Stainless steel cookware gets a real work out in my kitchen. As proof, check out the All-Clad skillet pictured above. The bottom is badly scorched. The sides are marred with years of baked-on grease. Any hope for this ugly duckling? Watch me restore the skillet to its former shiny-and-new glory:
When baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water all failed to make the grease stains budge, I decided to give Bar Keepers Friend a try. Bar Keepers Friend is an old-fashioned cleanser, sold in most American supermarkets for about $3.00. Its active ingredient is oxalic acid — the same compound found in rhubarb leaves. Oxalic acid works at the molecular level to break the bonds of stains.
How I Removed Baked-On Grease from a Stainless Steel Skillet
First, I turned the pan upside down in my kitchen sink, and sprayed it with plain water.
Then I sprinkled the cleanser over the bottom and sides of the skillet…
And gave it a gentle rub with a Scotch Brite Non-Scratch sponge.
Since the powdered cleanser didn’t cover the sides of skillet terribly well, I then mixed up a not-too-thick solution of Bar Keepers Friend and water, and poured it over the pan, letting the slurry run over the sides. I left the slurry to soak for 5 minutes.
Then I rubbed the bottom and sides of the pan with the Scotch Brite sponge. Already the scorch marks and grease were starting to loosen up. I let the pan rest again for 5 minutes, still covered in the sudsy solution.
Another gentle scrubbing, et voila! — the bottoms and sides of the pan looked as clean as the day the skillet was born!
Then I flipped the pan over, and sponged the slurry over the badly-stained rivets. These, too, rubbed clean after a 5-minute soak.
Here is the skillet, all shiny and dry. So shiny, in fact, that it reflects a bimbo in a green sweatshirt taking a picture.
The inside of the skillet looks as good as the outside. Needless to say, Bar Keepers Friend is now MY friend. Today I ran out and purchased 2 more cans of the stuff. You know, just in case there’s a run on the product after people read this post. For which I am not being paid.
Oh. I tried the same cleanser on horribly burnt-on grease beneath the burners on my stainless cook top. I filmed the trial, and published the results on my YouTube channel. Click here to watch.
In closing, let me say that if you have hopeless-looking stainless steel cookware in your batterie de cuisine, you just might find, as I did, that Bar Keepers Friend will work a miracle for you. It’s worth a try! xKevin
Related post: My Kitchen Cleaning Routine