Help! Did I wreck my baking sheet?

I did a big dumb. Big. I was cooking those frozen trader joe croissants, and people kept eating more than I anticipated. I initially sprayed the metal sheet pan with Pam. Baked a bunch of croissants. They all disappeared. I baked some more. They all disappeared. I baked a third round. I did not wash the cookie sheet in between and lo and behold, after three bakes of 20-25 min at 375 or 400, the Pam was both shiny brown and well adhered to the pan.

We tried barkeeper’s friend on it, and what resulted was a gummy black mess, that refuses to be washed off or scraped off. It just stubbornly adheres to the sheet and allows itself to be pushed around by our various scraping devices. Did I ruin this cookie sheet or is there something else I might try?

Google “cleaning baked on crud from baking sheet” and you’ll find a number of methods (most dealing with baking soda and vinegar/HP).

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Doing this now - fingers crossed. Cooking spray propellant is apparently not the greatest thing to bake multiple times with no food sitting on it. I was surprised though at how little effect Barkeeper’s had.

PAM and other aerosol “oil sprays” contain lecithins as ‘homogenizer / emulsifier’
which . . . stick/bake on to anything - including Teflon/PTFE.

I highly recommend not using canned ala PAM sprays - they have lots of issues.
there are mechanical “pump” sprays for oils, which in theory do ‘the same thing’ - however rather a lot of "most of them’ get trashed for repeated “blocked/cruded up” spray holes.

so l, , , it’s a toss up. a proven
'We can de-stick anything!" product to a
“works well only when maintained”

I have oil oil and also safflower oil pour bottles.
sometimes I have to to hot-water flush / clean the tilt nozzle mechanisms.
but if the oil goes out and onto it’s intended target, there are no additives to make its use “harmful”

bottom line:
mechanical sprayers do not ‘without consent’ impart ‘harmful’ stuff.
but, mechanical sprayer may require routine maintenance exceeding the convenience of 'commercial ‘push to spray’ type products.


I can appreciate that as a future action, but it doesn’t answer my current question.

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Depending how far you want to “retore” it. It can take a long time to bring it back to all sliver and shiny.
Usually speaking, it comes down to either acidic or basic cleaning with some mechanical removal. You may need to rotate each a little, but in my experience, basic solution is more effective in removing oily, grease, and the burned on you spoke about.

Bar Keeper’s Friend is more about acidic solution for cleaning. Have you tried Easy-off or some other oven cleaners, or ammonia-based cleaning solution?


I don’t need for it to be silver and shiny. I just want to remove the very sticky gummy stuff. Besides bar keepers, I just put a soda/vinegar solution on it. I have not tried an oven cleaner. I can give that a go next, if the residue remains. Is that a basic vs acidic cleaner?

Have you tried alcohol (ethanol) ?

Plus, your baking sheet looks to be aluminum and if I remember correctly, Barkeeper’s is not to be used on Al.

Not yet. And too late I guess on the barkeeper’s - already done. Didn’t seem to damage it though.

I think lecithin is, at least partially, soluble in ethanol. So it might be worth to have a try. But no first hand experience there so a suggestion and not a firm recommendation.

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Bar Keeper’s Friend is great, but it is based on acidic interaction. It is not as effective as bases.

Oven cleaners like Easy-off can help. You still need to scrub a bit, but oven cleaner will greatly soften the burned on reside. I mean… it is designed to remove these burned on grease inside an oven afterall.

Here are two photos from someone using Easy-off from her oven.

Louis brings up a good point. Your pan is aluminum, so either acid or base will dull its color. I don’t think there is a way around that. You just have to use some chemical to remove the burned-on grease first. Afterward, if you feel like it, then you can polish the hell out of the dull color. My bet is that most people do not have that kind of energy…


Oh, I am confused. You want to remove the soft thing that you can pushed around. I thought you want to remove the black color burned on residue. I see. If it is just the gummy soft thing you want to remove, yeah, use ethanol or methanol to loosen it. Baking soda solution may be good enough too.

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Yeah… PAM sucks (and tastes foul). In the future just wipe it down with the cooking oil of your choice or butter.

Yes, not the black stuff that goes up the sides, which honestly I don’t care about. It doesn’t have a texture, it doesn’t seem to affect the food. But the gummy stuff - I will give the alcohols a go next.

Yeah. Try a much softer base like baking soda with small amount of water… that may be enough to cut the grease to. Or ethanol/isopropanol alcohol…

I have found aluminized pans can withstand one or two scourings with fine steel wool. Then I got a Silpat.

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I haven’t sprung for a silpat yet. Do you grease those at all, or do they just release? Do they have top temps? Like don’t go beyond 400… And how do you clean them? Thank you.

get the product:
Carbon Off

basically an “oven cleaner” on steroids.

you can achieve similar by the age old “spray with oven cleaner and seal in a plastic bag overnight”


You use them as is, as you would parchment. You wash them by hand in soap and water. They can take up to 480 degrees F. They tend to feel greasy once used. Nothing will change that, but knowing you washed it, it is easy enough to tolerate. When I am doing multiple batches, I just use parchment off a roll.

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Good to know. I have had good luck on heavy caked on carbon but not so much on oil stains.