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Pampered Chef Stone turned black in broiler. Should I throw it away?

My husband put my pampered chef pan in the broiler and it looks like it was in a fire and turned black on top. Is it trash now or can it be cleaned with baking soda & water and still be worth keeping? I am bidding on some new pans on ebay but I would like to save this black pan if it is worth it. Please reply.

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  1. Hello,

    Before you do such a drastic thing as throw out an expensive pan you should try professional cleaners such as Bar Keeper's Friend. Although many have not heard of it it is used in many restaurants and recommended by All-Clad and many other high-end manufacturers for cleaning stainless steel. You didn't mention the material of your cookware but for stainless steel Bar Keeper's Friend cookware cleaner is the best. It contains a mild abrasive that will not harm stainless steel and carbolic acid to break down stains. It may take some scrubbing but it is highly regarded. Google for their web site. It is available online and in many stores.

    There are other tricks such as soaking overnight in very hot water using Cascade dishwasher detergent. This may damage the finish of shiny pans if used extensively but considering you are ready to throw a pan out it could be an option.

    Baking soda and water is a primitive technique. There are many more powerful and advanced cleaners that you should try. Let me know if this works.

    2 Replies
    1. re: tofino_surfer

      This wasn't a pan - it was a baking stone which is porous. None of your suggestions would work, as using soaps/cleansers of any kind are not recommended.

      1. re: mimilulu

        I did a cook test last night after I soaked with baking soda over night. Tested with cookie dough and the flavor seemed fine. Only concern now is it let off an awful smell when the bar pan heated up in the oven. The smell was a little bit like oven cleaner and charcoal. I like my house to smell like the item I am cooking not burnt nothingness. Do you think the will the smell will go away after time? Should I see if it can be exchanged?

    2. If you are talking about the unglazed stoneware pans, it sounds like it got hot enough to carbonize oils that had seeped in to the material during earlier use. I've been able to put ceramic pizza stones that had gotten black through a clean cycle in my oven with pretty good success. You might want to try that as a last ditch effort, but there is a chance that the high heat will crack the pan. To lessen that possibility, put the pan in a moderate oven for an hour or so to make sure any moisture that may have seeped in to the material has a chance to evaporate.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LabRat

        I run my pizza stone through he self-clean cycle on my oven and it turns it back to "nearly" new. I amazes me every time. :)

      2. I am a former consultant for Pampered Chef. Your stone is probably blacker than it oughta be, but it is not necessary to throw it away. The stones are porous and over time they get darker with use to the point that my own stones are pretty black in places. DO NOT use soap on them for this reason, because the soap can seep into the pores and then back into your food. You can try a bit of baking soda and water to get some of the "excess" black off, if possible, but otherwise I wouldn't worry. My only other recommendation is to bake something as a "test" on the stone, something that you won't be upset about throwing away if need be. Some of the black may transfer to the food, but if not, try the item you've cooked and "test" the flavor. If it tastes fine, then no worries. If it tastes off, then perhaps it has become more than just discolored. Good luck!

        DO NOT however use any cleaners on it. Baking soda and water would be fine because it's not going to leave "soap" behind in the pores of the stone that will seep back into the food. Cleaners of any kind are more than just not recommended, they can ruin your stone and flavor and even perhaps poison your food. These stones are porous and "hold" a bit of what has been used on them, i.e. the grease from the foods cooked, which is what makes them non-stick more and more over time and use. Using soap is an absolute no no!

        7 Replies
        1. re: awood

          If I try heating up some frozen french fries would that be a good enough test? I will not have time for a couple of weeks to do any real baking. What would you try as a true test? Should I pick up some frozen cookie dough tonight at the store and plop a few on? I'm gone 13 hours a day with work and driving so it will have to be something quick and easy for now. I usually bake scones on it but no time to make dough for that right now. Plus I'd be upset if those got distroyed by the pan. What food do you suggest?

          1. re: tonithesaint

            ready-made biscuits or crescent rolls might not be a bad choice.

            1. re: tonithesaint

              Aha, that's why it turned black! The fats in the items you cook on it carbonized. Any doughs with fats in them (such as scones, cookies, or biscuits) will leach fats into the stone, which then speed it turning black. Those should still be cooked on a metal baking sheet.

              Get some pizza dough (if you have a Trader Joe's or Fresh & Easy nearby they have good refrigerated pizza dough) and make yourself a simple pizza bianca. Roll out the crust, brush on some extra-virgin olive oil, top with the herbs and cheeses of your choice, and bake directly on the stone.

              1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                To be clear, this happened because it was placed under the broiler. In the instruction manual, PC actually recommends cooking items like ready-made biscuits expressly to accelerate the seasoning process. In other words, you should be able to cook just about anything on the PC stoneware, but you should never use it for broiling. In my experience biscuits and scones come out particularly well in these.

                Since most people cook pizza at the highest temp. they can muster, I use (and would recommend) separate stones/tiles for pizzas.

            2. re: awood

              I did the taste test and that part was fine. It just lets off an awful smell like oven cleaner and charcoal. Should I worry now?

              1. re: tonithesaint

                I have this same problem - my pizza stone smokes and produces an awful acrid smell. It bakes fine. I have used it for pizza and bread but am ready to throw it away as I hate having the house stink after each time I use it. What causes this smell and is there anyway to get rid of it?

              2. re: awood

                I have never used my pampered chef stone baking dish and now I notice gray spots showing up. Do you know what this is and is my pan damaged now?

              3. Friendly advice: Read and follow directions with a new piece of cookware. This piece is not meant to be used under a broiler, and may well be a goner. Don't use any cleaner but baking soda with an absorbent material, unless directions say otherwise. (With a used piece, directions can often be found on the web). Hope it works out.

                1. I've had good luck using really course salt and hot water to clean this kind of stuff.

                  1. Been there, done that. When it's completely dry, run it through the longest self clean oven cycle you can. This should burn off most of the resides that are causing it to be stained and give off odors when heating. Rinse off whatever's remaining, and repeat the self clean cycle until the stone is clean.

                    Worked great for me when some ill informed person cut a friggin pizza on the stone, then let the sauce, cheese and goo soak in before asking innocently, "why is the stone all dirty? Did you do something?"

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: tomishungry

                      I cut pizza on my PC stone weekly. None of the "goo" soaks in; but then, it is well used and completely non-stick.

                    2. Is your stone less than 3 years old? Do you have a receipt or know the show where you got it? If you answer yes to these questions you can get it replaced.

                      If no then you can try running it thru the self clean cycle in your oven. It is not reccomended but worth a try vs. throwing it out. I also at times will (although not reccomended by PC) will run stones thru my dishwasher with NO soap and turn off the Dry cycle. This helps get some of the sticky greast particles off without me burning my hands using suprer hot water in the sink.

                      1. DO NOT THROW IT AWAY! I have been baking with stone for over 25 years. The blacker the better. I use a lot of olive oil while cooking and the natural process is for the stone to turn black. Never use anything but hot water and a plastic scraper to clean your stone. Any soaps, chemicals, etc., will stay in the stone causing bad smells and bad food tastes. Always soak a brand new stone in water to get all the air out the stone. The longer you have a stone, the darker, thinner and smoother it will get. Doesn't look as pretty as a new one, but it's much better well used.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: paz500

                          I agree. My stone is pretty darn black. I never wash it with soap, only rinse with water & scrape off surface gunk with a spatula or bench scraper. I do keep the stone in the oven all the time, so I figure all that "baking" will kill off anything growing on it, as well as carbonize the grease residues. If you're worried about the stone affecting the flavor of baked goods, then put a piece of parchment paper between your food & the stone. This won't affect the moisture transfer from the dough to the stone (the whole point of a stone is to absorb moisture from dough & produce a crisper crust, as well as act as a thermal cushion to regulate oven temp). Don't throw it out, keep using it. Caveat: I wouldn't run it through a self-clean cycle, as the high temp could crack it, esp if it had water on it recently.

                        2. Don't throw it away. I've had many stoneware items from pampered chef. I know it says not to use soap, but occasionally I have, and it made no difference in taste. I've also soaked it overnight to loosen really stuck on food. Eventually after many uses, the stone will blacken naturally, if it really bothers you, try using a magic eraser to scrub it. Or try seasoning it like you would a cast iron skillet. Keep using it and you'll be fine.
                          OTOH: if you have your reciept, you can always get it replaced.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jcattles

                            season like a cast iron skillet? add oil and bake?

                          2. Mine turned black 5 years ago and I have never taken it out of the oven ,Use it to keep plates and serving dishes warm before plating.