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Volume III
July 27, 2012

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

One of the Slickest Clean-Up Tricks Ever!

By Alice Osborne

We did a LOT of cooking today for the Cook'n Magazine - Ham and Vegetable Chowder, Red Velvet Cheesecake, Deep Chocolate Cherry Muffins, Turkey and Mashed Potato Croquettes, Prime Rib Deluxe, and Celebration Baked Ham, to name a few things.

I bring this up because I want to tell you a quick quick way to clean a roaster pan with baked (almost glued) on aluminum foil.

I lined a large roaster pan with heavy duty aluminum foil for baking my ham. I was just sure that this clever step would mean the after-baking clean up would be quick and easy. In theory it's a great idea. In practice, it just didn't go well. I'm not sure why, but the brown sugar glaze that I rubbed into the scored ham somehow seeped under the foil and not only baked onto the pan but sealed the aluminum foil to the pan. What a mess!

I soaked the pan in hot sudsy water for about an hour. When I went back to it, thinking I could simply lift off the baked-on foil and scrub the pan clean, I found a stubborn mess. That foil wasn't going anywhere.

So here's what I did, that you will be glad to know about: I drained the existing sudsy water (no foil went anywhere, remember). I squirted a heavy layer of Palmolive dish detergent all over the pan bottom, with extra emphasis on the stuck-on foil.

I added hot water to the pan - maybe 2 inches worth. Then I set the entire thing on my biggest stove burner and turned it on to HIGH. I let it sit there until the water came to a boil; I let the water boil for about 3 minutes - until the detergent came to a thick, almost overflowing mass of suds.

I turned off the heat and went after that ornery foil with a fork, firmly pushing the tines under the foil. After about 30 seconds the foil just peeled away and I could easily lift it out.

I carried the pan to the sink, dumped the soapy water, and voila! All the baked on everything was gone. I rinsed the pan well and wiped it dry. I looked like new!

This little trick probably saved me over an hour of scrubby-scrubbing. Next time you have baked-on foil plaguing a pan, give this solution a try. You can thank me later.

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