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I like baked chicken, but I do not like cleaning wee dots of baked-on splatter from borosilicate glass dish corners .. what alternatives exist which minimize my cleaning labor here?

I'm aware of perhaps the easiest pair, but they're not directly viable

  • use foil pans and discard them after use (wasteful for small batches, but does assist storage)
  • bless the mildly-bespeckled dish as clean after the first wash (partner conflict)

I don't think a splatter guard of some kind would be sufficient as it would require independent cleaning (though it might be easier to soak), assuming it's rigid

Perhaps a measured quantity of lye and soaking it overnight in a larger container and then making it foodsafe with vinegar?

Perhaps a different oil, additive, or special baste hugely cuts splatter?

Perhaps a round dish, while all corners, is easier to get at 'em in?

I haven't had great success putting 'em in the dishwasher's lower-rack

There are some general cleaning suggestions for baking dishes here What is the best way to clean a roasting tray/baking tray that has sauce burned on to it?

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  • It is glass, which you can imagine has to be extremely clean/able when used in chemistry labs to avoid even trace amounts of contaminants from interfering with experiments.
    – user117529
    Dec 9, 2023 at 19:53
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    absolutely - still, glass in a chemistry lab environment tends to be fairly clean to begin with and just passing deionized water can be sufficient to remove liquid contaminants, or it can go through a harsh and involved cleaning with strong acids, autoclaving, etc. which are not generally foodsafe or consumer-available cleaning techniques (I mention lye as it will destroy most organic substances extremely easily, but I don't and can't recommend any casual use of it as it's incredibly toxic and directly dangerous to human tissues)
    – ti7
    Dec 9, 2023 at 21:12

7 Answers 7

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The laziest way is just fill them full of hot water & dish soap and leave to soak overnight; then put them through the dishwasher, or even see if they'll just come clean with a brush round in the morning - they often will.

Any number of oven cleaner products will work, but overnight in the sink is far less effort, and usually works.

All my Pyrex is spotless using just the soak method. My metalware on the other hand - enamelled & chromed, not the odd bit of cheap teflon I own, which can't stand heavy treatment - is allowed [or does whether I wish it or not] to build up a coating until it annoys me sufficiently to get the 24h in a big bag of oven cleaner treatment [Oven Pride, UK product. Nothing is anywhere near as good.].

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Glass gives these dots much less adhesion than metal. This makes them really susceptible to mechanical cleaning.

I have had great success with an electric cleaning brush. Use it either with normal dish detergent, or, if the splatter turns out to be very resistant, with a mild kitchen abrasive. It cleans the dish in roughly the same time as it takes to properly clean a normally dirty (no baked-on splatter) dish using a sponge.

You can also pack the sides of the dish in aluminum foil, then throw away the foil. The bottom is likely swimming in chicken juices, so you won't have baked-on oil on it, and you can get away with using a strip for the sides only. This is significantly less waste than a self-supporting foil pan.

The lye will also get the spots off really well, but using it safely is somewhat involved, so I wouldn't call it a lazy variant. Nevertheless, if you want to use it, it will work.

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  • Lodge sells plastic scrapers that I suspect would work well for this. They just need to make ones that are larger and won’t end up in the garbage disposal
    – Joe
    Dec 8, 2023 at 9:35
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Rather than wasting aluminum foil, you could use baking parchment paper as a pan liner and discard it. Less cost in both resources and money, normally.

Alternatively, a "resusable Parchment substitute" such as a Sil-pat of sufficient size to drape the pan would also work.

A suggestion from one of the cast iron pan threads I've not yet tried is to bag (or other closed container) the item with baked-on grease with some ammonia, and let it sit a while. Worth a shot. Not submerged in, apparently just enclosed so the fumes can work on it is enough (and uses far less ammonia). I see that's also in the thread you linked in your question.

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    +1 on the ammonia. You can check if it works by spraying on some ammonia-based Windex, and let it sit for 1-5 minutes untouched to chemically break down the grease. Then it should wash off easily and cleanly, and since ammonia has a distinctive odor, you should be able to smell when it's all washed off.
    – user117529
    Dec 9, 2023 at 19:51
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TLDR:

  • Use a metal oven tray
  • Soaking, and brillo pad if really stubborn
  • Do not use the dishwasher if you do not think it will work

I have oven trays made of ceramics, glass and metal. I have enamelled and unenamelled metal trays. When I use a tray with a lid I use ceramic or glass, just because that is what I have. With these the splatter does not get baked on because of the moisture levels in the pan. When I am not using a lid I will use a metal one for the sole reason that it is easier to clean. I cannot explain this, as it seems unintuitive as the surface of glass or ceramic seems much smoother, but I am convinced it is true. I slightly prefer enamelled over plain metal, but it makes less difference than metal compared to glass.

If I cook a roast I will start getting the burnt on splatted off the pan when making the gravy, by adding some gravy to the pan and scrapping the burnt bits. This adds flavour and colour and starts the process of cleaning while it is still hot. After this I will soak the pan and anything else that could use it overnight, I will not even think about cleaning the difficult stuff that evening. Generally after that it comes off easily, I start with a sponge scouring pads and fairly quickly escalate through an old cutlery knife to brillo pads. These are wire wool pads with a strong detergent added. They really work, but I strongly recommend gloves when you use them.

If you are not cooking meat, and/or have no need to colect the juices I use baking paper, and each sheet will get used about 10 times when cooking vegetables like squash, cauliflower or brussel spouts. This almost eliminates the need for cleaning the pan, frequently a quick wipe will remove all residue.

The way to really make work for yourself is to put the pan in the dishwasher and it not come clean. If this happens the drying cycle will further bake the dirt on. If I think the dishwasher may not work I will defiantly not give it a try.

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    For me, this doesn't work. My metal pans all have oil baked on them, both the blank steel ones and the enameled ones. The brillo pads aren't a solution, even with lots of scouring.
    – rumtscho
    Dec 8, 2023 at 12:18
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    Brillo pads are made from wire wool — very thin tubes of metal.  I get much better results with pads made from very thin stainless steel tape; searching for ‘metal scourer’ finds many examples.  The sharper edges of the tape seem to remove burned-on material much more easily.  (Gloves are still a good idea if you don't want your fingernails abraded a little, though.)
    – gidds
    Dec 8, 2023 at 14:10
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I always have very good success removing both burnt and "seasoned" brown spots on glass and ceramic baking dishes using a baking soda and water paste with a sponge. Just scrubbing with that readily removes those kinds of stains, and usually without soaking. Also works for ceramic stove tops and oven doors that get extremely baked-on spots.

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If it is really bad, I suggest soaking with sodium hydroxide instead of dish soap. Please make sure to take precautions:

  • Use gloves
  • Do not do this if you have children/pets

Use only small amounts. It completely destroys the integrity of charred dirt.

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Please don't use lye on glass, at least not for long or repeatedly. It can etch the glass. (I see there are people who claim otherwise. "I've never seen it happen" is not equivalent to "it won't happen". I have seen it happen.)

I've always had good luck softening up such deposits with a long soak in concentrated dish soap solution, but I imagine household ammonia would also work. You can conserve water/soap/ammonia by draping paper towels or newspaper over the affected area, then soaking that in your cleaning solution.

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