How to Clean Enameled Cast Iron: Quick and Easy Tips  

Published July 15, 2022
Orange dutch oven on wooden board with ingredients around it

Who doesn't love the ease of using their enameled cast iron Dutch oven or grill? But when it comes to cleaning it, you might not be sure exactly what to use to avoid scratching it. For the most part, you can just grab a bit of dish soap and a sponge before getting to work. However, for harder stains, you might need to reach for baking soda or white vinegar. Learn how to clean stubborn stains on enameled cast iron and discover tips for keeping it clean.

Clean Enameled Cast Iron Cookware With Ease

Enameled cast iron cookware is handy around the kitchen and camp. And it's not hard to clean. You just want to be sure you do it properly so it lasts a long time. While you can just throw your enameled cast iron in the dishwasher, most manufacturers recommend the ole' hand washing method. This helps to keep your enamel from chipping and ensures everything stays nice and clean. To get started, you need:

How to Clean the Inside of Enameled Cast Iron

You might have possibly let your enameled cast iron Dutch oven cook a bit too long. Now you have a cruddy mess clouding up your precious pan. Not to worry! Cleaning it is as simple as 1, 2, 3.

Scrubbing Burnt Food Residue Out of Dutch Oven Cooking Pan
  1. After the pan has cooled, coat it in 3-4 tablespoons of Dawn.
  2. Fill the sink with hot water and allow it to sit for 10 or so minutes.
  3. Scrub with a nylon scrubbing pad.
  4. Rinse and check.
  5. For baked-on stubborn stains, fill the pan with an inch of water.
  6. Add 2-4 tablespoons of baking soda.
  7. Bring it to a boil and cut the heat.
  8. Use a wooden spoon or plastic spatula to scrape away the crust.
  9. Wash again with soap and water.
  10. Rinse and dry.

Clean the Outside of Enameled Cast Iron Cookware

Typically, you can just wash the outside of the pan with a bit of soap and water to get it clean. However, if you have a lot of caked-on black stains, then you might want to try using a bit of Bar Keepers Friend.

  1. Sprinkle a bit of Bar Keepers Friend on the bottom of a wet pan.
  2. Use a damp sponge to scrub in circular motions.
  3. Scrub the sides of the pan.
  4. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes or so.
  5. Wash in soapy water to make sure all the cleaner is gone.
  6. Repeat as needed.

How to Clean Stubborn or Polymerized Stains From Enameled Cast Iron

The baking soda is pretty much all you need for new, burnt-on gunk. But when you have some polymerized oil or older stains, you need something a little stronger. So, you want to bust out the baking soda, white vinegar, and dish soap.

  1. Mix 1 cup of white vinegar, ½ to ¾ cup of baking soda, and 1-2 tablespoons of Dawn.
  2. Use a cloth to apply the mixture to all the crusted areas of the pan and lid.
  3. Allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Scrub with a nylon scrubber. Depending on the amount of crust, you might need a bit of elbow grease.
  5. Wash in soap and water.
  6. Rinse and dry.

Is Enameled Cast Iron Dishwasher Safe?

Most types of enameled cast iron are labeled as dishwasher safe. However, using a dishwasher isn't typically the recommended method. If you have a dishwasher, you can just rinse out your enameled cast iron pan. It can be placed on the top or bottom of the dishwasher. Make sure to hand dry when pulling it out.

Quick Tips to Keep Your Enameled Cast Iron Clean

You've worked hard to keep your pans looking sharp. While you might have the occasional kitchen mishap, you can use a few tips to avoid burnt-on gunk and chipping your cookware.

Cooking with yellow dutch oven
  • Use low to medium heat to avoid burning.
  • Lift your cookware to avoid scratching or chipping.
  • Don't shove the hot cookware under cold water. Allow it to cool naturally.
  • Avoid abrasive scrapers.
  • Use the proper amount of oil or spray.
  • Hand wash over putting in the dishwasher.
  • Avoid citrus cleaners.

How to Clean Your Enameled Cast Iron and Keep It Clean

Cleaning enameled cast iron is a bit different from cleaning your typical cast iron. But that doesn't mean it's hard or impossible. Just grab a few simple cleaners you probably already have in your home and get to work.

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How to Clean Enameled Cast Iron: Quick and Easy Tips