It happens to the best of us. You've got that jollof cooking on the stove and turn away to make that quick phone call which turns into a looooong discussion on who's sleeping with whom on that soap opera you like so much and before you know it, this happens. 

Although by the looks of this pot, you walked away for over an hour  

That's your expensive enamelled pan, or maybe you use Teflon (I'll tell you on another day, why you shouldn't use Teflon) but you know you have to get that pan clean without nicks to the fine surface.  

So you've scooped up what you can of the burnt food….dog's gonna have a full belly tonight! However you have a huge problem on your hands. How on earth are you going to scrape out that gunk at the bottom of the pot? 

Any smart cook knows that you do NOT under any circumstances reach for the silver sponge.

No! bad cook! Put that away… 

You know you're only supposed to use wooden and plastic utensils in enamelled pots, so why would you risk the silver sponge? You're going to scrape away that smooth enamel and destroy it. 

And those enamel pots do not come cheap!

These go for hundreds of cedis a pop. I should know. I ordered the entire set because I saw a celebrity chef using them.

Don't reach for the scour pads either. That rough edge will still leave scratches on the enamel.

Save me for scrubbing your cheap pots and your sinks.

Sure, you may not see them immediately but the scratches will mess up your pot or pan just as the silver sponge will. Keep these for your glaze-free aluminium pans, please. 

Instead, head into your pantry and grab that baking soda. 

Yes, you read right. Grab your baking soda and place it on your counter or shelf…whichever is closest to the stove. 

Baking soda to the rescue! 

Now grab that pot and head on over to your sink and chug some water into it. Rinse out the pan and then fill it with enough to cover the burn marks and any remaining food that's stuck in there. 

Now bring the pot or pan on over to your stove and bring the water to a boil. This is where you add the baking soda. I tend to dunk in a handful but then I'm heavy handed. 

Let this simmer for a bit and then stir it all up with a wooden spoon. 

Remember not to use anything metallic, or you'll ruin it but basically, stir it up and use the spoon to nudge off any difficult bits. 

Now you can wipe the pan out with your soft sponge.

Easy peasy, no elbow grease necessary, and voila, you have a spanking new pan again!  

So go and sin no more (until the next episode of Game of Thrones comes on).

Baking soda is a miracle food, really. I use it for cleaning virtually everything, including my skin. I'll share more on its uses in another article but do feel free to tell me how YOU use baking soda in the comments below. 

Happy cooking!