Is It Safe To Use Chipped Le Creuset?

A lot of people have been using chipped Le Creuset cookware lately as a way to save money. The question is, though, is it safe to use chipped Le Creuset? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using t his cookware.

Chipped Cast Iron Cookware

Le Creuset is a well-known brand of enamel-coated cast iron cookware that is known for its durability and even heat distribution. People love the enamel coating on Le Creuset cookware because it’s non-toxic, non-reactive, and beautiful. These pieces can last for generations if treated properly but they can also wear out and even chip.

And the chipping is bad. It creates a weak spot in the coating of the cast iron which can lead to more chipping. Also, enamel is essentially a type of glass, which is definitely not something you want to eat as the chips are sharp, indigestible, and almost impossible to see in food as they tend to be quite small.

Le Creuset’s enamel-coated cast iron can be quite expensive, which is why some people have been buying used, chipped pieces or simply continuing to use their existing chipped pieces even when they aren’t sure they should. Is this a good idea or unsafe?

Safe Or No?

A chipped Le Creuset may or may not be safe. It depends on the location of the chip.

There are a few things to consider before using chipped Le Creuset. If the enamel is cracked or missing in any way, then more chips can loosen and get into your food[1], which is definitely not safe.

If the chip is on the inside and it might touch your food, then you’ll want to try to send the pot, pan, or dutch oven back to Le Creuset for a replacement (they have a lifetime warranty).

If your chip is on the outside of the pot, on the rim, or on the lid, then it’s generally not a concern so long as you inspect the chip not and then and make sure it’s not expanding. It’s most common to see small chips at the edge of the pot, right on the inside near the top. This is a result of the lid being placed onto the pot and there being metal-on-metal contact. This is generally not a safety concern.

If your chip is on the bottom or on the lower part of the inside, then it might not be safe and you should strongly consider sending your Le Creuset back with a warranty claim.

Avoiding Chips

Take these steps and your Le Creuset will thank you with years of safe service:

  • Never use metal utensils
  • Never use Brillo, green Scotchbrite, or metal mesh to clean it
  • Don’t heat the cast iron without food or liquid inside (no dry frying)
  • Don’t temperature shock the pot. For example don’t put it straight from the fridge onto the heat or into the oven

Final Thoughts

So, what’s the verdict? Is it safe to use chipped Le Creuset? While the enamel coating is non-toxic, there are some risks associated with using this cookware. If you decide to use it, be sure to inspect it carefully for any cracks or missing pieces of enamel. It’s also a good idea to use it for less acidic foods so that there’s less risk of leaching.