You have just purchased a piece of high quality Le Creuset enameled cast iron cookware. Each piece, from this extensive range, is individually designed for ease and versatility of use, fitting in with all styles of cooking, all types of cooking appliance and any style of kitchen or dining decor. Please read this section or the booklet with your product before using your cookware for the first time. The information it contains will help you achieve the best possible cooking results.
HOW TO USE YOUR COOKWARE
- Before first use, remove all labels. Wash the product in hot soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly.
- Performs well on all heat sources, including induction. When using products on glass or ceramic stovetops, always follow the manufacturer's guidance for use of your cookware. It is important to lift the product across the glass when moving it. Do not slide it across the glass, or bang it down, both may damage the glass.
- For marinating and storage, allow products to cool down before placing into a refrigerator or freezer.
- Match the base size of your product to the heat zone as much as possible to maximize efficiency and ensure proper heat dispersion.
- Low to medium heat settings will provide the best results for a majority of cooking applications, including frying and searing. High heats should only be used to either boil water for vegetables or pasta or for reducing the consistency of stocks and sauces.
- Phenolic knobs and handles are oven safe to 375°F / 190°C. Cast Iron handles and stainless steel knobs can be used at any oven temperature and under the broiler.
Metal handles will become hot during stovetop as well as oven use. Use a dry, thick cloth, oven mitt or a Silicone Cool Tool for handling these at all times.
- Recommended cooking utensils are Le Creuset heat-resistant Silicone, heat-resistant plastic, and wooden utensils in order to protect the surface.
- For countertop protection, stand hot pans on a Silicone Cool Tool or other heatproof trivet, board, or cloth. Do not stand directly on an unprotected surface or countertop.
SPECIAL TIPS FOR GRILLS
- Do not oil the grill's surface before heating begins. Allow the surface to reach the correct cooking temperature (see water test below) and then oil it, or the food, lightly. In time, totally fat free cooking will become possible as a patina builds up on the grill surface.
- Use only low to medium heat settings for all pre-heating and cooking. The efficiency of the material is such that searing temperatures are achieved on medium settings within a few minutes. Heating the surface a little more slowly will ensure a thoroughly and evenly heated surface.DO NOT pre-heat the grill on a high heat and then reduce to medium or low for cooking. Cast iron is a very efficient material and retains heat well. If over-heated it will retain that heat for a long time and this method of use may contribute to poor cooking results and the food sticking to the surface of the grill.
- To test if the surface is hot, scatter a few droplets of cold water over the hot surface. The droplets will spit and evaporate immediately when it is hot. If the droplets sit on the surface for several seconds then it is not hot enough so continue to pre-heat and test again.
- Once hot, oil the surface with a little vegetable, corn or groundnut oil and add the foods immediately. Olive oil is not ideal for oiling the grill cooking surface as it has a lower smoking point than those oils suggested above. If the flavor is desired, use it to brush directly onto the food or in a pre-cooking marinade.
- At no time should the grill's surface be smoking hot. This very high temperature is far from ideal for good grilling and may result in the outside of the food being over-browned and over-cooked before the center is cooked correctly or to your taste. If the surface is smoking, lower the heat immediately or, carefully remove the grill from the heat source to cool down before proceeding.
- Dry all meats, poultry and fish on absorbent kitchen paper towels. Wet food surfaces do not sear well and will not produce the desired sear lines. Marinated foods also require drying to prevent steaming or sticking to the surface.
- Do not move the foods as soon as they are placed on the hot surface otherwise the sear lines, or the crisp browning of the food, will not be achieved. Depending on the food and degree of cooking required, allow 1 to 3 minutes to seal the outside before turning. If, as the food is lifted, it does not release easily, leave a little longer, then turn over.
- Use salt sparingly on meats and only add salt immediately prior to cooking. Salts left on the food surface for some time will draw out moisture, which may produce sticking and may also cause the cooked food to have a dry texture.
- Red meats, such as beef or lamb, or rich poultry such as duck, may be eaten pink or rare at the center and can, therefore, be cooked to taste. Chicken, turkey or pork MUST be thoroughly cooked and should not release any pink juices when the food is pierced with the point of a sharp knife or a turkey skewer.
- Metal tongs or utensils may be used for lifting or turning foods but these should not be scraped over the enamel surface or knocked on the side edges.
- If fats or oils require draining from the grill, do this by carefully lifting and tilting the grill so that these residues can flow over one of the corners at either end of the holding channel.
- It is natural for an oily, slightly brown to black film (called a Patina) to build up on the grill surface. Do not attempt to remove this as it improves the release of the foods from the cooking surface. The completely enameled surface of the grill allows it to be washed in the dishwasher but this will reduce the build up and efficiency of the Patina.
CLEANING & CARE
- After use, let product cool down to room temperature before rinsing or washing. Do not fill a hot pan with cold water or plunge into cold water as thermal shock damage to the enamel may occur.
- Handwash with hot soapy water, rinse with warm water and dry. Products are dishwasher safe, but handwashing is recommended. Constant diswashing may lead to some dulling of the enamel finish. The dulling is not harmful and will not impair performance.
- If there are food residues, fill the pan with warm water and leave to soak for 15 - 20 minutes, then wash in the usual way. For stubborn residues, nylon or soft abrasive pads or brushes can be used. Do not use metallic pads or harsh abrasive cleaning agents as these will damage the enamel. Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Cleaner is recommended.
- Dry products thoroughly after washing. Do not drain dry and do not store away while still damp.
- Maintain the tightness of affixed handles and knobs by checking and re-tightening them regularly.
- Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron is extremely durable, but it may be damaged if dropped or knocked against a hard surface.