Enameled Cast Iron and Chipping?


My own understanding has been that enameling’s virtue is to make the pot non-reactive for things like tomato sauces. I used to have a plain Lodge cast iron pot, and it wasn’t really good for things like chili or chicken cacciatore–left a metallic taste.

I love my bare cast iron skillet, though. Unbeatable in things like meat searing and chicken frying and cornbread.


Have you heard about a new comer called Milo? They only sell directly from their website, and seem to have good reviews. It’s those startups that do mono products and try to do it well. Personally, I have not used it so no comment on experience.

This review said it looked like a solid product, just liquid evaporated more quickly due to a not so tight fit lid.

(For the Horde!) #23

Agree. The huge selling point for enameled cast iron cookware is the no-reactivity surface. It is pretty much like cooking on glass. However, it is non-stickless. I think a huge selling point for enameled cast iron cookware is that people feel they are very attractive. They feel they can cook in the same enameled cast iron pot and then bring the entire pot out to the dining table to entertain guests. They also feel these pots are very non-reactive, so they can even store the same food in them and put them in refrigerators.

Whereas some people don’t feel you can cook in an aluminum pot and take it out to a dining table.


Been happy with my Lodge CI enameled pots. High heat on the stove or oven has not reduced their performance. A bit of staining of the enameled surface was to be expected but hasn’t hurt performance

(Biscy) #25

No chips for me, 10 years in, and it’s a cheap one. When it does, I’ll spring for a nice Staub


I have a special talent for burning things and not realizing it because it’s layer at bottom of soup pot, i am sure it’s lazy user error and i had heat a little too high and not diligent to stir often enough


Not answer to your question but FYI for everyone if you shop ebay for “verified sellers” and authenticity guarantee/refund if not happy there are tons of new and gently used le creuset on ebay.
My sister bought an enormous barely used dutch oven for maybe $60.
Le creuset lifetime warantee they don’t ask where purchased from, so she can send for repair if ever needed


I believe in my Lodge. It still cooks great . Its chipped bad . Oh well for 60 bucks I can’t complain


well, my LC CI has gone into a 500 degree oven for no knead bread with nary a scratch. YMMV

(For the Horde!) #30

In my humble opinion, high temp no knead bread is a pretty abusive process. Heating up the cookware to 500oF (or higher), then dump a cold dough to a hot surface, and then heat it up again.

It may worth to dedicate a lesser expensive cookware for this process. Not that we cannot use an expensive enameled cast iron Dutch Oven for it, but seems like a better investment to use a cheaper cookware in order preserve the lifetime for the more expensive cookware.


I don’t make it often enough to worry about it.


I think even bare cast iron would be fine for bread. The enameled is just more versatile.

My 3 pots, Le Cresuet and down in price point, have never chipped. I go with them to 450 in the oven. So I remain unsure what this chipping’s about.


I don’t doubt it. But you’re not a college student living in a house with four other college students who may not know how to treat cookware.


As I said my Martha Stewart dutch oven chipped just sitting on the shelf, nothing to do with cooking. it’s just a poorly manufactured pot, very heavy and the enamel is not even. I used to see the same thing with the Mario Batali ECI that I’d see at Crate and Barrel - heavy, with lumpy enameling, and the damned things had all kinds of chips just from being handled in the store.

I would expect Lodge ECI to be superior, but it is made in China. Like I said I’ve never used it so I’m not in a position to say.

(For the Horde!) #35

Well, I think it is one of those “lucky or unlucky” thing. Sort of like wood cutting boards. Some people don’t do anything special and their cutting boards never crack. Other oil and careful with their cutting boards, and their boards still crack. The other example is those Pyrex glass explosion stories. Most people probably never experience it, but some do.
I have seen plenty complaints about enamel surface chipping from various vendors.


Don’t know why your comment reminds me of the reportage of Lebovitz on LC factory. I remembered after reading this a few years ago, I have a feeling that the cast iron utensils are not as industrialised as I had thought. There is a certain aspect of “craftsmanship”.

(Jimmy ) #37

Entertaining, and informative read, naf. Thank you for posting it.


I agree that the temperature shock can be a consideration when using expensive pots. Especially because I generally use a sling of parchment paper in my own no-knead breads, it doesn’t matter what material the pot is made of, so long as it’s lid seals well.

As to temperature, I find that 425-450 range works fine for no-knead bread. I go 25 minutes covered, 25 minutes uncovered, and it’s always perfect.

It does occur to me that I might calibrate my oven.


I have had all Le Creuset for many years, they are quite sturdy; but a neighbor recently offered me a brand new Martha Stewart pot his son had gotten as a gift but didn’t want. This was only a month or so ago, it was definitely new in the box, but a couple of weeks later I dropped something that wasn’t even that heavy on it, a utensil or something, and voila…a big chip on the handle! Glad I got it for free anyway.

(diana) #40

I would not recommend enameled cast iron in a shared household, nor for baking bread, whether Le Creuset or Staub. Stainless knobs are available from LC, but over time the interior will stain and careless handling will result in chips. The original Lodge cast iron will avoid staining and chipping. The cast iron combo cooker gives you a skillet (the lid), a dutch oven and, turned up side down, an oven with a lid for baking bread. Indestructible!