In this article, we will discuss how to clean an enameled cast iron dutch oven. We will also share with you, the best cleaning tools to use as well as some long-term maintenance techniques. Finally, we will take a look at the benefits and issues of using enameled cast iron cookware.
One of the more popular brands of enameled cast iron is Le Creuset. This brand has created popular enameled cookware since 1925. If you own one yourself and are wondering how to clean Le Creuset enameled cast iron, you’re in luck.
This article, on how to clean an enameled cast iron dutch oven, will show you the best way to clean and maintain all of the popular enameled brands. Whether you have stuck on burnt food particles or staining, we’re here to help. We even have some tips on how to clean discolored enamel cookware.
Cosmetically speaking, discoloring can be a major issue. While staining and fading may be permanent, it can’t hurt to try some of our tips. If your pot has staining and burnt on food, we will need to remove the stuck on food first.
How To Clean an Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven – Removing Stuck On Food:
Hard to remove food particles that are either stuck on because of burning or from sticky food is a pain. However, you must approach both scenarios separately. You really don’t want to clean burnt on food the same way you clean sticky food.
It should be noted that the following methods and procedures were taken from Food 52. Please visit their website. They offer great cooking tips and tricks daily. They are definitely one of our top go-to sources for all things cooking and cookware. So, please show them some love. However, I use these methods as well and they work great. Now on with the cleaning tips.
Each scenario requires its own unique strategy for optimal results. This is why we will start with a way to remove burnt on food. Next, we will explore options for removing sticky food particles. Finally, we will tackle issues of staining and discoloration followed up with some maintenance tips.
How To Clean an Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven – Removing Burnt And Stuck On Food Particles:
Burnt on food particles are not held on because the food was too greasy or sticky. An actual chemical change has occurred to the food itself. Therefore, soaking in hot soapy water may not do the job.
What’s more, is the fact that you would probably have to repeat the soaking process six or seven times to get the job done. This is why we recommend the baking soda scrub technique. You will need something slightly abrasive to remove the burnt-on food particles.
What You Will Need:
- Baking Soda
- Dish Scrubber (Not Steel Wool)
Simply pour enough baking soda to lightly coat the bottom of your enameled cast iron Dutch oven. Next, without water or soap, dry rub the baking soda into the pan in a circular motion. Finally, remove all excess baking soda and repeat if necessary. After one or two applications, the burnt-on food particles should be completely removed.
How To Clean an Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven – Removing Sticky Food Particles:
Food particles stuck to your pan because they were incredibly sticky and left to dry is another issue altogether. These situations will usually require soaking in hot soapy water or additional cleaning products.
If that doesn’t work, then we have several other options that have worked well for our enameled cast iron cookware. In fact, we have 3 solutions to share with you, starting with a baking soda and hot water soak.
Method # 1 – What You Will Need:
- 2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda
- 2-quarts hot water
- Dish Scrubber
Fill your enameled Dutch oven with 2-quarts of very hot water. Then add 2-tablespoons of baking soda to the water and let sit overnight. It is important to not completely submerge your cookware in water, as this is not recommended by most manufacturers.
Finally, after your Dutch oven has sat overnight, thoroughly scrub with a dish scrubber. Your enameled cookware should be free of any stuck on particles. If not, then simply repeat as needed. Our next procedure is the dishwashing detergent method.
Method # 2 – What You Will Need:
- 1/4 Cup powdered dishwashing detergent
- 2-quarts hot water
- Dish Scrubber
Fill the pot with 2-quarts hot water. Next, dissolve 1/4 Cup powdered dishwashing detergent in the water. Then, let your enameled Dutch oven soak overnight. Finally, in the morning, scrub your pot until all excess food particles are released.
This method is a heavier duty solution, but it does work. Our next method can be used after all other options have failed. The laundry detergent technique is our 3rd and final solution for stuck on sticky food.
Method # 3 – What You Will Need:
- 1/4 Cup powdered laundry detergent
- 2-quarts water
- Dish Scrubber
Place 1/4 Cup powdered laundry detergent in your enameled Dutch oven. Then, fill your pot up with 2-quarts of water and boil for 6 minutes. After your pan has cooled, leave soapy water inside and scrub until free of food particles. A repeat of this procedure should not be necessary.
Well, there you have it. Our tips for how to clean enamel cookware. Whether its food stuck on from being burnt or just sticky, we are sure at least one of these methods will work wonders for you. Next, we will take a look at some methods for removing stains and discoloration.
How To Clean an Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven – Removing Stains and Discoloration
The one downside to using your enameled cast iron Dutch oven frequently is the risk of discoloration and staining. It should be noted that the following 2 methods have only been approved and tested on Le Creuset enameled cookware.
It should also be noted, that these solutions were obtained from Cooks Illustrated. Full credit goes to them. Furthermore, please visit their website for more great cooking tips and tricks. They are a huge inspiration to us and a wealth of information for the online cooking community.
With that said, let’s get to the top solutions for removing stains and discolorations. Our first method is the light bleaching technique.
Method # 1 – What You Will Need:
- 1 teaspoon of bleach
- 1 pint of water
Fill your enameled Dutch oven with 1 pint of water. Then, add 1 teaspoon of bleach to the water. Let the pot sit overnight to soak. Next, check to see if there are any improvements to the cooking surface. Finally, if the pot still needs some work, move down below to method 2. This will be a heavier duty mix.
Method # 2 – What You Will Need:
- 1 part bleach
- 3 parts water
Place 1 part bleach to 3 parts water inside your enameled Dutch oven. Next, let it soak overnight. Finally, if there are still stains or discolorations, you may need to repeat the soaking. Once finished, thoroughly dry pot and wipe inside with white vinegar to add its surface sheen back.
There you go, 2 great methods for removing pesky stains and discolorations. One thing to keep in mind is, these procedures are not guaranteed to work. Everyone has unique issues with their enameled cookware. However, it sure beats purchasing a new Dutch oven and these potential solutions are worth a try.
The Benefits Of Using an Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven:
As we conclude our article on how to clean an enameled cast iron dutch oven. We would like to take a brief look at the many benefits of enameled cast iron. First, however, we will take a look at some of the benefits of non-coated cast iron cookware.
Non-Coated Cast Iron Dutch Oven Benefits:
Regular, non-coated cast iron has been a juggernaut in the cookware industry for centuries. And for good reason too. It is rugged and tough, able to be used indoors or outdoors. On top of that, you can cook at very high temperatures.
What’s more, is the fact that plain cast iron has superior heat retention capabilities. Finally, cast iron is one of the few cookware material types that is compatible with induction cooktops.
Non-Coated Cast Iron Dutch Ovens Issues:
However, plain cast iron does have its drawbacks. For one, you have to constantly re-season non-coated cast iron cookware to keep its near non-stick surface.
What’s more, is the fact that you can not place your plain cast iron Dutch oven in a dishwasher. Finally, cooking highly acidic foods can leach extra iron from the cookware, causing a bad aftertaste. In some extreme cases, preparing highly acidic foods too often can lead to iron toxicity.
This, however, is very rare and usually happens to people with iron sensitivity. Though, you should still be made aware of this potential issue. In any case, non-coated cast iron cookware does have its fair share of issues. This is where enameled cast iron Dutch ovens come into play.
Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven Benefits:
While non-coated cast iron cookware definitely has its benefits and place, enameled cookware offers the best of both worlds. On top of all the benefits of regular cast iron, enameled cookware offers some unique benefits of its own.
For one, you can wash enameled cookware in an automatic dishwasher. On top of that, you will not need to worry about iron toxicity, because of the ceramic coating. There is also no need to season and re-season your enameled cookware as well.
Like regular cast iron, enameled coated cookware is usually induction cooktop safe. Plus, it offers excellent heat retention capabilities with better heat dispersion qualities than plain cast iron cookware. Finally, they can come in many vibrant and fashionable colors to match any kitchen decor.
Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven Issues:
While the list is small, enameled cast iron does have its issues. For one, it usually does not have as high of a temperature threshold than plain cast iron. Finally, enameled cast iron Dutch ovens are much more prone to damage.
The fact that they are ceramic coated means that if dropped, they will more than likely crack or chip. In conclusion, enameled cast iron Dutch ovens offer the best of plain cast iron, with little sacrifice.
My Choice For Dish Scrubber:
If you are wondering what dish scrubber is in my photos, well, its the one that I use on a daily basis. I absolutely love this scrubber. It is made of durable plastic and nylon. Furthermore, it can be found at most local Dollar Stores, for you guessed it, a dollar.
This dish scrubber makes short work of stubborn stuck on food without damaging your cookware. Moreover, its incredibly easy to wash, as food particles slide right through the bristles. I am not sure the exact name, however, if you go to the cleaning aisle of your local Dollar Store, they should carry the same product or something similar.
How To Clean an Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven – Conclusion:
Well, that’s all. We hope you gained some knowledge of how to clean an enameled cast iron dutch oven. It is also our hope that you gained some inspiration to clean and restore your own enameled cast iron Dutch oven. If you are curious, you can check out our full review of the Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron Dutch oven. It’s a great piece of cookware that we are sure you’ll enjoy. And you may also like our full review of the Lodge EC6D43 Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Just click here.
If you are interested, you can check out our article on how to clean a cast iron dutch oven. It will guide you through the steps and tips to restore the rugged quality of your non-coated Dutch oven. We would like to thank you for joining us and reading our article on how to clean an enameled cast iron dutch oven. We hope to see you again soon. And as always, please take care.
Finally, if you’re in need of some great Dutch oven accessories, then please take a look at our article on the 16 Dutch Oven Accessories You Need Right Away. Thanks again and we hope to see you soon.
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