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Oct 3, 2007 11:14 AM

Le Creuset Skillet Burned Please HELP!!!

Hi Everyone,

Just wondering if anyone can help me with this. I don't know what I was trying to do but I put my Le Creuset skillet (oiled with olive oil) on the burner (using medium heat) and then forgot about it. Next thing I know I smelled the burning and ran to it. I saw the skillet smoking, and by the time the smoke settled the inside of my skillet (which is suppose to be black) now has brown spots.

so my question is, is my skillet ruined? Is there anything I can or should do?
Would Le Creuset cover it? I would think this is neglect and they won't but has anyone else have this problem?

Thank you!!!

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  1. Have you tried to clean it? I was at a Le Creuset store a few years ago, and they sold a special cleaning solution for their pans; it's probably something that you can get elsewhere for cheaper, but damn did that work well on my Le Creuset pans.

    1. the brown spots, do they affect your cooking? If it's just an oil stain (which can happen if you burn a pot like that), it'll go away with use (or it doesn't matter other than the look). If it's affecting the performance of the pot, then you might consider reviewing the warranty page. I read something like if you want to replace your pot and if it's not a defect, you can still buy it from them at 1/2 price:

      2 Replies
      1. re: baekster

        Thanks a lot! I hope that it is just an oil stain. I have yet to try cooking on it. I greased it some more and just left it alone, kind of afraid to make it worse. I should try using it tonight.

        1. re: itstangy

          Try some Dawn Power Dissolver on it or oven cleaner and let it sit for about 24 hours. It should clean right up. All of my LC gets the treatment about once a year. It is non -abrasive and usually cooked/burned on spatters rinse right off.

      2. It's cast iron right?

        Here is a DIY site with a post on cleaning cast iron - granted not as nice as Le Creuset - but same idea:

        1 Reply
        1. re: bworp

          I'd watch out...Creuset is enameled cast iron, not regular cast iron. Most of the stuff on that link would be a disaster for the enamel.
          I've used baking soda to gently scrub oil burns off my LC frying pans, but it's probably not recommended...please post back if LC accepts the pan as part of their warranty. There's been a ton of posts in this subject, so you might want to check the archive.

          One of my most used Creuset skillets is one that someone else burned to hell -- now I can use it for burger-grease spattering things without worrying about spoiling the perfection.

        2. is it the non-stick finish? the heat may have affected it to cause later flaking, but until you notice such, keep on using after trying this cleaning method:

          i get burned on food off in enamel and nonstick pans by placing water with baking soda in pan, let warm up on stove and fully dissolve (1/8-1/4 cup per quart- 1/2 gallon). 15 minutes and turn off heat. let cool and rinse in sink with warm water. if still stuck, let soak with water in pan sitting in dry sink overnight.

          5 Replies
          1. re: alkapal

            that sounds very reasonable, alkapal
            LeC recommends against soaking (at least the enameled pans) but I don't know why...

            1. re: pitu

              I think what LC means is do not SUBMERGE the pan when you soak it, because the cast iron rim is exposed.

              I terribly burned a stainless steel pan once - I had some unpopped kernels from some microwave popcorn, thought I would pop them on the stove in a small covered skillet, what a DISASTER - I thought the pan was ruined for good.

              I found this method on e.How that worked wonderfully, not sure it can be used on enamel, but it's pretty gentle so why not:

              1. Wash away as much of the food if possible, using cold water for egg, chocolate and starch-based food.

              2. Fill the pot with water. Add 1 to 2 tsps dishwashing liquid (I use Sunlight) and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and leave the pot to soak for 30 mins.

              3. With a wooden spoon, scrape away as much of the burned food as possible. Rinse well.

              4. If burned areas remain, cover them completely with a generous amount of baking soda. Drizzle water to create a thick paste, smearing the paste up the sides of the pot if needed. Set aside for several hours, preferably overnight.

              5. Without rinsing the pot, add 3 parts water to 1 part distilled vinegar to cover the burned food by at least 1 inch. Boil for 10 minutes and then leave overnight.

              I had to do this about 4-5 times on my popcorn burns but now the pan is as good as new.

              1. re: Eujeanie

                Correction to #5 above - the water/vinegar mixture should cover the burns by 2 inches, not 1 - my post was not 2 inches high so I did it as high as I could, which is about an inch.

              2. re: pitu

                agree no submersion....that is why recommend dry sink. enamel is ok with overnight soak... water on enamel portion only. other surface (edge) rusts... bottom is ok if sink is dry.....

                1. re: alkapal

                  The discoloration is not a problem. The cooking surface of the black enameled pieces is going to change color/build up a patina much like raw cast iron does, over time. A black/brown/orange surface is desirable and will eventually become very slick. Watch what you're doing when using olive oil in a skillet - low smoke point.
                  BTW - the " exposed cast iron rims" are not raw cast iron - they are sealed with clear coat enamel. They shouldn't rust unless you've dinged them up banging metal utensils on the rims.

            2. I've successfully used a product called Bar Keeper's Friend on both All Clad and Le Creuset. Take a little of the product and make a paste of it by adding some water. Let it sit on the stain for a couple of minutes before rubbing and rinsing. it has removed all of my cooked on problems.

              3 Replies
              1. re: BelleJo

                try mixing 2 tbs. Bar Keepers, 2 Tbs liquid soap and 1/2 tsp baking soda - mix well,add 3 Tbs hot water-make a paste, makethe paste quite wet by adding more hot water - when really wet apply to stains --- add 1/2 tsp table salt and mix with non stick spatula - the result will be super bubbly -- leave on for a couple hours uuntil fully dried and rinse with sponge -- works all the time unless the LC is damaged--repeat if nec.(I've never had to)-- good luck

                1. re: drobbia

                  I have saved many a pot with a baking soda paste, letting it sit overnight, sometimes boiling with a bit more water after, and then a lot of elbow grease with a scubbie or steel wool depending on the pan/pot. Sometimes it takes many tries.
                  The one thing that keeps happening is that I keepin forgoting and use non stick sprays on some of my pan that it doesn't seem to come off of well.

                  1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                    Great!! Thanks for all of the great tips! I got all of the food off by soaking it in hot water. Only thing is what once used to be an all black fry pan now has brown/orangy burn marks on it. Battle wound I suppose... =)