Even the best cook can accidentally burn food in a pan. Cooking over high heat can burn food faster than you expected so if that ever happens, you can do a few things to save the dish from being a total disaster.
You can salvage what is left in your pot with a minor caveat: you have to taste it first. If the burnt taste is not too strong, you can try to salvage it but scooping out what isn’t stuck on the bottom of your pot. If however, the burnt taste is overwhelming to both your taste buds and the overall flavor of your dish, it might be better to toss it out and order in instead for a less stressful option.
Whether you were able to save your dish or not, the cookware you used will definitely be a burn victim. Don’t let it get you down! Here’s what you can do to clean up the burned food from your pans:
1 Boil it out.
The pot is probably still hot so once you’ve scraped out most of the food in the pot, act quickly and pour in enough water to cover the burnt food. Bring it to a boil so you can more easily scrape off as much burnt food as you can. The heat should be able to remove much of what was not as scraped out.
2 Cool down the pan.
This may sound like a bad idea but unless you have hands that can’t feel the heat, you’ll need that pan to be cool to get into the burned food. The cooling process can actually benefit the pot. Since the cold will contract the metal, you can expect some of the burnt food to loosen even just slightly.
3 Use an abrasive paste and steel wool.
Once cool, you can make a paste to apply to the burnt food: a mixture of baking soda and water. Spread this directly onto the burned parts and use steel wool as another kind of abrasive to get those burned parts off and out of your pan.
You will most probably need to apply lots of pressure so this technique is only applicable to metal pots and pans. If you have burnt food on a nonstick pan, you’re better off buying a new nonstick pan since removing these burnt parts will most likely remove the nonstick coating as well.
Need more tips? Here are other ways you can try if this method doesn’t work for your cookware: