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Tips for cleaning grease/fat out of pans?

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  • Tips for cleaning grease/fat out of pans?

    I have the darndest time getting bacon grease, butter or other fats out of my pans after I cook. Any tips on getting the grime out? "Eco-friendly" soap and a sponge doesn't quite cut it.
    * Pixy's Quest for Regaining Health *
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  • #2
    I just fry up my next meal with the leftover fat--(we use a high-end non-Teflon non-stick and keep the heat low). I wouldn't dream of wasting that yummy fat!
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    • #3
      I find frying up some thinly sliced onions in the fat tends to soak it up well. You could also try eggplant as a good way not to waste fats.

      That is to say: I agree with Dragonfly.
      When I want to get rid of oil that I think is not good for eating, I just scrape down my pan into the trash (I use cast iron). Since you're not supposed to wash cast iron with soap, I then wipe it down with a paper towel, scrub it under water with a scrub brush and then dry it by heating it on the stove until the water evaporates (it won't evaporate quickly enough in Houston's humidity).

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      • #4
        Assuming it's not cast iron, a scotchbrite pad or the equivalent, combined with soaking in soapy water will get rid of it 99% of the time. If neither of those work, I use table salt and water (enough to make a paste) and a scrubby pad and scrub the bejeezus out of it.
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        • #5
          Just grease and fat? Hot water...it softens the grease. No real need to scrub or soak. Just use as hot water as your tap affords.
          Last edited by carlh; 01-10-2011, 09:38 AM.
          carl's cave

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          • #6
            I cook my bacon in the oven on a sheet pan, I line it with foil and make a 'boat' out of the foil. Then I can just toss the foil and grease together, or I can create a V and drain the foil into a jar for later. Most of the time my sheet pan stays 100% clean.

            I use hot water usually to take off the main layer of grease from any pan, and then a natural dish soap and a non scratching scotchbrite sponge (blue one). I do find the natural soaps are a bit less effective to immediately cut grease, but as long as I rinse with a hot water I have no issues.
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            • #7
              Cast-iron....I just leave it till the next meal and use it again, unless it's got a lot of stuff besides fat in it (I do tend to scrape it out really well when I serve food onto my plate, so it's usually pretty clear). If it DOES have a lot of stuff besides fat or if it's been more than a day since I used it, I'll give it a quick rinse under the tap and a gentle once over with a stainless steel scrubbing pad.

              Other pans....just lots of hot water, soap, and (if necessary) elbow grease.
              Liz.

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              • #8
                agree with dragonfly...cook something with it. i find that if i have a pan with a lot of fat or something in it, and i want the fat out of the pan (so my cats don't get it all) i just turn on the heat and throw in some spinach. the heat softens the fat, the spinach soaks it up, and if you want it even cleaner, what till the pan cools to warm and just wipe it out with a towel
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                • #9
                  baking soda works well.

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                  • #10
                    So does licking it.

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                    • #11
                      What about the opposite problem? I find it easy to clean pans with grease, but dried on, non-greasy things aren't fun.

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                      • #12
                        Baking Soda and water paste will work fine. Or soak in hot water and vinegar for dried on stuff.

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                        • #13
                          Dryer sheets - seriously!! Save used dryer sheets (I keep a stash under my sink) and use these to wipe out gooey/greasy messes and then just toss in the trash. If food is baked on, cover the sheet with hot/warm water in the pan and let soak - then use the sheet to scrub out the gunk.
                          DON'T use dryer sheets on cast iron, but works on just about any other type of cooking surface - Pyrex, stainless steel, etc.

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                          • #14
                            after frying the bacon I crunch up a paper towel and wipe the pan with it. Have to be quick as long as the fat is still liquid...

                            I find it vile to re-use the fat - though it might be OK to eat :-)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by breadsauce View Post
                              So does licking it.
                              +1 (after the pan cools!)
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