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Oct 24, 2008 01:12 PM

Le Creuset Dutch Oven - cleaning & storing food ?

Hi I just received a new LC dutch oven for my wedding.

1) Can I store food in it? I'm making a big batch of chili and wonder if I can store the chili in the pot in the fridge for the next few days??

2) It appears that some stuff has been burned to the bottom of it already - best way to clean it? Should I soak it first? etcetc.


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  1. 1) Yes. This is the beauty of enameled cast iron.

    2) Just soak it with regular dish soap for a few hours.

    1. Regarding cleaning, if soaking doesn't get rid of all the stains, use Barkeepers Friend. My 35-year-old Le Creuset Dutch ovens look almost new.

      1. The LC site seems perpetually off-line. but sales sites say it's fine for food storage.

        Boiling water in it will usually loosen stuck-on stuff. Don't ever use a metal scouring pad.

        Note that LC should be used over low or medium heat, not high.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mpalmer6c

          Here's a response directly from Le Creuset:

          For cleaning we would recommend using a laundry detergent such as tide or one that has an enzyme in it. Take one part detergent and three parts water to fill the interior of the vessel. Allow this to boil for about 5-7 minutes. Afterwards allow to the vessel to cool and proceed with cleaning with your dish detergent. If needed, you may use a nylon or plastic type of scrubby to assist. Once your item has been cleaned, take some white vinegar using a soft cloth or papertowel. Rub the vinegar on the enamel, this is used to return some of the sheen back to the glaze. The longer you allow the vinegar to remain on the enamel the more of the sheen it will bring. Your item can be stored away with the vinegar on it until next use. When ready to use, wash and dry.

          You might have to repeat a few times. The one thing you never want to do with LC is to use anything too abrasive. Make a paste first if you use the BarKeepers Friend and scrub very gently. You might also try their cleaner. Many people use this on each fresh stain to maintain their pots like new.

        2. add baking soda to some water int he scorched pot. let pot sit on warm-low heat for 5-10 minutes. scorched junk comes off.

          i'll stop this, but on occasion i've used a stainless scrubbie, and it seems fine. but i'll now follow directions from lc. like the "enzyme" detergent idea, too.