Baking soda miracle

Tuesday, my brother-in-law, in Maine for a day, visited Henbogle for dinner on the deck.  I planned a simple garden meal of grilled chicken, corn on the cob, tomato-cucumber-feta salad, and beans.

We were enjoying ourselves on the deck, chatting, when I went into the kitchen for something.  Something was burning, in a very smelly way.  It was the beans!  I had them cooking on the stove inside, while the rest of the meal cooked outside, and I forgot them.  They boiled dry, and smoke was creeping out from the lidded pot.

I grabbed a box of baking soda and the pot, and rushed outside (my pans are great, I didn’t even need a potholder for the handle).  Setting the pan down on the ground, I oped the lid, and acrid black smoke poured out.  I dumped nearly the entire box of baking soda into the pan, and added some water from the hose, and clapped the lid back on.

It was a sorry mess.  Not only was this a tragic waste of garden beans, but I feared for my saucepan, the workhorse of my pots and pans.  The beans were blackened and charred, and the pot and lid were black with smoke.  I left the pan to cool on the deck, and hoped the baking soda would work miracles and remove the carbonized (no, not caramelized) beans.

This morning, I decided to take a look.  I walked the pan back to the compost pile and dumped it.  Amazingly, it didn’t look too bad.  I took the pan over to the garden sink and scrubbed away the baking soda residue.  Huh.  I wish I had thought to take a photo, but the above right picture is what it looked like when I came in the house.  No soap, just a baking soda soak and a little rinsing with a nylon scrubby.

I got out the barkeepers friend and another nylon scrubby, and a few minutes later, my pan emerged unscathed.  Other than the patina of regular use, it is bright and shiny stainless.  It isn’t even warped.  Baking soda is a cook’s best friend.


6 Responses to “Baking soda miracle”

  1. Robin Says:

    Great tip…thanks for posting it!

  2. Daphne Says:

    I’ve saved a couple of pots with baking soda too. It isn’t perfect, but it is pretty good.

  3. Annie's Granny Says:

    What was going on yesterday? I left my green beans with caramelized onion/tomato relish on the stove after dinner, and forgot to turn the stove off. Mr. Granny noticed it just before it burnt. Then he unplugged the French fryer I’d left on. I think I need a vacation ;-)

    • Ali Says:

      Well, at least I wasn’t alone… maybe the moon was full? I’m certain a vacation would help :-)

  4. Nina Says:

    This is great! Glad to hear about some pots and pans first aid!

  5. Robin Says:

    That is amazing. I had never heard of that trick before.

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