Our apple tree has given us many apples this year, and a few weeks ago, I decided to make apple butter with our apples. I pulled out my easy and trusted recipe I got from a friend a few years ago and mixed all the ingredients in my new crock pot. The recipe called for cooking the apple butter overnight on the low setting, and I had done this multiple times with great success. Our old crock pot had been 23 years old and one of those round shaped, upright kind. Its glass lid broke, and we finally threw it away. To replace it, we purchased a much larger sized, oval one.
I set the apple butter to cook on low in our new crock pot and left it to do its thing overnight. I was a little concerned when I went to bed because the butter looked almost done to me. However, I didn’t want to turn if off too early, so I left it on. We woke up in the morning to a horrible, totally blackened mess in the crock pot. The apple butter was burned to a crisp—a rock-hardened crisp. The new crockpot had been too large for the amount of apple butter I had put in there to cook. Very disappointing, to say the least, that I had wasted so many delicious apples from our tree.
We set the stoneware of the pot to soak with lots of hot water and left it for a few hours. As we attempted to clean it, we realized the blackened burned stuff wasn’t going anywhere. It was cooked on to the stoneware. My husband did a lot of hard scraping with knives and spoons that we probably shouldn’t have done on that stoneware, but we were getting desperate, and I needed my crockpot in a few days for a planned dinner meal. I soaked it longer, searched the internet for ideas, and also emailed the manufacturer for assistance on what to do.
On the internet I found some ideas for using vinegar, salt, or baking soda. The manufacturer emailed me back and said vinegar was their only solution. We let that pot soak overnight for many nights taking turns with water, soapy water, vinegar, salt, and baking soda. But we couldn’t make any progress in removing the remaining stuck on blackened apple butter from it. I was beginning to lose hope and think that I would have to throw away my new pot. One day, I even tried scrubbing it with Goof Off and some super orange cleaner. Nothing.
Finally, an idea came to my mind. It was my last resort. I wet the stoneware with vinegar and applied a thick layer of baking soda on top of it. After letting it sit for a few hours, I poured vinegar on the paste, let it foam up for a few seconds, and rinsed with water. YEAH! It was beginning to loosen the blackened gunk! As I rinsed with water, I could see little chunks of black floating away. I remoistened the pot with vinegar and reapplied another thick layer of baking soda and left it overnight. The next morning, I poured fresh vinegar to create the foaming reaction and rinsed again; most of the burned stuff came off this time. I was so excited about the progress!! I repeated the process once again overnight; and after that time, the stoneware came completely clean.
So there you go. No need to throw that pot away. There is a way to get that blackened, burned food off. It’s simple, it’s cheap, and it’s not hazardous to the environment!