Well, I think I ruined my LC pan as well now.
It's my frying pan. It's black interior is now discoloured around the edge, has a different feel to it, and the last time it was used to cook bacon (albeit without oil) the bacon stuck and was ruined.
This all happened when I was making a load of tortillas in it. The pan was on for about 15 minutes or so with only tortillas on it, not on max heat, but mid-high.
Don't have a picture yet, but what do you guys think? Is it ruined, or is this reversable? I have my fingers crossed. Don't know if it will be covered in the warrantee.
Soop: I would say it is HIGHLY unlikely you've ruined your pan. Both the cast iron substrate and black enamel lining are extraordinarily heat- and warp-resistant. What you probably have is simply a bad burn. Black carbon on a black pan bottom is hard to see; this is consistent with your sticky-bacon problem. Turn it under a bright light. Do you see a totally flat finish or is there a little "satin" to it? The flat is a dead giveaway for carbon.
But what do you mean it "has a different feel to it."?
If I were you, I'd first boil a few pan-fulls of water in it to soften up any carbon deposits. Dump the water, and then, while the pan is still warm, get a white washcloth or rag and some Bon Ami. Make a thick paste of the BA with a (very) little water, and go after a small spot (dead center is a good placed to start) with an overlapping circular motion, lots of pressure. Check the cloth. If it comes up black or dark brown, or your paste darkens, that's carbon. Don't worry, the enamel won't come up. Repeat and rinse in little areas until your rag comes back clean. Your pan should be good as new.
That's what I'd do, but there are two other options depending on your preferences. First, LC makes a liquid cleanser for their enamels. It's too thin for my liking, and expensive, but it works. So if you want to stay mfgr-approved, maybe that's your fix. If so, the technique is basically the same, except wear rubber gloves because there's acid in the cleanser. But second, if you are not chemical-averse, a good spray of oven cleaner on the COOL interior (careful to wear rubber gloves, put newspaper down for overspray and open a window) should save you a lot of time and hand fatigue. Most products say to leave it on for 20 minutes and then wipe; it might take more than one application. These sprays are formulated to be safe on enameled steel ovens, so I would not worry about it being too harsh on your pan's enamel. Obviously, if you use this method, a careful washing is necessary after...
Hope this helps.
Ace, thanks a lot Kaleokahu. I've never seen Bon Ami, so I'm guessing it's an American thing. I think I'll try the oven cleaner option tonight!
the only thing regarding carbonisation, the tortillas wouldn't have stuck to the pan, and that's why I'm worried... I didn't think it could have been some kind of deposit. We'll see!
Soop: "I've never seen Bon Ami, so I'm guessing it's an American thing." Bon Ami has ben around forever. It is the least abrasive of gritty cleansers, because its grit is talc.
"the only thing regarding carbonisation, the tortillas wouldn't have stuck to the pan, and that's why I'm worried... I didn't think it could have been some kind of deposit."
Packaged tortillas would stick together and be impossible to separate were they not dusted with dry flour before stacking. It was probably the flour that carbonized.
I agree with the others, I don't think your pan is ruined. I'd try the method suggested using baking soda as a paste since you don't have Bon Ami ( in any event, I'd feel better with baking soda) and see what happens.
I sprayed it with Oven cleaner last night and it looks much better. I might give it another go, but it seems like it's how it should be with a patina.
Thankyou everyone, I'm just so relieved it's going to be ok!