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Burnt my Le Cruset. Can I save it?

I left my Le Cruset dutch oven with olive oil and forgot about it when the baby cried. Now it is burnt. Dark raised ridges like tar. I have soaked it in baking soda and vinegar for a few hours now. It doesn;t even budge when I try to srape it. Please help! It is too expensive a cookware to ruin.

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  1. nyccvg,
    Don't give up yet. If it IS ruined, you have nothing to lose by trying this. Dawn Power dissolver. And a scrubby pad after it sits awhile. If that doesn't work, rinse it off and try oven cleaner. The Le Cruset is porcelain coated, like an oven and it should be ok. You have nothing to lose and a clean dutch oven to gain. Just don't mix the two. Good luck.

    1. Similar to dcrb suggestion, try to use Bar Keeper's Friend powder. Mix it in solution and put the cookware under low heat. After 20 minutes or so, and scrub it with a soft brush and see if it removes some of the stain.

      The harsher method is actually use bleach, but I won't advice using it right away. Yes, it is more effective at removing the stain, but it also dull your porcelain surface.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        I second Bar Keeper's Friend in addition as this same thing happened to me once. It's a combo abrasive-gently basic cleaner. I use it on all my porcelain and stainless steel.

        Put a small amount of water and add some Bar Keeper's Friend and make a paste. Rub with a scrub pad and you should be fine.

        1. re: atg106

          Bar Keepers Friend if used too aggressively with will take the shine off the enamel. I know because I've done it. I would try other methods first. Do a search here. LC recommends a method that uses an enzyme detergent like Tide.

      2. Oh, hell yeah! One of the wonderful things about LeCreuset is how indestructible it is. That isn't to say it might not retain a stain but it's going to get stained inevitably in use anyway.

        Put some baking soda in hot water and boil it vigorously. Periodically, scrape the bottom with a nylon or silicone spatula or spurtle or turner or something with a flat edge. You might have to replace the water a couple times. If it hasn't broken free by the time you go to bed, just turn the heat off and leave the water in there over night. Try scraping it free again in the morning.

        When you think you've gotten all you can off, use some SoftScrub or Barkeepers' Friend to get a clean surface. Now cook with it. Particularly acid things like tomato sauce. The metal and enamel aren't compromised so the rest is just discoloration and -- say this to yourself repeatedly over all your beautiful batterie de cuisine -- patina.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rainey

          I forgot about denture tablets. They're good for about everything. I buy them in the biggest box I can find and always keep them under my sink.

          They have enzymes that digest stuff so you can soak anything with them from burned on gunk to stained teapots to calcified vases with narrow necks.

        2. Definitely first the baking soda in water and boil! Plenty of baking soda, leave it with the water for a while (say 30 min), then bring it to boil and scrape the bottom as rainey has recommended. You can do this a couple of times until you see no more black gunk being dislodged. I would do Dawn power dissolver as the next step -- I think it dulls the enamel a bit. Once you did whatever you can do with chemical methods, go for scrubbing (BKF). Harsh scrubbing will mark the enamel.

          1. All the above sounds good, but I've had best luck with a little spray oven cleaner, let it sit and clean. Haven't tried it on Le Cruset (don't own any), but certainly on other high end cookware.

            2 Replies
            1. re: pine time

              Thank you all. I have tried boiling Baking soda and soaking overnight and I tried bar keepers friend. I have to try some of the other suggestions - Dawn Power Dissolver . I still have black patches. If it is safe to cook in it, I can definitely keep doing that. Thank you all again.. Will keep you posted.

              1. re: nyccvg

                Did you try oven cleaner?

                Its perfectly safe because the olive oil is carbonized like a seasoned cast iron pan.