Thursday, March 19, 2009

Use What I Have: Dirty Skillets

We've been finding black flakes of something in our eggs.

Before giving these $5 skillets the boot, I asked the Le Creuset store manager, "What am I doing wrong?!?"

He diagnosed the problem as oxidation--charred food. His solution? Turn down the heat.

Even easier: baking soda is an effective substitute for the fancy Le Creuset cleaner.

Thankful for his expert advice, I'm taking better care of what I already own.


Shell in your Pocket said...

Wow..never knew that..thanks.
sandy toe

Christi said...

It certainly doesn't hurt to ask! Thanks for sharing the tip about baking soda.

Mary said...

I love enamel clad cast iron! Picked up a wonderful little dutch oven at Aldi of all places a couple months ago, its been great for all day long cooking jobs like beans and such. I think my soup was better in it too. I never have used cast iron for eggs though. I usually cook them in lighter pans. I used to work in a little restaurant where they were done in non-stick pans and you would just flip them in the pan with a little 'wrist action'. Can't do that with cast iron. ;) At least I can't anyhow. ;)

Emily said...

$5! Wow! There must be a post in your archives somewhere about that snag! My set was free - hand me downs - but $5 is pretty impressive. Thanks for the tip, a goal of mine is to start taking better care of what I have.


Layla said...

Oh, I'm so glad they were able to help you! I've found the folks in the store (I'm just assuming you went to the one that I know about, over in that new-ish area by Whole Foods) to be very nice and helpful, even when I'm visiting the store "just to drool."

Those are fantastic skillets. What a happy color, too! (Can't believe you found them for $5 -- so amazing.)

Clairew said...

Happy to find your blog;) Read about it over at Mercedes' and don't remember ever being here!

Bird Stalker Photography said...

I wish I could find some for 5 dollars!!! I got a new stove and it was so hard to get used to having to keep my heat low, I had to learn to cook again lol!

GoodPlans said...

$5 worth! That's what makes it all the more efficient to use what you have. You paid so little for such nice pans in the first place. I love it.

Unknown said...

I didn't realize your birthday was Wednesday! HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!!

I guess that's why we think so much alike, because mine is tomorrow. (Although I will have many more candles on my cake :)

Carlene said...

I love, love, love my Le Creuset pots and pans! A few years ago my husband bought me a set of "irregulars" from Amazon. There's absolutely nothing wrong with them (except for an occasional irregular spot in the paint). Even being irregulars they were still a little pricey and I would never have bought them myself, but my husband knew how much I wanted some, so he surprised me. I use them all the time and they still work and look great. I figure they will eventually pay for themselves, as they are pots and pans I will have for the rest of my life.

I've since managed to find a Le Creuset au gratin pan at my Goodwill. It did clean up nicely with a little baking soda and some elbow grease.

Meredith said...

These are small skillets--perfect for a couple of eggs or to pan fry onions while something else is in a big pan.

I keep thinking I will pass them on to someone else, especially with my flaking problem, but after figuring out what I'm doing wrong, I'm inspired to use what I have.

Thanks to everyone who shared their Le Creuset stories. These are my first pieces from that line and I bought them mainly to experiment with the cookware.

They are heavy, though!!!

Amy said...

That is great information to know! I love baking soda too for when I get stuff stuck on the bottom of my pots. I just heat a little water with baking soda and let it soak and then use that as an abrasive to get the rest of the gunk off. Works like a charm!

Missy K said...

Ah, Meredith, tempting me to revisit my envy at your LeCreuset finds!

I'm glad to read a review of the Aldi cast iron-- I was curious.

And another wonderful baking soda use- it is surely the wonder of homekeeping.

Happy belated birthday!

Amanda from Faith, Food and Family said...

Wish I could pick up some Le Creuset for $5. What an awesome find! Plus how smart of you to use what you have instead of buying something else. Hopefully you'll be able to get better use of them after talking with that manager.
God bless,

MommyLydia said...

We lost our Cast Iron pot in the move -- it was in the box with the Kitchen Aid that somehow never arrived :( I keep searching the thrift stores for a replacement cause it was my husband's favorite pan. Nothing yet!

Would a Le Crueset skillet work the same if I found an enameled cast iron skillet?

Roxie700 said...

I have never used one of those pans. I have often wondered if they were worth the cost. We have a Le Creuset Outlet store near us. I have looked at them many times.

I do have an old cast iron skillet that was my grandma's. Love using that. I can make the best gravy in that pan....(if I do say so myself)

Meredith said...

I love the colors of the Le Creuset cookware, but Roxie--nothing is going to taste as good as your cast iron skillet!

Susan said...

Just a question: are the Le Creuset pans you have regular cast iron on the inside? I have an enameled Le Creuset dutch oven that I got on a Tuesday Morning outlet special, and I really like it a lot. I have about six other cast iron skillets, from enormous down to little, that I keep in pretty constant rotation, but I don't really like my eggs done in a cast iron skillet. They always seem to stick a little, no matter what. I love this idea of evaluating everything that you own, and either using it or getting rid of it. Your picture looks like it has one skillet that you cleaned up and one that wasn't. The results on the cleaned up skillet look great!

Kelly said...

I bake cornbread in a Le Creuset skillet. It is one of my favorite pans.
My sister could not determine what was ruining her Henkels knives .
So she asked at the specialty store where she purchased them and discovered she was not supposed to wash them in the dishwasher .
A costly mistake !

Workin' MAMA! said...

I love this brand of cookware!

I see them in TJ MAXX alllll the time! I've bought some out of there - There is also an outlet store here that specialize in them -
Yep, got it right - I prefer the outlet 'chains' like Marshalls, TJ maxx, etc for these pans -
I've also scored CALPHALON baking sheets that are 'huge' at TJMAXX for 5 bucks - on clearance! I rattled all the way to the checkout with these finds!

I will be on the hunt this spring at yardsales for more Le Creuset ware -
Can't believe people would stomach to part with them!
(I'm enjoying responding to all your posts this week! ha ha ha)

Being home today has advantages I see!


Laurie said...

You found Le Creuset for $5??????
Woman, are you crazy for wanting to give them away??

Sorry. I love Le Creuset and forgot myself for a moment! Those are gems.

If nothing else, those are definitely items you could sell on craigslist and make some money on.