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How to Clean a Burnt Non Stick Pan

If your Non Stick Pan is burnt and no longer performing well, here’s how to fix it.

George Steckel|Oct 27, 2021

Non Stick Cookware is one of the most popular cookware materials for a reason. It’s easy to cook with and oftentimes, easier to clean. However, sometimes accidents happen and food gets burnt to the surface of the pan. But don’t worry, we have all the tips and tricks on how to clean it off effectively.

Why Is it Burnt?

Avoiding burnt messes is probably why you originally opted for

Non Stick Cookware

to begin with. However, knowing

how to use your tools is essential


One of the most common ways a Non Stick Pan gets burnt is when it is dry heated or overheated. Dry heating occurs when you expose your pan to heat for extended periods of time with nothing in it. That is why we always recommend adding your cooking fat of choice before you even turn the heat on.

Overheating occurs when you leave your Non Stick Cookware over too high of heat for too long. And remember, Non Stick Cookware can’t handle as high of heat as other

cookware materials

, so we recommend cooking on medium-high heat, maximum.

Can it Be Fixed?

The answer is, it depends. If it’s just burnt on food, then there is a simple way to remove it, that we’ll get into shortly. However, if you’re cooking and your food is constantly getting stuck to the pan, then it likely has lost its non stick tendencies. To attempt to fix this and restore it back to its original condition, there is a more rigorous method of cleaning we like to use.

Wash With Soap and Water

The first step before you take additional measures to clean a burnt pan should be to wash the surface of your

Non Stick Pan

with dish soap, hot water, and the soft side of a sponge. You’ll find that if you have high-quality Non Stick Pans, this should clean off any burnt food particles.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

If your Non Stick Pan is burnt and not performing how it should be (food is sticking when cooking or it’s tough to clean all food off the surface of the pan), a solution of white vinegar, water, and baking soda should help. Add 2 tablespoons of both white vinegar and baking soda to your pan, as well as enough water to cover the bottom of your pan. Bring this mixture to a boil and

using a wooden or silicone utensil

, stir the mixture. Once the mixture has boiled for 5 minutes, allow it to cool and pour the water off and give the pan a good wash with soapy water.

What’s Next?

If this method didn't work, then it probably means that the coating of your pan is worn out and no longer works. It’s only as good as its composition now, and if you have a

“ceramic” non stick pan

, then it’s most likely just poorly constructed aluminum.

We suggest upgrading to a new Non Stick Pan, preferably one with even and consistent heating and one that is trusted in some of the best restaurants in the world. Made In’s Performance Non Stick Cookware features a double coating of PTFE, which is entirely non-toxic and has a 5-ply Stainless Clad construction. This ensures your Non Stick Pan will last for much longer than that one that burnt easily, will wear out less rapidly, and will cook your food much more evenly.

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