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Thread: Best way to clean enamel coated cast iron dutch oven?

  1. #1

    Best way to clean enamel coated cast iron dutch oven?

    I just purchased a beautiful red enameled dutch oven at Costco (Le Creuset knockoff) and am scared to death of damaging the finish. I have used it several times already and it seems that the bottom gets black gunk inside more than I would like that doesn't seem to loosen up with soaking. Any ideas greatly appreciated.
    "When you are in love with someone you want to be near him all the time, except when you are out buying things and charging them to him." Miss Piggy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
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    693
    I have a Lodge enamel Dutch oven (mine's red too and I love it!). Most of the time it's fairly easy to clean with just soap and water and a nylon scrubber. But on the few occasions when it's needed a little more scrub power, I've used Bon Ami or another gentle cleaner. Worked great and no damage.
    "Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that's bad for you."
    ~Tommy Smothers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    North Carolina
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    I have a Lodge Dutch Oven in Carribean Blue, which I absolutely love. I'll let it soak in a mixture of white vinegar, dawn and hot water for a little while and then gently rub the surface with a wash rag. Mine tends to get a brown discoloration on it but that mixture will get it off.

    Also, I think the booklet said don't heat higher than medium or medium high? If yours is getting black gunk you may be getting it too hot.

  4. #4
    I have your same pot! I love it. I almost destroyed it already. A few things that have worked on this one and on my le creuset pots:

    1) Bar keepers friend. Man, this stuff rocks.
    2) Magic erasers
    3) Denture tablets and vinegar.
    4) putting a dishwasher tablet in the pot and simmering at a very low temperature for a long time. Use this if you are desperate. This got rid of my near disaster but it caused me anxiety.
    5) I've heard of people putting a bit of Clorox in with water in their pots and soaking. I'm scared to do this, but I've heard of it being done.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
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    Ozone Park, NY
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    I have had my Le Creuset for 20 years now (gulp! ) and I use Bon Ami and the scrubby side of the sponge, and scrub them gently. They are still shining and spotless on the inside. And the outside.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Southeast, MA
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    When I get a little too much build-up/discoloration on my LC I put a tiny bit of hot water in it and then a generous pour of sea salt and scrub before the salt melts. I've also learned as someone else posted that you don't want to heat this type of pot on too high of a setting; I generally between 6 & 7 on my electric stove, it takes a while to get hot but does so nice & evenly and retains the heat well.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Kenmore NY, near Buffalo
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    My grandmother would tell you to cook it off-- put a little water and dish soap in the pot, and let it simmer on the stove for a while-- half an hour minimum. Then let cool a bit and use your scrubber. If that doesn't remove all the black stuff, frankly I patiently scratch it off with my nails, ruining my mani, but cleaning the pan!

    And if you go the vinegar route, sprinkle some baking soda on it first-- the reaction from the vinegar helps lift the gunk a bit.

    For the record, an enamelled cast iron pan is not ruined until there are significant and numerous chunks of the enamel missing, and even then, it can actually be re-coated and saved for posterity! These pans are not precious and delicate, quite the opposite-- that's why they cost so much. i always have a WTF reaction when people talk about klilling them-- they are so close to indestructible, and if you had to replace one in less than 40 years, I think you'd be mad for doing so. a little burned stuff on the bottom will eventually come off. you can use these le Creuset pans on a campfire or in a fireplace, you can leave it filthy for a month and then wash it, you can do almost anything to it but use hard metal utensils in it, and that's just to preserve the coating.

    Love my little pot: http://www.amazon.com/Le-Creuset-Sig...tch+oven+flame

  8. #8
    Rinse the Dutch Oven, actually any burned-on pan, with water but don't dry. Sprinkle the bottom surface with scouring powder, or Bar Keeper's Friend. Let stand overnight then wash. No scraping, or broken nails required. I like HH Grandmother's method as well.
    Pinterest recipe instruction: "2 Pita Pockets cut in half length-wise". Actually, I cut mine crosswise - I'm such a rebel.

  9. #9
    What a wonderful bunch of replies.....exactly what I was hoping for. Thanks everybody for taking the time!
    "When you are in love with someone you want to be near him all the time, except when you are out buying things and charging them to him." Miss Piggy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    Renton, WA
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    So far the best thing I've found for taking care of discoloration is about a half cup of baking soda in simmering water for about 15-20 minutes!
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

  11. #11
    I've got a big box of Arm & Hammer baking soda under my sink for cleaning my le Creuset...just dump some in, add water to make a paste, and rub it around. It has worked every time, no matter what.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    San Francisco
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    I've used pretty much all of the above methods, except for denture tablets and simmering with baking soda. Usually I use Bar Keeper's Friend and a sponge but I've also used a bleach soak with no problem, but no great result either. Just thought I'd mention that you can get a good sized box of house brand baking soda at WF for a fraction of the cost of Arm and Hammer. I also buy house brand white vinegar at the grocery store for cleaning sinks and such.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Houston, TX
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    I'll tell you one thing NOT to do...rather than simmering it with baking soda, I did it with OxyClean powder. It totally got all the stain out, but the bottom of the pan is no longer smooth.

    Anyone know where to get that recoated?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Kenmore NY, near Buffalo
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    Quote Originally Posted by doggerham View Post
    I'll tell you one thing NOT to do...rather than simmering it with baking soda, I did it with OxyClean powder. It totally got all the stain out, but the bottom of the pan is no longer smooth.

    Anyone know where to get that recoated?
    http://www.ehow.com/how_5978646_repa...-cookware.html

  15. #15

    dull finish

    I have a red food network dutch oven that was left overnight in a sink of water and now the finish is dull and not shiny. I don't know how (or if) I can get that shine back that I love. Any ideas?

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