So I heated my trusty 24cm LeCreuset frying pan for pre-frying some eggplant today, and now there are some moon-like craters on it...
This is a cast-iron fryer with angled straight sides (I found a picture here
on eBay) that's outwardly covered in glossy brown enamel, and inwardly with the dark grey, rough, and presumably sturdy enamel typical for this type of cookware (so, to make this very clear, this is not
about the sizing of uncoated cast iron. I know how to handle that part, it doesn't apply here).
The thing has served me for more than thirty years almost daily without a hitch - now the inside is pockmarked at five or six spots where the enamel has popped off. So my questions:
1) Obviously overheated. Why after 30+ years and not before? Is this some age-related type of behavior?
2) I can size the pan to prevent the iron from rusting (in fact that's what I'm doing right now). Is that a feasible avenue? Does anyone have any experience with this?
3) Yes, I did Google, and the answers are all over the map (a little like asking "my Windows computer is slow"). Two answers stuck out:
--one about the risk of water getting in between the still-in-place enamel, causing corrosion. If I size the pan properly, is this still a risk?
--and one about that the chemicals used to bond the enamel to the iron are nasty and one should avoid getting them into the food. Does anyone know more about this?
4) Bonus question: If the enamel is shot, how to get it all off in order to create a true iron-surface cast iron pan?
Eternally grateful for answers.