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I have a bunch of canning I am working on.  One night, I was too tired to really focus but I wanted to get a jump on some of the work.  Well, instead of getting ahead, I burnt a whole batch of pears for sauce.  While I managed to save the pears, I wasn’t so sure about my pot.

I keep seeing posts on saving your burnt pots so I thought it was time to see if one of them worked.  While I was at it, I thought I’d pull out that pan my son burnt ages ago (another pan means more canning I could finish).

Here are the pots as I started.  The smaller pot has had burnt stuff for months.  The larger one was soaked and scraped but not washed.

Burnt Pot Experiment

The instructions were simple – add enough water to cover the bottom of the pot about 1/2 inch or so and add 1 cup of vinegar.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat, add 2 tablespoons baking soda.  Dump and scrub with baking soda.

My first attempt, I added 1 cup vinegar to the small pan and 1.5 cups to the larger pan.  I let the boiled liquid cool after I added the baking soda.  Then I scrubbed the pans.

The results:

Burnt Pot Experiment Burnt Pot Experiment

I wasn’t overly impressed so I repeated the procedure.  This time scrubbing the pots while they were still hot.

The results were better:

Burnt Pot Experiment

Oops – looks like I forgot to take a picture of the small pot.

I was getting somewhere but I was frustrated so I took some steel wool to my large pot.  It’s an old aluminum pot that can hold up to steel wool.  I would not use it on my newer pots – ever.

The result:

Burnt Pot Experiment

So I went one more round with the vinegar – this time only using 1 cup in each pot.

My final results were:

Burnt Pot Experiment

My pots look so much better but it was work.  What you don’t see is the long sessions of scrubbing.  I swear I scrubbed for a minimum of an hour when you added up all the time.  Most times, I scrubbed for ten solid minutes before my arm was so tired, I had to take a break.

I think there are probably better methods out there but in the end, nothing beats determination and lots of elbow grease.  I’m not sure boiling vinegar in the pot did anything to really loosen the burnt on stuff.  However, I felt like they were clean enough to return to my canning.