and tips on not making them overly gunked on in the first place.
Avoiding cooking the mess on:
-use oil or spray if you need it! What little you need to keep your food from sticking on and burning will not kill you. Avoiding cooking because of the difficulty of clean up and only eating processed food WILL. Eventually. Though I still do it sometimes. And some foods have plenty of fat and don't need extra, though that doesn't keep them from being messy. Don't worry, we will get to those. But when oil can help, use it.
-don't cook things too hot! Oil makes a weird film on your pan and/or starts smoking if you get it too hot before putting food in. Food cooked too hot will be more likely to burn. And that means more mess.
-get the food out of the pan quickly if it is a messy dish! Yes, a serving dish means another thing to wash, but two easy things is better than one hard one. Plus if it is the kind with sealable storage lids, any leftovers are ready to put away! I have some glass dishes like that. Love them.
How to clean the gunk off:
Ok, so you are like me, and now and then you just have to make your pans crazy messy to cook what you want. Whether seasoned ground beef, steak, or a pound of bacon one batch at a time, these tips should help.
-after turning the burner off, immediately remove finished food.
-immediately after that, take the pan to the sink and give it a good squirt of dish liquid. I use a natural brand and it works well for me, so you can use whatever you have.
-immediately after that, hit it with just a small amount of water. It will bubble and fizz like a fajita platter if your pan is still hot and you put the right amount of water. That is great, the bubbles scrub some of the gunk loose!
-try to scrape it with the implement you cooked with. If it scrubs off, next you can use your brush and wash as usual. If it doesn't yet, or if you didn't get a good bubble...
-put more water and soap in, and set it back on the burner. If an electric range, the residual heat from cooking should be enough to finish the job. Scrape and scrub it after you finish your meal. If you have a gas range, which I will soon if we ever close on our house, then try just letting it soak with the hot water or a few minutes on low, and see which works better. Induction users... I have no idea. Experiment. lol.
Now for pics of this morning's bacon pan.
Stainless steel pan meets one pound of bacon. It was a three round match... The next pic is after the sizzling and quick scrape. The final pic is after the burner soak and regular wash. No intense scrubbing needed! Yay!