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help -- i have a beautiful large le creuset dutch oven that i managed to leave on a flame with a soup inside overnight. stupid, stupid on my part. end result was waking up to carbonated smell at 5 am and discovering the charred remains of chicken soup in a pile of black at the bottom of the pot. we vigorously scrubbed away most of the blackness and now the bottom is a dingy grey. is it safe to use still?

asked by helicopterina about 6 years ago
13 answers 3902 views
9920059c c14d 4755 965d d880979c2f61  monkeys
added about 6 years ago

I would say yes. Consider it well seasoned :) Cook something you'd like to have a smoky flavor!

9446044d c554 41dc 915f f63c6a1edeb5  facebook
added about 6 years ago

If the enamel coating (the ivory, glossy interior) has been compromised, than I would consider it unsafe to use.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 6 years ago

I've done some very very mean things to my le creuset over the years - I would soak it overnight, starting with some hot water and baking soda. You may need to do it a few times, but that's how I've eventually gotten mine clean. If all else fails, you may want to contact le creuset to see what they say. The link to their care recommendations is here:

11bc2449 c39a 4066 bcf5 67763145f97e  bananacakewithtangyvanilla
added about 6 years ago

thanks so much! i may try to contact le creuset directly. surface doesn't seem to be damaged physically, so much as discolored. so sad. i've tried a little bleach and hot water, i've tried scrubbing with bon ami, soaking with white vinegar...

80cc9648 9cfe 4049 92f3 f6fef0f3a439  fb avatar
added about 6 years ago

almost impossible to hurt a Le Creuzet. Soak and wash, but the patina on ours has posed no issues for many years.

401c5804 f611 451f a157 c693981d8eef  mad cow deux

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 6 years ago

You will never be able to get it sparkling white again but it is safe to use. Scrub it (not scour) with Bon Ami or even Comet, but you are still going to have darkness at the edge of town.

2b00435b fe24 44bb afe2 ad3364f28f79  1390710 10151917400148928 1193325941 n 1
added about 6 years ago

I have done this before too. Try and fill it with water (80% full) and a few drops of dish soap. Boil it for an hour, covered and most of the charred bits will come off, the water should turn dark as well.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 6 years ago

I don't know if this will work on enamel, but if I leave plastic ware in the sun, the stains come out. Boiling water seems a good idea.

B0f2c3df 9bf7 43fc 8544 eb75ba85a60e  kay at lake
added about 6 years ago

I've had success getting burned residue out of stainless pans by boiling a cup or so of water and a half-cup of baking soda until the water is gone and the soda dry and cracky...then it peels out with the burnt stuff adhering. Might work on the stains, not sure!

Fff96a46 7810 4f5c a452 83604ac1e363  dsc03010
added about 6 years ago

Don't you just hate when that happens? I did it with split pea soup in stainless steel and did the baking soda trick followed by Bar Keeper's Friend for the detail work--don't know who discovered particular hint from Heloise, but I love that person.

Awww, AntoniaJames, that's a beautiful answer. Who, besides the cook, sees the bottom of the pot?

11bc2449 c39a 4066 bcf5 67763145f97e  bananacakewithtangyvanilla
added about 6 years ago

you all are amazing as one collective, peer resource. i've since made a new batch of soup in it, and no one dropped dead immediately. hopefully the long-term effects of a greyish bottomed pot will not do us in any time soon, either... and there's no charred taste at all (i first tested that by sipping water that had been boiled in it). and yes, i like antoniajames advice about embracing this imperfection...i'll be embracing this one, and lots of other dings and stains and visual cues to past missteps... :)

73cd846c b69c 41fe 8f8b 7a3aa8dd3b93  desert
added about 6 years ago

My eighteen year old le crueset has had enamel that is grey and lost it's luster years ago and still is fine and don't plan on replacing yet. Also, a capfull of bleach helps in the soaking process for getting burnt food to unstick and disolve. @FrsehMel leave the advice giving to those who really know! If you don't know an answer, don't answer!

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