Jamie Oliver

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#1 Thu 27 Sep 07 10:17am

Maree

Forum super champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Le Creuset Tagine-help needed with cleaning

Have had my eye on one for ages and thought a) no room for it; b) their Dutch casserole dish works just as well; c) it's jolly heavy and awkward to remove when hot from the stove top.

Today, Received one in cherry red to match their other products I have (always bought on sale or at "trade price" over the last 30+ years as an early birthday present (week early).

Have solved the "heavy and awkward problem" by putting it into a baking dish lined with either a Silpat sheet or a wet tea towel to stop it sliding around in the baking dish when moving it on and off the stove top.

If it spills, the spills go into the  cast iron baking dish. Think I will still need the men of the family to assist, though, with putting on and off. Cast iron x2
is heavy.

But how do I clean it? Normally, I clean my Le Creuset by sticking it back onto the 2nd lowest setting on the stove top, adding water and a good squirt of dishwashing liquis for 10-15 mins. Turn it off and give it a good scrub with a non-abrasive brush or scourer. Return it to the heat and let it dry like that.

But what about the funnel "thingy" on the top of the tagine? Should I do as above but in the oven with the tagine's top upside down in the base?

Any suggestions welcome wink

Last edited by Maree-in-Sydney (Fri 28 Sep 07 3:19pm)


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#2 Thu 27 Sep 07 12:53pm

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Le Creuset Tagine-help needed with cleaning

Is it enamelled? Try soaking it in the sink. I usually don't have trouble with my dutch oven crueset when it's had stuff pretty much baked onto the sides.

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#3 Thu 27 Sep 07 1:03pm

Maree

Forum super champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: Le Creuset Tagine-help needed with cleaning

Yes, it is enamelled and as I said I've never had problems with cleaning my other Le Creuset items. It's the "funnel top" I am concerned about. The top and bottom will not fit in the sink without the risk of chipping the
enamel and the sink isn't deep enough.Tried when it was given to me today.

Can clean the base on the stove as described. It's the top that's the problem.


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#4 Thu 27 Sep 07 11:11pm

bcrain

Forum champ
Occupation Duty Free Lancome and Fragrance sales
From Greater Vancouver
Member since Mon 23 Oct 06

Re: Le Creuset Tagine-help needed with cleaning

I am not sure if you can do this with enamel but can you use oven spray cleaner on it?

happy belated birthday wishes to you!

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#5 Thu 27 Sep 07 11:54pm

French_vanilla

Forum champ
Occupation Secretary
From Dublin - Ireland
Member since Sun 01 Apr 07

Re: Le Creuset Tagine-help needed with cleaning

Hey Maree,

how about drying it upside down, in an empty pressure cooker bassin?!

or you could try putting kitchen towel around some kind of long narrow ustensil and just try to dry it that way... kitchen towel will absorbed what's left of the water...  cool

Boy, those episodes of Mac Gyver are finally paying off.... who would have thought???  thumbsup

Frenchie...

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#6 Fri 28 Sep 07 10:10am

Maree

Forum super champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: Le Creuset Tagine-help needed with cleaning

Hi everyone and thanks for your suggestion. Just back from shopping and had a "brain wave" (a rare event these days).

Since I normally soak Le Creuset and other stuff in warm-hot soapy water on the stove top (because they won't fit in my stupid sink), thought why don't I turn the top upside down and use something long and narrow to clean the funnel.

So I bought a baby's bottle brush. Will cover it with a double layer of Chux (a non material/sponge disposable cleaning cloth) held in place with strong rubber band. Can hold it (funnel down) in the water and give it a scrub and dry off on a tea towel or with paper towels/kitchen paper.

Thanks for your input. Bcrain my birthday is next week. Try to forget them now wink


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#7 Fri 28 Sep 07 11:03am

GeoffP

Forum champ
Occupation Retired Clergy & Computer Consultant
From Bradford, West Yorks
Member since Mon 03 Jul 06

Re: Le Creuset Tagine-help needed with cleaning

Maree - there are a number of things you need to learn about you new tagine. I've got the same le Creuset tagine, and have been using it regularly for almost 5 years

To start with, it doesn't go in the oven! Tagines are used over a gentle heat on the stove top. Although you will find some people give recipes for tagines which say to cook in the oven - these are tagines in name only, and are cooked in a casserole or dutch oven, not an actual tagine.

The purpose of the conical lid is to contain the steam rising from the food, and condense it, allowing it to run back down to the inside of the base. You will notce that the lid sits inside a slightly raised rim - the water collects in tge rim and forms a seal. (The original reason for the little "blind" chimney at the top is for you to put cold water (or better, ice-cubes) in, to encourage the condensation, though this isn't really necessary). It is also far enough away from the heat to stay cool enough to pick it up by hand without needing a clothe.

The base of your tagine is cast iron, and is enamelled. It is as near indestructible as you will get, and can be cleaned any way you want - I stick mine in the dishwasher. If you wash it any other way, you will need to dry it thoroughly to stop it rusting (I dry mine over a gentle heat on the stove top).

The funnel top is a very strong glazed (not enamelled) earthenware - you are very unlikely to chip it in normal use ir cleaning. In fact, if you use your tagine properly on the stove top, it will not get particularly dirty - the steam condensing on the inside stops food sticking. All you should need to do is to clean it as you would a plate. Dry it well, especially round the unglazed earthenware rim

In use, you would normally fry the meat and veg in the base along with onions and spices, without the top on. Then add the rest of the sauce ingredients (chopped tomatoes, soaked beans, water etc. You need very little liquid, as it doesn't lose very much by evaporation. Once all the ingredients are in, and the top back on, you should have the heat very, very low - so low that there is only the gentle "blip, blip" of escaping steam from round the rim. I cook with mine on the smallest gas burner, at the lowest setting, with a heat spreader underneath.

Tagines were originally made from baked clay for cooking over charcoal or dung fires. Fuel was always in short supply, so they were designed to use as little as possible.

To sum up - don't put it in the oven, wash it as you would normally, dry it well, and cook on the stove top on a very low heat.

t would be a very good idea to read the manual - its got full details about care and use (pages 4 & 5), and also some good recipes to get you started!

Last edited by GeoffP (Fri 28 Sep 07 11:31am)

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#8 Fri 28 Sep 07 3:20pm

Maree

Forum super champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: Le Creuset Tagine-help needed with cleaning

Thanks everyone:)

Hope you don't mind, but I've copied and pasted your suggestions for future reference.

Geoff, I wash my cast-iron by emptying it, returning it to low heat with warm-hot water and a squirt of dishwashing liquid. Leave it while we eat, give it a scrub (if necessary) with a non-abrasive, soft brush. Rinse under the tap and return to the (low) heat to dry properly. Have 100+yrs old pans and corn-stick moulds and do the same (after they have been seasoned-they are not enamelled).

After one *very* late night dinner, put the Le Creuset lasagne pan into the dishwasher after initial cleaning. Almost cried as it had lost a lot of its patina. Never again. While I have a personal *loathing* to wake to a kitchen that it not completely "clean" (puts me in a bad mood for the rest of the day), would rather wake up to have a lasagne dish soaking than have a wrecked dish/spoiled dish.

Geoff, all that came in my (unopened) Le Creuset box was an approx 2"x3" paper booklet.Perhaps I should contact the local distributors...

Thanks, again smile

To ensure the drying of the tagine "lid" may dry it in a low oven, after washing well.

Last edited by Maree-in-Sydney (Fri 28 Sep 07 4:19pm)


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#9 Sat 29 Sep 07 12:30am

GeoffP

Forum champ
Occupation Retired Clergy & Computer Consultant
From Bradford, West Yorks
Member since Mon 03 Jul 06

Re: Le Creuset Tagine-help needed with cleaning

The le Creuset tagine base doesn't actually season, since it is their "rough" black enamel. I have several le Creuset "black" cast iron enamel series, and they don't build up a patina or seasoning. I've had two of this series for 30+ years, and they remain exactly as I got them.

I've tried seasoning, as I use on my cast iron frying pans, but the enamelling means it doesn't actually work, so I am content to put them in the dishwasher.

The really important thing with the tagine is to only use it on the stove top, and not in the oven.

If I get  hance this weekend, I'll scan the manual in.

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#10 Sun 30 Sep 07 11:09pm

itsmarie

Forum champ
Occupation Experimental learning
From Surrey UK
Member since Sat 18 Aug 07

Re: Le Creuset Tagine-help needed with cleaning

I have just bought a terracotta tagine, can i use this in the oven? it was secondhand and came with no instructions and if not do i need a heat pad to cook it on? im worried that if i put mine on direct heat it will crack.

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