Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Jan 29, 2012 12:35 PM

Can food be left in an enameled dutch oven overnight?

Hi everyone,

I'm a new owner of an enameled dutch oven from Costco and I would like some advice on how to care for it. Is it safe to leave soups in the pot overnight or will this ruin the enamel? I have not been able to find a definitive answer on the subject. I see that the care instructions on the pot say to "dry completely before storing" but I don't know if that means I can't leave food in there for a few days.

My care instructions say to wash with hot water and soap but other instructions I read online say soap ruins the "seasoning" on the pot...please help clarify this for me!


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Completely fine.

    Only downside is that it will stain, but a light bleach solution will solve that problem if you *really* care about a nice shiny finish; otherwise, don't bother.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Oxy clean may take the food stains out too. Milder than bleach.

    2. From Le Creuset's website:

      "Food storage and marinating

      The vitreous enamel surface is impermeable and therefore ideal for raw or cooked food storage, and for marinating with acidic ingredients such as wine."

      "Cast iron can also be used to keep foods cold. A chilled dish becomes an ideal cold food server on a hot summer day. It can also be placed in the freezer for food storage or advanced food preparation."

      Washing with soap will not harm enameled cast iron. I'm sure the comment about "ruining the seasoning" that you read online was talking about plain cast iron.

      1. Your dutch oven is quite able to keep food overnight in the refrigerator, and it will not ruin the enamel. Enamel is also not "seasoned", so nothing will be ruined if you wash it with soap.

        1. Thanks everyone for the helpful replies! I read stuff about how people experienced rusting when they left soup in the pot overnight and I was worried about that happening to me and ruining the enamel. Under what circumstances would a dutch oven rust?

          The pot I got from Costco, oddly, is a black matte enamel on the inside so I guess I don't have to worry about staining because if it does, I won't see it.

          1. It won't ruin the enamel surface. You need to worry more about the foods going bad.

            There is no "seasoning" to be ruined for an enameled Dutch Oven. Runing seasoning has to do with bare cast iron cookware -- the ones without enameled surface.