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Feb 1, 2013 04:04 PM

How can I avoid sorched/burnt fry pans?

I have two 10"-12" stainless steel frying pans that I often use. They have copper/aluminum sandwich bottoms and conduct heat well. The sides of the pans are about 2' high.

When I cook things like pancakes or fry eggplants slices at a high temperure, I get scorching & burn marks up the inside of the walls of the pans that take a brillo pad and a LOT of elbow grease to remove. Removing any scorch/burn marks from the bottom of these pans is usually much, much easier.

Is there any way I can prepare the sides of the pan to avoid getting these scorch/burn marks?

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  1. Are these disc bottom or full cladded cookware?

    Have you tried to use Bar Keeper's Friend to remove these burn marks?

    8 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      Just following up cumquott good advice. If it is normal burn mark, Bar Keeper's Friend works well. If it is burned oil, then a more alkali basic solution is effective.

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Hi CK. Do you have an alkali/basic product suggestion?

        1. re: cumquott

          For normal stuff, I use baking soda. For stronger stuffs, ammonia works.

      2. re: Chemicalkinetics

        I think you would call these disc-bottom pans. One has a layer of copper with a stainless steel layer on the bottom and the other has an aluminum layer onthe bottom of the pan.

        I have not tried Bar Keeper's Friend, but I will get a hold of some and see how well it works.

        I would really like to find a way to keep the scorching & burn marks from developing in the first place!

        1. re: DavidT

          <I think you would call these disc-bottom pans>

          I see. What you described is rather common for disc bottom pans on gas stoves. Am I also correct that you use a gas stove (with flame) stove? Someone asked a similar post like this about 2 months ago, I wonder if it was you... Basically, the flame is heating the side of the pan where the cladding does no exist. This can actually heat up the material to a higher temperature than the bottom of the pan where there are oil, food....etc.

          If you want to know why, you can watch this:

          <I would really like to find a way to keep the scorching & burn marks from developing in the first place!>

          Realistically speaking, you either have to get a new pan or a new stove. Alternatively, just don't worry about it.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Yes, I do use a gas stove, although the bottom of the pan is certainly larger (wider) than the flame of the stove.

            Thanks for the link to the video. It certainly identifies the problem.

            At this point, buying some Bar Keeper's Friend is cheaper than buying new cookware!

            1. re: DavidT

              <although the bottom of the pan is certainly larger (wider) than the flame of the stove.>


              <buying some Bar Keeper's Friend is cheaper than buying new cookware!>

              If it is not bad, I won't even worry too much about the burn. Remove the burned spots maybe once every month or so. You don't need to clean it everything. They don't really affect your cooking.

          2. re: DavidT

            I get the same thing with a Mauviel SS lined frying pan on gas (LPG). It doesn't happen with any of my other SS lined pans. I've given up trying to remove it.

        2. Burned oil is pretty difficult to remove. Keep the sidewalls clean. For cleanup I agree with Chemicalkinetics; Barkeeper's Friend works pretty well even when I occasionally burn oil too a goo on the bottom of my (full clad) stainless pans.

          1. Turn the heat down. There's no need to scorch pans for pancakes.

            1. Hi, David:

              IMO, what you are experiencing is completely normal and well-nigh inevitable, especially on a gas hob.

              It is essentially what happens when one over "seasons" an aluminum ("al-you-mee-nee-yum" as the Demeyere guy and Canadians say) or SS pan. What happens is that the excess heat polymerizes and scorches the thin skim of fat clinging to the pan wall, rather than cooking the food that sits in the bottom of the pan. You probably see little runnels of fat--like "legs" in a glass of red wine--before it turns brown and gives you ring-around-the-pan.

              I suppose you could take measures to keep the walls dry, but in time the spatter itself will give you the same result.

              It's a bitch to scrub off, sorry. You just have to send the photographer away before you cook. And enjoy another glass of wine while not worrying.