Please, can someone help me? I have a Le Creuset cast iron pan with an enamel finish on the inside. I've had the pan for more than 10 years and use it a lot. I've just discovered a chip inside the pan at the bottom. It seems like the enamel has chipped off and the black cast iron is showing. I've always been very careful not to use metal utensils so I can't understand what has happened. Can I still use the pan as it is or is it bad healthwise? I really love this pan and I'm very upset about it.
I have a Le Creuset pan which I ruined trying to get clean (Warning, don't use dishwasher detergent to soak out stains!). I checked on the warranty and they will replace it for free if they decide the damage was their fault or replace it for 25% of the list price (in my case, I would owe about $50). The catch is that you have to ship it directly to them, which also costs quite a bit. I assume that you would need to send it to their factory in France, they have an American office that you ship to if you are in the States. I think my shipping is going to cost 20 or 30 dollars.
I went ahead and bought a enameled pan at Costco for only $50 bucks, as a replacement. I will probably send in my other one at some point but I know that I did the damage so...
If it only has the one chip in 10 years, it might be covered and you could get a new one (minus the shipping cost). Depending on where the chip is, you should be fine to use it. Over time, the cast iron part will season and be less of a concern. But it if it right on the bottom, or somewhere that will be a problem with normal stirring, I'd probably get it replaced. I don't think there is anyway to really repair it.
One concern is that it might just start chipping more at that spot, chips that probably will wind up in your food. This is probably why they say they aren't safe to use, just like you aren't supposed to use a chipped glass.
Good luck, let us know how it turns out.
Le Creuset has a lifetime warranty, so you can probably send to the company and get a new one. www.lecreueset.com.
EHOW has an article about repairing enamel chips, and claim that it's not safe to use the cookware when it's chipped. I don't know how reliable it is, but anyway, here's the link: http://www.ehow.com/how_6362078_do-enamel-chip-repair-cookware.html.
Good luck! :)
The base for the Le Creuset pan is cast iron. Cast iron has been used as a cooking surface for centuries. It it perfectly safe. However, it will have the tendency to rust if left wet. Rust is also safe (iron oxide has been used as a food coloring), but it will continue to damage the pan. So keep it dry after use while you look into the warranty.
Cett, to be on the safe side, because of the enamel and not because of the cast iron, I would just find another use for the pan and invest in a non-coated cast iron pan. There are oodles of experienced advice of how to care for a cast iron pan here in the ThriftyFun archives and all over the internet and I promise you'll have that new pan without worry for the rest of your life as long as it's cared for properly! It will be an excellent safe investment and work just as well, actually I feel better, than the enameled cast iron pan. :-)
How lucky you all are to have a good after sales service in the U.S.! I contacted the agents here in Malta to see if I can get a replacement, considering that the Le Crueset pans should have a lifetime guarantee, and they want the original receipt when I bought it! I've had the pan for 10 years so they have got to be kidding! If that's their attitude, then I will no longer buy Le Crueset products for sure.
Yes, LeCreuset pans are beautiful and very expensive. I used to sell them at my gourmet retail store where I sold cookware. It's a shame they won't stand by their "lifetime" guarantee. Now I notice where K-mart and Martha Stewart sells enamel cast iron at half the price and you can't tell the difference between the two. If I were to invest in a new enamel cast iron pan, I would buy one of those vs. the over priced LeCreuset. Also, I would think it is safe to cook in it because like one responder said, it's cast iron under the enamel.
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