Yep. Every several years, a pot of beans is left unattended, sinks up the place and ends up with a rock formation of encrusted bean matter that can't be removed.

This time, it's my dearly-beloved Calphalon One Anodized Infused pot. Sigh.

This method got me to the point where the bottom of the pot is nice and clean. The problem is that there is a ring of burnt-ness starting an inch or so up. It would be very hard to apply the vinegar/baking soda method to the sides of the pot.

Any ideas?


2 Answers 2


You can either add a lot of vinegar (to get above the problem area) -- or you can try to displace the vinegar so you don't need as much.

Find a smaller pot and fill it with water and set it in the center of the pot to clean, and then pour vinegar between the two pots (or pot & item).

Although I said 'fill it with water', you only really need a little bit more than what you need to keep it from floating once the vinegar is in there.

If you don't have a suitable pot, look for anything else that you can use that is heat safe, non-reactive, won't float (in that amount of vinegar), and will fit inside the pot.

And if you're using an anodized aluminum pot, check the bottom for scratches -- odds are they'll oxidize over time (a white powder forms), and if you have a lot of scratching, you might not want to give it an acid bath.


I use a hard metal spoon to scrape as much as I can, then use a wire scrubber with a cleanser like Comet. And it can take many repeated scrubbings, so let the pot go and get to it here and there. Never cook beans in a pot you use every day! Good luck to you! PS: If you burn your beans and they taste funky, try stirring in a big spoon of peanut butter. It creates a "umami" taste and helps hide the burnt taste.

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