Is Le Creuset knob oven safe?

A question I get asked all the time is regarding Le Creuset Dutch ovens and what the maximum temperature is for oven use.

As always, it depends on a number of factors and indeed, your Le Creuset Dutch oven.

In this article, I will discuss what type of knob handle your Le Creuset has, what temperature it goes to and then talk through the Le Creuset stainless steel knob replacement.


What is the problem with existing Le Creuset knob handles?

I think it is going too far by saying that there is a problem. In some circumstances, you may well be restricted by what temperature you can go too in the oven. This ‘issue’ may not impact you, in which case you can carry on as normal.

The issue is when you need to use the oven at a very high temperature. This issue has been especially highlighted by the popularity of no-knead bread. With this specific method of baking bread, you need to bake the dough at 475F which is much higher than the maximum limit of Le Creuset.

Aside from no-knead bread, there are very few occasions when you need the temperature that high.

The temperature limit is only one issue. On older Le Creuset Dutch ovens, the knob is also more difficult to grip as it is a little smaller…yes, I know, there is no other way of saying this.

There may also be issues of wear and tear over time where the handle is cracking and looks worn over time. Your Dutch oven may well be in pristine condition, let down by the handle.


What is the maximum temperature for the Le Creuset Classic range?

The Le Creuset Classic range is the original Dutch oven that most people have, especially if they have owned it for a period of time. The issues that I have described above, primarily relate to the classic version.

The maximum temperature for the Le Creuset Classic Dutch oven phenolic knob is 375F. This is the black polymer handle if you wish to recognize it.


What is the maximum temperature for the Le Creuset Signature range?

The Le Creuset Signature range is the one that is sold today. There are a few differences between the classic and the signature range. One of the aspects that it did upgrade on was the knob which was upgraded to 500F. It was also wider and taller making it easier to handle with oven gloves.

Le Creuset also introduced a new stainless steel knob handle. This raised the temperature maximum again past 500F making it perfect for any high temperature baking.


What will happen if I use it in the oven above the maximum heat?

The black handles are a polymer which if heated above the maximum, they will crack rather than melt. If this was to happen, it is better not to use them as potentially it could be dangerous if handling a very hot oven lid.
This is especially relevant to the older knob handles. Obviously, the newer handles go up to 500F.


What can I do if I don’t want to buy a new knob?

If you are the owner of an older Le Creuset with the old-style polymer knob, you can use your Dutch oven to bake at high temperatures. However, you need to unscrew the knob and fill the hole using aluminum tin foil.

Obviously, this makes the lid a little more difficult to remove so please be careful.


Can I buy a replacement Le Creuset knob?

You absolutely can buy a replacement and I would recommend it anyway as it is a nice upgrade. Be sure to keep the old one though especially if it could become a collector’s item.
Is the new Le Creuset replacement knob oven safe? Yes, the phenolic black ones up to 500F and the metal ones will take any temperature your oven can throw at it.


What types of replacement knobs are available?

If you do want to buy a new one, you have a few options. You can buy the phenolic ones in black, stainless steel, copper and gold. Depending on the color of your Le Creuset, it could give it a new refreshing look…all at very little cost.


Le Creuset knob sizes

There are two sizes available so make sure you buy the correct one. The 47mm size fits the Le Creuset Round Dutch ovens 18, 20 and 22cm and Oval Dutch ovens 23, 25 and 27cm.

The 57mm size fits the Le Creuset Dutch ovens 24, 26, 28 and 30cm; Oval Dutch ovens 29 and 40cm Shallow Dutch ovens 26 and 30cm.


How do I fit the new replacement?
Fitting your new handle could not be simpler. It is simply a case of undoing the screw and replacing the know.


Summary

I hope you found this information useful and reassured you. There is a misconception that you cannot change the old knobs which means you cannot reach those high temperatures.

The simple fact is you can and you should consider doing so. Not only will it give your Le Creuset Dutch oven a fresh new look, it also makes it more flexible.
If you want to read about the difference between the Le Creuset signature Dutch oven and the classic range, you can do so here. I would also recommend that you have a read of my article regarding baking bread in your Dutch oven where I include the method.

Let me know what you think and what you decide to do. Is this something you have considered? We would love to hear from you so please leave a comment below.

For more information, visit me at http://www.dutchovenscookware.com

The original article can be found at http://www.dutchovenscookware.com/le-creuset-knob-oven-safe-replacement-metal-steel/

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