It was a sad day when I accidentally left my pressure cooker going at a little too high for a little too long. The first ¾ of the veggie chili was amazing, but that last ¼, well, not so hot. And then it came time to clean up…
This wasn't the first time delicious food stuffs had become horrendously burnt to the bottom of something during a culinary endeavor. It doesn't happen often, but enough times that I have a method to deal with the aftermath.
First I place a small amount of water into the pot or pan or tray and boil it on the stove—a deglazing if you will. I use a wooden spatula to help the stuck bits along and sigh at the fact that this is one jus I won't be enjoying! Sometimes this does the trick, but for those very stubborn stains I am on to step two: Elbow grease + tin foil! Crumple a ball of that shiny metal sheet, (use odd sized ends or reuse pieces from earlier prep) and you have a great alternative to steel wool. A little soap and hot water and away you go!
Note: Be careful not to use the foil ball on anything you fear may scratch, especially non-stick surfaces.
(Image: MaryAnne Petrella)