Is Le Creuset's weight a benefit?
Yes, Le Creuset cookware:
• Distributes heat more evenly.
• Ensures moisture and flavours are sealed in by tight-fitting lids.
• Prevents pans from "dancing" on the stovetop, freeing up an extra hand.
• Increases pan's longevity by preventing warping or burning.
• Retains heat longer which keeps food hot for those 2nd helpings!
Is Le Creuset lead and cadmium free?
Cadmium and lead are two elements under strict control in the cookware industry. Our position today for the entire production process is to be in compliance with California Proposal 65 which is the most rigid standard in the world for these elements (approx. 10 times lower than "acceptable" limits). Lead is NOT used in our recipes and for cadmium a special anti-acid enamel fritt is used which will not release the cadmium pigment during cooking. Cadmium is used for coloration purposes in achieving bright exterior colours such as Flame and Cherry. The interior enamel which makes contact with food is either sand, white, or black.
What temperature should be used for best results and performance?
Because of the heat retaining properties of cast iron, Le Creuset products do not require high heats at any time - use medium to low heat settings to maintain ideal cooking temperatures. This will minimize the risk of food sticking in the pan. Heat pan slowly using a medium heat, then reduce to low.
Select the size of your heat source so that it is as close as possible to the base size of your pan. This will prevent energy loss and overheating of the handle. Placing a small pan on a large burner will result in the side walls becoming over-heated as well as the handles.
What sort of heat source is best for Le Creuset cast iron?
Le Creuset cast iron is suitable for all heat sources including induction burners and has been tested and approved by the Good Housekeeping Institute for use on glass stovetops.
What do you recommend for cleaning Le Creuset cast iron products with tough, stuck on foods?
If food is stuck and difficult to remove, then you should soak the dish in a mixture of dish detergent and warm water. The food will loosen quite quickly (i.e. in 30 minutes max...while you eat). In most instances, this method will do the trick. If a dish looks like it is going to be really hard work to clean, then do not let it go cold before you take action, because then the residues stick even harder.
If a dish or pan has cooked or boiled dry with food in it, it may be harder to remove. For this problem, a good method is to cool it a little, then fill it with a solution of powder laundry detergent, such as Tide, and warm water (approx 2 teaspoons in 2 pints water). This powder has enzymes in it that help to dissolve grease and residues (this solution, in greater quantities, is also "the best" for dissolving grease on oven racks or barbeque grills). For our pans, you then boil it on the stovetop and simmer for a few minutes. Finally, empty the liquid into the sink. Repeat again if necessary.
Also, we have a special cookware cleaner, which if used occasionally (i.e. once every 2- 3 weeks) will keep the enamel lustrous and shiny. The cleaner is also designed to condition the surface, much as you do for glass stovetops. This conditioning also offers a level of stain resistance and protection.