How to Clean a Turkey Roaster or Roasting Pan After Thanksgiving

Published September 14, 2022
Turkey in roasting pan on table for holiday meal

It's that time of year again to get your roasting pans ready! Whether you've got a big family meal coming up or the holidays are upon you, don't let a little baked-on gunk get you down when you are getting ready to roast your turkey.

Take a walk into your pantry and learn a few simple tricks to clean enamel, stainless steel, and aluminum roasting pans with minimal elbow grease. Get a quick tutorial on how to clean an electric roaster to have that pan gleaming like the day you bought it.

Easy Method to Clean a Roasting Pan

Your turkey came out fabulous. Your roasting pan, not so much. It's a bit crusty and has a few burnt-on bits. No big! Cleaning your roasting pan is more of a waiting game than having to work on your scrubbing game. For most roasting pans, you only need:

  • Dish soap (Dawn recommended)
  • Scrubber
  • Microwavable container
  • Microfiber cloth

This method can work for most roasting pans. It also works well for those light jobs with only a bit of burnt juice and turkey drippings.

  1. Microwave 3-4 cups of water for a few minutes.
  2. Pour the hot water into the pan.
  3. Add a few tablespoons of Dawn.
  4. Allow it to sit for an hour or two.
  5. Give it a good scrub.
  6. Repeat for stubborn areas.
  7. Wash and dry.

Don't forget to soak and scrub down the lid and grate if they have one.

Roasting pan

How to Clean an Enamel Roasting Pan

The dish soap and soak method can work pretty well for an enamel pan. But, if your turkey came out a bit more burnt than golden brown, you might need more than a little dish soap. Try a few more powerful home cleaning agents.

It's important to use a non-scratching scrubber. You don't want to break down and scratch your enamel.

  1. Mix dish soap and baking soda to create a paste. Use your best judgment for amounts. You want the paste to be thick but spreadable. If it appears too thick, add a bit of water.
  2. Spread the paste over the entire inside of the pan. Paying special attention to the burnt areas.
  3. Allow the mixture to sit for about an hour.
  4. Add a cup or so of white vinegar.
  5. Allow it to fizz out.
  6. Scrub, rinse, and dry.

Clean a Burnt Aluminum or Stainless Steel Roasting Pan With Ease

Are you working with an aluminum roaster? Did the dish soap method leave you with black crusties? Well, then it's time to try a different cleaning method. Black crust responds well to a bit of acid.

Stuck on grease and gravy is going to require a bit of elbow grease to get it out. So be prepared for a bit of scrubbing.

  1. Add a cup of lemon juice and enough water to fill the roaster.
  2. Put it in the oven for about 10 minutes on 350°F.
  3. Allow to cool and drain.
  4. Sprinkle the baking soda over any remaining stains.
  5. Spray it with white vinegar.
  6. Allow it to sit for a few minutes.
  7. Scrub and repeat the baking soda mixture as needed.
  8. Rinse and dry with a microfiber cloth.

How to Clean an Electric Turkey Roaster Pan

Is an electric roasting pan your go-to? Don't forget to clean them after use. Since these use electricity and have a base, the cleaning method is a bit different. You'll need to gather a few necessities.

  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Nylon scouring pad
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Lemon juice

Electricity and water don't mix. So, you want to make sure to turn off and unplug your roaster before cleaning.

  1. Pull the roasting pan out of the base.
  2. Fill the sink with hot soapy water.
  3. Allow the lid and grate to soak in the water.
  4. Add two tablespoons of dish soap, one cup of lemon juice, and enough hot water to fill the roaster pan half way.
  5. Allow it to soak for 15 minutes.
  6. Drain the water and sprinkle with baking soda.
  7. Sprinkle lemon juice over the baking soda.
  8. Scrub with the nylon scouring pad.
  9. Once the pan is clean, wash the lid and accessories.
  10. Use baking soda to remove any burnt bits on the lid.
  11. Use the microfiber cloth to wash the outside of the base with dish soap.
  12. You can use baking soda to scrub any stubborn areas.
  13. Rinse and wipe down with a dry cloth.
  14. Put everything back together.

How to Remove Old Stains From Roasting Pans

Old stains add an extra challenge when it comes to cleaning your turkey roaster. Why? Because those stains are really baked in there. So, cleaning them is going to take a lot of patience and scrubbing. To get ready, you need:

Trust the two-part process of this method. Time to get cleaning.

  1. Fill the sink with hot water, dish soap, and a cup or two of white vinegar.
  2. Allow the roaster to soak for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Scrub away as much gunk as possible.
  4. Mix ¼ cup of baking soda and one tablespoon of peroxide.
  5. Apply the mixture to the stains.
  6. Allow it to sit for 2-4 hours.
  7. Rinse away.
  8. Wash normally and dry.

Simple Tips to Keep a Turkey Roasting Pan Clean

Turkey roasting time can definitely leave a mess. But you don't have to deal with it. Make cleaning a little easier by trying a few helpful tips.

  • Cover the roaster in aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  • Use a turkey roasting bag.
  • Opt to hand wash.
  • Always dry your roasting pan before putting it away.
  • Use a non-abrasive scrubber on surfaces that can scratch.

How to Clean a Turkey Roaster and Roasting Pan

Roasting pans and turkey roasters are going to get dirty. When you are slow cooking the bird for your big dinner, those juices will crisp onto even the best pan. Now that you've successfully handled the mess, it's time to relax. And don't forget to delegate cleaning duties, especially if you did all the cooking.

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How to Clean a Turkey Roaster or Roasting Pan After Thanksgiving