I got my first Le Crueset pot last year – I know, my thoughts exactly – ‘why did I wait so long to get one’?!
I use it all the time now for pasta sauces, chili con carne, curries, for roasting chicken, veggies, or whatever, in the oven. I find meals taste so much more delicious when made in a cast iron pot / pan. The heat is evenly distributed and it is gets so hot, so quick. I have also burnt a few things because of this. My masala gets stuck to the pan and cleaning it was a nightmare. I tried the soap and water route – didn’t work. Soaking it with soap and water? Nah, didn’t work either. My pot was beginning to look like a dried out curry plate in the sink! Ewww…
I use washing soda a lot around the house. I make it out of bi-carb soda. You can go here to learn how to make it. So, I decided to give that a go to clean my pot. It worked, but only just. That was a start. I then soaked it, but washing soda goes hard if you don’t dissolve it in water. So I filled the pot with water, put it on the stove and added washing soda to it when the water began to bubble. I then took it off the stove and scrubbed it with my coir scrubber. Clean, but not a 100%. I followed the same steps again, but this time I added some citric acid after the boiling process. It worked really well, but I wanted a simpler solution.
One day my husband put the pot on the stove with a heap of washing soda and forgot about it! He took it off after ages and I cleaned it. It cleaned like a dream and looked like when I had just bought it. I experimented with the amount of washing soda and got it right after the first try. Yaaay – don’t you love those times!
So, here’s how to clean your Le Crueset (or any pot or pan, for that matter).
Step 1 – Fill 3/4th of the pan with hot water from the tap
Step 2 – Add 2 flat tablespoons of washing soda
Step 3 – Put the uncovered pan on the stove on high. Let the water boil for around 15-20 minutes
Step 4 – Turn the stove off, let the water cool down to room temperature and then wash the pan scrubbing gently with a non abrasive scrubber. Drain water.
Step 5 – Rinse and pat dry with a soft cotton cloth (or air dry)