Sugar Cubes Are The Quick Trick For Cleaning Burnt Food From Your Pan

We know a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but what about a sugar cube and a seemingly irreparably burnt pan? It's true: Sugar works wonders for your cookware, too. 

Any number of factors can throw your timing or heating off ever so slightly when you're cooking, and suddenly, you're left with a pot or pan lined with stubborn charred gunk. You scrub and scrub until your best sponges have disintegrated and your arms ache — but don't throw that pan away. The secret to it looking brand new again lies in just another kitchen cabinet. Sugar cubes are effective on the burnt build-up because of their rough, granular consistency. They're sharp and scratchy enough to effectively attack the char, but not so abrasive that they'll damage the pan — in fact, they'll just break down before that happens. 

You'll be surprised the first time — or every time, really — you clean a burnt pan with sugar cubes. Grab a few (the worse the build-up, the more cubes you might need), and wet the affected area of the pot or pan just a bit. Remember, too much water and the cubes will just dissolve. Then start scrubbing in a circular motion, dumping some gunk out into the sink with the water every so often. When your cube finally disintegrates, just leave it, as it'll get tossed out with the build-up. Even a badly burnt pan should only take a few cubes and about five minutes.

Other methods for cleaning burnt pans

The sugar cube method should work on nonstick pans, too, but it's a good idea do a patch test first to make sure sugar cubes aren't rough enough to actually remove that coating all together. When it comes to cast iron pans, they rely on their seasoned surface, so it might be best to work on removing and rebuilding that all together.

Sugar cubes are likely to become your new go-to for burnt pans, at least ones that aren't cast iron, but what if you don't have any handy, or are worried about a nonstick pan? Just like the sugar, other unexpected things already in your house can come to the rescue, like how you can use hydrogen peroxide to wash ceramic pans, baking soda for build-up on bundt pans, and your oven to remove that sticky layer of oil

For burnt pans without using sugar cubes, try a dryer sheet. Put a few drops of dish soap in the pan, then a few inches of hot water, and then the dryer sheet. Let it sit for an hour, and then you'll find the build-up has been loosened enough to get dumped out with the water. You can also boil a bit of hydrogen peroxide and few drops of dish soap in the pan; once it's boiled and foamed, let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, and, again, the gunk should go right with the liquid when you toss it out.