Le Creuset Cookware: Care and Storage

Le Creuset Cookware: Care and Storage

Posted By: Laura Times Read: 309

  Keep Le Creuset Cookware beautiful

 Updated January 20, 2018; 12K original Views

Personal experience again, is often the best teacher. I am sharing my cleaning/storing tips in hopes of making it a bit easier and less intimidating for prospective buyers to begin collecting and using this wonderful cookware.  Le Creuset has been in business since 1925 producing durable cookware that can be passed down from generation to generation. I originally purchased because they have an all-natural, non-stick surface with no chemical coatings to give off fumes or add unwanted flavors to your food. It is suitable for use on all heat sources including gas, ceramic top, electric, gas, halogen top and induction. Following is a guide, based upon my experience, which will help you maintain your Le Creuset cookware and keep it in good condition.

GENERAL CLEANING: You can clean your cookware and stoneware with regular dish washing detergent or put them in the dishwasher unless they have wooden handles. It is always best to clean Le Creuset while it is still warm or while the contents are still moist - not dry. For the best results, wash in hot soapy water and then dry immediately - do not allow them to 'air dry'. Otherwise, the upper edges or cast iron bottoms (which are not coated with enamel) can rust.

PROTEIN BUILD UP: In time, foods with protein content or grease will leave a type of dull-looking smudge on the enamel that is best removed with a mild abrasive and a bit of elbow grease. For this you will need to use a porcelain and enamel cleaner that can be used on the outside and inside of both the cookware and stoneware. The Le Creuset porcelain enamel cleaner, a product called "Astonish" available from the UK or the porcelain cleaner in a tube available from Crate and Barrel worked fine for me. Shop around as the prices vary. Do NOT USE any harsh abrasives or metal scrubber as you may permanently scratch the enamel surface.

GREASE BUILD UP: To remove baked-on or accumulated grease on the outside of newly acquired 'used' pots/pans, I've had success using a product called "Sokoff". It dissolved the built up grease and dirt without damaging the enamel or the cast iron. It also works well on burner grids and the enamel coated portion of ovens - inside and out.

REMOVING SCORCHED FOOD: If you should happen to be using too high heat and overcook food in your Le Creuset pot/pan treat it while the pan is still warm. DO NOT let it sit untreated until the pan cools off! Remove the loose food, cover the scorched area with warm water then, throw in 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda and let it set overnight. The baking soda will bubble up so, be careful not to overfill the pot/pan with water. The next day, you will be able to easily remove the scorched food. There should be no damage or minimal damage to the inside enamel finish of your cookware.

CLEANING GRILL PANS: For this, you will need a good quality cast iron brush with stiff bristles. It is indispensable for cleaning between the fins on a Le Creuset grill pan, the griddle and pots with the matte interior enamel finish. In my opinion, Lodge makes the best cast iron brushes - but they do not last forever.

STACKING/STORING COOKWARE: Like many Le Creuset collectors, you may not have enough space to set out your pots and pans individually and need to stack the lids on top of the pots then stack pots inside of each other. If you bought new cookware but did not keep the black plastic stand-offs that were included or if you are collecting used pieces, here are a few inexpensive tips for stacking them that will help you avoid the scratches and wear spots so commonly seen on stacked enamel coated cast iron cookware.

1) Dutch Ovens: set pieces of cut plastic tubing around the edge of your pans. Look for 1/2" diameter, 10 ft long, shiny finish tubing in the plumbing department of your local builder supply store. It is available in black, white and red. The tubing is stiff enough to provide a proper stand-off but, flexible enough to cut with scissors. Plan to cut four 3" pieces for every Dutch oven with a lid that you are stacking. From the length of the tubing, cut off a section about 3"- 4" long (depending upon the size of your pot). Then, cut it open down the center of the inside curved edge of the tubing. Open the tubing and lay it flat on the curved edge along the top edge of the pan. The curved tubing will hug the edge of your rounded pots/pans. I used 4-6 pieces for the larger Dutch ovens placing them near the handles and between the handles or wherever two pieces meet. The edge of most Le Creuset cookware is unfinished but the lids have an enamel coating. If you use the rubber tubing as a standoff, you can set an inverted lid on top of its' pot without fear that the unfinished cookware edge will scratch the enamel on the lid.

2) Lids/Pots/Skillets: use felt sheets to separate lids, skillets and pots stored inside of one another. I found a seller on e-bay carrying the colors that I use in my kitchen. But, you can find felt all year around at your local craft or sewing supply store available by the yard, in round, rectangular or square sheets. This method works with either wool or polyester felt. I bought 18" x 12" sheets and used them whole or cut them in half where needed. For example, when storing a 3 quart Dutch oven inside of a 7 quart Dutch oven, I used the longer felt sheet between them allowing it to run up the sides of the 7 quart pot where the handles of the 3 quart pot lay against the inside of the larger pot. Using the rubber tubing stand-offs, I laid the inverted 3 quart lid on its' pot and still had room to invert the 7 quart lid and set it on the 7 quart pot. I laid a half sheet of felt inside of the inverted lid of the 7 quart pot and voila! - it became storage for a sauté pan.

I also used the felt sheets to separate Le Creuset stoneware pieces and to line a metal shelf. This keeps pieces with a cast iron or an unglazed underside from being scratched and/or marked. It also protects the interior enamel finish of the baking dishes.

3) One can also use waxed paper or parchment paper as a less expensive alternative. But, it tears easily and will need to be replaced more often.

4) I have recently (Feb 2010) seen decorative X-shaped felt pan separators at some of the catalogue store/websites selling housewares and home storage/organization items. A search at ebay, google or bing should turn up more than one option for you.
Either of the above (or a combination) will provide a satisfactory storage solution for a large collection and help to extend the life of your Le Creuset (or any other type of enamel coated cast iron) cookware.

OPEN STORAGE/SHELVING UNITS: Are you a fan of open storage in a kitchen and wondering if the popular decorative metal wire shelving units are sturdy enough for your Le Creuset collection? Look for wheeled units rated to hold weight 100 - 200 lbs per shelf. If you have a lot of Le Creuset (8 or more pieces) and are storing them in an area where the shelving unit has to be moved on a regular basis for cleaning or to access a cabinet, consider replacing or upgrading the plastic casters that come on these units. They are not generally sturdy enough to support a collection of heavy cookware and will crack and break over time. Upgrading to heavy-duty casters intended for use on appliances will give you much better results. These are available at most of the big box retail hardware stores or here on ebay. Add a decorative element within your collection by using colored felt separators to blend or contrast with the colors of your cookware.

For more information about Le Creuset cookware, visit their website "https://www. lecreuset-usa.com" . It has their warranty, some use and care information and current colors and styles. Be sure to read my other discontinued e-bay articles with tips for caring and storing LeCreuset cast iron cookware.  (c) 2010-present. -- Blessings from a Le Creuset lover/user.

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Tags: how to care and store Le Creuset cookware, keeping LeCreuset cookware looking beautiful

Tags: Care and Storage of Le Creuset Cookware, how to take care of LeCreuset cast iron cookware

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