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May 17, 2010 06:14 AM

Do you think I ruined this pan??

Last night at 9 o'clock, I set a little pan of 2 oz. sugar and 8 oz. water on the stove to make hummingbird food. It's a three-cup Le Creuset, (enameled cast iron). The heat was pretty high for the pan's size, and it's normally a six-minute process (five minutes to come to a boil, and then let it boil for one minute). I go about my business.

Cut to 5:20 this morning. I go to the kitchen to make coffee, and I see that the fire is still on under the pan. The contents bear a striking resemblance to a La Brea Tar Pit. The mixture is now pitch black and level with the top of the pan, except for a black glob that was on its way down the outside of the pan at the moment of petrification. I can see there were bubbles, but nothing is moving.

It is now 50 minutes later, and I can still hear a few little popping noises coming from the thing. Can this pan be saved?

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  1. I would submerge the mess inside a large pot filled with water. Simmer all day and see if the gunk dissolves.

    2 Replies
    1. re: pikawicca

      Thanks; I'll try that. Either that or varnish it and keep it as a Dadaesque art piece and a reminder of why I shouldn't be allowed into a kitchen....

      1. re: pikawicca

        I would add some baking soda to that big pot of water. When you take it out and dry it, the carbon should flake off. good luck

      2. Yike. So you heat the pan overnight, as opposed to only 5-6 minutes. I am surprised it is not completely turned into carbon solid. It would have been easier to save if it is a stainless steel or cast iron cookware which you can scrap with anything. I would tried to scurb the pan with a hard plastic tool. A hard plastic should be hard enough to do something and gentle enough not to scratch the enameled surface. You may want to look into "Easy Off" and see if that help.

        1. I would contact LC & ask if they have any advice. They must have at least some experience dealing with kitchen catastrophes! Good luck....