How to Prevent Cooking Pans from Turning Black over Flame?

There are some preventive measures that you can take to avoid burning the pots and pans you use it over flames. You can cook on low flame, use high-quality cookware, clean the stove regularly, and wipe the exterior of the pans before cooking.

Maintaining your stove can be very useful in preventing this problem.

In this article, we’re covering a few more tricks that can help you prevent cooking pans from turning black over the flame.

What Causes Pans to Turn Black over Flame?

Cooking on the high flame is one of the biggest causes of pans turning black over the flame. A stovetop that does not distribute heat evenly also causes the burning of cookware.

When the flame is blue on the outside and has a yellow core, it shows that your gas stove is not heating the cooking pot evenly.

You will need to adjust the air-to-flame ratio of your stove to avoid this problem.

You can do it quite easily by adjusting the air intake valve until you see only a blue flame. Trying to cook on a lower flame as much as possible and ensuring that your stove distributes heat evenly should solve this problem to a great extent.

How to Prevent Pans from Turning Black over Flame?

Cooking on the low flame can prolong your cooking time, but it is very effective in preventing the burning of cookware.

The longer the flames touch the bottom of your pan, the more they will turn your pans black. A good alternative to conventional cooking pans that burn easily is cast iron pans.

Cast iron pans are already black, so you do not have to worry about the burning of your cookware. They do not need a lot of cleaning, and the maintenance is easy.

One of our top recommended cast-iron pan is T-fal pre-seasoned cast iron skillet. It heats food evenly and there are fewer chances of food burning or turning black over the flame. It’s a perfect choice for browning, searing, frying and sauteing.

They are also more durable as compared to other cooking pans and pots. But the question remains: how can you prevent conventional cooking pans from turning black over the stove?

Here are some useful ways to avoid the burning of your pans:

1. Using High-Quality Cookware

Inexpensive cookware might look like a more viable option when you go shopping for pots and pans but there are many drawbacks to it in the long-run.

The low-quality material causes uneven heating when you cook. Due to the uneven distribution, low-quality pans are the quickest to turn black over the flame.

Using high-quality cookware reduces the chances of burning. Investing in high-quality stainless steel and aluminum pans pay off for a long time.

The material used in the manufacturing of this cookware is heavy and durable. Cast iron pots are also a good option as long as they are well-seasoned before cooking in them.

2. Stovetop Maintenance

When we cook, we often spill sauces and sugary and sticky food over the stovetop. These residues burn when exposed to the direct flame of the burner.

More often than not, this leads to burning the bottom of pots and pans. To avoid this problem, you should clean and maintain your stovetop on a regular basis.

This could be a hassle but cleaning the stovetop will prevent your pots from turning black over the flame. All you have to do is wipe your burners and scrape off any burnt food every day before cooking.

Cooking over a clean stovetop prevents soot from turning your pots black.

3. Greasing the Pan before Cooking

You should generally try and grease your pans with oil before you start cooking in them. Oil seeps into the pores of the material and, upon heating, it produces a non-stick coating.

Grease the pan with oil, coating the bottom of the pan then heat it over medium flame. Pre-heating oil in the pan before cooking prevents the food from sticking on the pan and leaving marks.

4. Using a Flame Tamer on the Burner

Using a flame tamer on the burner of your stove also helps in preventing the burning of pots.

A flame tamer is a metal plate that you place on the burner to diffuse heat evenly at the bottom of cooking pans.

The even distribution of heat prevents the burning of cookware at the bottom.

5. Seasoning Cookware

Seasoning cookware helps you to provide your cookware with a non-stick surface. Seasoning your cookware refers to treating the surface of the cooking pan with heated fat to produce a corrosion-resistant coating.

Seasoning is mainly for materials that rust over time. Oxygen causes rusting of cast-iron and carbon steel cookware when heated.

Seasoning also prevents food from sticking to iron and carbon steel cooking pots.

Aluminum and stainless steel do not need protection from corrosion. However, seasoning them reduces the sticking of food to the surface.

Here’s how you can season your pans:

First, coat the bottom of the pan with solid fat or bacon grease. Heat the pan in the oven for 20 minutes at 250°F. Take out the pan from the oven, let it cool a bit, and dump out excess liquid grease.

Now, place the pan back in the oven and heat for another hour. Remove the pan and repeat the process once or twice. This will ensure that the fat seeps into the pores of the material. Fat carbonizes in the

pores of the cookware and prevents the food from sticking to the surface.

Also read: Can You Season a Cast-Iron Pan with Olive Oil?

6. Deglazing the Cookware

Even the best cooks cannot help prevent the food from burning sometimes. So, even if you take as many precautions as you can, you will end up burning it occasionally.

Deglazing the cookware immediately after cooking prevents the pans from turning black. You can deglaze your cooking pans in the following way:

After cooking, remove your empty cooking pot from the stove. Pour a cup of cold water into the pot while it is still hot. Now, heat the cooking pot on the stove over medium heat.

The heated water helps in removing the accumulated residue of the burnt food. For stubborn residue, you can use a spatula to scrape off the burnt food from the bottom gently.

After deglazing, let the cookware cool down before washing it with dish soap.

Cleaning Burnt Pans

It is impossible to prevent black marks from the flame all the time. It might not be a problem if you use cast-iron or black pans. But for other cookware, black marks from the flame can be difficult to clean.

The most common way to clean black marks from your pans is to scrub them with oven cleaner.

Following are some other ways to clean your burnt cooking pans that have turned black from the flame:

The Boiling Method

If you want to clean a cooking pot with burnt marks, you can use the boiling method.

Boil soapy water in a large pot on the stove. Place your cookware with black marks in the larger pot and boil it for a few minutes. Turn off the stove and let it cool.

Now rinse the cookware with dish soap and water.

Scour with Baking Soda

Using baking soda is one of the best tricks to clean the black marks on the bottom of the cookware. You can use it for all types of cookware except pots and pans made of aluminum.

Make a paste of baking soda and warm water in equal parts. Scrub the bottom of the pan with this paste. You can put a few drops of liquid soap as well.

Rinse it with water to reveal a shiny surface. Baking soda is also very handy in cleaning enamel and painted cookware as it does not ruin the surface.

Use Ketchup

Another great hack for cleaning cookware is using ketchup. Squeeze out a little bit of ketchup and rub it over the black marks with a washing sponge.

You do not need to scrub with force. After scrubbing for a while, you will see the shiny surface beneath the ketchup. Rinse off with water and wash with dish soap.

If the stains are stubborn, you can repeat this process a few times.

Cleaning the Stove

Stove maintenance also prevents the cooking pans from turning black over the flame. A dirty stove with food residue will make the pans dirty too.

Any oily material on the stove produces smoke on burning. This can accumulate soot on the bottom of your pans. Cleaning the stove every day can help avoid this problem.

Turn off all burners and make sure it is cool before removing grates. Then, use a cleaning sponge and soapy water to clean the stovetop and burners. You can also use a glass cleaner to clean the deposits on the stove.


With time, dark spots appear at the bottom of all types of cookware. These are mostly heat stains that form after cooking over the flame. They not only look dirty but also mess the surface on which you place the pot or pan.

Some simple hacks discussed above can help you prevent this problem. These tricks can save you the hassle of cleaning. They will also keep your cooking pans in top-notch condition for much longer.

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