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Cleaning my Sitram frying pan is a nightmare

frobe Oct 29, 2008 02:10 PM

I have a Sitram Catering line frying pan and although it cooks wonderful overall, the gap between the copper plate on the bottom and the side of the pan results in a major cleaning problem. For example, tonight I made a stir fry in it and although cleaning the bottom of the pan was easy, it took me a half half and half a can of Bar Keepers Friend to get the sides clean. This was with some serious scrubbing and it's still not 100% clean.

Can I use Brillo on this or will that ruin the pan? Anyone else with Sitram cookware have this problem?

  1. jade2912 Jan 11, 2010 05:24 PM

    I realize this is an old post and wish I had seen it earlier. But if you still have your pan, the best thing in the world to use (the place that sold me my Sitram pans suggested it) is "Bar Keepers Friend" Get the one in the can, not the liquid one. You can also use this on your stove, on your sink. I've used it on my bathtub. It is a mild abrasive that doesn't scratch. It's EXCELLENT for pans like these.

    1. f
      frobe Nov 5, 2008 05:53 AM

      Just an update, the soaking didn't really work. I realize as well that the staining is not really from sticking food but rather the hot oil mixing with food. For example, was following a Cooks Illustrated recipe this week that said heat vegetable oil until it was just smoking and then add the marinated chicken. Well, as soon as I add it, the smoke from the oil and food hits the inside of the pan and just covers it in black. I soaked it for overnight and then use Bar Keepers Friend and it just wasn't coming off.

      In the end, I used Brillo and that worked. Might scratch my pan up but guess I can live with that..

      2 Replies
      1. re: frobe
        chuckl Nov 5, 2008 08:46 AM

        Keep in mind that stainless steel pans like Sitram and All Clad heat up very quickly (as well as evenly). In other words, you don't need to heat it in the pan as long as you might in say cast iron. The saying goes, hot pan, cold oil, so what i do is heat up the pan a couple minutes then add the oil, and start cooking pretty quickly. Cooking with high heat for a while, I do notice the blackening that you describe. I find that if i soak it overnight in a little dish soap, most of it comes off right away, at least on the bottom. I still get spotting on the sides of the inside, but I don't worry about that a lot. I hope that helps

        1. re: frobe
          HaagenDazs Nov 5, 2008 10:28 AM

          So you can live with a scratched pan but not one that has a little oil stain?! OK... I for one would not be using steel wool on my pans, but to each their own. Anyway, I agree with chuckl, heat the pan and then add the oil and cook almost immediately after. Heating oil like that is unnecessary. I also agree that you can get rid of most of the staining and residue by soaking overnight and then cleaning it.

          ***Notice the part in the post by chuckl that says "I still get spotting on the sides of the inside, but I don't worry about that". That is the best advice. If you buy a pan like this, you're going to use it and it will show a little wear and tear. If you're trying to achieve the same mirror finish you see on cooking shows (especially food network shows) don't try it. They get brand new pans for each and every episode.

        2. t
          tomishungry Nov 3, 2008 01:59 PM

          I stick my sitram (and all clad, and calphalon stainless) in the dishwasher.


          Looks great.

          1. f
            frobe Nov 1, 2008 03:02 PM

            I should have clarified that I am trying to clean the sides on the inside of the pan and not the outside. I prefer not to just leave it as I'm sure the buildup will just get much worse. Trying the soaking method tonight!

            3 Replies
            1. re: frobe
              MMRuth Nov 1, 2008 03:16 PM

              I use a brillo pad on my Sitram when needed. Good luck!

              1. re: frobe
                RShea78 Nov 2, 2008 01:41 AM

                Shoot, if that is the case, just use a slightly wet/rung out- rag(1), and wipe it off while it is still somewhat hot.

                Just be careful to avoid the steam steeping through the fabric, and end up burning you. If you fear burning yourself, just wrap the rag around some stiff tongs, in a manor to pad the metal to prevent from scratching anything.

                BTY- I refer rag(1) to mean some disposable cloth that if overly soiled, it can be tossed. Towels are something I tend to protect from staining.

                1. re: frobe
                  scubadoo97 Nov 2, 2008 06:38 AM

                  On my SS pans I use Dawn Power Dissolver first and then finish with BKF. Have yet to get something that wouldn't come off with that combo

                2. RShea78 Oct 31, 2008 03:27 PM

                  You may need to get a product called Sokoff.


                  Or Google Shop "Sokoff" for a web deal.

                  1. HaagenDazs Oct 31, 2008 12:26 PM

                    Best response of the lot:

                    Live with it. I've said it numerous times before, but cleaning a utensil like this requires so much time and effort... it's a huge waste of time. Do you wash the bottoms of your shoes? No? Why not? Because the minute you step outside, they will get dirty again. Same thing with pans. One lunatic here even said they frequently use sandpaper on their pans to get them clean!

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: HaagenDazs
                      RShea78 Oct 31, 2008 03:35 PM


                      BTW- The only time I ever used sandpaper was on a new Lodge 14" skillet. I did not like the natural cast iron pebble like surface and essentially smoothed the cook area to be as slick as a baby's behind.

                      1. re: RShea78
                        werewolf Oct 31, 2008 09:09 PM

                        How hard was it to sand the iron smoorth? What sandpaper did you use? Did you use a power sander or do it by hand? Was it worth it?

                        1. re: werewolf
                          RShea78 Nov 1, 2008 02:34 AM

                          I used a "D.A." sander starting with 180 grit sandpaper, and finishing it up with a 220 grit, at my Dad's shop.

                          It worked out great, especially for making easy over eggs.

                          Unfortunately, it got snatched by my brother's GF. It likely got ruined as she insists on using cups if not the entire bottle of Dawn dish soap when cleaning cast iron. :((

                          1. re: RShea78
                            Joe Blowe Nov 1, 2008 09:06 AM

                            Dawn, or any other household liquid detergent, will not harm a *properly* seasoned cast iron pan.

                            Properly seasoned means that many thin coats of polymerized fat or oil have completely adhered to the surface of the pan. Polymerized fat or oil is the baked on gunk that coats the inside of your dirty oven, and we all know that you can't clean a dirty oven with water and Dawn!

                            If your pan is ruined, it's likely because she either soaked it or used a Brillo pad (or some other aggressive scrubber).

                            1. re: Joe Blowe
                              RShea78 Nov 2, 2008 01:17 AM

                              Sorry, I totally disagree and had to get rid of several Dawn flavored skillets to boot.

                              1. re: RShea78
                                Joe Blowe Nov 2, 2008 06:54 AM

                                You had to "get rid of several" pans?? I don't think you're seasoning correctly. And if you do "ruin" a pan it's easy to start from scratch: put the pan in an oven at the highest temp setting (self-clean cycle if you got it), "bake" for an hour and voilà, you have an unseasoned pan. The seasoning just flakes away...

                      2. re: HaagenDazs
                        MMRuth Nov 1, 2008 03:15 PM

                        I agree - my Sitram pans have a lovely 'patina' on the bottom.

                      3. Joe Blowe Oct 29, 2008 05:35 PM

                        Did you try soaking before scrubbing? If so, how long? Due mostly to laziness, I've been known to soak a pan in the condition you're describing for up to 48 hours. No excessive use of elbow grease or Bar Keepers Friend was required...

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Joe Blowe
                          frobe Oct 30, 2008 03:02 AM

                          I haven't tried soaking as I thought that was bad for the pan. Maybe I'm mixing that up with cast iron. Will give it a shot!

                          1. re: frobe
                            chuckl Oct 30, 2008 09:57 AM

                            definitely soak it, soaking won't hurt stainless steel and will save you a lot of agony with cleanup. personally, though I like to keep my stainless steel pans like sitram and all-clad clean on the inside, i'm not so worried about some spots on the outside.

                        2. t
                          ThreeGigs Oct 29, 2008 05:19 PM

                          This is common with disc bottoms and gas cooktops.

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