How to Remove Severely Burned Food from a Pot

It is a fact that Undomestic Goddesses burn pots. It is inevitable. If you don’t, then you’re probably in the wrong place because this post is not meant for you.

So you were cooking something on the stove, forgot to watch it and now you have an inch-thick, charred mess on the base of your pot that is not scrubbing off. What do you do? Is the pot condemned? Should you start looking for a replacement?

Before you rush off to the nearest department store, there are a few tips to try before you decide whether to dispose of your pot or not. Having burned the contents in my pot twice before (quite severely, I might add – like this and this), I can safely assure you that there is no need to get a replacement pot.

How to remove severely blackened, burnt food from a pot?

1. Remove the unburnt food.

2. Cover the burnt parts of the pot with water.

3. Add vinegar (copious amounts – this is one case where more is definitely better).

4. Add Cif (be generous).

5. Leave the pot overnight.

6. Scrape off the burnt parts with a metal spoon and you’ll be amazed by how easily it comes off. If there are still bits stuck, just repeat steps 2 to 6 again.

Also make sure you have a good sponge. The Scotch Brite Heavy Duty Scour Pads are awesome! They are even better than steel wool. Alternatively, use the scouring surface of the Scotch Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge. There are a lot of copy cats in the market and I used to think they were all the same until I tried the real Mc Coy for myself.

I did see some other suggestions like using Bicarb Soda and bringing the liquid to the boil but I can’t say that these had much effect on my pots. Just in case you’re wondering, the above methods were used on stainless steel pots. I don’t know the effects on fancy non-stick pots and pans so I’d thread very carefully there. Good luck!

About the author

Dr Shen-Li Lee Dr Shen-Li Lee is a freelance writer and mum to two boys who have been the inspiration for her ongoing study in child development and education. She searches for the balance in child development methods and educational philosophies that will encourage the nurture of happy, confident and successful children. She shares her views and findings at Figur8.

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