Burnt on food on enameled cast iron

anna1029January 7, 2007

Well, yesterday was my first time cooking in my new Staub enameled cast iron French/Dutch oven. I'm not sure if I did it right or not, but now I have a problem. I sauteed mushrooms and onions (now I'm assuming I should've removed them and added the meat), but I didn't. I added the meat and liquids and let it simmer for about an hour and a half. Well on the bottom I had burnt on food and was able to get most of it off after soaking the pot overnight and scrubbing really hard with a sponge, but there are still dark spots. Is there any way of getting rid of them. It's a good thing Staub used black matte enamel, but they are still visible and I'd really like to get them off. Also, how do I prevent this from happening again? Thank you so much for all the help.

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I answered on your post on the cooking page, but just in case you don't check there, or someone else needs a tip:

Scrub with a little baking soda. It's non-toxic, non-abrasive, cheap, handy, anti-bacterial--and it's going to do the job for you.

My enamelled cast iron has a white interior that still looks brand new, even after a year of use--because I always use a little baking soda when I clean it. Stains are NOT necessarily a way of life with enamelled cast iron, as some seem to think.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 9:45AM
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I agree with azzalea: baking soda can work wonders.

Also, next time lower the heat. Cast iron is even more sensitive to high heat than SS. If you cook low & slow nothing should stick in the first place.

I'm also going to guess that you have an electric range? Electric can be a problem with cast iron because the coils form hot spots. The metal directly over them heats up more than the rest of the pot, and that's where things stick.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 11:06AM
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Bar Keeper's Friend is my best friend and works quite well on enameled cast iron. According to wikipedia, though, it is not recommended for bare/seasoned cast iron.

Here is a link that might be useful: cast-iron cookware

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 12:38PM
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Thank you for the responses as well. I posted on both forums, since, I was getting nervous and wanted to get a response to reassure me that I didn't ruin a brand new pot. My stove is not electric. However the front burners are bigger than the rear burners. Should I use the rear burnes and still keep them on lower setting?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 1:14PM
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I haven't used Staub, but use Le Creuset frequently. When I get black spots, I fill the pan with tap water and a few drops of regular dishwashing soap (Ivory, Dawn, etc.), and then run the burner at simmer for 45 minutes, or so. This is a very rare occurrence with enameled cast iron, BTW.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 6:51PM
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here is a better non scrubbing technique. cover the stain with liquid DW machine liquid. it must be liquid. really cover the spot and let it sit for a day or two. add some water to keep the stuff from drying. the detergent has an enzyme that eats the burned on material and you will be able to literally rinse the burn away. I have saved my expensive le crueset dutch ovens many times this way.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 7:41PM
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Thank you again for all the responses. Bar keepers friend and baking soda both did the trick. I've cooked in it 3 more time since then and had no burnt on food. I guess I just have to learn to adjust the temp. right.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 9:02PM
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Years ago I burned something on my brand new LC 7 qt dutch oven. I soaked it, and soaked it, and soaked it - more than a week - and eventually the stuff came off. However, a stain remained. I filled the pot with water, added a little bit of bleach, and presto chango, the damn spot was out. No harm, no foul.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 11:07AM
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Easy-Off oven cleaner. Works easily, thoroughly, and doesn't damage the surface. Don't scrub it. Just spray it on and let it sit for a while. Easy clean-up after that.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 6:18PM
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Use any size burner as long as the flames remain under the pot (that is, they don't lick up the sides of the pot). Medium is about the highest you should go; usually, low will work just fine. One of the reasons cast iron has been so popular in Europe, where fuel costs have always been high, is that it requires relatively little heat.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 2:04PM
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