Le Creuset pots and pans are stunning, and they are so fantastic to cook with. The question remains, can they go in the oven? What about their lids? You might have a beautiful frittata you want to throw in the oven. A Le Creuset pot seems like it would make the perfect baking and serving dish. We did the research, and we’ve got the answers on everything you’re going to need to know about putting your prize pots and pans in your oven.
Le Creuset enameled cast iron pots can be put in the oven at any temperature. The lids also can be put in the oven at any temperature. The black knobs that the enameled cast iron lids come with, however, are phenolic. The phenolic knobs on Le Creuset’s Classic series of pots and pans can go into the oven up to 390 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas Le Creuset’s Signature pots and pans have phenolic knobs that go into heat up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Le Creuset advises against using any products with wooden handles in the oven.
So what do you do if you need to put your lid with the knob into the oven above the advised temperature? What will happen to the knob if you accidentally overheat it? What makes the rest of the pot heat resistant? This article will answer all these questions and more. Read on for all the information you need about using Le Creuset pots in the oven.
The Le Creuset Knob
Let's talk first about the phenol lid. Phenol resin feels like plastic, but it is heat resistant to some degree. The phenol lid does stay cool when using the pot on the stovetop to prevent burns, which is why Le Creuset uses these knobs. However, be it at 390 or 500 degrees, the knob can melt.
Solution one is a quick, easy fix. It is to unscrew the knob and use the pot without a knob. It makes taking off and putting on a hot lid difficult but not impossible with a good pair of oven mitts. Solution two is to buy a metal Le Creuset knob replacement. There are a variety of colors and designs to chose from. They will screw onto your pot very easily, with just a screwdriver.
What happens when you put your phenol lid into an oven that is too hot? You may be experimenting with sourdough. The recipe might suggest using an enameled cast iron dutch oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit. So innocently, you place your Classic Le Creuset lid in the oven, not knowing it's too hot for the knob. What happens?
Likely there will be lots of smoke, and your phenol knob will melt onto the lid of the pot. These knobs are known for warping or melt off after being in high temperatures. Some knobs crack.
What Makes the Rest of the Pot Heat Resistant?
Le Creuset Pots are known for being a luxury item. Their pots are made of enameled cast iron. Cast iron is known for being able to hold a high amount of heat. Le Creuset uses a glass enamel that coats, seals, and protects the cast iron.
On their website, they boast that their enamel is “non-reactive, nonporous, and resists stains, rust, scratches, and flavor absorption." Their pots and pans are known for being made with the utmost precision so they can heat and cook food evenly. Le Creuset enamel is made to hold an exorbitant amount of heat like the cast iron it coats. These pots can withstand virtually any temperature in the oven.
Burning food onto the Bottom of the Pot or Pan
One risk you run while cooking with your pot in the oven is accidentally burning the dish you're preparing in the oven. Le Creuset pots and pans retain heat. If you heat a pot at too high of a temperature, it will take a while for it to cool. This could result in charring and leaving a burnt layer of food stuck to the inside of the pot. The main risk here is scratching your enamel while scrubbing your pot vigorously with a coarse sponge.
There is a trick to cleaning these pots. The enamel is strong, but it is recommended to be gentle with it and not tempt fate. Instead of soaking the pot and trying to scrub it, boil water in the pot with a few teaspoons of baking soda. Watch your pot come clean! Rinse it off in the sink with a nonmetal scrubbing device.
Can a Le Creuset stockpot go in the oven?
Le Creuset stock pots are enameled, however, they are made with an enameled steel and not cast iron. While cast iron can hold loads of heat well, the steal in the stockpot is not designed to withstand the oven's high temperatures. Le Creuset designed this pot to be used on the stovetop. On their website, they suggest using for “...stocks, soups, pasta, canning, and steamed crab.”
How do I know if my stock pot is oven-safe?
Le Creuset does not make an oven-safe stockpot. They only make a stovetop stockpot. Here is a short list of things you can do to check if your other stock pots are safe to use in the oven:
- The bottom of the pot may say if it is oven safe.
- Check the instructions that the pot came with.
- Contact the manufacture or visit the manufacture’s website if the information you need is not listed in the instructions.
What happens if you put a pot in the oven?
What happens if you put a Le Creuset enameled cast iron pot or pan in the oven? If there are wooden handles involved, they could catch on fire and burn. If there is a phenol resin knob on the lid, it could melt off. If you have a pot or pan with a metal knob and no wooden handles, you have nothing to worry about! The pot or pan will heat evenly in the oven. It will cook your food evenly, and you will likely have an easy clean-up due to the smooth enamel.
Le Creuset might take longer to heat in the oven than, say, a glass baking dish. Therefore whatever you’re cooking may take longer. You can preheat your pot or pan before cooking. Preheating the pots and pans in the oven without oil or food in them can cause the enamel to crack. Remember to coat the bottom with oil before preheating.
Can Le Creuset lids go in the oven?
It was mentioned before that the phenol knob, an almost plastic feeling knob, cannot go into the oven above 390 or 500 degrees, depending on if it a Classic Le Creuset or a Signature Le Creuset. The lids themselves can go in the oven. They are also made of enameled cast iron and built to withstand and hold high amounts of heat. If your lid has a metal knob, you are in the clear and can heat your lid and knob to any temperature you need.
Can Le Creuset go from fridge to oven?
Some reviewers say they have put Le Creuset on the stove after pulling it out of the fridge without experiencing any difficulties. The Le Creuset manufacturer does say that you can put their pots in the oven, stove, fridge, and freezer. To be safe, let whatever dish your preparing in your pot cool to room temp before putting it in the fridge or freezer. We also suggest letting your dish warm to room temp before putting it in the oven or on the stove. The enamel is very resistant, however, it is better to be gentle with it so it can last. Drastic temperature changes can stress enamel so it is better to play it safe.
Le Creuset enameled cast iron pots and pans can go in the oven and so can their lids. Be careful with the black phenolic knobs that come with Le Creuset lids. These knobs can only handle so much heat. Buy a metal knob if you need to use your Classic Le Creuset pot or pan in the oven, over 390 degrees, or your signature Le Creuset pot or pan in an oven over 500 degrees. Remember not to put any wooden handles in the oven. Lastly, the enamel on the pot is insanely resilient and well designed however it is smart to treat it with care so it lasts a very long time.
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