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Whenever I broil something (like a piece of fish) in the oven, using either a 1/4 sheet pan or a 9 X 13 pan for example, any fats wind up burning onto the pan and I can't get the pan clean. It's almost like the pan which starts out nonstick winds up nonstick AND seasoned.

Is there a way to keep the pans from getting the fats burned on, even in the short time in the broiler, or is there a type of pan that resists the "seasoning" that goes on, so it's easier to get them clean?

As it stands now, we have a couple of pans that are safe to use in the broiler because they're already ruined. It would be nice to think there was a way to use whatever pan and not worry about it.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

General advice, any time you're cooking something that is going to become one with the pan under high heat, cover the pan with foil before you put the stuff on it.

As another possibility you can buy a stoneware baking sheet. They season more like cast iron, so burned on fat is fine. Or you could just use cast iron...It's pretty much impossible to get something permanently stuck to cast iron, unless you were using it as a crucible to melt silver or something...

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Ah, nice suggestions for pans that take seasoning. I'm going to withhold calling this the solution for a bit to see what I hear, but this seems solid. One concern I have is that the stoneware and cast iron seem a little heavy for a quick cook process like broiling. Perhaps a carbon steel pan like a traditional crepe pan might be good, though. Thanks. –  bikeboy389 Nov 19 '10 at 4:23
    
I find that dual layer pans, foil, and/or baking stones all weather the broiler without much mess. –  Bruce Alderson Nov 19 '10 at 16:01
    
I found a source for carbon steel 1/4 sheet pans online, so I'm going to look at one of those. I still don't want to go as far as something really heavy because I don't want to have to preheat the sheet like you'd have to with stoneware or cast iron (otherwise you risk leaving the bottom raw while the top is nicely done). –  bikeboy389 Nov 19 '10 at 21:33
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+1 for foil. The easiest type of cleaning is the type you don't have to do. –  Marti Nov 19 '10 at 22:25
    
@bikeboy389: The stoneware pans are actually better than you'd think for heat conduction. Not nearly as bad as cast iron –  Satanicpuppy Nov 20 '10 at 2:59

Most nonstick pans should not be used under a broiler. If it's getting hot enough to turn oil to a polymer, it's way too hot for the nonstick coating. A plain stainless steel pan would work much better, and is easier to clean off burnt-on fats.

Like you said, the fats "season" the pan. And the kind of pan that takes "seasoning" the best is one that is meant to take it . . . cast iron.

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That's a good point. I don't think we have any 1/4 sheets or metal bakers that aren't some variety of nonstick, and I'm sure they're bad for broiling for that reason too. –  bikeboy389 Nov 19 '10 at 21:31
    
Yeah, worse comes to worse, you can attack a stainless steel pan with oven cleaner. Can't do that with aluminum or non-stick. –  Marti Nov 19 '10 at 22:24
    
That was my first reaction too ... 'non stick? under the broiler?' I don't think any of them are rated for that sort of heat. I'd get a dedicated ' broiler pan ' –  Joe Nov 20 '10 at 1:34

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