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Le Creuset and Staub Cleaning, Care and Maintenance

Le Creuset and Staub Cleaning, Care and Maintenance

 

Here at Consiglio’s we have some serious love for our enamelled cast iron cookware. Be it Le Creuset or Staub, not only is enamel cast iron cookware gorgeous, it will bring your home cooking game to the next level, and is resilient enough to last you for decades to come. We’ve already covered some of the key arguments of the Le Creuset vs. Staub argument, and have explored the rich history of the Le Creuset line - now, it’s time to go over the best practices and tips for cleaning, caring for and maintaining your Le Creuset or Staub.

General Use and Maintenance

Whether it be a Le Creuset or Staub, the first thing you’ll want to do (after admiring it’s sheer beauty) will be to carefully peel off any stickers or labels from the external enamel and carefully wash your new enamelled cast iron cookware with warm, soapy water - taking care to rinse it well and dry it thoroughly.

In their manuals, both Le Creuset and Staub warn about the dangers of thermal shock - as with traditional cast iron, it’s recommended that enamelled cast iron slowly be brought up to temperature. Le Creuset specifically recommends lightly oiling their cookware during this pre-heating stage, as it aids in bringing out the best of their gloss-enamel’s non-stick properties.

Both Le Creuset and Staub enamelled cast iron cookware are compatible with all heat sources - gas, electric, ceramic, radiant ring, induction and oven. As with any cookware, it’s important to match the size of the burner being used to the base of the pot, pan or dutch oven. When using either Le Creuset or Staub with a gas range, take care to ensure that the flames from the burner do not begin to extend up the sides of the cookware as this can dull or damage the coloured external enamel.

When cooking with enamelled cast iron, be it Staub or Le Creuset, it is strongly recommended to avoid metal cooking utensils as these run the very real risk of scratching, chipping, and damaging the enamel cooking surface. For either line, it’s best to stick with wood or silicone cooking utensils - Le Creuset specifically recommends their Revolution Utensil Set.

Cleaning Best Practices

Is it Dishwasher Safe?

Both Le Creuset and Staub are dishwasher compatible, but washing by hand is strongly recommended - so what, exactly, does this mean? For all Staub enamelled cast iron without wooden handles, and any Le Creuset with phenolic, steel, or integrated handles (basically, all dutch ovens and enamelled cast iron with the exception of skillets and grills), their manuals will state that in a pinch, they can be cleaned in the dishwasher, HOWEVER they caution that repeatedly doing so can dull the external enamel’s sheen and colour - so hand washing when possible is recommended to “preserve the beauty” of these cookware pieces.

As for Le Creuset skillets and grills, it’s again noted that they can be cleaned in the dishwasher, but doing so can drastically reduce the non-stick properties of the matte-black enamel surface, creating the need for greater oiling.

Recommended Cleaning Process

Having established that throwing your enamelled cast iron into the dishwasher might not be the best routine to fall into, how can you clean your Le Creuset and Staub while maintaining their beauty?

 
  1. When finished cooking, allow your enamelled cast iron to cool before cleaning - doing so keeps your hands safe from the high temperatures your cookware can reach while in use, and also protects you Le Creuset or Staub from thermal shock.
     
  2. Once cooled slightly, gently rinse the cookware with warm water. If there is food residue clinging to the internal enamel, fill the pot, pan, or dutch oven with warm soapy water and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Staub goes so far as to recommend soaking overnight for stubborn food bits. With either Le Creuset or Staub, it’s important to use a normal, mild dish detergent for cleaning as any caustic or abrasive cleaning agents can unduly wear the enamel cooking surface.
     
  3. Using a soft cloth or nylon cleaning pad or brush, gently clean any food deposits or stubborn spots remaining after the soaking period.
     
  4. Once clean, immediately dry your Le Creuset or Staub thoroughly and store in a clean, dry space away from any extra steam or moisture. For Staub’s matte black enamel, a (very) light oiling before storing can help maintain the natural patina of the cooking surface.
 

Le Creuset also offers its own cookware cleaner to maintain enamel, glass, and glazed cookware. 

How to Tackle Hard Stains

Maybe you turned away for just a second or two too long when caramelizing some onions for your favorite french onion soup recipe, or maybe the light coloured enamel on your Le Creuset is just showing some serious residue from that long braised dish you enjoyed - either way, your enamelled cast iron is showing some use and discolouration and you’re worried you’ll never get its original beauty back again. Fear not - there are two ways to get that Le Creuset or Staub looking new again without having to resort to caustic chemicals or scrubbing agents that will forever damage the enamel cooking surface.

 

Vinegar: When pre-soaking your Le Creuset or Staub, add a couple tablespoons of plain white vinegar to the soaking water. For any particularly stubborn food bits or residue left over after washing, bring a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water to a boil in the cookware and let simmer a couple minutes.

 

Baking Soda: For any residue or discoloration left over after cleaning, dissolve a couple tablespoons of baking soda in water and bring to a simmer - a wooden spoon can then be used to gently remove any stubborn residues.

For particularly bad stains and residues, either of these methods may need to be used more than once - especially for discolouration of Le Creuset’s lighter interior enamel. In these cases, patience is the best perspective as it’s better to repeat either of the steps 3 or 4 times than to cave and resort to a more caustic cleaning agent - although these chemicals will remove trouble spots faster, they will also remove the finish on your enamel, forever changing your cooking surface.

 

 

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