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LeCreuset frypan question

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I have a LeCreuset frypan, circa 1973, in "flame", with a long wooden handle & black interior surface (like a non-stick). I rarely used it in the 70's & haven't since as everything seemed to stick to it. Any one with experience with this pan & any advice?

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  1. Hi, jenni49:

    I have one of those, of a little later production, in cobalt. IMO, it is a terrible pan for anything other than searing one steak at a time. If ever I get around to making good on my threat to cast my LC into concrete to make a boat anchor, this pan will walk the plank right behind the "saucepans".

    Aloha,
    Kaleo

    1. Try 'seasoning' it with several light coatings of oil. Put some on a paper towel and wipe the pan with it. Then heat over medium flame until it stops smoking. Then repeat. Worth a try.

      5 Replies
      1. re: blondelle

        Thanks, I will try seasoning it, but I think I like the anchor idea better!

        1. re: jenni49

          I don't know if you can use the frypan the same way I use my Staub braiser, but I make Chicken Vasuvio in it which entails browing potatos, browning chicken (I jsut do breasts), and then browning mushrooms and some other stuff and deglazing with white wine. It works really well for this and other things I like to cook stovetop and then transfer to the oven. I suppose you could just use a regular frying pan for most of this but the braiser has a lid. I put down a little olive oil and I don't really have a sticking problem.

          1. re: mikie

            Hi, mikie:

            The pan in question has a wooden handle.

            Aloha,
            Kaleo

            1. re: kaleokahu

              I read that and then pictured in my mind the WS catalog and the new fry pans from LC, no wood handle. It would still work to brown the food, just not the oven part.

              Thank you for bringing this to my attention, someone has to look out for me. ;)

              1. re: mikie

                Hi, mikie:

                No problem. To ad insult to injury, the wood handle on this pan isn't easy to remove, and is a total PITA to put back on, so it's not like the old Descoware handles that just screwed on and off so the pan could be used in the oven.

                Cheers,
                kaleo

      2. I have a pan of this exact vintage and color, including wooden handle. It was originally my MIL's, but she found it too heavy. It is a good pan as long as you care for it properly and use it for what it was intended to be -- a frying pan. It is not a non-stick pan designed for omelets, so don't expect it to perform well in that exercise. Those posters suggesting that this great pan get tossed into the sea should be reminded that perhaps the problem was simply that the pan isn't seasoned properly. The wood handle was that generation's attempt to make the handle something that could stay cool during long cooking sessions. I does mean you can't put it in an oven, so this is a stovetop pan only.

        I use it occasionally, and only then for frying in oil -- things like chicken cutlets, vegetables such as breaded eggplant or zucchini, or anything else that needs a decent amount of cooking oil. I pull it out when I need to run two pans at once. The other would be my old Lodge cast iron skillet. It is fine for that use, and because I have used it exclusively for FRYING, I have never had anything stick to it. It is, essentially, an enameled version of a cast iron frying pan as long as it is seasoned. Frying is the best way to season this kind of pan, or even a cast iron pan for that matter.

        The coating on the inside is slightly rough, which is why foods will stick to it unless the pan is well seasoned. Mine can actually handle scrambled eggs, but I have better choices for that. I have only cooked eggs in it when feeling too lazy to put it away from the night before, and it just happened to be sitting on the counter at breakfast, maybe twice in 20 years.

        Treat it like you would treat a cast iron pan, so do NOT scrub the seasoning off after each use. A light sponge with a little mild soap is all that is needed, and rinse well. If you scrub hard, you are back to an unseasoned pan.

        Hope this helps. Before you get any ideas about tying it to a boat, I'd donate it to a shelter where they can use some good cookware.

        3 Replies
        1. re: RGC1982

          Hi, RGC:

          Glad you like the pan; sounds like it works for you.

          But I have some questions... I thought I read in some of the "seasoning" threads that there was a consensus here among the CI cognoscenti, that the black enamel linings of these pans don't season. You season these by just frying in them? How long is this supposed to take? I only gave my pan about 18 years. ;)

          Cheers,
          Kaleo

          1. re: kaleokahu

            I only fry in it with cooking oil. In fact, I used to use Crisco shortening years ago. Nothing sticks, just like my regular cast iron. This particular coating (remember, it is from the 1970's) is rougher to the touch than the stuff from the 80s and 90s, so I think the reason it works is that the cooking oil fills the microscopic nooks and crannies. I don't know about seasoning or not seasoning the newer stuff, because the coating seems to be different. I have a couple of smaller fry pans from the mid-to late 1980's, and I don't have any issues with those either, but then it is probably because I am sauteeing veggies in those with EVOO/butter. The finish on those is much smoother than the older, wooden handled one. If this means it is seasoned, so be it, but I have never gone out of my way to try to season a coated LC pan. My Lodge cast iron skillet -- yes, originally I seasoned that one, but after years of frying in it, there are no sticking issues whatsoever.

            I think the problem here is that people are trying to use these pans like non-stick pans, and they are not the same thing. Just like an uncoated SS frying pan, which I used to use a lot, they will work well if there is enough shortening in the pan, You also need to make sure that you don't scrub the coating off of it.

            1. re: RGC1982

              Thank you for taking the time to educate me about this pan and how to use it. I very much appreciate the feedback.