Wondering how to clean your Dutch oven? Today I’m sharing all my best tips for cleaning enameled cast iron!
I will never forget how excited I was to get our Dutch ovens for our wedding. It was my first nice cookware and I felt extremely fancy, LOL! But in all honesty, it’s one of the most used items in my kitchen.
But what do you do when you burn food in a piece of enameled cast iron? I’ve had a lot of cooking mishaps in my life, but last week I faced a really challenging one. A friend was using my Dutch oven to make queso and it burned entirely onto the bottom of the pan.
Three days later, my pan was finally clean, but whew – what a journey! I had posted on Instagram asking for tips when hot water and baking soda didn’t work and today I’m sharing how I did it.
Cleaning Enameled Cast Iron
First things first – the Dutch oven was in pretty bad shape with a lot of cheese and meat stuck to the bottom, so I soaked it overnight with lots of soap and hot water. The next day, it didn’t look much better, but I was able to get most of the food out.
After that, I put about 1/2 inch of water in the pot and brought it to a boil on the stove. Once boiling, I shut off the heat and added baking soda. It bubbled up like it normally does, but I was super disappointed with the results.
Here’s how it looked after two days and multiple rounds of hot water, soap, and baking soda:
How To Clean Cast Iron
Desperate to figure out what to do, I polled Instagram and the suggestions were amazing! The first one I got was to attempt using Barkeeper’s Friend. I had the powder version, so I sprinkled a bit of that on with some water to make a paste, and was a bit disappointed that not much changed.
Other people suggested boiling a pot of hot water and adding a dishwasher tab, so onward I went.
Cleaning A Dutch Oven
By this time, someone else had told me to try liquid Barkeeper’s Friend, so I did a round of that and was pleasantly surprised by the results, but there was still a ton of burn marks on the bottom of the pot. I let it soak for a little while and took a break while I ran errands.
Tips For Cleaning Enameled Cast Iron
A couple hours later, I drained out the pot, but…the bigger black spots were still there. Someone else shared that they always use hot white vinegar with baking soda and a Magic Eraser and I had all on hand, so I was like…sure, why not? I used an entire Magic Eraser, but it definitely helped.
I was really sick of dealing with cleaning this monster, so I took a break and let the pot soak in hot water with a dryer sheet. The black that was on the bottom would. not. budge.
I came back to it about two hours later and I think I just expected the dryer sheet to work miracles, and I think if this pot wasn’t so charred it may have. A lot of the black seemed to be clearing up…but there was still some there.
More than one person suggested Dawn Powerwash. I was kind of skeptical, but I had nothing to lose at this point. I sprayed it on and told Dane I might need him to scrub for a little bit. I was extremely over scrubbing, haha, but I let it sit for a little bit and then he got to work with a nylon-bristled brush.
And let me just tell you…IT WORKED! I could have cried tears of joy. I had sort of just come to the conclusion those black marks would be there and maybe/hopefully/with any luck they would scrub clean on the next use. But look how nicely it cleaned up!
I hope this helps someone out there who might be pulling their hair out trying to figure out how to clean their cast iron Dutch oven that has some burnt-on food!