PAN Final 2

11 Ways to Clean a Cookie Sheet

**Update: I found a way that WORKED completely for me – check here. Hooray! :)

With the 800,000 ways to “get your cookie sheet GLEAMING NEW!!!” on Pinterest, I decided I needed to try it.

After all……..

This is my friend, the cookie sheet:

And, yes, “THE” is singular. We were given probably seven cookie sheets when we were first married. We gave several of them away to other people, left some at different places, and now have ended up with only two left. One of them I don’t like because it tends to burn things on the bottom, so really we only have one.

That one cookie sheet looked good for years. Until I ended up baking olive oil onto it at a very high temperature. And baking bacon in the oven without lining it first with parchment paper. Yeah. That all happened in the past year. We’ve had the cookie sheet for almost nine.

I found an idea on Pinterest that claimed to get your cookie sheets looking like new with no pain! Sounds great! But, it didn’t work. At all. This, unfortunately (fortunately?) led me on a maniacal quest to find a way to get the silly thing gleaming and new again. If someone is able to get a clean cookie sheet, certainly I could too!

Here is what it looks like now:

A big improvement. Not perfect, but it still surprises me when I see it out of the corner of my eye – it is so shiny! Minus the stubborn stains, it looks new. I just tell myself that the stains left on the cookie sheet are its battle scars and prove that it has lived to see many a hot oven and make many a good meal. And, gauging from the stains left and the hours I put into cleaning my faithful cookie sheet, I am the master of leaving stains that are practically impossible to get rid of. This is “The Cookie Sheet that Lived!” (think Harry Potter).

As my gift to you, here is a rundown of pretty much everything the web had to offer on how to clean a cookie sheet – what worked, what had potential, and what didn’t seem to hold much promise. This way, you can know where to start you own obsessive quests to clean off your cookie sheets. :)

What worked (FINALLY):

1. Baking Soda + Peroxide – this was the first thing that I tried. And one of the last things too. The author said that she just smeared it on with her hands. This did not work at all. I wish I hadn’t read the “hands only” part because that would have saved me hours of searching. BUT, it finally did work (hours later) when I came around and tried it again scrubbing with steel wool using all of my might. You could also just use baking soda, but I found that the two together really did work best – you just make a paste from them. Wear gloves too – it started turning my fingers white when I first tried the “hands only” method.

2. Bar Keeper’s Friend (from a comment string) – this was the first thing in the beginning that “budged” my stains with only using a sponge to scrub, but it didn’t do much to the big stains. HOWEVER, once I used Bar Keeper’s Friend AND steel wool, it got even more off than the baking soda + peroxide + steel wool. I just felt like I had to wash it 500 times afterward to make sure the chemicals were all gone.

Worked Somewhat or Had Potential (could be used for the right stains):

3. Cream of Tartar + Vinegar – this left my cookie sheet GLEAMING, but otherwise the stubborn spots were still there. And Cream of Tartar is definitely more expensive than baking soda.

4. Oven Cleaner – this particular article mentioned leaving it on for 20 minutes. By the time I got around to trying this one, it did not to a lot for me. It seems like it should work in theory, but it didn’t work on the heavy stains. I also tried later to leave it on for 2 hours – DON’T. It left a funny residue on my pan.

5. Ginger Ale – It actually recommended cola soda, but ginger ale is what I had on hand. This one was interesting. After I poured it on and it had settled down a bit, I noticed that there were places where the carbonation was congregating – right around the big stains. I had hoped this would mean it would take them off, but it did not. It did, however, get the funny residue off that had been left by the oven cleaner. And it was quite shiny.

6. Sol-U-Mel – this is a fantastic cleaner, and was what the original pinned person said made their pans perfect and new again. It didn’t budge anything, but by the time I got around to trying the Sol-U-Mel, I may have gotten all of the easy stuff off. I tried full-strength even. No help there.

What did NOT work (but may have a chance if you have the right stain):

7. Magic Eraser (from a comment string) – this did not work AT ALL.

8. Goo Gone (from a comment string) – didn’t work either.

9. Washing Soda + Vinegar – this was my creation. I had thought that maybe since washing soda has a higher pH than baking soda, maybe it would be better at taking off the grime than baking soda alone was. Turns out that vinegar turns Washing Soda into a clumpy solid, and it is very hard to smear on the cookie sheet. When I did get it to smear on there, it turned grayish, but didn’t do much else. Same with Washing Soda and water.

10. Boiling Baking Soda in water, and dumping it on the pan (reader comment) – didn’t do much either

11. Borax (reader comment) – this also did not work for me at all.

There you have it. A rundown of pretty much everything I could find on the web. Let me know if you try or have tried any of these things – I’d love to hear how they work for you!

Hard-Boiled Eggs – Baked vs. MY way

Tonight we are going to dye our Easter eggs, which means that we need more hard-boiled eggs in our house. I already posted on an easy, no-frills way to make perfect hard-boiled eggs earlier this week, but saw an idea on Pinterest from The Burlap Bag that looked easy too – baking them. Since I needed to make a lot of eggs, I thought this would be the perfect time to test the two out together and see which one I liked better.

For the oven method: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Put the eggs into the compartments of a muffin tin. Bake for 30 minutes.

As I was filling the remaining compartments up with water, I decided to fill one of the compartments with an egg in it with water as well to see if it changed the outcome.

Meanwhile: I boiled the water for my method. After it came to boiling, I put the eggs in. Since I knew for sure that my way would work, I did more of the eggs that way.

Worked again – not a single broken egg.

I started boiling the water when I put the other eggs in the oven. I finished with the stove-top eggs nine minutes before the oven ones were done. So, my way was faster, but the oven way is definitely easier: preheat, cook, forget about them until the timer is done.

Round 1 (cooking): My way – 4 points (faster, but more steps); Oven way – 5 points (slower, but one-step)

After cooking the eggs, I let them sit in a cold water bath. I’d check on the water every bit to make sure the water hadn’t warmed up. If it had, I just dumped out the warm water and filled it up again with cold water. When moving the eggs from the muffin tin to the water, tongs is the easiest way to go.

After they sat in the water, it was time to judge the appearance of the eggs. On the outside, they all looked the same. No spotting, just like normal eggs.

Then I peeled each of them to see how easy they were to peel, and judge how well they had cooked.

Yikes! The oven eggs were a little tougher to peel (some of the egg came off with the shell), and had some internal brown spotting. The oven way with the water inside actually browned more (but less concentrated), and some of the egg still came off with the shell. The other egg peeled fine, and looked normal.

Appearance: My way – 5 points (all looked normal); Oven way – 3 points (outside looked normal, inside had a couple of brown spots and some bits of egg peeled off as well as the shell)

Now came time to judge the internal appearance, texture and taste of the eggs. Here’s how they sliced up:

All three of the eggs had a similar, very nice texture. They were easy to slice through, and all well-cooked. The oven eggs both had a little grayish ring around the outside of their yolks, but it wasn’t bad. The stove egg had no ring.

Internal Appearance/Texture: My way – 5 points (perfect); Oven way – 4.5 points (slight docking for grayish ring)

As far as the taste was concerned, they all tasted pretty good. The oven-baked eggs seemed to have a more “eggy” taste to them (even in the whites), where the stove-top egg did not have that taste. If it hadn’t been for the contrast of the stove egg, I probably would not have thought much of it.

Taste Rating: My way – 5 points; Oven way – 4.5 points (slight docking for taste)

Overall Score: My way – 19 points; Oven way – 17 points

Depending on what you’re going for, either of these would be fine. If you need an egg to dye and don’t mind the brown spotting on the inside of the egg, the oven way is a bit easier and the finished egg still has a great texture, is fairly easy to peel, and tastes good. My way is an all-around good way to do the egg, takes slightly more work in the prep (carefully dropping the eggs in the water), but still gets done faster, and has a great texture, taste and appearance.

Happy Egging!

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