Ugh. The other day I walked away from a pot of sautéing onions for all of two minutes (okay, maybe more like 10 minutes), and came back to find this blackened, burned-on mess. Not only was my soup recipe ruined, I worried that my enameled pan was, too.
Happily, the method I'll show you here not only saved my pot, it kept me from having to soak it for hours, or worse, risk ruining the enamel with an abrasive scrub. All that's needed is one secret weapon I already had in my kitchen.
To get my little pot back in perfect shape, all it took was a quick simmer with water and — drumroll, please — a couple tablespoons of baking soda!
The method is simple: Let the water come to a boil, add the baking soda, and give everything a good stir. After a few minutes of simmering, use a wooden spoon (no metal on that enamel surface, please!) to nudge off the burned-on bits. Just like that, all that yucky stuff will release from the pot, minimal elbow grease required. Amazing, right?
According to the helpful Chowhound thread where we found this tip, the method works not just for burned-on onions, but also pots scorched with sugary jam and batches of vegetable soup left unattended. Just about any carbonized food stains will release from your enamel when treated this way.
As you can see, my pot looks brand new once again! I'm so glad I learned this little trick.
How To Clean Burnt Stains off Enameled Cookware
Cleans one pot.
What You Need
1 quart water
2 tablespoons baking soda
- Bring water to a boil: Pour the water into the pot, then bring it to a boil over medium heat.
- Add baking soda: When the water begins to boil, add the baking soda, stir with a wooden spoon, and let simmer for a few minutes.
- Scrape: Use the wooden spoon to scrape the burned-on bits off of the pot.
- Rinse: Pour the baking soda and water solution down the drain, rinse the pot with hot water, then wipe it dry.
- If you have a very large pot to clean (or the burned on bits go far up the sides of the pot), just use more of the cleaning solution. For every quart of water, use two tablespoons of soda.
(Image credits: Coco Morante)