Your Frying Pan’s Essential Guide – How to Get Melted Sugar Off a Pan

We can’t always be careful, nor can we foresee all the possibilities. After a night of an eventful family dinner, we may wake up to an unanticipated mess in the kitchen. The pots are piled up, and your darling set of frying pans bruised in burnt food. Well, it is not the end of the world; your cookware can still be salvaged from the pits of this mess.

Let’s focus on the specific mess of getting ‘burnt sugar’ off your frying pans. It will take some doing and depend on the type of frying pan you own; cleaning the aluminum pan’s interior would be considerably different from cleaning a stainless steel one. So let’s get on with it!

How to Get Melted Sugar off  Pans 

how to clean a burnt pan

Melted Sugar or Caramelized: How to Get Rid of Them?

Melted or caramelized sugar are unbeatable tweaks you can add to your cake recipe or special dessert items, and they come out tasting scrumptious. However, they can call for hectic kitchen shenanigans if you let them dry out on your pots and pans. A simple scrubbing won’t do the job either. The longer they’re left out, the more stubborn they get. So let’s talk about solutions you can use to rid yourself of this sticky, sugary burden. 

clean burnt sugar from pan

Firstly, pour in hot water and fill the pan until it covers the sugary grease mark. If your pan is deep and wide enough, add in any utensil or spoon that may have melted sugar sticking to them, as long as they are heat-safe. Place your pan on the stovetop turn the heat to a high temperature. Observe the water as it bubbles to a boil. Next, in mild heat, allow the water to simmer down for ten minutes. The hot water will loosen the sugar stains and be more fluid. Afterward, put on your mitts and safely pour out the hot water from the pan. Rinse the pan inside out with warm water and let it dry. There may be some stubborn marks left on the surface. Use a soft sponge and some dishwashing gel to scrub the pan thoroughly and give it a final wash. Place it out in the open to let it completely dry out.      

The Burnt Sugar Shennanigans: Aluminum Pans

Aluminum nonstick pans need care and sensitivity, so avoid using oven cleaners and harsh cleaning agents. Start by scraping off the leftover residue, but don’t use metal utensils or steel wires, as they can damage the nonstick coating as well. 

Pour in water and add some white vinegar. Use mild heat and simmer the mixture for twenty minutes. Afterward, pour the liquid out and let the frying pan cool off completely. Use a soft sponge and gently scrub the burnt sugar (that is now softened and loose) off the pan as much as you can. For the final part, get rid of the stubborn layer with mild detergent powder. Sprinkle it all over the surface, and allow it to sit in and settle. Clean the frying pan thoroughly and let it dry. 

remove caramelized sugar from pan

Another way you can clean burnt sugar off your aluminum frying pan is by using ketchup or Coca-Cola. They both help loosen the tough stains of the burnt sugar. This method comes in handy when simple soap-washing doesn’t cut it, and the burnt sugar has settled in. Add a thick layer of ketchup on the surface and let it sit overnight. The acids in the ketchup ensure the residue comes off easily the next day. Use a soft scrub and gently wash the frying pan off any remaining dirt. 

The Burnt Sugar Shennanigans: Stainless Steel Pans

Stainless steel is generally delicate relative to aluminum pans and needs more care. Not washing them in a dishwasher is always advised, and you usually tend to clean them manually. When you have burnt sugar on one of your stainless steel frypans, fill them up with water warm water and add mild dishwashing detergent from a measuring cup. Place them on your stove and let them boil. Then, let it simmer for another thirty minutes ensuring they don’t completely dry up. Keeping the liquid mixture inside, scrub off the loosened-up residue using a sponge. You’ll notice most of the leftovers coming off. 

 how to clean burnt stainless steel pan

Pour out the liquid, then get to scrubbing again with a pinch of a mild cleaning agent and a soft sponge; repeat the process until it is all neat and the shiny surface shows.  

Nonstick Pans and Burnt Sugar

Don’t keep your ears open when experts tell you your nonstick pan is dishwasher-safe. Always manually wash them with mild dish soap and water. If you’re here to find a way to use your nonstick pan ravaged with burnt sugar again, you’re at the right place. You’ll need three things: baking soda, a soft sponge (not metal), and water. 

Baking soda is a widespread and effective cleaning agent that we almost always have. Its unique advantage is that it will loosen the burnt sugar but leave the nonstick coating undamaged.  

remove burnt sugar from non stick pan

Start with sprinkling baking soda onto the parts with burnt sugar liberally. Next, add enough water to create a thick paste. Scrub and spread the paste all around the burnt spots and add extra on those gunky regions. Leave your pan to allow the mixture to work its magic overnight. The following morning, dip the soft sponge in water and scrub off the pan, adding pressure following the stubbornness of the stains accordingly. Afterward, clean the entire pan with water and allow it to dry off at room temperature. Repeat the process as necessary.

What About Baking Pans?

Our baking pans go through a lot in the kitchen. From countless baking charades to weekend dinners, the baking pans have seen it all—baked potatoes with roasted chicken, chocolate mousse cake, the works. And then, they are rugged and greasy, left behind in the kitchen rack. As you host fewer parties, their relative use declines, and when you think of using them again, the mess just puts you off. Worry not, as we come with solutions that are easy and doable with household materials. 

clean burnt sugar from baking pan

Wash your messy baking pan as you usually would. Getting water to touch the pan’s dried-up and rigid texture will somewhat soften the stains and eliminate any food particles leftover. The second step involves making a mixture of baking soda and vinegar into a paste. The paste should be runny like a creamy bowl of pasta. Distribute the paste all over the pan (you might use a painting brush to ensure they get everywhere), and pay extra attention to the most greasy corners. For added effort, sprinkle some dishwashing detergent or Bar Keepers Friend onto the pan. Let the paste suffuse onto the pan for ten to fifteen minutes as it eats away at the greasiest bits. Next, use a textured sponge to scrub off as much of the muck as you possibly can get to, wash the pan with clean water after. If there are still bits of grease stuck on some corners, add more off the paste and repeat the process. You will notice a clear difference and get to baking in no time.

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