How to Clean Sheet Pans After Sheet Pan Dinners

Have you seen the trend of sheet pan dinners? One of our residents at Legacy Court Apartments in Midvale, Utah introduced me, and I am hooked! The concept is rather simple – you prepare the meal in one pan and in your oven. Sign me up, right? The best sheet pan for this method of cooking is one with a one-inch lip and is large enough for the food to sit in a single layer. An 18×13 inch sheet pan is a good choice for most families. 

It’s just one pan, right?

Even though clean-up is easier than having many pots and pans to wash, there comes a time in every sheet pan’s life that its owner debates throwing it away since those stains have set. No matter how hard you scrub, they just don’t come clean. I used to be ashamed of my sheet pans and thought that no one in the world could have the same grimy-looking cookware. I mean, look at all of the pictures of shiny sheet pans with wonderful-looking food on them! How is that even possible?

Why don’t those pans look like mine?

Hate to break this to you, but the internet is full of fake. After a few uses, sheet pans build up that well-used look that defies nearly all scrubbing. Some people prefer to use nonstick pans, but experts caution on their use since the Teflon coating can flake off into the food and has been shown by some studies to be harmful to the body. Others treat their sheet pans as disposable, throwing them away after they are stained, which can become expensive, especially if you use them frequently. Others line their pans with parchment paper or foil, which does the best job to avoid the mess altogether. 

Get them clean with these simple tricks

If you go the route of deciding to line your pan, there are several tricks to getting them clean so you can start fresh. You can use table salt as an abrasive and put in some elbow grease. You can also soak the pan in a sink of hot water, a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap, and with equal amounts of baking soda and white distilled vinegar, about ½ to 1 cup each. After a good soak, scrub with soap and water. Another trick is to line your pan with dryer sheets and soak in hot water and a bit of dishwashing soap. After about an hour, scrub away. 

Tip – to minimize scratching, some recommend scrubbing in a circular motion.

If you know of any other tricks, please let me know. Stop in and see us at Legacy Court Apartments, your leader in Midvale apartment rentals.

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