You’ve done the hard part—somehow, someway you came into possession of Le Creuset cookware. Now for the easier, albeit more annoying part: taking care of it.
Since Le Creuset cookware can be an investment, it’s important to know how to get the most out of it. Like anything else, this comes down to doing proper, routine (and often boring) maintenance. Here’s everything you need to know in order to keep your enameled cast-iron cookware shining.
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What NOT to do
According to the Le Creuset website, you should never expose your hot pan to significantly colder water because the thermal shock may cause the enamel to crack. If you’re cleaning your pan in the sink, let it cool before running it under cold water. Also, do not pour chilled water into a hot pan.
Le Creuset states that you should never use metal sponges, abrasive cleaners, or metal utensils when washing as they may scratch the cookware’s enamel surface. Instead, the brand recommends using soft natural or nylon sponges when cleaning the interior or exterior of your pan.
How to Remove Stuck-On Food
Picture this: You use your brand new Le Creuset Dutch oven to make beef brisket or scalloped potatoes. Everyone loves it and tells you how great of a cook you are. You feel so great you start thinking about how it wouldn’t be that wild if you did open that restaurant you’ve always dreamed of. And then, while you’re contemplating what color tablecloths you’d want at your fictional restaurant, you look down and notice that crisped chunks of whatever-you-just-made are seemingly glued to the interior of your shiny new Dutch oven. What do you do?
Well, to reiterate, you definitely should not use steel wool or abrasive cleaners. Instead, take Le Creuset’s advice and do the following.
- Option 1: Fill the pot with warm, soapy water, let it soak for at least 15 minutes, then scrub with a soft brush or sponge.
- Option 2: Fill the pot with water, then add a tablespoon or two of baking soda. Bring the water to a simmer for roughly 10 minutes. Drain the water, then clean with dish soap and a soft sponge or brush.
How to Deep-Clean Your Cookware
If you want to keep your cookware forever young, you’ll occasionally need to give it a thorough deep clean. Using a soft sponge paired with either Bar Keepers Friend or a paste made of baking soda water, scrub away the long-lasting stains and oil residue found on your pot.
Keep Your Cookware Dry
To improve cookware longevity, always remember that moisture is the enemy. After cleaning your cookware, it’s important to completely dry your cookware because residual moisture could damage the enamel finish. Similarly, if possible, never store your Le Creuset in an area with direct steam exposure.
How to Store Your Cookware
To protect the cookware’s enameled finish, it’s best to avoid stacking multiple pans when storing them. If this is unavoidable, Le Creuset recommends purchasing their cookware protectors for improved storage safety. Of course, you could likely recreate this using kitchen towels or any sort of padding that fits between your stored equipment.