The best way to clean burnt-on grease from frying pans is to use oven cleaner; however, only use this on metal pans. If your frying pan has a non-stick coating, use vinegar to damage the coating. Anything acidic works well against burnt grease.
Please keep reading to see all our methods for removing burnt-on grease from frying pans.
🧽 How to Clean Burnt Grease From Frying Pans
Trying to clean burnt grease from the bottom of a frying pan is challenging for those who don’t know how to do it.
We have found all the different methods you can use, and once you find the most convenient way for you, you can use it forever.
These methods have been proven to work with a bit of elbow grease. However, I would recommend you go with the least intense methods first to prevent damage to your frying pan.
✅ Dish Soap and Boiling water
Dish soap and boiling water are the first to try; it’s quick, easy, and cheap.
Put some dish soap into the frying pan, then fill the frying pan with boiling water to thoroughly soak the pan. The boiling water is essential as grease turns to liquid at a high temperature in the frying pan, so any fat that isn’t fully burnt on will come off straight away, providing you soak the pan thoroughly.
Now let the mixture sit in the frying pan for 30 minutes as this will make sure it gets to the right spots at the bottom of the pan.
Empty the water into the sink, and scrub the pan. Ensure you are not using anything too rough to clean with, as you could scratch the frying pan depending on what material it is made of.
✅ Baking Soda Paste
Most people try baking soda paste due to baking soda being the most common household item. It’s excellent for expensive stainless steel pots and pans as it’s not harsh.
Start by mixing equal parts of baking soda and water to make a paste. Now apply the baking soda paste to the bottom of the pan, focusing more on the areas with burnt grease.
Leave it around 30 minutes as it gives the baking soda mixture time to develop and soak into the frying pan. But if you don’t have much spare time, leave it for 15 minutes.
Grab yourself a sponge, preferably one with a rough surface that’s used for washing dishes, and soak it in hot water. Next, start scrubbing away at the burnt grease, and it should come off. Finish off by rinsing the baking soda mixture off.
This method is not well known, but most people have vinegar in their household, making it a perfect choice for getting rid of burnt grease, and it works like a charm for me.
Vinegar can range from 5% to 20% acetic acid, known as fermented ethanol, and acidic products are tremendous at removing stubborn burnt grease.
Start by coating the frying pan with vinegar, and keep on applying. Once you have enough vinegar in the frying pan to cover the burnt grease, get the heat on and cook until it boils.
Once the vinegar has reached boiling point, leave it for 20 minutes, this will give the acidic vinegar time to act on the grease. Now an oven cleaning pad and start to scrub the burnt grease away.
✅ Baking Soda, Sea Salt, and Vinegar
Start by coating the bottom of the pan with salt. Ensure there is a reasonable amount of salt, and then spread some baking soda on top.
Now drizzle some vinegar over the mixture of sea salt and vinegar, creating a reaction.
While the reaction occurs between the vinegar and baking powder, scrub with a sponge, and the salt will act as an excellent abrasive.
Keep scrubbing until you feel you have got all the burnt grease off the frying pan and rinse.
✅ Heat and paper towels
Heat and paper towels are suitable if the grease has not turned black.
Heat the pan, and the grease will turn back into a liquid; now, take the pan off the heat for around 20 minutes to allow the fat to cool down.
Once cool, lay some paper towels on top of the grease, and these will soak it up.
Avoid rinsing the grease down the drain as grease is notorious for clogging pipes.
Don’t have any of the above items? Well, do not worry, because you should have ketchup unless you are allergic to tomatoes.
Apply ketchup over the grease and leave it overnight. Ketchup is very acidic, and acidity breaks down oil.
After you wake up the next day, soak the frying pan in some water, and the burn-on grease should scrub right off.
✅ Oven Cleaner
Do not use oven cleaner on a non-stick frying pan; this isn’t needed. You should be able to use one of the solutions above for a non-stick pan. Oven cleaner is extraordinarily harsh and can damage the coating of the non-stick pan.
Oven cleaner works best to remove stains on cookware such as stainless steel pots and pans or cast-iron frying pans as they are solid and durable surfaces that can take the harsh chemical.
Oven cleaner has special acidic chemicals which break down proteins, especially in grease, which is why it’s so suitable for cleaning ovens, and that’s why you should use it when you can’t remove those stubborn stains from frying pans. Just make sure you have tried every other solution first.
Spray the oven cleaner onto your pan, and leave it overnight.
Now grab some steel wool and scrub to remove the baked-on grease off; it should come off with ease.
✅ Hob Cleaner
I use this method on baking trays and not frying pans, as my baking trays tend to get a much more substantial build-up of burnt grease, and techniques like baking soda vinegar and soapy water don’t do the trick.
Coat the bottom of the pan in hob cleaner and sit between 15 and 60 minutes. I usually leave it for 60 minutes because it will only do a better job at getting those scorch marks.
After 60 minutes, scrub it in with a sponge to try and remove the burnt grease, then when you think it’s all been removed, rinse it off with water and see.
If there is still some leftover, repeat the cleaning process.
🔥 What Causes Burnt-On Grease?
When you clean burnt grease, it becomes a difficult task. That’s why it’s always best to prevent the build-up in the first place. The more burnt fat that builds up, the harder it gets to clean.
Burnt grease is simply a result of oils reaching their smoking point temperature. When oils begin to smoke, their triglycerides break down into an insoluble resin, which is why water won’t wash it off. This is common when you have uneven seasoning on a cast iron as the unevenness increases the chances of more resin building up.
It’s for this exact reason that most of our solutions to clean burnt grease involve acidic-type products like white vinegar.
🧯 How to Prevent Burnt-On Grease Buildups?
To avoid burnt grease in the first place, you need to ensure you are not smoking the oils. When you cook in frying pans, you need to increase the heat slowly, and if you see smoke coming from your cooking oil, then immediately turn down the heat as the resit will start to form.
Cooking oils have various smoking points, so the amount of heat you can use varies based on the cooking oil you use.
If you do accidentally reach the smoking point and get burn grease as a result, then clean the bottom of the frying pan before you cook the next time to avoid a build-up of burnt grease.
Conclusion for how to remove burnt on grease from frying pans
We have covered many different solutions to clean burnt grease, these range from baking soda vinegar to soap and water.
Whichever method you choose, it’s always best to avoid having to clean it in the first place by preventing a build-up of burnt grease on your frying pans.
Using harsh chemicals such as oven cleaner is sometimes a bad option, as damaging the bottom of your frying pan defeats the object of cleaning it.
Always try using the weaker solutions first to remove stubborn stains, as using the powerful options first is more likely to result in damage.
Also, the next time you cook, keep in mind that smoking oils are a bad thing, not only for your frying pans but for your health too. Not only do they cause a build-up of grease, but the smoke is cancerous to humans. So make sure you avoid smoking cooking oils!