Skip to content Skip to footer

A Sorry Lunch, Or Who Burnt the Brats?


©Write the Vision
A Sorry Lunch, Or Who Burnt the Brats?

Can you imagine 5 burnt brats on the bottom of your favorite pan?

I couldn’t either, until the smell of beer brats wafting up the stairs became the smell of burnt beer brats.

Running to the kitchen I imagined it starting on fire any moment. I had filled the pan full, brought it to a boil, and then turned it down to simmer that delicious flavor into the brats before Dan put them on the grill to brown them. Apparently I had gotten too involved in a project and time slipped away.

What I saw was a sorry site. I wish I had taken a photo, but my mind kicked into thinking how I could save my pan.

Fifty year old pans

It was the big pan to my set of West Bend Aristo Craft cookware, purchased from a door-to-door salesman right after I graduated from high school. He convinced me that it was the best set of cookware around and won over my girlish desire so I purchased them on a payment plan sometime in the early 60’s. They were at least 50 years old. 

A few months ago when I realized how old there were I decided perhaps I deserved a new set. Out of curiosity I looked them up online to see if they still sold them. They don’t, but to my amazement people wanted to buy them. I decided perhaps my lifetime investment was worth keeping awhile longer.

Learning how to clean up a burnt pan

Now I stood staring at 5 brats stuck to the bottom of my pan. I took a spatula and pried them off the bottom. I remembered we had just been watching a cooking show about deglazing pans when you are cooking so I grabbed the cooking wine and poured in a healthy amount and scraped around on the bottom of the pan. Amazingly the pan was coming clean.

I still had charred remains going up the sides of the pan for an inch or more so I scraped off what I could but it looked pretty hopeless. Then I remembered reading about baking soda. Grabbing the baking soda I covered all the burned spots with a healthy covering.  I added hot tap water to cover the burned area and brought it to a boil   before reducing it to a simmer. I let it simmer while we had leftovers for lunch and cleaned up.

Then I took a wooden spoon and started scraping it around the sides of the pan and was able to remove a significant amount of the burned on material.

My next step was to get out the Bar Keepers Friend scouring powder.

Little by little the shine on my pan returned.

Write the Vision


Guess I still don’t get new pans. But that’s ok, I’m really content with these, and grateful to that salesman for convincing me they were the best pans around. And now, I’m cooking with Vintage cookware!

I’m actually feeling like a bit of a hero since I’ve had a run of stains that I was able to get out – bicycle grease from my husband’s and daughter’s biking jerseys, blueberry syrup from my white shirt, and a few strawberry stains. My secret is for greasy stains use Dawn – remember the ads? Dawn cuts grease. It has to be the regular blue Dawn. I wet the spot and scrub some Dawn into it. Then mix a small amount of OxiClean in a bucket with hot tap water and let it soak overnight. Wash as usual, but don’t dry until you’ve made sure the stain is gone. My husband’s shirt had been dried, but this method still got it out.

More uses for Baking Soda

A few weeks ago a received an email from a young man who had read this post from a year ago. He graciously offered me a link to a post he had done on the used of baking soda. His post 51 Ways to Clean With Baking Soda is so interesting that I thought I would re-post this article and include a link to his article. I’m sure you will find all sorts of helpful information there. Enjoy!

[Tweet “Isn’t God good! He used a scattered bunch of ideas, gathered over weeks from different sources and helped me clean my pan. My memory is terrible so I give full credit to the Lord for bringing these things to my mind.”]

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27

And yet another resource for uses for baking soda:

50+ Terrific Uses of Baking Soda

I heard from another reader that she has used baking soda for a variety of medical issues. Some sound quite interesting. I’m not a physician so please be sure to check with your own doctor before trying any of these. Thanks for sharing, Jen of Jen Reviews! 

New Readers

I’d like to welcome all my new readers. I hope you’ve gleaned something from my homemaking journey that you will find useful as you go about your homemaking journey.

Great food for thought

On a more serious note, I’d like to share a blog post that really spoke to my heart this week. I know you all want your marriages to be as great as they can and I felt this post by Lori Alexander gave some great food for thought.

How Women Destroy Intimacy in Marriage


Have a blessed week serving our Lord.

Your address will not be shared.

Please sign up for my newsletter so I can send you your free copy of Dan’s Doodles I .

(We will not share your address)

Dan's Doodles a coloring book for all ages.
©First Fruit Designs

©Write the Vision
All rights reserved
Contact me




  • Kary
    Posted February 11, 2018 at 7:50 PM

    Thank you for sharing this story. I was brought to it because of your mention of the Aristo Craft Pans. I was just out treasure hunting, which is what I call thrifting and antiquing. I happened upon two skillets with lids. The shape was so cool-rounded square I have never seen before, the font of the brand had a hint of vintage, and they were so heavy. I knew I needed to rescue them and they could replace some of my new ceramic coated skillets (I heard they were bad for health). I had never heard the name or knew if they would be a good purchase. I went to the internet scouring for information. I couldn’t find much,except they weren’t made today and the manufacturer was West Bend. Your story humanized the pans for me and place a date for me. Thank you.

    • Post Author
      Phyllis Sather
      Posted February 12, 2018 at 3:08 PM

      I’m so glad you found me! I still love those pans and still have them.

  • Christine Wildman
    Posted February 10, 2018 at 9:00 PM

    so glad you reposted…i missed out the first time!

    • Post Author
      Phyllis Sather
      Posted February 12, 2018 at 3:09 PM

      Glad you could use it. I often hesitate to repost, so its good to hear it was helpful.

  • Karen
    Posted May 11, 2017 at 4:40 PM

    Great tips! I never have oxiclean on hand, but what I do is make a paste with peroxide and baking soda and add a little blue Dawn, then use a toothbrush to scrub the stain. My mom used to have me use it on her white work shirts which she always got permanent marker on. It really works wonders.

    Anyway, I’m a new reader and I really enjoyed this. Have a blessed day!

    • Post Author
      Phyllis Sather
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 9:28 AM

      Hi Karen,
      I’m always open to new ideas so thanks for sharing – and welcome to our home on the internet.

  • DaLynn McCoy
    Posted June 27, 2015 at 12:02 AM

    Oh my! I’m glad you were able to get your pan clean! I’d have been an angry wreck! Thanks for sharing at Christian Fellowship – come join us again this weekend! Have a blessed one. 🙂

    • Post Author
      Phyllis Sather
      Posted June 29, 2015 at 10:59 AM

      I’ll be there DaLynn. Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad too that my pan came clean.

  • Lori
    Posted June 19, 2015 at 3:13 PM

    For the life of me, I can not cook in my stainless steel pan without burning something.I normally cook in my cast iron, but that one SS pan, something burns in it every time! I’ll have to remember to try the baking soda next time. Thank you for linking up with Thankful Thursdays.

    • Post Author
      Phyllis Sather
      Posted June 21, 2015 at 3:34 PM

      I think its all in what you get used to Lori. I have pans that are favorites and it seems if I use something else it never seems to work as well.

Leave a comment


Privacy Policy