Back in 2001 my husband requested a Le Creuset dutch oven for Christmas. I had no idea what this meant so I turned to my shopping guru, my mom. She translated that my husband wanted cookware similar to the orange enamel cast iron pots she owned during the seventies.
Ah. The seventies. The golden age of orange household decor.
I tootled off to London Drugs and bought my husband a monster-sized, not-orange (blue, in fact) dutch oven. It holds 6.9 litres (for the Americans reading this, that is about 7.25 quarts). Because this was before Teh Oprah popularized the brand and drove the prices sky-high, I bought it for $129 AND I got a free frying pan with my purchase. Today a similar sized pot runs at least twice that amount. With no free frying pan.
I didn't mean to start off this post by ranting about Teh Oprah or referencing the seventies. Both of these are blights on our cultural landscape and it's best I set aside my frustration and focus upon the reason that I started this post. Which is...
Last year I bought a Le Creuset frying pan and it's gotten horribly stained and no amount of soap and elbow grease would make it less disgusting.
And here it is now:
It's not perfect but at least it doesn't look utterly unhygienic. This miracle of cleanliness comes courtesy of Easy Off oven cleaner. I sprayed it on for 20 minutes, wiped it off with a damp sponge, rinsed the pan under warm water, did another spray, another 20 minutes, wiped, and rinsed. I should probably do another round, but I ran out of time.
Confession: Remember that free frying pan I mentioned earlier? I tested this method on that pan first. It was "FREE" after all.
It looks damn fine, too.
If you're going to try this, I highly recommend wearing rubber gloves and not suing me if the whole thing goes tits up.