I don't know how many of you use stainless steel cookware, but I do. You just can't get the same crisp finish on various things in nonstick cookware. And steel doesn't offgas. ;o)
So, when I'm done warming tortillas, or frying the occasional batch of turkey sausages, sometimes the pan cools before I can get to it. The best way to clean a steel pan is when it's still hot--the food comes straight off with a light scrubbing if you get it soapy when it's still nearly too hot to touch. (Be sure you only use a nylon or steel scrubber with a little Bon Ami, as plastic brushes or scrubbies will melt!)
So, take your skillet, complete with burned or crusty remnants. Fill about 1/3 to 1/2 with clean water, and put it back on the stove. Turn it on to a decent medium-high heat, cover, and set a timer for about 10 minutes. (Don't do like I have, and forget the timer. Bad news.) The goal is to simmer the water for about ten minutes. It softens the rock-hard food, easing the bond between food and metal. For especially grouchy grime, add a little baking soda to the water. Plain water has always worked fine for me, though.
When your timer goes off, and you believe the water has done it's magic, scrape with a metal spatula and then scour as usual.
Voila!* You have a shiny, clean pan, with very little elbow grease. :o)