Something's burning....something's burning...(and I think it's my eggs!)
September 25, 2007 7:10 AM   Subscribe

I have a nice All-Clad 8" skillet in which I made a tasty grilled cheese sandwich the other night. Now, the burned butter around the edges won't come off...

I know that variants of this question have been asked many times. The problem is, I've read them all and tried all of the suggestions for cleaning my pan.

I've tried a slurry of baking soda, hot water, and elbow grease.

I've tried Dawn Power Dissolver.

I've tried EasyOff.

I've tried boiling water in it (though that's hard in a skillet, when the stains are on the upper edges).

I've had this pan for years, and made many a grilled cheese in it, but I have recently moved into a place with my first gas oven - which seems more inclined to run hot. All of the butter came out of the bottom of the pan (and the sandwich didn't burn)....but all around the edge now are splotchy brown stains, almost like a patina.

There's no texture to these areas and if you run your finger over them, they feel as smooth as the shinier sides of the pan...with the exception being that they are covered with splotches of caramel-brown and black.

What should I do?

Also, what could I do to prevent this in the future? I'm a good cook, and not in the habit of scorching things. The pan was only over a medium-low flame, and - as mentioned - the sandwich didn't burn at all, nor the butter on the bottom of the pan (which came clean just fine).
posted by kaseijin to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I didn't see it in your list of things you've tried... vinegar. It works every single time for me, no matter what the surface and no matter what the food. A simple white vinegar or apple cider vinegar will do fine. Use lots! Turn the skillet upside down and put it in a roasting pan with enough vinegar to cover the spots, and give it a good long soak. Don't dilute the vinegar.
posted by iconomy at 7:15 AM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

I second the vinegar suggestion. That's gotten hard-to-remove residue that nothing else would touch off my Calphalon pans many times.
posted by aught at 7:29 AM on September 25, 2007

Bon Amie or Barkeeper's Friend?
posted by barnone at 7:31 AM on September 25, 2007

Response by poster: How long is a good long soak? Overnight?
posted by kaseijin at 7:34 AM on September 25, 2007

(sorry, it's Bon Ami. Here is Bar Keeper's Friend.) Both have worked for me for these ghost stains.
posted by barnone at 7:36 AM on September 25, 2007

kaseijin, a couple of hours minimum.
posted by iconomy at 7:37 AM on September 25, 2007

I have the secret. Thanks to a previous askme, I am now a fervent convert and evangelizer of Mr Clean Magic Erasers. These things clean everydamnthing, from painted walls to stained formica to bathroom tile and beyond. I recently decided to try it on some burned All Clad - it works. You have to scrub a bit, but it does magically erase all nastiness.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:37 AM on September 25, 2007

Seconding Barkeeper's Friend and a scouring pad. It will definitely get it out with a little hard work.
posted by spec80 at 8:19 AM on September 25, 2007

What about an SOS pad or Comet? I use them when I've done similar and they've worked a dream.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 8:21 AM on September 25, 2007

And Barkeeper's Friend is what All Clad suggests:

7. How do I clean my All-Clad?
• For daily cleaning, warm, soapy water is sufficient. Clean your All-Clad thoroughly after each use. Food films left on the pan may cause discoloration and sticking.

• To get rid of stuck-on food or discoloration, and stains from using too high of a heat, we recommend cleaning your All-Clad with a product called Bar Keeper's Friend.

• To use the Bar Keeper's Friend, simply use a soft cloth or sponge and water and make into a soupy paste. This can be used on the interior, as well as the exterior of your All-Clad (excluding the Cop-R-Chef).

• The Bar Keeper's Friend can also be used on the exterior of the All-Clad Stainless collection, LTD collection, and MC2 collection.

• For cleaning of the Cop-R-Chef exterior, simply use a brass/copper cleaner.

• If your water has high iron content, you may notice a rusty discoloration. Use Bar Keeper's Friend to remove this.

posted by spec80 at 8:21 AM on September 25, 2007

That's polymerized oil. It's not going to come off without some harsh chemicals.

My suggestion - it's solid stainless steel. You can't hurt it. Spray it with heavy duty oven cleaner, put it in a plastic bag, and leave it overnight. The next morning, simply wipe it away.

Just don't breathe the fumes too much.
posted by saeculorum at 9:38 AM on September 25, 2007

Use one of those thin green scouring pads. You don't ned any special cleaners.

Like saeculorum said, its solid stainless steel, the most you will do is put scouring lines in it (which all my all clad pans have).
posted by mphuie at 10:05 AM on September 25, 2007

N-thing Barkeeper's Friend. I use it on my All-Clad pans and it works like a champ.
posted by sbrollins at 10:17 AM on September 25, 2007

Barkeeper's friend, and keep the heat a little lower next time... this happens to me fairly frequently with all-clad pans, to my wife's chagrin.
posted by dubold at 10:41 AM on September 25, 2007

Scour like a pro with Stainless Steel Scouring pads. Puts those green things to shame...
posted by waylons at 12:40 PM on September 25, 2007

If Bon Ami won't work, a Brillo pad will.
posted by paleography at 8:35 PM on September 25, 2007

(But my money's on the Bon Ami. That stuff is amazing, and you can even clean white porcelain baking dishes with it.)
posted by paleography at 8:36 PM on September 25, 2007

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