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&@#*!! - OR - How the heck do I clean my enameled grill pan?

Hi smart hounds,

I recently acquired a very nice, heavy, high quality, enameled cast iron grill pan. I used it to grill some tofu slices, to lovely and tasty effect. But here's my question: how the heck do you clean this thing? It seemed the only trick that made a dent in the gunk between the grill ridges was steel wool, but will that harm the finish? I have a regular cast iron grill pan as well, and thought cleaning the enameled version would be easier. Not sucha mucha. The only benefit to the enameled version seems to be that I can *see* the burnt on gunk more clearly (hm, maybe that isn't a benefit). Anyhow, any advice for cleaning my grill pan, without damaging the enamel, would be welcome. I know someone out there must have a super-secret trick that does the job.

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  1. I've used Bar Keepers Friend on my good stainless steel All-Clad and it works great and while abrasive, is far less so than steel wool or Comet.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pate

      barkeepers friend is great for stainless, bad for enameled.

    2. Put in about a half inch of water and let it boil and leave the water in the pan and turn the pan off. Let sit for a little bit. At this point you should be able to empty the water and use a paper towel to wipe off most of the schmutz. Being that it's enameled, you don't have to worry about not using soap so use a light use scrubby sponge and soap and water to clean and degrease and voila!!
      I use the same method for cleaning the cast iron, but omit the soap and water part, dry the pan and scrub the inside of the pan with a paper towel and some kosher salt for abrasiveness. Works like a charm.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JNUNZMAN

        This is the best way to clean any hard to clean pan or grill. I do the same with my cast iron grill. Just like camping! I would not want to scatch or put chemicals on the cookware myself..
        Salt too, in a glass pot for instance that is getting yucky, salt warm water swirl and it cleans itself.

      2. Heresy, I know, but, neat-freak that I am, I don't bother to get it "perfectly" clean...I just add hot water when I'm done cooking, let it sit while we eat, & then use a stiff brush to get off as much as comes off easily. It's like Vegas: what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...ie stubborn crud lurks & so what? Besides, it often happens that the next time I use the pan (it's one I use often), the old crud comes off as the pan heats up. The pan works perfectly & I no longer waste energy (emotional or physical) in a quest for 1000% perfection.

        2 Replies
        1. re: fauchon

          I agree with not getting it "perfect". My method is quite lazy in fact. I give it a good soak in very hot water, but not for long, then I use my spray handle to kind of knock off what I can. I use Dawn's dish sheets. They look like they wouldn't hold up to one of these pans, but actually they do a pretty good job of getting most of the heavy gunk off of them. Not very economical I must admit - but I have a thing against sponges, they gross me out.

          I then rinse it well and put it over the stove top - heat it up until it is completely dry. Let if cool down and put it away.

          I'm not concerned about a little bit of whatever is left over - it's going to burn off the next time I use it. I think of it like my outdoor grill - that thing never gets really clean either and nobody ever complains about those.

          1. re: sivyaleah

            Ditto. I was driving myself nuts trying to get every black bit of guck off, working on the pot for DAYS and then was reluctant to use the pan. Despite its price I have given up. I use it more and have less stress about it. Acceptance is a wonderful thing! :)

        2. i've used baking soda to clean my enameled pans when i've messed them up bad. baking soda and water does the trick most every time.

          2 Replies
          1. re: annimal

            baking soda for me too - just for the spots that are black
            otherwise, the water boiling/soak mentioned above

            anybody know the mild abrasive qualities of baking soda vs kosher salt?

            1. re: pitu

              It would seem, just by feeling both of them in my hand, that the baking soda would be less abrasive. I guess you could do a test on an old piece of corning ware, or glass ware, just to see. I might try that on an old vase i am ready to toss.

          2. Dawn Power Dissolver. Spray it on, let it sit for a couple of hours and then rinse clean. Use nothing that has any grit to it at all. Once you start scratching the enamel the sricking will just get worse and harder to clean.