One of the unique advantages of using ceramic cookware is that they don’t contain unnecessary chemicals to make the cooking surface slick for the simple fact that ceramic is already slick in itself. What is amazing is that the technology has been in use for thousands of years among the ancient Chinese and Greeks; although of course the cookware back then was rudimentary at best. The point is that ceramic cookware offers a much safer way to cook our meals. As such we must also do everything we can to take good care of it.
Sadly, accidents do happen. One moment you’re happily cooking, you turn around, and suddenly your precious ceramic cookware has been smothered with that brownish to blackish spot of burned-on food. Here are some ways to remove these stubborn burned-on food, clean your ceramic cookware, and maintain its integrity.
Baking Soda Method
Did you know that the ordinary baking soda has a lot of uses? It is extensively used in the management of heartburn, in removing nasty odors, and even in whitening the teeth. The alkaline nature of baking soda allows it to dissolve the chemical bonds of slightly acidic molecules. To clean your ceramic cookware that has been impregnated with browned or burned eggs, meats, fish, sugars, and even vegetables, here’s what you need to do.
- Mix two heaping tablespoons of baking soda with a quart of cold water.
- Soak your ceramic cookware into the baking soda solution and let it do its magic. This will cut through grease in no time.
Alternatively, you can try this method:
- Put your ceramic cookware over low flame.
- Add water and a couple of teaspoons of baking soda.
- As soon as the baking soda starts to form foam, slowly stir the solution with a wooden or plastic spoon.
- Let the mixture simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
- Discard the resulting baking soda-water mixture.
- Wash as you normally do. Ideally, you need to wash it in warm water then rinse and dry using a towel.
The point here is for you to allow time for the sodium bicarbonate solution – that’s baking soda – to really work its way through the chemical structure of the burned-on food. If you’re in a hurry, then you may not really be able to remove that pesky black thing on your pot or pan.
Hydrogen Peroxide Method
This method relies on the chemical reaction called oxidation, which effectively shakes and loosens up the chemical bonds of anything that has been burned onto your ceramic cookware. Hydrogen peroxide is used extensively in the healthcare field as an antiseptic, with an uncanny ability to kill any susceptible microorganism that gets in contact with its bubbly nature. You can almost hear the miracle of hydrogen peroxide molecules as they start breaking up the bonds of the chemicals that they are targeting. It is also inexpensive and is readily available. Here’s how you can clean up your ceramic cookware using hydrogen peroxide.
- Pour at least an ounce of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution into your ‘troubled’ ceramic cookware, particularly over the troublesome area where you have burned food.
- Allow it to sizzle and fill your cookware with water once the bubbling has subsided.
- Let it sit for about 30 minutes or so.
- Use a gauze pad to scrub the burned food off the bottom of the cookware. You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush if you wish but don’t ever use anything that has stiff or hard bristles.
Again, the key here is to let the hydrogen peroxide-water solution to sit for a while before making any attempt to scrub the burned-on food from your cookware.
For this method, you will need an enzymatic cleaner that you can easily spray onto the troublesome spot of your ceramic pan or pot. These are more expensive than your ordinary baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, but they really do a good job at breaking up stubborn chemical bonds. That’s the good thing about enzymatic cleaners; they do all the work of breaking up the various chemical bonds within the burned-on food.
Technically, these enzymes ‘eat’ the burned-on food up so that you will only need to rinse your cookware and dry it thoroughly afterwards. However, for a really deeper clean, you might want to let the enzymatic cleaner sit on the problem area for a couple of minutes before rinsing it with water. Next, you’ll have to proceed in washing, rinsing, and drying it like you normally would.
If you have to scrub off the cooking surface of your pan, make sure to use only the gentlest material you could ever find such as a used baby toothbrush or any other soft-bristled brush. Steer clear of steel wool and even scrubbing pads as these can damage the surface of your ceramic cookware.
Cleaning Ceramic-coated Cast Iron Pots
If you have a cast iron pot that has a ceramic cooking surface, you can use a mixture of baking soda and distilled vinegar. The procedure is essentially similar to using the baking soda-water solution except that this time, you will be adding vinegar into the solution.
- Mix two teaspoons of baking soda with a quarter of a cup of distilled vinegar and a full quart of water.
- Pour the solution into your ceramic cookware, put it over low flame, and bring it to simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Let the cookware cool down before discarding all of its contents.
- Proceed with your normal way of cleaning your cookware.
Some Final Words
Before capping this post, we just would like to reiterate a few things. Be mindful of how you use oil on your ceramic cookware. Too much heat applied for an unusually long time can create gummy residue on your cookware. The same is true with starches like rice and pasta. Make sure that these types of food don’t get dried out on your pan; otherwise, you’ll be left with marks of rice or pasta on your ceramic cookware forever.