I sometimes have issues with burnt stainless steal pans, and they can certainly be a pain to clean. I am always open to good tips for dealing with such things. Some time ago, I read a tip in First magazine about cleaning a grill. The tip was to put a wet paper towel on the grill while it was still hot. This made it easier to clean. I tried it with my George Foreman Grill, and it worked! I often find handy little tips in First magazine.
I thought about the paper towel tip and wondered how it might work for cleaning burnt pans. I decided it was definitely worth a try. As soon as I removed the food and turned off the burner — while the pan would still be hot — I placed a wet paper towel into my burnt pan. Of course, it is necessary to make sure the burner is turned off. (With brain fog these days, I definitely need to make sure I complete that step!) You could also move it to another burner that is not on, but it seems better to keep things hot for as long as possible. I found that the paper towel tip did work pretty well for cleaning my burnt pans.
I like to pan-sear steak, and find that I often have a problem with pans ending up burnt, but now I find the paper towel trick makes cleaning easier. It usually does work pretty well, but on those occasions that I need something more, I soak the pan with baking soda and a little water. This is another good tip, but usually with the paper towel, it is unnecessary. I hope this is a new and useful tip for others dealing with the issue of burnt pans!