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Jan 7, 2008 03:34 PM

Help! High Heat Convection Cooking is Ruining My Cookware.

There's nothing better than a chicken roasted in a convection oven at 400 degrees or more.It cooks in a hour with moist meat and crisp skin. HOWEVER, the convection fan blows the fat all over the inside of the oven and inside and outside of the cookware and it is nearly impossible to scrub off.

Yes, I can use the self-cleaning function on the oven—but that's a huge user of energy.

I have aluminum roasting pans and Le Creuset cookware, and its the latter that I am afraid to scour. Any ideas for getting that high-heat baked-on grease off?

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  1. Nothing like a good, overnight soak with Dawn. It really does work! You're correct not to use a heavy scouring pad... but your regular scrubby side of a sponge is completely safe and effective.

    You know, you can always run the convection in the first half of cooking and then turn it off once the fat starts to render.

    1 Reply
    1. re: HaagenDazs

      Dawn? Okay, I will pick up a bottle and try it out. Thank you.

    2. Have you considered switching to a cheap, solid cast iron pan for this purpose? A Dutch oven or other flatter shape will stand up to anything and can't be ruined by the flying grease of the convection oven. I think you can get by with $20 to $30 for an average size skillet and splurge up to over $80 for a supersized one. It will last a lifetime, comes already seasoned from lodge, and laughs at the oil splatters. If that doesn't work, try cheap, ligthweight spatter ware. The idea is to use cookware that won't get ruined.

      I use a very large, hand-me-down, old stainless steel restaurant roasting pan for this purpose. It had a full life at Horn & Hardart before my grandmother ended up with it. It would take an acid bath to get rid of the built-in grease stains, but I don't worry about the pan. I just cook in it and marvel at how it is still going strong. It is probably forty years old. I would never ruin my good Bourgeat roasters or LeCreuset with the convection oven.

      2 Replies
      1. re: RGC1982

        A cast iron skillet is a good idea for the roasted chicken but I like to use a big jelly roll pan for roasting vegetables. That shape and size in cast iron would be unwieldy.

        1. re: FeelingALittleBreadish

          How lining the jelly roll pan with aluminum foil? Also, commercial half sheet pans (18x13) aren't that expensive, so I wouldn't worry too much about keeping them bright.

      2. Matching the size of the pan carefully to the quantity of food cooking may help. Does this happen even when the food fits the pan just right?

        1. Barkeeper's Friend will clean your Le Creuset like a charm, even those baked-on fat spatters. It is perfect for cleaning enameled cast iron. You won't "ruin" your LC with high heat or regular use; it's an incredibly durable cookware. And even the manufacturer says you can put it in the dishwasher, so a pot-scrubber cycle might do the trick, too.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Hungry Celeste

            By ruin, I mean it looks ugly.

            I'm looking on Amazon. Should I get the "Bar Keepers Friend Just 'N Time Tough Stain Remover" or "Bar Keepers Friend Multipurpose Liquid Cleanser (26 oz)"? The "Bar Keepers Friend Powdered Cleanser & Polish" says it is for stainless steel. Cab I use that on enamel?

            1. re: FeelingALittleBreadish

              The Bar Keeper's Friend powdered cleanser is available at WalMart, Dollar General, etc. Don't waste shipping $$ on it, it's a common item. You want the powdered cleanser in the paper cylinder canister (like Comet's container). The fine print on the label clearly states that it can be used on porcelain, enamel, stainless steel, copper, etc. It's a micro-abrasive w/oxalic acid, so it lifts dirt/food, but also lifts staining colors from enamel (browning residue, tomato stains, and such). This stuff is great--it got the gray grime out of an ancient, deglazed porcelain bathtub that I thought was beyond redemption.

          2. I'm stuck on the first sentence of your post. You cook a chicken for an HOUR in a CONVECTION oven at 400 DEGREES??!! I would imagine I'd have a nice doorstopper on my hands at that point.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jamonportodos

              Well, it comes out perfectly. Okay, maybe 55 minutes. Never dry. It's the turkey that gets done really fast: like in 2 hours for a 15-pounder unstuffed.