Cleaning the stains from your Dutch oven or Le Creuset doesn’t have to be the chore it’s always been. This simple kitchen hack will remove all the residue from the bottom of your Dutch oven with no heavy scrubbing or chemicals.
If you’re like me, you adore your Dutch oven. It’s the perfect kitchen pot since it can go right from the stove to the oven and can handle just about any kind of recipe. I use mine to cook chicken recipes, chili and soups and it’s the perfect size for making homemade strawberry jam.
These beautiful, weighty pots radiate heat so your food cooks evenly, sauces thicken with ease, and your flavors meld perfectly while your dish cooks. However, we all know the pain of burning something in the bottom of your Le Creuset or just having that baked in brown residue that won’t come out.
We’ve all stood over a sink of soapy water with a scrub brush, desperately trying to remove caked or burned-on residue from the bottom of an enameled cast iron pot or pan.
When this happens to me, I’m as equally frustrated by the effort it will take to remove the mess as I am with the thought of a ruined Dutch oven. After all, a lot of money is invested in a Dutch oven, and you want it to last a lifetime, mine is easily 25 years old!
The good news is, if you care for your Le Creuset or enameled cast iron, it will last for decades, and this kitchen hack gives brand new life to your pot. It helps removes even the muckiest messes and most disastrous stuck-on food residue.
And, for more good news, you have everything you need to clean your Dutch oven right there in your pantry. All you need is baking soda and a bit of water. Really!
If there’s one thing food bloggers know how to do other than cooking, it’s washing up pots and pans!
Why You’ll Love This Kitchen Hack
- It simply uses baking soda and water; things you already have in the kitchen.
- You don’t have to use very much elbow grease; the baking soda does all the hard work.
- It takes less time than hand-scrubbing your pot.
- You won’t ruin the enameled finish.
What You’ll Need to Easily Clean Your Dutch Oven
- 1-2 Tbsp Baking Soda
How to Clean Your Dutch Oven Without Scrubbing
Add about an inch of water into the bottom of your Dutch oven or enameled skillet. Then, add 1-2 Tablespoons of baking soda. Turn the heat on the stove and allow the water to simmer for 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let the pot cool. When you can safely and comfortably touch the pot and the water, use a scraper to remove any burnt residue or stains.
This is my all time favorite scrubber for any type of cleaning, made with peach pits
If your stain was so stubborn that it’s still there, repeat the process, but let it simmer for longer.
How to Keep Food From Burning in a Le Creuset
The best way to guarantee burnt food won’t get stuck in the bottom of your Dutch oven is to line it with parchment paper. This trick works so well when baking bread. But sometimes, you can’t use parchment, like when you’re browning chicken thighs, or braising beef. Instead, make sure you keep enough liquid in the pan to ensure your food isn’t going to stick to the bottom.
Keep the heat a bit lower as well. A Dutch oven radiates heat and traps it inside. It holds plenty of heat for a long time. You never need to use high heat when cooking in a Dutch oven.
Over the stove, low to medium heat is enough. In the oven, 350°F is usually sufficient to cook any food. Occasionally, you may need to use a higher heat, but it isn’t often.
Pro tip: Are your baking sheets in need of a good cleaning, too? Use this kitchen hack to finally revive stained baking trays and make them as good as new.
More Ways to Clean a Dutch Oven
If you don’t have baking soda or don’t have time to let your pot simmer, you can use the old-fashioned ‘let it soak’ method. Place your Le Creuset in the sink and add a few inches of hot water. Drip in some dish soap, then run more water to cover the stains and burnt food.
Let the pot soak for up to an hour to allow the water to permeate the stuck-on residue, then remove it with a plastic scraper.
Recipes made in a Dutch oven
Now that you know you can get your enameled cast iron clean, let’s get it dirty!
Creamy Broccoli Rice Casserole without Canned Soup
Easy Spaghetti Casserole with Ground Beef
Baked Rice with Italian Sausage and Corn
Braised Beef Short Ribs Recipe
Kitchen Hack 5: (How to Clean Stains From a Dutch Oven)
- 2 Tbsp Baking Soda
- Run an inch of water in the bottom of your Dutch oven, then add 1-2 Tbsp of baking soda. Allow the pot to simmer for 10 minutes, then remove it from the heat.
- When the pot has cooled, gently scrape off any burnt residue or stains.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- This method will work for any type of enameled cast iron skillet.
- If the stain doesn’t come off, try repeating it and letting it simmer for 20 minutes.