Cleaning Burnt On Food

I found this little kitchen tip ‘jewel’ on Pinterest today: Apartment Therapy’s post on How to Clean Burnt Pans With Vinegar and Baking Soda.I was so excited to try this!  Providentially, while I was pinning this tip, my son was upstairs burning the grits.  Breakfast was saved by the ‘burnt beans’ kitchen tip.  But the bottom of the pot was rather encrusted.  Indeed, rather more burnt than the frying pan of my apartment dwelling friend.

My ‘normal’ is to put the stinky pot outside, and save it for a ‘crabby chore’.  But instead, I decided to field test the new tip for cleaning burnt on food, and here are the amazing results!

You’ll need vinegar, baking soda, and a scrubby pad.  Put a shallow layer of water into the bottom of the pot, and add about a cup of vinegar.  I used apple cider, but I’d wager that any kind of vinegar would do.

Put the pot back onto the stove top, and bring the water/vinegar mix to a boil.  My kitchen sort of smells like dirty socks, but if this works, it’s worth it, right?


Once you get a boil going, then you get to do the fun part.

I’m about to shake in a bit of baking soda…


Now THAT was fun!  I bet the kids will stand in line to clean my burnt pans from now on. <waggling eyebrows>

I scraped the bottom a bit with my flipper, just to see if it was loosening up…it was!  Look at this!  It even smells different once the baking soda hits.

I spent less than a minute scrubbing off the remainder…easy peasy.  No elbow grease needed.

Something about the acidic vinegar, the heat, and then the rapid ph change from baking powder really softened the previously ‘permanent’ baked on finish.

And minutes later…



If you love a good kitchen tip, then head over to Tammy’s Recipes Kitchen Tip Tuesdays, where I am posting this link.





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  1. Mary says

    Thanks! I burned chokecherries in my grandma’s pan. Your tip helped me get more crust out than any other method. I will give it a second try.