SF Good Questions: How Do I Save My Burnt Non-Stick Pot?

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Dear AT:SF, I recently steamed some tamales in a large non-stick pot. I think I messed up with the steaming, and perhaps did not use enough water, or steamed them for too long…either way, I ended up with a very burnt pot…

…I tried scrubbing with dish soap and the rough side of a (teflon-safe) sponge. I tried leaving it to soak in hot, soapy water. I tried scrubbing again. And again. I’ve scrubbed/soaked four times now, but it’s not helping. Is there any hope? I’m a little scared to use bon ami or comet on the non-stick surface, and I’m definitely afraid to use something like steel wool. Is there any hope? Do any of you out there have ideas for getting rid of the brown/coppery colored stain of burn residue on my pot?



We found this post on The Kitchn. Maybe some of the tips will help you?

Anyone else have any ideas?

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Comments (7)

I read this somewhere once. You put a squirt of diswashing liquid in the pan, along with like a half inch of water. Put the pan back on the stove and let it simmer on low. When it gets hot and starts to bubble, take a wooden spoon and gently coax off the remaining food particles. The bubbling action should help lift off most of the food. If the water dries up too quickly, add more water.

Good luck!
posted by flyinglimegreen on 2008-03-07 15:00:58
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sadface! i did that steaming edamame recently..
i put some vegetable oil in there (a decent amount, maybe a 1/2 inch) and simmered it for about an hour and with that and a little bit of scrubbing, it came off. you have to let it simmer long enough for the oil to fully saturate the yuck, so the longer the better.

also, i have heard using baking soda and water and simmering for an hour works just as well. never tried that though.
posted by ema04 on 2008-03-07 15:09:32
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According to Martha Stewart, you put an inch of water in the pan, and put on simmer. Add baking soda. Wait 15 minutes. Then, using a wooden spatula, gently scrub the bottom of the pan to loosen the bits stuck to the bottom. Rinse and repeat until clean, if necessary. I just bought one of her non stick pans, and this was in the instructions. Is there anything she doesn’t know?
posted by Team Decor on 2008-03-07 15:11:56
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I have had success using hot water, and put one sheet of bounce – leave overnight. In morning, everything lifts off easy-peasy.
posted by AT4H on 2008-03-07 15:17:23
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I don’t have an answer but a story much the same… I was boiling water in a plain stainless steel pot (it wasn’t non-stick) and forgot about it until all the water boiled out and the inside was blackened and burt… frightening seeing as there was only water in it…

unfortunately my brainless cooking experience did not end there.. i freaked out and picked it up right away (burning my hand) and then dropped it on my countertop (melting through the plastic first layer)…. so if you hear that there is a way to fixed a burnt stainless steel pot i’m all ears….
posted by eml35 on 2008-03-07 15:18:17
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‘Barkeep’s Friend’ – available at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
posted by Hydra on 2008-03-07 15:21:24
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I don’t know if this will work with a non-stick pan but I recently had great success (!) with this in my crock pot. A healthy portion of baking soda, splash of lemon juice and fill the rest of the way with water. Let it simmer on low (set my pot for the 10 hour shift) and everything rinsed away with no scrubbing. It was magical!
posted by Swan on 2008-03-07 15:40:37
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