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Listen, okay. Don't judge me on the before. We are all at that low point where our Dutch ovens are built up with junk. I'm not the only one. I'm just here to tell you how to clean an enameled cast iron dutch oven quickly. Emphasis on the quickly...because once you realize how awful it is, you don't want anyone else to see it, amiright?
When you have had one of these beauties for awhile, they just get built up with all the remnants of our cooking love. You can scrape and scrub all the live long day, but some of it just won't come off. Read: don't ever try to boil milk for alfredo sauce in a dutch oven, k. I'm pretty sure that's where this Dutch oven went south.
How To Clean An Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven Quickly
Go ahead and pour a bunch of baking soda in it...like half the box; fill the pot with water to the stain line.
Boil the mixture vigorously on the stove for 10 minutes. During the boil, use a flat wooden spatula to scrape the bottom of the pot several times. Just keep scraping away. It will look like the picture above after about 5 minutes...depending on the amount of build up. Leave it and come back to it, scrape a little here and there. Remove it from the heat and let it cool.
Once it's cooled enough to work with, pour a little bit of the water off and start scrubbing with a non-abrasive scrubbing pad. The build-up comes off really easily at this point. Rinse the baking soda residue off and it should be looking much better! It's not perfect, but it is quick and less embarrassing when people are coming over for dinner in an hour...just saying.
The next step is probably going to be to use Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Cleaner. I think that will help further remove the staining. In truth, I should have been using that since the beginning, and I should have been doing periodic deep cleanings since the beginning. We live, we learn.