Dutch oven - keep or replace?

Discussion in 'Whats Cooking? Food, Drink, & Gear' started by agp, Jan 12, 2019.

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  1. Jan 12, 2019 #1

    agp

    agp

    agp

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    I've had this lodge dutch oven for about seven years, and it looks like this. It still feels smooth, but is the interior enamel coming off? Is it worth replacing this with a new one? What does your aged dutch ovens look like?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jan 12, 2019 #2
  3. Jan 12, 2019 #3

    WildBoar

    WildBoar

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    Coating looks worn through. I have one like that, and it is still in regular use, even though I bought a replacement for it.
     
  4. Jan 12, 2019 #4

    Anton

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    your enamel is starting to strip, got some rust there... take care of the next one
     
  5. Jan 12, 2019 #5

    bahamaroot

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    Looks pretty rough, trash it at start anew. Make a planter out of it...
     
  6. Jan 12, 2019 #6

    agp

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    I'm able to clean off the darker brown bits with a bit of bleach. The gradient fading is still there.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Jan 12, 2019 #7

    WildBoar

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    It's basically a cast iron pan where the enamel is gone. Lots of people use cast iron pans. Just use it as you would use a regular cast iron pan, and not for things where you want/ need a coating (such as acidic sauces).
     
  8. Jan 14, 2019 #8

    agp

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    How often do you all replace your enameled cookware?
     
  9. Jan 14, 2019 #9

    9mmbhp

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    I have Staub enameled cast-iron cocottes and have yet to wear one out. The oldest is coming up on 15 years of regular use. Interior looks pretty much like it did when new. Exterior is pristine other than minor scratches on the bottom. Cleaned with dish detergent, Bar Keepers Friend and occasionally boiling distilled vinegar to loosen up bean scum.
     
  10. Jan 14, 2019 #10

    WildBoar

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    The way to hose the enamel is to regularly use metal utensils, dragging them along the bottom, and to scour using steel-wool-type scourers. In the case of the damaged pot that I have, my ex-M-I-L cooked a big pot of beans when I was away form the house, and she burned the crap out of them. She had no clue how to easily clean (i.e., heat and water, scrape with plastic spatula, etc.), and in a panic she scrubbed the heck out of it with steel wool, trying to get it clean before her daughter and I returned home. I arrived home to find a badly scoured pot still partially covered with burnt beans.

    Barring an incident like that, or heavy use of metal utensils, the enamel coating should last decades. I have several others now that are well over 20 years old and have no damage.
     
  11. Jan 14, 2019 #11

    agp

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    Never used any metal utensils or scrubbers. The worst sin I’ve done to the pot is putting cold water in it when it’s hot.
     
  12. Jan 14, 2019 #12

    WildBoar

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    I guess I should append my info to say it is based on La Creuset. The only enameled Lodge I have purchased was for a family member.

    Still, for the cast iron to show through, the enamel has to either wear through or chip off. It is possible the enamel wasn't bonded to the cast iron as well as it should have been, and chipped off in very small pieces (once broached mild rust can undermine the adjacent coating).
     
  13. Jan 14, 2019 #13

    Anton

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    also happens when used with too high a flame, as in searing, or left one stove with flame on and no oil. I just don't know how would use and keep the rust at bay while not being able to season? Def stay away from any acid sauces, but you'll get some metal flavor imo.
     
  14. Jan 23, 2019 #14

    madelinez

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    I've been using the same dutch oven for about 10 years now, I probably cook 2 large curries a week in it. The surface on the rim has chipped a little and has some rust but the actual cooking surface is still in good condition. My mother picked it up on discount from a grocery store for 15 dollars, benefit of being from a dutch family maybe :D

    I generally pre-sear my beef/chicken in it too so it has tolerated heat surprisingly well. The biggest danger to the enamel surface is abrasive cleaning tools, I generally let it soak and use sponges.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  15. Jan 23, 2019 #15

    Bensbites

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    Call them, I bet it is warranted
     
  16. Jan 23, 2019 #16

    boomchakabowwow

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    I had a LC chip. The bits of enamel were big enough to add grit to some mouthfuls of food. Unacceptable since I was cooking for my elderly neighbors. It is now a dog food bowl for a mastiff.

    I replaced it with a Staub. So far so good.

    That LC is dearly missed tho. I didn’t do much differently in terms of care. It was a solid workhorse. I didn’t baby it. It lasted decades.
     
  17. Jan 28, 2019 #17

    gman

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    definitely something wrong there. my mom's le creuset is 50 years old and has a lot of patina, but the enamel hasn't gone anywhere. she still uses it at least once a week, if not more.
     

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