Enamel cast iron is a fantastic way to cook a range of dishes, but it can become dirty and stained easily. This is especially true when it comes to cooking meat or other food that leaks juices or sauces. To clean most cookware, it’s best to use an abrasive steel wool sponge. But this is best avoided with enameled cast iron as it can scratch the enamel.
But you don’t have to be too gentle, especially not compared to cast iron pans that have not been coated with enamel. The best way to clean stains on enamel is with baking soda. Mix together baking soda and water until it becomes a paste. When even a small amount of water is added to baking soda, it begins to fizz but doesn’t dissolve.
Pour around a cup of baking soda into a bowl, then add in a quarter teaspoon of baking soda. Mix it a little and then repeat until it becomes a paste. It is very easy to add too much water. But if you do, you can add more baking soda.
Once it has made a paste, scoop this onto a sponge. A standard sponge is best, rather than one with a scrubber. Taking the paste, scrub at the stains. It will take a while to remove the stains, and you’re going to need some elbow grease. But they will come off eventually, and it will be better this way, rather than risking scratching the enamel.
Can you use a magic eraser on Le Creuset?
Amazingly, magic erasers can be used on enameled cast iron, such as Le Creuset. Magic erasers seem to be able to remove anything. This is a great option if the baking soda does not work. It’s best to try natural methods first, especially if you have the ingredients in your kitchen already. This will prevent waste and be cheaper and easier.
Simply dip the end of the magic eraser in some water and rub at the stains. It is more likely that baking soda will be better at removing the stains, but it’s still worth trying a magic eraser, as it will very likely work.
How do you restore shine to enamel cookware?
Even if you manage to remove the stains from your enamel cookware, there’s a good chance that the original shine will have dulled. This doesn’t mean that the cookware is damaged, only that it has been used a lot. There are several different ways to restore the shine to enamel cookware. One of the easiest is by rubbing it with oil.
Traditional cast iron cookware needs to be seasoned with oil. This is done by coating the surface with oil and then baking it. This process is then repeated several times. But this isn’t necessary for enamel cast iron. So, to restore the sign, only a little oil is needed. Pour a few drops onto a cloth or paper towel and rub it across the surface. It’s best to use only a small amount, or the cookware will become greasy. Leave the oil to dry and then check it. It shouldn’t be greasy once it has dried. And don’t worry about it not being washed off, it won’t go bad.
Another way to get the shine back is with lemon juice. Lemon juice makes a great cleaner due to its acidity levels. First of all, boil a little water in your enamel cast iron pan and add in some lemon juice. Fresh lemon juice is the best option as it will be free from preservatives, so will provide a better clean. This can help to break up stains and remove them.
If this doesn’t quite do enough, you can combine the lemon juice with salt. Take a lemon and cut it in half. Completely cover the stains with some salt and then squeeze the lemon over the salt. This should make a paste which you can rub into the stains with a cloth. Alternatively, you can directly use the lemon half to rub in the salt. Simply hold the lemon by the end and use the flat, cut side to rub in the salt. Squeezing some of the juice out will help, then use the lemon to rub in the salt.
How to prevent stains and discoloration on enamel?
Regularly cleaning enamel cast iron cookware is the best way to prevent stains. This might seem obvious but it can sometimes be easy to just quickly wash the inside. But the entirety of the cookware needs to be washed. This includes the handles and sides of the dish, as well as the base which the food touched most directly.
Make sure to thoroughly clean and scrub the dish after every use. This is not a good idea for traditional cast iron that has not been coated in enamel as it can damage the seasoning and the surface. The surface of the enamel can be scratched, so it’s important not to scrub too hard.
Another potentially obvious option is to coat the surface with oil before adding the food. A lot of oil will be necessary as food can become easily stuck to cast iron, due to how well it conducts heat. Make sure to cover the surface of the dish, but also the sides onto which the juices and seasonings can splash. These are the sections that are more likely to be stained, as they are splashed the most.
High temperatures might be difficult to avoid when cooking, but it’s a good idea to try as much as possible. Try to keep the cookware at a low or medium temperature. This will help to avoid damage to the enamel. If high temperatures cannot be avoided, place the dish in the oven as it is pre-heating. Allowing the dish to gradually heat up will protect it from discoloring and also cracking. This can happen if a cold dish is placed straight into a hot oven.
It’s also important to allow the dish to cool down before washing it. Placing the hot dish into warm or cool water can cause it to crack due to the sudden temperature change. It can also cause the juices and stains to set in more.
How do you restore the enamel on a Le Creuset?
If the damage to the enamel has been caused due to a manufacturing defect, then you can likely have it repaired by the company. This can be done by contacting them. However, if you have chipped or scratched the enamel yourself, then you will need to repair it yourself. That said, Le Creuset usually offers a lifetime warranty, so if the damage has appeared simply due to standard use over time, there is a chance that it can be repaired or replaced.
It is possible to find an enamel repair kit, usually from a hardware store or online. But this can only be a temporary fix. If your Le Creuset has become chipped, especially if the metal iron is showing through, then it’s time to get it replaced. Once the metal has started to show, it cannot be repaired properly.
It’s important not to continue using enameled cast iron dishes if they have become damaged or chipped. This is because the chip will become bigger and other areas can become chipped and damaged. This can cause you to start ingesting small pieces of enamel and metal.
Can I use Bar Keepers Friend on enameled cast iron?
Bar Keepers Friend is an excellent cleaner, especially for stains and burned on food. Simply follow the instructions shown on the packaging. BKF is an abrasive and strong substance, but it is unlikely that it would damage the enamel itself.
BKF should absolutely not be used to clean traditional cast iron pans, as this will damage the seasoning. BKF is also very abrasive and, while it can be scrubbed into the enamel, it’s still a good idea to be relatively gentle and not to scrub the surface if it has become scratched or chipped.
Can I use steel wool on enameled cast iron?
Enameled cast iron cookware is very tough and sturdy, but it is still prone to becoming scratched. Steel wool is great for removing rust and stains, but it can scratch the enamel. So it’s definitely best to avoid using abrasive scrubbers and cleaning utensils, such as steel wool.
Steel wool should not be used on traditional cast iron as it will damage and scratch the seasoning baked onto the dish. It should only be used to remove the seasoning when it needs to be re-seasoned. But seasoning is not necessary for enameled cast iron. The top layer of the enameled cast iron is made from glass, so it is very easy to scratch and damage. Although it might look tough, it’s important to remember that the top layer is really no tougher than a standard glass. So treat it as you would a wine glass.