save a burnt pan

The Lazy Way to Save a Burnt Pan

About a month ago, I found myself getting very engrossed in a very animated and fun #makedoandmendhour on Twitter. Hosted by My Make Do and Mend Year’s Jen Gale, the hour is an opportunity for frugally thrifty upcyclers and crafty creators to share what they have been making; or ask advice and inspiration from others. As a complete notice to anything that involves a needle and thread or glue gun, I tend to be more of an observer than a contributor; but get engrossed in the conversations nevertheless!

However, this particular evening I got so distracted with the conversation, that I forgot the pan of rhubarb I was cooking in the kitchen; to make a seasonal fruit compote. That was until the smoke of the burning pan wafted across the house and alerted me to the obliterated pan!

save a burnt pan

But not wanting to throw the poor pan away (it’s a waste of money and landfill space in my eyes) or use lots of strong toxic chemicals to clean it, I called upon the community of #makedoandmendhour for their ideas to remove the burnt mess. They did not disappoint, and came up with some fab tips for burnt pans including:

  1. Boil it clean – Boil up the pan with water and either some baking powder, washing powder or half a lemon. A few minutes and a couple of stirs should see the burn dissolve quite easily.
  2. Use natural acidity – Soak the pan in vinegar overnight and simply rinse in hot water in the morning. lazy cleaning at its best!
  3. Freeze off the burn – Sticking the pan in the freezer overnight is one of the less conventional ways to clean the burn off, but apparently it works wonders on baking trays!
  4. Give it a new job – If none of the above work, accept its time has come and transform it into futuristic plant pot or hanging basket!

However, as the queen of procrastination, I actually forgot to do any of these things! Instead, I left my poor pan to sit lonely and burnt in my kitchen; waiting to be saved. Weeks went by and this sorry looking pan was  moved around the kitchen, and met with “oh, I really do need to sort out that pan” comments (as well as other-half accusations of idle behaviour!).

But then a magical thing happened. Perhaps it was the melting effect of the summer heat; or maybe it was just the pans own impatience to get itself clean. But the black charcoal that lined the pan began to flake and crumble away, with no scrubbing, rubbing or boiling effort on my part! The easier cleaning ever!! I did of course give it a little clean in warm water and (eco) washing-up liquid before use…

remove burnt pan
Almost as good as new!

Now my pan and I are reunited and happily cooking together again; with little evidence of the disaster. I promise to try not to burn it again, but now I know that there really are some lazy ways to save a burnt pan from toxic cleaning or dreaded landfill!


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