3 Tips to Avoid Caked-on Messes While Cooking

Cake Pan Clean-up is probably the worst part of cooking, and it’s made so much harder and more of a pain when food gets cooked onto your tools. Instead of filling your entire sink and counters with pots and...

Cake Pan
Cake Pan

Clean-up is probably the worst part of cooking, and it’s made so much harder and more of a pain when food gets cooked onto your tools. Instead of filling your entire sink and counters with pots and pans soaking for hours to loosen the caked-on grime only to still battle the caked-on mess with a pan scraper in hand, you can take various proactive steps to avoid caked-on mess to begin with.

Invest in Quality Bakeware

Bakeware
Bakeware

The older and lower quality a piece of cooking ware, the more prone it becomes to caked-on messes. It might be time to throw out your entire collection of pots and pans and start anew, this time with non-stick bakeware that’s durable and meant to last. You’ll be amazed when you see the difference after cooking with a new set of pots and pans, especially if they’re meant to reduce caked-on grime. Just be sure to protect your investment and avoid things that can damage the cookware, such as:

  • Cleaning with a scouring pad
  • Cutting directly in or on the pot or pan
  • Soaking the pot or pan in water before it’s cooled
  • Putting the pots or pans in the dishwasher

If you avoid these types of cleaning mistakes, which can leave permanent marks on the bakeware, you’ll enjoy easier cleaning for longer.

Line the Sheets and Pans With Foil

Make non-stick aluminum foil your new best friend. Line pots and pans with foil, laying the non-stick surface up, and cleanup becomes as easy as crumpling up the foil and tossing it away. Of course, sometimes the foil will bunch up or bend a little, and caked-on mess might leak onto the pot or pan from the sides. If you don’t use the non-stick kind or you accidentally put the wrong side up, it may stick to the food, too. Be careful, too, that you don’t tilt the pan when you lift it, as the foil and food may slip right off. However, in general, a foil liner will greatly reduce the amount of mess and protect your bakeware for longer use.

Spray With Grease

Grease the pan
Grease the pan

Grease is the most basic of weapons with which one can counteract caked-on messes. If you coat the surface of the pot or pan with grease, food has a harder time attaching to the pot or pan. Both solid, like shortening, and spray grease will work, although you may find it difficult and messy to work with the solid. You must also be careful not to clog your sewer system with any you dispose of, but it still may be easier than cleaning off caked-on mess.

If you are left with caked-on messes even despite your precautions, clean the pots and pans as soon as possible, even holding onto them with oven mitts and attacking the stains with pan scrapers before the pans have cooled. The longer food sits on a pan, the harder it gets. If you’re proactive, though, clean-up will become much less of a chore.