Here's How To Save Your Glass Pan From Burned Food

We've all been there: Dinner is baking in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. That's just enough time to chill out in front of the TV while catching up on social media and texting some friends. Before you know it, 30 minutes have turned into an hour or longer, and you're now faced with a well-done-but-still-edible dinner and a scorched pan.

You'd think it's a no-brainer to soak that dish in the sink overnight, but it won't prevent cross-contamination between meats (via The Washington Post). Instead, tackle that mess as soon as possible. You don't have to ban that pan to the dark depths of your kitchen cabinet or break a sweat scrubbing it clean. From tried and true cleaning methods using ingredients and tools you already have in your house to out-of-the-box ideas, that dish will be squeaky clean from charred food. That way, you'll be back bingeing your favorite show in no time.

How to clean a burned pan

Ask any of your friends, and they will likely say that a combination of either baking soda or white vinegar with water is their go-to cleaning method. If you opt for baking soda and water, The Spruce recommends adding water to the dirty pan, bringing it to a boil, then stirring in 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Simmer for a few minutes, then dump the water — and all that gunk will go with it. If that doesn't work, or you don't have baking sodaBlue Apron suggests boiling water with a dash of white vinegar for around 5 to 7 minutes. Repeat and scrub as needed.

If you have none of those items in your home, look in your bathroom. A fizzy antacid also works as a household cleaner, polishing everything from coffee makers to toilet bowls and even glass cookware. According to LEAFtv, just add six tablets and water to the dish and let it soak for an hour. You should be able to wash the stains away.

How to prevent a burned pan

If you're using the oven, pay attention to your oven's rack position and baking time. You don't want the rack sitting too low because the center is where the best heat circulation occurs. With this in mind, you should set the timer to go off before the lowest cook time (via Hy-Vee).

If you're cooking on the stovetop, preventing a burnt pan is simple. According to Jim Sonos of Home Cook World, there is no reason to cook over high heat. Medium to medium-high heat is just right — and be sure to keep the food moving to avoid hot and cold spots (via Bon Appétit). World of Pans recommends using high-quality cookware (which also helps with even heat distribution), greasing the pan before cooking to give it a non-stick coating, and keeping your oven burners clean.

Benjamin Franklin said it best: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." With these super easy tips, your cookware will remain pristine — and your arms will thank you.