Dutch ovens, also known as cocotte, are the must-have cookware items that shouldn’t be missing from any kitchen. They are extra versatile and great for baking, broiling, searing and more. There are many dutch ovens available in the market. One of the best brands, though, is Staub. A characteristic that makes this dutch oven the best is that it is made of an easy-to-clean material. But, how can you clean this type of oven? Can you just throw it in the dishwasher with the rest of the dishes?.
Unfortunately, things might be a bit complicated. We don’t mean to scare you. However, you can’t just wash it the same way you do with your griddle pan or other dishes, pots and pans. There are a few things you need to keep in mind; what to do and what to avoid. In this article, we will walk you through its cleaning process. We are about to show you all the steps on how to clean a Staub cast iron dutch oven to maintain it in pristine condition.
Table of Contents
What is a dutch oven?
A dutch oven, also referred to as a French oven, is a large pot with a well-tightened lid. It’s usually made from cast iron with an enamel coating. The durable material can be used on a stovetop, oven, induction hob or even over a fire pit if you are a camping lover. Due to the lid, this type of oven can preserve the heat during cooking but also maintain food warm enough until it is served.
Dutch ovens are similar to stockpot ovens with a few slight differences. The former has a wider base than the latter and is a bit shorter, with thicker walls maintaining heat better. They also have two short handles on either side, whilst the traditional ones have only one long, ensuring a more balanced and steady transfer in and out the oven.
They are the perfect cooking utensils for baking, roasting, browning, searing, broiling and deep-frying. Beyond roast and stews, which are probably the first that cross your mind, there are more you can use them for. They’re perfect for braising meat, cooking soups, frying chicken, boiling water for pasta, or baking bread.
How do Staub cast iron dutch ovens differ from others
Staub is a French company specialising in ceramic and cast iron skillets for both home and professional cooking. Staub pots, frying pans and other cooking utensils have been used worldwide by professional chefs. But, which are those characteristics that make Staub ovens the best?
This brand uses thick cast iron covered with multiple layers of enamel coating. And you may wonder: “What’s so special about it?” You get a tougher and sturdier chip-resistant piece of cookware. What’s more, the interior of the ovens is matte black. And why is that good? Because it’s very durable and doesn’t discolour, rust or even scratch so easily. It can maintain heat longer, keeping the food warm enough until you serve it.
The lid and the spikes under it keep moisture locked in retaining the flavours and making delicious meals. Plus, the brass or nickel-plated stainless steel knobs are heat resistant up to 260 degrees Celsius and easy to clean. Finally, they have a lifetime warranty, repairing or replacing your item.
How to clean a Staub cast iron dutch oven
And now the tricky part: What’s the safest way to clean your Staub dutch oven? Does cleaning differ from other enamelled cast iron cookware? Your Staub enamelled cast iron dutch oven is easy to clean up. The basic and most straightforward way is just to hand wash it using the regular dish soap. But, there’s a solution to get rid of stuck-on grease. You can just heat your cast iron pan with warm soapy water to loosen the cooked-on particles and then clean both the interior and the exterior with a non-abrasive cleanser and a soft dish scrubber.
Most of the time, washing it with regular detergent might not be enough. If you don’t clean it right after use, then there’s a great risk of ending with a burnt cocotte. Well, luckily, we have a solution for that case as well. If you want to clean it deeply, then use the ultimate natural cleaning ingredients; baking soda or white vinegar.
Method 1: Baking soda
Who isn’t familiar with that miraculous substance? Baking soda is an easy-to-find ingredient known for its powerful cleaning properties. It is overused in many cleaning tasks around the house. It is efficient in removing stains from the oven or a burnt pan, red wine stains from carpets, oil stains from clothes and the list could go on forever. Interesting, right? What’s even more interesting is that you can use it to deep clean your precious ovens from now on.
- A couple of spoonfuls of baking soda
- A wooden spoon
Steps to follow:
- Fill the cast iron pot with water to cover any burnt-on food residue, and bring it to a boil.
- Next, add a few tablespoons of baking powder. Ensure that you add them slowly to avoid all the mess as baking powder will foam and bubble.
- While the hot water-soda mixture simmers, use the wooden spoon to scrape the stains.
Method 2: White vinegar
Surely, you could see that coming. The ultimate ingredient that we couldn’t leave out from our guide is vinegar. And why do so since vinegar can also deep clean the dutch ovens. Vinegar is another natural and easy to find ingredient we all keep in our kitchen. It’s known for its magical cleaning properties, combating even the hardest stains like tea stains, removing paint from paint brushes, clean stainless steel appliances and so forth. Here’s what you should do to clean your cast-iron French ovens.
- White vinegar
Steps to follow:
- Fill the oven with equal parts of water and vinegar and bring the mixture to a boil on the stovetop.
- Let it boil for a minute and remove it from the heat.
- Finally, drain the water-vinegar mixture down the sink and wash with warm water and dish soap.
Refreshing you enamelled cast iron Staub
Cleaning the ovens after use is only half the way of maintaining them in good condition. There is something extra you should do in order to maintain it in good condition. You need to refresh it. Staub enamelled cast iron dutch ovens have a black finish that might lose its glossy appearance over time. Well, luckily, there’s a simple way to refresh it and maintain its perfect patina and nonstick capability.
- Vegetable oil
- Paper towels
Steps to follow:
- Warm the cast iron pan on medium-low heat and pour a little vegetable oil.
- Heat it for 3-5 minutes or until the excess oil is cooked out.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool down.
- Then, using a paper towel, wipe the oil.
After that, you can store it or use it for cooking.
Cleaning the discoloured Staub dutch oven
Did your tomato sauce or caramel spill over staining the sparkling pan? It’s not only you that have such accidents while cooking. Outside staining is usual and doesn’t affect the performance of your cast iron skillet or the taste of your food. It does need a little extra cleaning to be removed from your pan and make it sparkle again. Hence, if you want to get rid of the discolouration, you can get a specialised enamel cookware cleaner or apply the below natural method.
- Baking soda
- Hot water
Steps to follow:
- Fill the sink with hot water and add a few teaspoons of baking powder.
- Soak the pot into the cleaning solution for a few minutes.
- Then, remove it and handwash.
Extra cleaning and maintenance tips
Cleaning your Staubs isn’t enough. They may have a lifetime warranty, but there are more to consider if you want not to void it and keep enjoying cooking. Below we have outlined a couple of tips about what to do and what to avoid.
- Before starting the cleaning process, always let your Staub cookware cool down. The extreme temperature differences between the hot pan and the cold water can cause the pot to crack or even break.
- For regular cleaning, wash it with warm soapy water and a soft sponge, and always dry it completely to avoid water stains.
- It’s dishwasher safe unless it has wooden handles. You need to know, though, that dishwashing might make the patina lose its finish and turn dull the outside, glossy finish.
- To prevent chipping and scratching, avoid placing it close to other products in the dishwasher.
- Don’t use oven cleaners and harsh abrasive tools, like steel wool, metal scraper, brushes and scouring pads, as they can damage the enamel nonstick cooking surface.
- Don’t stack it with other pots and pans. To protect it from scratches, place a paper towel, a soft dishcloth or cookware protector between each item.
- While cooking, always use utensils made from wood, silicone, heat-resistant plastics or other soft materials to avoid scratching the interior.
Cleaning your Staub dutch ovens shouldn’t trouble you anymore. With some easy-to-find ingredients and our step-by-step instructions, you will keep it brand new. Wash it after use with your regular dishwashing detergent and a soft sponge. If there are any cooked-on food particles, use baking soda or vinegar to clean them. Don’t worry about the coating. We can promise that all the ingredients mentioned above are totally safe to use and won’t damage your best ally in cooking.