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Thread: Need help cleaning my Le Creuset grill pan!

  1. #1
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    Need help cleaning my Le Creuset grill pan!

    Help! I have a square skillet grill. Last night, I used to grill the chicken for this recipe:

    Asian Chicken & Cabbage

    2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
    1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
    1 teaspoon bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
    4 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    Cooking spray
    1 teaspoon vegetable oil
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    4 cups packaged coleslaw
    1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper

    While chicken cooks, heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute 2 minutes. Add coleslaw; saute 1 minute or until coleslaw begins to wilt.
    Place coleslaw mixture in a medium bowl. Add sesame oil, salt, and pepper, tossing to coat. Serve coleslaw mixture with chicken.

    I used the pan on medium heat. The chicken was great but I cannot get my pan clean . The hoisin sauce looks like it just carbonized to the pan. I soaked it over night but it still looks awful and is not coming off. Itís not just a little Ė itís over the majority of the pan. This isnít the first time Iíve had this issue but itís by far the worst.

    How can I get my pan clean? What do I need to do differently?

    Thanks for any suggestions!
    Stacy

  2. #2
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    Do you have any Mr. Clean Magic Erasers you could use? It worked for me.

    [IMG][/IMG]

  3. #3
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    Try adding some water to the pan and bring it to a boil. I usually do this to pans while they are still hot, that way anyhting crusted on them will not stick and they clean up easily.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the suggestions - I'll give them both a try! I've also emailed Le Creuset to see what advice they can offer. I'm not sure that using the pan is worth all this....
    Stacy

  5. #5
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    I have the exact same problem and was going to post this question today too! I tried to use my round Le Creuset grill pan last night to make Cubano sandwiches and when I heated it up, I could smell the salmon I had made on it last time. Yuck!

    I don't know if this is the "correct" way of cleaning it, but I just kept letting it heat up until whatever was still on it burned off. I still had to scrap (with a plastic utensil) some black bits off, but it seemed to get it pretty clean and the grill was nicely heated for the sandwiches.

    I don't think the nonstick surface on this pan is very effective. I seem to have most problems after cooking foods that have been marinated, especially the maple soy salmon!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rae
    I have the exact same problem and was going to post this question today too! I tried to use my round Le Creuset grill pan last night to make Cubano sandwiches and when I heated it up, I could smell the salmon I had made on it last time. Yuck!

    I don't know if this is the "correct" way of cleaning it, but I just kept letting it heat up until whatever was still on it burned off. I still had to scrap (with a plastic utensil) some black bits off, but it seemed to get it pretty clean and the grill was nicely heated for the sandwiches.

    I don't think the nonstick surface on this pan is very effective. I seem to have most problems after cooking foods that have been marinated, especially the maple soy salmon!
    I'm so glad that I'm not the only one! I really haven't used cast iron much but I've always heard such wonderful things about it. I do like the pan - and would like to use it more - but this is a little ridiculous. I'm ashamed to say that I scraped it with a table knife. And it barely put a dent in what's there. I'll let you know what I hear from Le Creuset.
    Stacy

  7. #7
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    Same problem with me and my LeC grill pan!

    I haven't tried it yet, but Alton Brown mentioned on one of his shows that if you sprinkle salt on a cast iron grill pan prior to cooking, it will help with cleanup. The salt stays in the groves so it doesn't affect the food, but apparently it works wonders with preventing food from caking on.

    I think I'm going to try it since that pan has been sitting in my drawer for the longest time since my last incident of using it! Now I just need to get the old caked on stuff off before I use it!

  8. #8
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    I tried the Magic Eraser and it didn't help. Then I filled the pan with some water and put it on the stove. After the water heated up, I scraped what I could with one of those plastic Pampered Chef scrapers. Some of the burned on stuff started to come off. I finally ran out of time and took the pan off the stove. About five minutes after dumping the water and drying the pan, most of the remaining stuff just flaked off. I didn't really expect that but I'm not complaining! I think one more hot water bath should do the trick.

    Here's the response I got from Le Creuset:
    For cleaning we would recommend using a laundry detergent such as tide or one that has an enzyme in it. Take one part detergent and three parts water to fill the interior of the vessel. Allow this to boil for about 5-7 minutes. Afterwards allow to the vessel to cool and proceed with cleaning with your dish detergent. If needed, you may use a nylon or plastic type of scrubby to assist. Once your item has been cleaned, take some white vinegar using a soft cloth or papertowel. Rub the vinegar on the enamel, this is used to return some of the sheen back to the glaze. The longer you allow the vinegar to remain on the enamel the more of the sheen it will bring. Your item can be stored away with the vinegar on it until next use. When ready to use, wash and dry.

    Hopefully, this will help some of you with similar issues! Thanks, everyone.
    Last edited by srahndennis; 02-23-2006 at 08:49 AM.
    Stacy

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the update.

  10. #10
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    The instructions from Le Creuset sound more like they are for cleaning the big pots with the enamal on the inside too. I thought the grill pans were the cast iron on the inside of them, no enamal finish....

    I've used a plastic scrubber and hot water to clean mine because I didn't think you should use soap otherwise you lose the seasoning of the pan to make it non-stick. It took some effort but I was able to get most of the black icky things off.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JinksE
    The instructions from Le Creuset sound more like they are for cleaning the big pots with the enamal on the inside too. I thought the grill pans were the cast iron on the inside of them, no enamal finish....
    All Le Creuset cast iron products are enamel coated on all sides. Only the top part of the rim on the pot and a small area on the lid isn't.

    You may be confused because the color of the enamel that is inside the grill pan and some other products looks like uncoated cast iron.
    Last edited by Gumbeaux; 02-23-2006 at 02:17 PM.

  12. #12
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    I clean baked on food by putting a little dish detergent and water in the pan and heating it to boiling. After a few minutes, the stuff comes off. I got rid of my Calphalon grill pan because it was so hard to clean but was thinking about getting the Le Creuset one.

    The above method works with my regular Le Creuset pots.

    Sami
    Don't give up, Moses was once a basket case.

  13. #13
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    I don't think the grill pan is enameled but I can't find a specific reference to it. It looks like my other cast iron skillet which I know is not. While I was looking at their website, though, I found this:

    Using Your Le Creuset Grillpan

    After a light greasing with oil, no further fat or oil is added, so one can also enjoy the benefits of low-fat cooking. Any fat which escapes from the food is held between the ribs of the base.

    The deep-sided design prevents splattering onto the stovetop and the handy pouring lip directs cooking juices and excess fat away, if necessary. The pan can be "deglazed" after cooking with water, stock or wine so the flavors and juices of cooking can be served "au jus" with the dish.

    To check that the grill is hot, scatter a few drops of cold water over the surface. If they gently 'hiss', the surface is not hot enough. If they 'spit' and evaporate almost immediately, the surface is hot enough.
    The surface is hot enough when it produces the distinctive 'char' lines which add to the flavor and character of the food. DO NOT PREHEAT ON HIGH then lower the heat. Cast Iron is a very efficient material and retains heat well.
    Brush the ribs lightly with oil. The surface SHOULD NOT be smoking before the food is added. If it is, remove the pan from the heat and cool slightly before proceeding.
    All meats, poultry, fish and vegetables should be 'dry' before cooking begins, otherwise they may stick to the ribs. Pat dry on kitchen towels. Marinated foods should also have the excess moisture patted dry.
    Once placed on the ribbed surface, foods should NOT be moved immediately, otherwise the distinctive 'char' lines will not be produced. Leave for 1 - 2 minutes to seal and sear the outside before turning over.
    Metal handles on grills will get hot. Use a hot pad for lifting.

    Cookware Usage

    Q: How do you season the grills?

    A: Coat the new grill lightly with vegetable or olive oil using a pastry brush or paper towel. Don't use butter. Place the grill in the oven for 20 minutes at 225įF. Let the grill cool and store it. Repeat this procedure for the first 10-12 uses to build up a more "Nonstick" finish.

    Q: What temperature should you cook on?

    A: Start on medium, which is the halfway point on the dial (5 out of 10) and decrease. Never cook above medium heat.

    To clean:

    Cool all pans or grills for a few minutes before washing.
    Then pour HOT tap water on the grill and let it boil out the residue of the prepared food. A wash brush is particularly good for cleaning between ribs on grills. Rinse and dry the pan thoroughly.

    Not sure how I overlooked it yesterday. I'm also not sure why the email from Le Creuset is different -- I was specific in my email that it was a grill pan. Since I pretty much ended up doing what these cleaning instructions indicate, that's what I do from now on. I'm also going to re-season a few times to see if that will help.

    Sami - I'm not sure that this grill pan would be any easier to clean up than the Calphalon one!
    Stacy

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by srahndennis
    I don't think the grill pan is enameled but I can't find a specific reference to it.

  15. #15
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    Well, I guess it is! Thanks. It's definately not non-stick, though.
    Stacy

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by srahndennis
    It's definately not non-stick, though.
    That's prolly why the color of the enamel inside of the pan is charcoal color; so it won't show all the crud that won't wash off easily.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gumbeaux
    That's prolly why the color of the enamel inside of the pan is charcoal color; so it won't show all the crud that won't wash off easily.
    So true. And very clever of them, I might add!
    Stacy

  18. #18
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    I shy away from using my Le creuset grill pan for this very reason...I have this nylon bristle dish brush thingy from WS that my husband uses to clean it with...but if it were up to me, I'd just look at it sitting on my stove, and use my calphalon one instead

    ~Gail
    "I expect to pass through life but once.
    If, therefore, there be any kindness I can show or any good thing I can do any fellow being, let me do it now and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again."
    -William Penn (1644-1718)

    ~~www.Nurse-Gail.com~~

  19. #19
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    The next time I try to clean the crud off my Le Creuset that won't easily wash off I am going to use Easy Off oven cleaner. It cleans stuff off the porcelain coated metal ovens so I want to see if it will work on Le Crueset products.

  20. #20
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    I have a lodge logic (preseasoned) that I use for meats and have the same cleqning problem. The directions say not to use detergent, just hot water & a scrubby, but it just doesn't come clean that way and odors linger. I have the Pampered Chef (1/2 price for hosting a party) non stick grill pan that I use for fish & veggies and love it. Cleans beautifully, no smelly fish left on odors. I prefer the cast for meat because it "sears" more effectively. I have often considered the LeC one, thinking it might clean more easily, but after the comments, for the $20 Lodge, I'll stick with that one. The boiling water option sounds like a good idea, I am going to try that next time for the Lodge. NOTHING sticks to the PC one.

  21. #21
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    BTW, Lodge also makes enamel cast iron in case anyone didn't know.


  22. #22
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    I've owned my Le Creuset grill pan (round) for over a year and have had good success with pouring hot water into the pan immediately after removing the food. Warning - stand back and be careful not to burn your hand in the rising steam. I let this bubble for a minute, turn off the burner and let sit during dinner.

    Good luck!

  23. #23

    Baking soda miracle on Le Creuset cookware!

    I had the same problem on my grill pan so today I tried baking soda which is what I use on the bottom of my LC pans. That works fantastically to get off the black carbon stain marks. So I used the baking soda sprinkled into the bottom of the grill pan and used a wide screwdriver with a washcloth double wrapped to protect the metal from scratching the pan. And, then I cleaned away! It turned out perfectly clean. Baking soda is really amazing stuff. I use the baking soda on my ceramic smoothtop stove also and it comes out shiny clean!

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