Soaking The Pan

There’s a certain person that I live with (not the cat) who, whenever he does the dishes, often leaves a pan to soak. This infuriates me because I consider it the ultimate cop-out. Also, what it really means is that when he’s done there’s still work to do because when I want to cook the next day, I have to scrub that pan that he soaked. So I’ve really grown to resent soaking the pan and people who soak pans. That is until…

…I realized that soaking the pan really does do a lot of the work for you. Especially when you make something hard to clean like a baked pasta dish or that meat dish I made two weeks ago (Socca) where cabbage and beef got really stuck on to the glass. If you fill the pan with soapy water and leave it for a few hours, everything comes off much more easily with a sponge.

So I owe an apology to that person I live with only he probably won’t read this because he doesn’t always read my blog and it’s not like that’s an issue in our relationship because it’s not like I read everything he writes. Or do I? LIKE HIS JOURNAL?

See: aren’t you glad you read this far? We’ve learned so much about each other in this post about soaking the pan.

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UPDATE: Reader David K. just shared this video on my Facebook Fan Page. It’s too good not to embed here.

21 thoughts on “Soaking The Pan”

  1. jean marie Kennedy

    I know you ran some water and added a little fresh soap to that pan before you took the picture. I hate soaking pans, too, because the soaker never returns to the scene of the crime.

  2. My husband does this too and I hate it! Although unlike your man, mine does it solely as a cop out. More often than not, the pan just needed a swipe with the sponge and it’s good to go in the dishwasher :)

  3. This drives me crazy when people I live with do this. Though, that’s mostly because they never actually come back after a few hours and finish the job! The only thing I hate more is someone else cooking and not putting the dishes that were washed last night that are now dry away before starting so I end up with two days of dishes everywhere.

  4. I, too, am a pan soaker. Though I’m usually the one who ends up cleaning once soaking is finished, so it’s all good. Water is the universal solvent, given time.

  5. You make me laugh, Adam! I love it. And I’m the only dishwasher in the family, so if I “soak” the pan overnight, it’s just there in the morning, smirking at me.

  6. OMG…I’m a non-soaker, but only because hubby claims that *everything* needs soaking (as a strategy for not having to do the dishes). I will happily scrub pans with baked-on messiness just to prove that *nothing* needs to be soaked, and soaking is for the lazy. ;) So I agree – if you follow through on your soaking, more power to you, but if you’re a soak-and-run kind of person….

  7. I used to be a soaker, but now I just spray it with a tiny bit of non-smelly oven cleaner, leave it for a bit, and come back and wipe everything off. Works like a charm!

  8. Kimberly Wydeen

    My name is Kim and I am a soaker. I’ve been a soaker for 15 years. I know my soaking can bother my loved ones but I continue to soak.

  9. I just recently discovered that a scoop of Oxy-type powdered cleaner added to the soapy soak water helps remove even the most horrifying burn-on messes in almost no time. Half hour tops. Love your blog!

  10. ha, ha – I’m a soaker too! Will have to try the oven cleaner suggestion – are any of them enviro-friendly? But like many, it’s just left for me to deal with later.

  11. I always “leave the pan to soak”, but when my husband does it I give death stares at him. Also, I just really like this post – all of it.

  12. Soaking with really hot water and soap makes life so much easier. When scrubbing is necessary, a little baking soda on a damp sponge is cheap and green and very effective.

  13. I’m a soaker, but I’m also the sole soul living here so I have to finish the job, usually the next day, but boy does it work though.

    I agree, that if you add hot water, and soap, it helps things along, but i’ve also found for some things put water in the pan, or in some cases my cast iron griddle and put it on a moderate high heat to let the water sizzle good, and let it do so for a minute or two, then take the scrub brush to it, and it’ll get the bits up, or if you’ve done like I’ve done burned the brown rice to the bottom of the pot and that takes more effort to clean up after.

    In the end, it all comes clean, usually with little effort.

    I’m also a stacker when I wash too since I don’t have a dishwasher.

  14. I am a fervent anti-soaker (my husband does it) because as soon as the kids see a dish in the sink, the dishwasher suddenly disappears from their consciousness and every dish they use gets piled in on top of the soakee.

  15. My partner is a soaker! I hate it when I need the pan the next day. On the other hand, it has saved many a piece of crockery from grimy oblivion. Pro tip: you do not need to add soap; instead, sprinkle in a few teaspoons of baking soda. Seriously. This is life changing. In a few hours, even the worst nightmare slips easily off your pan when you wash with soap and water.

  16. My sister says the message of dishes taken to the sink but not washed is, “Here you do it – my time is more valuable than yours.” Needless to say, no one soaks at her house.

  17. Soaking makes sense… for 15 or 20 minutes. Then the soaking has DONE IT’S WORK. Start the soaking while you wash the rest of the dishes, and then it’s ready to be finished. Soaking overnight says “I’m leaving this for YOU to wash, I can’t be bothered.”

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