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Cast Iron Cleaning and Seasoning Help With and Tips & Techniques For Cast Iron Cookware Restoration

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Old 10-24-2019, 08:58 PM
LeslieG LeslieG is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2019
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Default Le Creuset Skillet with Damaged Non-stick Layer

I purchased a now- vintage Le Creuset enameled CI skillet in the 80s. Its got a wooden handle in perfect condition. The cast iron bottom says Feu Doux, low heat, made in France 26. Its a beautiful dark blue enamel in decent condition.

When I purchased, it was a truly non-stick surface similar to Teflon. Over the years, it has developed pits and flaking areas where a black plastic like substance is coming off. I refuse to use it in this condition! It occurred to me after researching cast iron seasoning etc that maybe this skillet is still salvageable if I can completely remove the non-stick coating and reveal the cast iron. Once I started researching this idea, I realize it is not so easy to determine the truth as there is so much misinformation online--grr!! On a cooking website, there are people who don't "believe" that Le Creuset ever made a CI pan with a non-stick coating (really?) and the entire thread becomes "did so, did not" etc etc.

Some people claim that once you remove the non-stick layer, there is yet another strange "gray" layer of metal that doesn't appear to be iron. What would it be? And could you safely cook on it? Will being more vigorous with an Avanti grinder pad be the way to get to the iron layer?

My plan was to use a power drill with an abrasive Avant pad, then maybe switch to a steel brush attachment if necessary. I don't have access to sandblasting unless I sent it out. Does any one have any experience or suggestions with this situation? I hate to never use this nice skillet (12"?) again even though I have others that are non enameled.
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Old 10-25-2019, 04:32 PM
Doug D. Doug D. is offline
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Default Re: Le Creuset Skillet with Damaged Non-stick Layer

Sounds like too many unknowns and a whole lot of trouble. Whatever the case, I don't think you'll find the kind of iron surface beneath whatever's there to be all that suitable for cooking. LC really needs the iron surface texture to be optimal for the enamel to adhere (or in this case Teflon and whatever may be under it), and not as a cooking surface itself. Rims of LC pots and edges of lids where the iron is just clear glazed give an idea of what's under the enamel, kind of rough and sandpaper-y.
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