At Le Creuset as much as we love the cooking and of course the eating, we also know how important the cleaning can be. We have put together some of our top tips for cleaning and caring for your Le Creuset cast iron pieces to ensure that they keep on providing all those memorable meals.
Each piece of Le Creuset enamelled cast iron cookware is of premium quality, individually designed for ease and versatility of use. The range is suited to all styles of cooking, and fits in any style of kitchen or dining decor. With proper care and use, your Le Creuset cast iron will go on producing delicious meals for a lifetime.
BEFORE FIRST USE
Remove all labels. Wash the pan in hot soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly. Pans with enamelled cooking surfaces are now ready for use and require no further preparation.
Medium and low heats will provide the best results for the majority of cooking, including frying and searing. Allow the pan to heat gradually and thoroughly, as this will give the most even and efficient cooking results. Once the pan is hot almost all cooking can be continued on lower settings.
High heats should only be used for boiling water for vegetables or pasta, or for reducing the consistency of stocks and sauces. High heats should never be used to pre-heat a pan before lowering the heat for cooking. Cast iron retains heat so well that if a pan is overheated in this way it will contribute to poor cooking results, sticking and discolouration of cooking surfaces.
Always cool a pan for a few minutes before washing in hot soapy water. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
Do not fill a hot pan with cold water or plunge into cold water as thermal shock damage to the enamel may occur.
If there are food residues fill the pan with warm water and leave to soak for 15 – 20 minutes, then wash in the usual way. Nylon or soft abrasive pads or brushes can be used to remove stubborn residues. Do not use metallic pads, or harsh abrasive cleaning agents that contain bleach or ammonia as these will damage the enamel and polished trims.
Although interior discolouration is very normal over the course of a casseroles lifespan and will not affect the cooking performance, to lighten these stains, boil up vinegar or lemon juice in your Le Creuset casserole or soak overnight with a dishwashing tablet dissolved in water.
Light stains or metal trail marks (caused by metal tools) can also be removed with Le Creuset Cookware cleaner known as Pots and Pans Cleaner. An occasional conditioning clean with this product will also retain the new appearance and polish of your pans.
LE CREUSET SATIN ENAMEL
Black enamel cooking surfaces will, over time, produce a patina (a brownish film). Do not attempt to clean this off as it actually enhances the cooking performance and food release from this surface. The pan can still be given a hot soapy wash, but it should not be scoured.
Satin Black enamel has a smooth satiny feel to it, but it is not as glossy or smooth as other lighter enamel finishes. It has been especially designed for high “surface” temperature cooking – which is not the same as simply using a piece on a high heat, which can be very detrimental. With cast iron, high surface temperatures can be achieved by allowing any piece to heat through evenly on a medium setting on any stove top.
After cooking allow the pan or grill to cool down. When possible rinse the pan in hot water and wipe over the surface with a damp cloth. This may be possible if the pan is used for regular cooking of foods where the food residues are minimal. For more thorough washing use hot soapy water, then rinse and dry thoroughly.
To remove stubborn or sticky residues fill the pan with warm soapy water and leave to soak for 10-15 minutes. Wash rinse and dry in the usual way. Do not use any scourers or abrasive cleaners on the cooking surface. Exterior marks, such as burnt on fat deposits, can be lightly scoured using a nylon pad, or can be cleaned off with a soft nylon brush and regular use of the Le Creuset Pots and Pans cleaner.
To encourage the build-up of the patina, after washing, a small amount of canola or vegetable oil can be used to season the pan with paper towel.
To view the complete Le Creuset range, visit any Le Creuset Boutique Store or shop online at www.lecreuset.co.za where we offer free delivery in South Africa.