What’s your go-to method for cleaning grease?
If it’s really burnt on, you get it off the same way it came. Put a little soap and some water in the pot/pan and stick it back on the fire. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5–10 minutes. Carefully (because the whole thing is super-hot!), pour everything out and wash in warm soap water. Everything should slide right off. For the super-duper stubborn, never-coming-off stains, add a little baking soda and vinegar to the soap-and-water mixture.
For baked-on tough spots on the stovetop and oven, I spray with any commercial cleaner (which one depends on how caked on it got). Then cover it with plastic and let it sit. Use any plastic (like produce bags from the supermarket) and make sure it’s all covered and sticking well. Let it sit for a while or even overnight, and then it wipes off really easily.
First try is Palmolive, the second is baking soda and water. If both of those don’t work, I send a message to the family chat — “How do you get [blank] off of [blank]?” — and then I follow those directions!
I do what any smart woman in Far Rockaway does. I call Rebbetzin Esther Potash, describe the stain or mess in intricate detail, and follow her directions religiously. For day-to-day cleaning, I just use some Dawn and hope for the best.
I use a melaleuca-oil-based product that I love — it’s safe and smells fresh and clean. It won’t always get off terribly caked-on, burned stuff, though. For that I go to steel wool and Comet, Soft Scrub, or Ajax. It usually does the trick.
Dish soap and elbow grease.
I try not to let there be a buildup. If it’s light grease, I’ll sprinkle with baking soda or let it soak in baking soda and hot water. Usually the grease comes right off. If it’s heavy grease, like when a sauce oozes from the chicken into the roaster despite the parchment paper lining, I use a spray cleaner, such as St. Moritz Grease Cleaner, which thankfully comes in a fume-free variety. That and steel wool do the trick. Remember to wear gloves!
(Originally featured in FamilyTable, Issue 670)