How To Clean A Burnt Casserole Dish [8 Effective Ways]

A burned casserole dish is never any fun to deal with and may even make you believe that you need to toss it away. Thankfully, most burned casserole dishes don't need a garbage bin. They just need to be properly cleaned and should be ready to go again. The question for most of us remains, how? We research to find the best methods for cleaning up your caked-on casserole dish!

There are several different ways you can clean a burned casserole dish. The most popular methods include:

  1. Dish soap and baking soda
  2. Baking soda paste scrubs
  3. Dish soap and long soaking periods
  4. Barkeeper's Friend
  5. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
  6. Dryer Sheets
  7. Oven Cleaner
  8. Vinegar Baking

If you have a prized casserole dish that you don't want to throw out; it's easy to get worried about using one method over another. Using the wrong method on the wrong material can potentially harm your dish beyond repair. To make sure you get the most out of your cleaning efforts, this guide will teach you everything you need to know.

red crockpot, how to clean a burnt casserole dish [8 effective ways]

Cleaning Methods For A Burned Casserole Dish

Meat on a large casserole

How badly burned your casserole dish is can play a huge part in how you should clean it. To make things easy, we chopped things down into different methods for you.

Dish Soap And Baking Soda

Do you have a bunch of cheese and goo cooked onto your dish? Not a problem. Most cooks agree that this is one of the most reliable ways to eliminate stubborn stains from your casserole dish, regardless of what the dish itself is made of. Here's this quick-ish fix:

  1. The easiest way to start ungluing that mess is to start by scraping off as much of the food you can with a spatula. Once you've gone to town with it, rinse the dish.
  2. Next, sprinkle baking soda all over the burned portions of the dish. Don't be afraid to use a bunch! More is more here.
  3. Add some dish soap to the dish, and then fill your casserole platter with water. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes so that the cleaning agents can work.
  4. Pour out the mixture, then start scraping with the spatula once more. You should have more food to fall off.
  5. Repeat steps one through four until the casserole dish is fully cleaned.

Baking Soda Scrubs

This is a slightly different take on using baking soda, and it requires you to make a paste featuring water and baking soda. (It should feel almost like a glue stick.) Once you've mixed the paste, use it to scrub away at any food that could not be removed by a spatula. Once you're done scrubbing, rinse off the food and stick your casserole dish in the dishwasher.

If you have any serious stains or tend to have smelly foods, this is a good go-to. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer, which is why every pantry should have a year's supply of it on hand.

Dish Soap And Long Soaking Periods

While there are plenty of stains that will require a heavy amount of scrubbing, some casserole dish burns really aren't that bad. If you have food that's just a little difficult at the start, such as bread, there's an easy way to make it happen. Just add a couple of squirts of dish soap, such as Palmolive Oxy, and fill your casserole dish with warm water.

Then let it sit overnight. Once you have let it sit and work itself in, you should be able to scrape away most of the food almost immediately with a spatula.

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Barkeeper's Friend

Ah, the go-to cleaner for many barside granite countertops, Barkeeper's Friend is pretty useful when it comes to sticky, stuck-on foods that don't seem to want to budge. To use this, sprinkle a bunch on the dish and add some water. Then scrub until the mixture becomes a gluey, pasty texture.

From there, you have to let the mixture sit. Scrub away, rinse, and you should see the food fall off in an instant. This allegedly works best with Pyrex and heavy ceramic casserole dishes, but it can work fairly well on almost anything if you give it enough of a try.

Click here to purchase this cleaner on Amazon.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

If you have been keeping up with cleaning trends, you probably already know that Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser is a game-changer. This sponge is filled with a formula that is meant to cut grease (such as the stuff burned on your dish) and has a texture that acts like high-grade sandpaper.

To use it, just wet it, squeeze it, and use it to scrub at the food. You'll be amazed at how quickly it can remove food and burn marks.

Click here to buy Magic Erasers on Amazon.

Dryer Sheets

This home cleaning remedy might raise an eyebrow, but if you have a casserole dish that's not cast iron, it might be worth a shot. To use this, follow these steps:

  1. Place a fresh, unused dryer sheet at the bottom of your casserole dish.
  2. Fill the casserole dish with hot water and let the dish sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Pour out the water and then scrub the dish thoroughly. You should see your food slide off the walls of your casserole dish quickly.
  4. Once the food has fallen off your dish, rinse out your casserole dish once with cold water.
  5. Finish off by cleaning your casserole dish with regular water and dish detergent. Pat it dry with a towel to finish.

Oven Cleaner

If you have a Pyrex dish or similar, another option that you can use is oven cleaner. Add a dollop of oven cleaner on very stubborn food stains, and then let it soak for 30 seconds. After it's set in, wipe away your food using a paper towel and clean the casserole dish the way you normally would.

Click here to get this product from Amazon.

Vinegar Baking

If you have a stain that's seriously stuck and you haven't been able to get rid of it, this is a good method to try:

  1. Fill your burned casserole dish with equal parts white vinegar and water.
  2. Place the dish in your oven, and let it bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.
  3. Remove the dish and wait for it to cool.
  4. Once it's no longer warm, use dish soap and water to finish the cleaning session. This should be enough to get rid of most stains.

Click here to get white vinegar from Amazon.

How Do You Clean A Cast Iron Casserole Dish?

Casserole of rice, vegetables and zucchini

If your casserole dish is made of cast iron, the best thing you can do is use a gentle nylon brush to scrub away your excess food. To get rid of more aggressive food stains, soak your casserole dish in warm water, then scrub using a nylon brush with soapy water. Pat it dry, and then set it aside.

The one thing you want to avoid doing is using bleach or any other type of harsh detergent on cast iron. It can wreck your cookware and may even make it toxic. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that you follow standard cast iron cleaning rules when you try to lift stains from your casserole dish.

Can You Use Steel Wool On Casserole Dishes?

Steel wool is one of the roughest cleaning tools that you can find, and that means it can be pretty rough on your cookware. Due to the sheer grit that steel wool has, it can pose a serious risk to your cookware's enamel. That's why it's not advisable to use it on Pyrex, ceramic, or coated enamel cast-iron casserole dishes.

Can You Put A Casserole Dish On The Stove?

There's been a trend involving people putting a casserole dish filled with water on a stove as a way to keep it warm as food slides off. Do not do this! Casserole dishes are not meant to be put on a stovetop, especially not under direct heat, as you would get on a gas range.

If you do this, you run the risk of having your cookware explode. The only way you should use your casserole dish is in the oven. That's why it's bakeware, rather than standard cookware.

Can You Still Use A Burnt Pan?

Let's say that you've fought a valiant fight against a burnt pan's stains, but you've lost. You've tried everything from baking soda to Barkeeper's friend, and nothing has worked. If you're like many frugal chefs out there, you're probably wondering if it's safe to continue using your burned cookware.

Believe it or not, the answer is yes, but with a small caveat. If you choose to continue using your burned cookware, you need to make sure that it's fully cleaned and not contain Teflon or other "nonstick" ingredients. Teflon, when overheated, can release toxins into your food, which makes it a bit of a health hazard.


If you recently made a delicious meal that was just a bit too sticky for your casserole dish, it's possible that you may feel a little worried about your chances of cleaning burn marks off your cookware. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get rid of stuck food on a casserole dish, and it's not that big a deal. Casserole dishes are meant to hold up against tough foods, so with a little elbow grease, you should be okay.

One comment

  1. This is not just a little burnt stain. It is a ceramic turkey holder that holds liquid in the middle. Smoker got too hot and inside bottom is completely burnt, ¼” thick

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