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#1
Old 02-23-2012, 01:00 AM
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How to clean Le Creuset Cast Iron?

Two questions actually and need answer pretty fast as my wife blames me for the lack luster quality of our first and only Le Creuset square grill pan.

First things first, the grilling part is not spotless. Soak over night in soapy water and scrub with a nylon brush the way to go? Is there a better way?

There are some baked on grease stains on the shiny enamel. How to get this stuff off? Doesn't matter how well this sucker cooks, it needs to be bright and shiny like new.

thanks in advance.
#2
Old 02-23-2012, 01:20 AM
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NO SOAP! This is the big one. I use a scouring pad (like a Dobie), NOT STEEL WOOL, and warm/hot water. If it maintains a slight sheen of grease, no big deal.
#3
Old 02-23-2012, 07:28 AM
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NO SOAP (again).
I just found these in WalMart, and absolutely LOVE them for scrubbing pots. I went back and got a couple extras even for the kitchen and other places around the house. The ones I found are a different brand, but appears to be the same item.

After scrubbing the pot with just water, dry it, and I generally apply a light coat of oil and wipe it off again. I always put a coat of oil on my carbon steel cookware, or it rusts.

Oh, about the NO SOAP thing... NEVER use soap on any cookware that must be seasoned, oh, for example, cast iron, or you will strip it of the oils it really needs, and reseasoning one can be a pain.

Last edited by Khendrask; 02-23-2012 at 07:30 AM.
#4
Old 02-23-2012, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdash View Post
NO SOAP! This is the big one. I use a scouring pad (like a Dobie), NOT STEEL WOOL, and warm/hot water. If it maintains a slight sheen of grease, no big deal.
I think the big question is whether it's bare cast iron, or enameled; checking the website, it appears it's the former.

If this is the case - no prolonged soaking! This contributes to rust, not cleanliness. Follow their care and use guidelines off their website.
#5
Old 02-23-2012, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by China Guy View Post
There are some baked on grease stains on the shiny enamel. How to get this stuff off? Doesn't matter how well this sucker cooks, it needs to be bright and shiny like new.
.
Give it away. It's not a good match for your needs.

There is no way to keep a cast-iron pan both in use and shiny-new-looking. Accumulation of grease and organic matter is part of how it works.
#6
Old 02-23-2012, 10:14 AM
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Yeah, good cast iron pan is going to look like it has seen a lot of use over the years. That's part of its charm.
#7
Old 02-23-2012, 10:17 AM
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OK, I'll go to the La Crueset website. Probably should have tried that first.
#8
Old 02-23-2012, 10:45 AM
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Per the company website, the cooking surface in a Le Creuset grill pan has a black enamel finish that doesn't require seasoning and will not be ruined if you sparingly use a mild detergent. However, here's what Le Creuset has to say about the patina:
Quote:
Satin Black enamel will keep its good looks and allow a patina to build on its surface with continued use. A patina is the result of the natural oils and fats from foods baking on to the hot surface. The patina should not be cleaned off, as it enhances the cooking performance and the release of foods. It also reduces the need for surface oiling.

For removing stains from the exterior enamel you should also avoid scouring with any abrasive surface or compound. They sell a cleaning compound on the website, but I can't find a listing for the active ingredients. I would try warm water & vinegar (again, just on the outside) and a soft brush, pad or dishcloth. It'll take a whole lot of brushing and wiping to remove heat marks, assuming the enamel is still OK, but you should be able to do it if you're patient.

Personally, once I've got all organic crud off of the pan, I'm not concerned about removing any remaining evidence that I've actually used the pan over a flame, but if that's your thing, it'd probably be best to purchase the cleaner offered by the manufacturer.




ETA: China Guy reposted while I was looking at the website and composing. Oh well. Hope this info isn't redundant.

Last edited by xenophon41; 02-23-2012 at 10:47 AM.
#9
Old 02-23-2012, 10:48 AM
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Interesting; thanks for the clarification. I'm only familiar with their all-enameled ware and from the shots on the site it looked like pre-seasoned cast iron.
#10
Old 04-21-2014, 08:06 PM
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Baking soda is a miracle on Le Creuset cookware!

I had the same problem on my grill 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!
#11
Old 04-21-2014, 08:43 PM
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I always and only clean my cast iron with kosher salt and a paper towel.
#12
Old 04-21-2014, 08:50 PM
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My Creuset pan is white enameled cast iron, so I don't think twice about using soap, or putting it in the dishwasher.
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