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Cleaning pans

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well, I'm coming here to settle an argument, again...

 

After roasting a rump roast the other night, my perennial houseguest volunteered to 'clean up.'  An hour later, I found my roasting pan and v-rack out on the back porch filled with water.  When I asked, I was told that there was 'stuff burnt on' and they had to 'soak.'

 

I tried to explain that 'soaking' doesn't make burnt food/fond any easier to get off, just wetter.  However, when challenged, I couldn't explain why.

 

As a kid, my mom 'soaked' dishes after cooking, so did grandma.  Never seemed to do anything, but they did it anyway.  Why not?  What has chemically happened to food that gets 'burnt on' and why does dousing it in water not do much?

post #2 of 12

As far as I've seen, water will soften some foods that get stuck, especially sugar-based stuck things (caramelized stuff, meaning anything with some sugar content) as long as it's not black burnt and completely carbonized.  But why would you soak something in just water, when hot water and detergent at least will get rid of the grease?  Water for sugars, but detergent for grease.  Most roasting pans are a mixture of both after roasting meat, potatoes, onions, etc. 

To get the really bad burnt stuff off, i use washing soda (It's called "washing soda"  not the same as bicarbonate of soda) and it's pretty miraculous. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #3 of 12

There are certain dishes that do need to be soaked, for example a bowl of oatmeal or cereal, pasta bowls, rice bowls, and anything else that hardens up once dry.

 

I have found that the best way to clean a pan is to deglaze it with water while it's hot. I swish around a little boiling water right on the stove top and lift the burnt off bits with a rubber spatula. 

 

... I then throw the pan in the sink with water and soap and let it soak.  The reason this works is because it gets rid of the grease so that I can really focus on the burned up bits with the appropriate scrubbing tool, usually a scouring pad.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #4 of 12

Some pots and dishes that have had  eggs served in them should be washed in cold water first as the heat from the water simply cooks the egg to the dish more. STEEL wool brillo or s.o.s type pads should never be uses and in fact in most states the health dept forbids them in commercial kitchens.1. They harbor bacteria and 2 . the threads of steel dislodge and get caught in and around pans near the rivet joints..

Don't put a hot pot in the sink and put in water as you only help pot to warp it.. People wonder why after a while their pots don't sit flat on stove top, this is why. Let the pot , when cool soak in water and wash later . If you really burn something put water and vinegar in pot and boil, the burn will come out then wash with soap and water.  Your moms and grandmas were right soak the pans . The water tends to penetrate whats on the pan and helps make the crusted on stuff softer and like anything wet expands it making it easier to remove

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #5 of 12

Dishwasher powder can be your very best friend for situations like this.  Keep some on hand, even if you don't have a a DW.  When I have an especially stubborn pan to clean,  I put some water in it,  bring it just to the boil on the stovetop, sprinkle in some powder and let it sit, either on the burner,  or sometimes I'll put it into the oven (hoping I won't forget it's in there).  I go about my other chores,  and at the end the pan is ready to come clean too.  For a final polish,  I might finish it off with BarKeepers Friend  (the powder, not the liquid). 

"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #6 of 12

Deglaze pans while warm.

 

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrairieChef View Post

Deglaze pans while warm.

 


I like using Bar Keeper's Friend

post #8 of 12

Bluedogz, I've been wondering why you didn't deglaze the pan when the roasting was finished,  and use that delicious fond in pan gravy? 

"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by amazingrace View Post

Bluedogz, I've been wondering why you didn't deglaze the pan when the roasting was finished,  and use that delicious fond in pan gravy? 


True that!

 

Unless there was too much burnt on, and too burnt.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Good questions there... this was a cheap roast gotten on sale and prepared to slice up for sandwiches.  Ordinarily, I'd have been motivated to turn fond into gravy, but this wasn't really fond as much as 'burnt-on &^%$.'

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by abefroman View Post


I like using Bar Keeper's Friend



Me too.

"J'aime cuisiner avec du vin, j'ai parfois même mettre dans les aliments je suis cuisson. ""Mi piace cucinare con il vino, talvolta ho persino messa nel cibo sto cottura. ""I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I'm cooking." - Julia Child 
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"J'aime cuisiner avec du vin, j'ai parfois même mettre dans les aliments je suis cuisson. ""Mi piace cucinare con il vino, talvolta ho persino messa nel cibo sto cottura. ""I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I'm cooking." - Julia Child 
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post #12 of 12

Ditto what Koukou and others have said.  Do it because it works.  Forget the chemistry of it.  Its a trick I leanrt from my sister when we were cleaning up ofter a dinner once - it reakky helps clean the pan/pot.

 

When I leave rice or a stew on too high on the flame and you get the inevitable burnt bits, put the not burnt bits into another pan then hot water straight into the burnt pan,  Simmer for few mins, use a spatula to help lift the burnt on bits.  Rinse out, repeat, leave to soak couple of hours or even overnight.  Easy to clean by then.

 

Mothers and grandmothers know best

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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