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Using oven cleaner on All-Clad

As a result of 10+ years of use, I have a very badly stained All-Clad copper core fry pan. The cooking surface is fine, all of the staining is on the outside.

I've had such good luck cleaning my Le Creuset with oven cleaner that I would like to try it on the All-Clad.

Is this a mistake?

And yes, I've tried Barkeeper's Friend on it. No bueno.

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  1. It will attack your copper. If you can protect the copper in the base, you would be okay.

    1. I would try soaking it in dilute white vinegar for a day or two. This should leave the copper band shiny as well. Then rinse and clean with BKF.

      1. I use the "no fume" oven cleaner quite successfully to clean my All-Cllad, but it's not copper core.

        But I'm intrigued by your using oven cleaner to clean LC; I would have been afraid it would hurt the enamel, but I guess not. Do you use it on both exterior and interior of LC? Thx.

        1 Reply
        1. re: nomadchowwoman

          Just the interior. The outside of my LC black dutch oven never stains.

          See my reply below to fauchon.

        2. Oh! How did you clean your LC with oven cleaner? MY LC is in bad need of cleaning...BKF, LC cleaner, vinegar, etc etc didn't do the job.

          1 Reply
          1. re: fauchon

            I read about it here on CH.

            I was never aware that LC and SS cookware are supposed to be heated using a medium heat. I've always used the blast furnace approach and consequently the cooking surface of my LC dutch oven looked like the craters on the moon and after a particularly bad go of it cooking sweet onions, something had to be done.

            I bought a store brand oven cleaner and left it on overnight. I just rinsed off the black goo in the morning and it looked great.

          2. Hi, Scagnetti:

            You should be fine. Do a test section on one bottom. Just don't leave it on longer than about 40 minutes. If it works, paint it on the whole pan. The copper band will be fine.

            Is the problem cooked-on grease/carbonization? If so, you may want to try a strong base solution (BKF and many oven cleaners are acidulous). NaOH (basically lye) is what retinners use on copper pans to cut through tough carbon/grease deposits. An hour's soak in strong lye water should cut right through it. Wear rubber gloves and long sleeves. Rinse with vinegar and then water.

            Aloha,
            Kaleo

            4 Replies
            1. re: kaleokahu

              It is exactly as you described: cooked-on grease/carbonization.

              Thanks for your informed reply.

              1. re: Scagnetti

                You're very welcome. This type of crud is difficult to remove with acids and abrasives because the crud effectively *smears* around. If you have steel wool of a sufficiently fine grade and good chemically resistant gloves (Google "firemen's gloves), you can speed the process by gently scubbing the pan while it's in the lye vat (plastic tub). You can buy the NaOH crystals at the big box hardware stores--it's sold as drain opener.

                1. re: Scagnetti

                  So the oven cleaner worked for you right? What was the store brand oven cleaner you use?

                  1. re: unprofessional_chef

                    Hi, UC:

                    The brand I use most is Easy Off Professional gel.

                    Aloha,
                    Kaleo

              2. Hi, have you had luck cleaning your pan?

                I have baked on grease stains on the outside of my All-Clad pan -- got lazy and continued to cook with it, which likely baked the stains on more. I tried Barkeeper's Friend with a non-abrasive scrubber, and the All-Clad started getting all scratched up on the outside.

                I generally don't mind scratches (and there are plenty inside the pan), but the scratches look pretty bad on the outside, since the metal is otherwise super smooth/shiny.

                Does anyone know how to clean off grease stains from the outside of All-Clad w/o scratching up the whole thing? Or is it better to just put up with the scratches, since once there are enough of them it won't be as big a deal?

                Thanks so much!