How to Repair Le Creuset Enameled Cast IronNov 2nd, 2010 | Category: Cookware, La Creuset
To Fix or Not to Fix
Overwhelmingly the answer appears to be NO. Certainly the majority opinion is do NOT try this at home. Repairing enameled cast iron is possible but not recommended for cookware. Even a professional repairer would likely tell you its not recommended for cookware. A sink or tub? OK. But not your Dutch Oven.
Here's an article that recommends to DO NOT try to repair enameled cast iron cookware yourself. Get a professional. Excerpt below:
"Modern porcelain enamel can be chipped but only with a very hard blow that bends the base metal. Damaged porcelain enamel fixtures and appliances can be repaired, with do-it-yourself-kits, or by professionals who do the best, most lasting repairs. A special type of paint is used, as porcelain enamel itself must be baked on under very hot temperatures, so it will not be as durable as the original porcelain enamel surface. Never attempt such repair on utensils used for preparing or cooking food."
With this in mind, most manufacturers recommend hand washing enameled cast iron cookware with soft sponges. Silicone or wooden tools are also recommended when cooking. If you follow these suggestions, your cookware's enamel coating should remain in good shape for years to come.
Le Creuset suggests: "Products are dishwasher safe, but handwashing is recommended." And: "Do not use metallic pads or harsh abrasive cleaning agents as these will damage the enamel." They also have a special cleaner available.
Just Use It
Many other sources suggest you're better off either buying a new pot, dutchoven, etc, or just using it as is. After all it is cast iron and bare cast iron cookware is used all the time. eHow.com suggests just that:
"Cracks in enamel coating don't mean that your cookware is ruined. Underneath the enamel is solid cast iron, which will cook food as well as enameled products. Exposed cast iron simply needs additional care to keep it in good condition."
Buying new Le Creuset is pricey, but is using chipped or damaged enameled cast iron OK? What are your views?