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weedy

Le Creuset getting sticky?

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It's become apparent that my Le Creuset large Dutch oven (with the cream coloured enameled interior) has become noticeably damaged somehow.

It's not VISIBLE, but it has an obvious circular spot in the center that burns and sticks every time now.

I can also even see the pattern if a liquid boils in the pan.

The centre boils while the surrounding ring does not!

Has anyone else seen this?

Is it just ruined? And I wonder HOW?

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All you will get are guesses given the number of variables which could have caused this, such as:

 

- The shape/type of burner you have

- Excessive heat under the pot (I never crank my range above med/high when using my LC)

- Lack of proper washing

- Excessive scrubbing with an inappropriate tool/solution

 

Take a couple shots and email them, that's what I would probably do....

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There's a small chance that you have a fine, almost invisible layer of protein stuck inside the pan. Like, maybe you slightly overcooked/burnt a stew, and the hardened-on residue is stuck where it was the worst, under the burner. I'd try soaking for an hour, then scrubbing with Bon Ami. However, I'd like to point out that it's probably more likely that the enamel is damaged in those areas, like from being scrubbed too much in the area with an abrasive, bleach-containing cleanser.

 

edited for spelling


Edited by Lisa Shock (log)
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There's a small chance that you have a fine, almost invisible layer of protein stuck inside the pan. Like, maybe you slightly overcooked/burnt a stew, and the hardened-on residue is stuck where it was the worst, under the burner. I'd try soaking for an hour, then scrubbing with Bon Ami. However, I'd like to point out that it's probably more likely that the enamel is damaged in those areas, like from being scrubbed too much in the area with an abrasive, bleach-containing cleanser.

 

I have had a similar problem with my LC, and did a lot of research on how to clean the pot.  Ultimately, I soaked the pot in a mild solution of hot water and bleach with a little detergent added.  After an hour or so I rinsed the pot well, washing with hot, soapy (Dawn dish washing liquid) water until clean.  That solved the problem.

 

I would not use any abrasive, even Bon Ami, on the enamel.  If I recall correctly, LC suggests not using an abrasive, and recommended the bleach-soapy water method.

 

CAVEAT: Your problem appears similar to, not the same as, my problem.  In my case I left the pot on a hot burner and, for lack of a better description,  burnt some food and residue into / onto the enamel. I did not try any other approaches, such as cleanser, Bon Ami, etc., before using the bleach technique.  I used the technique on my older (40+ years) LC, so the enamel may be slightly different than the newer, cream colored enamel, although LC says they will both respond well to the described technique.  YMMV ... Good Luck.


Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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I'd use OxyClean before I ever let bleach touch the enamel. Bleach will eat it away over time, I have a relative who ruined a set of pots with bleach, and, I have seen bathtub surfaces ruined by it as well.

 

A quick search of the Le Creuset website's care areas finds no mention of bleach. While the site warns against 'harsh abrasives', Bon Ami does not fall into that category. It does not contain bleach, so it doesn't eat away the surface, and, the original 1886 Formula (look for the red can at hardware stores) is recommended for cleaning glass -even car enthusiasts use it on antique car glass.

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My WAG is that you have roughened the central spot through repeated burns, scraping and scouring, and this roughness is enough to create the nucleation sites for bubbles and cause food to stick and scorch.  I'll even go so far out on the limb as to say this was caused in the first instance by cast iron's crappy conductivity and a hotspot that (shock, shock) corresponds to your hob.  Let me guess--you have a small gas or induction ring?

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I don't disagree with your guess, that the problem was probably caused by burning on in that general area at least once... 

 

but it's on a flat top ceramic electric burner, not a smaller than the pan gas ring.

the heat source is considerably wider than the area that sticks/burns

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I don't disagree with your guess, that the problem was probably caused by burning on in that general area at least once... 

 

but it's on a flat top ceramic electric burner, not a smaller than the pan gas ring.

the heat source is considerably wider than the area that sticks/burns

 

You can toast the enamel on these.  I know because my wife destroyed a 9Q round LC oven. 

 

Heat concentration in a poorly conductive pot with viscous contents can easily be smaller than the heat source.  Just as there can be a donut pattern, there can also be a "donut hole" central spot.  The latter is why, IMO, few hobs supply heat dead-center--it's how they (try to) attain evenness.

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