Whether you are baking a cake or a lasagne, you probably dread the cleanup process. No matter how hard you scrub the pan, you are unable to make it sparkle.
And cleaning baked-on grease from pans or ovens can be really challenging.
Pretty soon, you have no choice but to place the pan in storage or throw it away (which is certainly not what we want).
The good news is that there are some ways you can use to clean baked-on grease from your cooking pans and pots.
How To Clean Baked-On Grease From Pans?
Cleaning baked-on grease from pans can be a challenge, but it is possible. Using simple household products and some elbow grease, you can save your pans from being trashed.
Here are some cleaning methods that can help:
Using Hot Water
While a stainless steel cleaner can do a good job in removing baked-on grease, it can also ruin your cooking pans and pots. You don’t need to use it if you have access to hot running water and dishwashing liquid.
Just fill the sink with hot water and add some drops of the dishwashing liquid. Mix it with your hand to make the water sudsy.
Once the water is frothy, soak the pan for at least 20 minutes or overnight if possible. The dishwashing liquid and hot water will loosen the grease.
Take out the pan and use a sponge and water to remove the remaining grease. It should slip right off.
If you are unable to get all of the stains off, use some vinegar. Spray a mixture of water and vinegar on the stains. The acid from the vinegar should break the hold the grease has on the pan.
Using Abrasive Cleaning Agents
If the vinegar doesn’t work, turn to abrasive cleaning solutions. These work wonders on stainless steel pans but can damage delicate glassware and ceramic.
First, sprinkle some baking soda in the pan and add water to make a paste. Focus on areas that have baked-on grease. Allow the paste to remain in the pan for 20 minutes. This is enough time to allow the mixture to break the grease bonds.
Once the time is up, soak a soft cloth in hot water and rub the grease stains in a circular motion. Do this till the grease comes off.
Once it is clean, clean the pan with soap and hot water. Spray it with the vinegar solution once again before drying it off and place it in your cupboard.
How to Clean Stuck-on Grease from Aluminium Pans
The aforementioned tips can work on a variety of pans. However, you need to be a bit more careful with aluminum pans.
This material is lighter than stainless steel and is a grease magnet. Plus, if it is left dirty for too long, it can oxidize. You will have to buy a new pan then.
These pans are great if you want to cook fast. That’s because aluminum heats up quickly. Unfortunately, that also means that it holds baked-on grease fast.
Here are some ways you can clean baked-on grease from aluminum pans:
Use Cream of Tartar
Believe it or not, you can use cream of tartar for more than just making sandwiches. It is an excellent cleaning agent for aluminum pans.
Mix some with water and apply the solution on the greasy spots of the pan. Leave it for 15 minutes and then scrub with a scouring pad till the grime clears.
After that, clean the pan with some soapy water and rinse with clean water. Dry it before placing it in storage or it will attract dust.
Use Lemon and Vinegar
If the stains are too stubborn, scrub the pan with a scouring pad first. If that doesn’t work, use a lemon and vinegar solution.
Add it to the pan and place it on the stove. Allow it to boil for about 10 minutes. Once it cools down, scrub off the stains with the scouring pad.
If this solution doesn’t work, you can use just lemon juice instead.
Believe it or not, you can remove greased on stains from your pan using ketchup.
This condiment has some acid, which can break the bond the grease has with the pan. Just pour some in and bring it to boil for 10 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool down and then rinse with a scouring pad.
After that, rinse off the ketchup using warm and soapy water. Rinse the pan with clean water and dry it before storing it away.
Related article: How to Clean Burnt Pans?
How To Prepare Pans To Prevent Them From Sticking
Prevention is better than cure as they always say.
You can prevent your pans from sticky grease and save time on cleanup using these tips:
Grease your pans
The best way to prevent pans from sticking is by greasing them. Do this before you pop them in the oven or you will spend more time cleaning them.
Just rub a thin layer of grease, such as oil, butter or pan spray inside. This will create a slick surface that will prevent the sticky batter from adhering to the surface. It will also encourage it to spread.
However, don’t be generous with the grease. The heat of the oven may fry the batter you are trying to bake. Most professional bakers use inexpensive shortening rather than expensive butter.
Besides the expense, the former doesn’t have any taste and can spread easily. Butter may give a richer flavor and it can burn at low temperatures.
This can result in a toasty crust compared to what shortening can give you. You can use clarified butter to prevent browning but you will sacrifice the taste.
To prevent the batter from sticking, apply the grease as a thin coat, especially on the corners and edges. You can use your fingers.
But you will get a better result if you use a brush. Just dip it in the grease and coat the pan using even strokes. That way, you won’t miss spots and the cake or cookies will slide out easily.
If you use wax paper, remove extra grease using a paper towel. Otherwise, your baked goods will taste greasy. To ensure your pan is well-greased, pop it in the freezer for a few minutes after greasing it. Then, add another lighter coating.
This will make the grease set and adhere to the surface evenly. Use vegetable pan sprays to grease small loaf pans and tins. These can be difficult to grease otherwise.
Certain types of batter can be quite sticky. This includes those that have chocolate, nuts, and fruit in them. As such, you will need more than grease to prevent them from sticking to the pan.
Additionally, grease can also prevent certain types of batter from rising. Instead of rising, the batter can slide off the sides, resulting in dense and inedible cakes.
The best way to prevent both problems is to add flour to the pan before adding the batter. Just dust it on the greased surface.
This will create a thin sealed crust on your baked items and they can slide out effortlessly. The flour will also give the batter leverage when it is baking and it will rise evenly.
You can also get spray cans that have flour already in them. Or, you can make your own by mixing oil, shortening, and flour in equal measure.
If kept tightly sealed in the refrigerator, this mixture can keep for months without spoiling. However, allow it to soften at room temperature before using it.
To decrease the chances of sticking, refrigerate the pan before use. If you are using a pan again, allow it to cool down before wiping it clean.
Then, apply a new coat of grease and flour. If you don’t do this, the old grease will start to burn since it has already been cooked.
What To Look For In A Baking Pan
- Besides greasing, the type and size of the pan you use determine the quality of the baked goods. Different recipes call for different sizes. By determining the correct size, you will not have to alter the recipe and ruin your bread or cakes in the process.
- Make sure that the oven is large enough to accommodate the baking pan.
- If you plan on baking more than bread, buy pans of various sizes.
- Some materials are not ideal for baking. This includes Teflon and other non-stick pans. Stick with metal baking pans rather than the non-stick variety. You can always grease and flour them yourself. Non-stick pans may be easier to clean, but they can wear down quickly. Aluminum pans last longer in comparison since they can take a lot of punishment.
- The best baking pans are made of materials that can withstand high temperatures and cannot bend easily. Investing in heavy-duty ones will save you a ton of work and stress. Consider spending extra money on quality pans, especially if you are an avid baker.
- Getting insulated baking sheets or pans is not always a good idea. These warm-ups slowly so whatever you bake in them will bake slowly. However, these are ideal for delicate baked goods, such as cookies and shortbread.
By following the aforementioned tips, you can start baking like a pro. Just a few simple precautions can make you a great baker.
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