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Mar 28, 2005 10:52 AM

Deglazing Le Creuset- Why doesn't it crack the pot?

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I just bought my first Le Creuset pot last year. (The big oval one, very nice shape. Perfect for an entire chicken.)

Anyhow, the product literature warns against sudden changes in temperature that may crack the enamel. Throwing a hot pot into a sink full of cold dishwater is definitely a no-no.

Yet, de-glazing a pan with a splash of something is essential after browning stuff. Is there risk of cracking the enamel?

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  1. Deglazing is not a problem at all ... enjoy your pot - my Le Creuset pot is my favorite!

    10 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Wow, would I ever appreciate some feedback to the following question. I have been searching for a workhorse of a skillet---one that you can heat on your very highest b.t.u. flame---one that you can crustily sear/char a top quality steak---one that you could then deglaze the fond, and create a wonderful pan sauce.
      Anyway---I purchased an All Clad Copper Core skillet, and was all set to skillet sear those steaks. After a phone call to All Clad, I was told that even their pans will warp from using at such a high heat. So the pan was returned, and I'm still as clueless as ever.
      I read a review of a very high b.t.u. cooktop by David Rosengarten. He tested a bunch of cooktops, and his barometer for testing was using a Le Creuset 12 inch skillet. He even used 17,000 b.t.u. burners! Any thoughts on Le Creuset being an appropriate choice for this high heat form of doing steaks???

      Much thanx,

      1. re: Jeff W

        I have been abusing the hell out of two LC skillets for years now. The one I bought in '89 has a few chips in the enamel(they don't appear rusty to me), it is now the back-up pan. The one bought around '95 still looks perfect. I have never attempted to avoid temperature extreams, and of course, I dishwasher them. They only thing is, I don't have big-time BTUs, so I can't answer that point.

        1. re: danna

          I use a Le Creuset grill pan for steaks etc., but don't have those BTUs! You might want to try to contact them or see if they have a website.

          1. re: MMRuth

            Might not be up your alley, as it takes up a lot of space and needs to be properly seasoned (patience!), but I just got a carbon steel wok and it's amazing.

            The food made in this has a smokey flavor that you just don't get from a nonstick wok. Everything tastes better.

            From what I'm told, these woks get more nonstick over time, and since it's a naturally built up layer of oil(like a cast iron), it responds well to years of use and flaming hot BTUs. I've only had mine about a week, and I've already notice that food tastes better and the wok is becoming more and more nonstick.

            Best part is, my wok (which holds at least 5 qt. water) was $14 at a restaurant supply store, as opposed to $200 at a LC supplier.

            1. re: nooodles

              Wow, what a great tip. I'm wondering if there is such a thing as a carbon steel skillet. My new quest! Thanks again.

              1. re: Jeff W

                See link below.

                They are carbon steel so you need to season/care for them accordingly, like a wok. And they are also very heavy, so they ain't gonna warp.

                They're one of the best kept secrets in cookware, and are mostly used in pro kitchens these days. Plus they're really cheap.

                If you happen to be in NY, I think they're cheapest at Zabar's. They also sell them at Bridge Kitchenware.


                1. re: jo

                  Sorry the link doesn't work because the url is too long.

                  Look for DeBuyer Lyonnaise pans, in the cookware section.

                  1. re: jo

                    Wow Jo, did you ever hit paydirt! I'm pressed for time right now, but I did check out the site. Tomorrow I will definitely be giving them a call. Thank you SO SO much.

                  2. re: jo

                    Yes Jo, thanks so much for the tip on the skillet, I'll be purchasing one as well!!

                  3. re: Jeff W

                    There are--at least in Spain--you can buy them very, very cheaply at most hardware stores (ferreterias).

        2. The small amount of tepid wine or stock (roughly 65-75F or higher) is not the same as a sinkful of cold water (about 42F in late winter).

          1. It can and will crack the enamel. I was making a lobster riosotto in my LC dutch oven and when I added the first cup of stock, it cracked off a quarer sized chunk of enamel from the bottom. That said, the pot is still in use without the chip site enlarging and with no further damage.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Greg Spence

              Does the chipped part rust without special drying?

              1. re: Greg Spence

                Wow! Was the stock heated? I've made risotto dozens of times over many years in mine w/o any problems. I think if that had happened to me, I would contact Le Creuset & ask for a replacement.

                I'm also sure that I've added cold milk or stock to things I've been cooking in it w/o probs.