34. Great advice! I get distracted in the kitchen too! LOL! I’ve used liquid dish detergent and it works well in a pinch.
    Kristina Walters recently posted…Staycations – The SpinMy Profile

  35. Ana Lynn
    Twitter:
    says:

    Useful tip since I have burnt a few pots while cooking. My husband usually uses boiling coffee to clean burnt gritle, I wonder if it would work on burnt pots as well… we didn’t try it there.. yet!
    Ana Lynn recently posted…Let’s Talk About LaundryMy Profile

  36. dawn
    Twitter:
    says:

    I’ll have to give this a try. I’m notoriously guilty of burning things because I always have the heat set too high. I’m an impatient cook :)
    dawn recently posted…Wellness Tips for the MindMy Profile

  37. Jen
    Twitter:
    says:

    That is awesome Michelle! I add a downy dryer sheet to a burnt pot, or one with food harshly stuck, fill it with water, and let it soak over night. Then the next day they wipe out easily!
    Jen recently posted…Spring Paper Flower WreathMy Profile

  38. Amber
    Twitter:
    says:

    Thank you for this. I’ve burnt many a pan before.
    Amber recently posted…Inside Natalie’s Closet: Nautical OutfitsMy Profile

  39. FitBritt
    Twitter:
    says:

    Great tip! I use Barkeepers friend to help scrub my pots and pans and find that it works really well!
    FitBritt recently posted…Cupcakes, the Circus and How to Get Rid of Cellulite with BlissMy Profile

  40. karen
    Twitter:
    says:

    OMG…so trying this…thought I don’t use my pots as much as I use my cast iron skillets. My hubby would be so thrilled to see clean pots though.
    karen recently posted…Our Meal Plan March 30th-April 5thMy Profile

  41. Emmy
    Twitter:
    says:

    I have never tried that, definitely will have to. Usually if I put it to soak right away with some water and dish soap it works, but there have been times where more is needed.
    Emmy recently posted…Final Master Bedroom Makeover ProjectsMy Profile

  42. Thank you! I need this tip! Visiting you from Wakeup Wednesday :)

  43. Nicole
    Twitter:
    says:

    Definitely going to try this trick!! Thanks for the helpful tip, Michelle!
    Nicole recently posted…Back to RealityMy Profile

  44. Nicole
    Twitter:
    says:

    Well this was certainly a popular post! Look at all those comments! :) What a great idea. I’m pinning this to my Cleaning tips and tricks board. Thanks for co-hosting with us this week!
    Nicole recently posted…Let’s Get Real #34My Profile

  45. Christina
    Twitter:
    says:

    It’s like you have been hanging out in my kitchen Michelle! This is a great tip. Thanks again for hosting with us at Let’s Get Real. We will make sure this gets pinned to our Let’s Get Real board so that you can save lots of us Twitter addicted food burners.

  46. Gurvy Green says:

    Thanks for sharing Michelle, I usually add some baking power to my pan with hot water and leave overnight–makes life so much easier! Pinned!
    Gurvy Green recently posted…Nourish your skin with healthy foodsMy Profile

  47. Kimber
    Twitter:
    says:

    So good to know! It is something that **occasionally** happens to me. I will definitely be trying this!
    Kimber recently posted…{What will it BEE?} Gender Reveal CupcakesMy Profile

  48. Kristen
    Twitter:
    says:

    Ahhh… very clever!! I’ve used the same trick as Jen with the Downy sheet but this is so logical!!
    Kristen recently posted…Teen Driving Solutions School – A Must Have for Teen DriversMy Profile

  49. […] Easiest way to clean burnt pots and pans {A Dish of Daily Life} […]

  50. Sarah says:

    My mom used to do this trick as well. It works pretty good. Thank you for linking up at Frugal Friday. :)
    Sarah recently posted…How to Succeed At Whatever You DoMy Profile

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