How to Clean a Roasting Pan

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Say goodbye to burnt-on pieces of last week's chicken dinner. We'll walk through how to clean a roasting pan, including how to get rid of even the most stubborn stains.

Your favorite roasting pan can be used for almost any occasion, whether you’re cooking the turkey for a Thanksgiving feast or baking vegetables as a side. But as you quickly learn, pans can start accumulating gunk and burnt junk that will stick around for what seems like forever.

If you’re not quite sure how to clean a roasting pan, don’t panic—we’ve got you covered. You don’t need much to get that pan looking sparkly and new, and you likely already have the ingredients you need to get started.

How do you clean a roasting pan?

You should be washing your roasting pan after each use, especially when you have newly created brown spots (like those little brown circle that appear after making roasted potatoes). Allow your pan to cool to room temperature—shocking a hot pan with cold water is the fastest way to ruin a perfectly good dish. Rinse it gently with warm water and a non-abrasive sponge. Then, let the pan soak in warm water for about an hour and start scrubbing again. Repeat until you’ve blasted all those stuck-on spots!

How do you clean a burnt pan?

Even if you’re cleaning your roasting pan properly after each use, those burnt-on black spots can still appear. These tricky spots may seem impenetrable, but with a few pantry staples, you can quickly knock them out. After soaking, rinsing and drying, coat the tough stains in baking soda—enough to entirely cover the stain. Then, in a small bowl, combine 1 cup of hot water and 1/3 cup vinegar. Pour this mixture onto the stain. Let the pan soak for an hour, then start scrubbing again. Repeat until the burnt pieces are all gone.

FYI: We love this scrubber sponge.

How do you remove stains from a roasting pan?

To remove old stains from a roasting pan, first try the method outlined above, soaking the pan with a baking soda/vinegar/water mixture for an hour before scrubbing. If that does not work, you’ll want to create a more aggressive cleaning paste with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

Combine 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide in a small bowl and stir together until the paste is thickened. If the paste feels too thick, add more hydrogen peroxide by the teaspoon. If it’s too runny, add more baking soda by the tablespoon. Spread the paste on the stains, then wait a few hours. Wipe away the paste with a sponge, then rinse as you normally would.

This method is also the best way to clean a roasting pan in under five minutes—rinse it with hot, soapy water, then coat it in the paste and wait 5 minutes. You could also try this natural cleaner from Amazon.

Tips to keep your roasting pan clean

Cleaning your roasting pan is only half the battle. If you don’t enjoy all the soaking, rinsing and science, keep these tips in mind to ensure you’re doing everything in your power to keep your pan clean.

  • Use foil or parchment paper. Before loading your baking tray or roasting pan, put down a layer of aluminum foil or parchment paper to catch juices and prevent meats from browning your tray.
  • Wash after each use. Avoid rinsing, spotting that brown stain and thinking, It’s fine, I’ll get it next time.
  • Don’t put it in the dishwasher. It’s tempting. Even if your roasting pan says it’s dishwasher safe, avoid tossing it in there and hoping those stains go away.
  • Polish your dishes once a year. Pick up a high-quality dish polisher, like the Therapy cleaner and polish, and give your dish a little extra TLC at least once a year.

Find a dish to make in your roasting pan
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Kate Ellsworth
Kate is an avid baker, knitter and writer. Her passions include Star Wars, stress baking and—of course—chocolate. When she's not chasing her partner around the house asking him to try her latest recipe, Kate is probably knitting (another) sweater.