To Rid Muffin Tins Of Baked-On Residue, Put Them Back In The Oven

There is a constant flow of the latest and greatest piece of equipment to cook your eggs, chop your vegetables, peel your garlic, and drain your tuna cans. But many professional cooks shake their heads at single-purpose kitchen tools, insisting that the same tasks can be done with good, multipurpose standbys, like chef's knives and your own hands. Food writer, Bee Wilson, tells Slate that such one-dimensional gadgets could potentially be holding newer cooks back, suggesting that cooking is difficult and such tools are necessary to be successful.

In all reality, a pot of simmering water and a timer will get your soft-boiled egg cooked to perfection, and a good knife will both julienne your carrots and peel your garlic. The New York Times suggests all a home cook actually needs in the kitchen are about 13 tools to pull together most dishes, ranging from paring knives to skillets to whisks. What the publication doesn't list is a muffin tin. At first, it may sound like a single-use item, but anyone who knows their way around the kitchen knows you can't make cupcakes without a muffin tin, or mini quiches, for that matter. Taste of Home has a number of recipes you can make in a muffin tin, ranging from pasta to dessert, that take the pan from optional to absolute necessity. Problem is, cleaning these indented pans can be quite the chore, but with a little heat and a baking staple, it doesn't have to be.

Keep the oven on

For recipes that call for using liners in your muffin tin, the issue of baked-on gunk isn't so much of an issue, but when whipping up meatballs, individual egg scrambles, or anything that involves placing ingredients directly into the un-lined pan, it's safe to assume that pan will be getting an overnight soak in the sink to loosen up stubborn food residue. But according to Real Simple, there's a better way. The outlet suggests setting your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit once you've removed your muffin pan from the oven. Once you've taken the food from the tin, fill a pitcher with hot water and dissolve two tablespoons of baking soda in it. Then pour the mixture into each muffin cup about three-quarters of the way full and place in the oven for 20 minutes.

Then you can remove the pan from the oven (don't dump the water yet!) and let it sit until the pan is just cool enough to touch with your hands. At this point, scrub the pan in the sink with dish soap and a sponge (preferably one with a scrubber on one side). The baking soda-water mixture should have softened any food residue so that a gentle scrub will easily remove it. With this simple method, your dish duty fears can rest in peace, giving you all the more reason to make as many muffin pan donuts and bite-sized entrées as you'd like.