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Scratched Le Creuset..... Is it ruined?

Hi All
I'm new to the boards. Just found this site by researching my problem. You all seem like my kind of people.
I found a 5.5 Qt LC french oven at Marshalls for only $100. I looked it over real well before buying it and did not see any defects in the store. Well I guess I had deal goggles on because I didn't see a very small C shaped scratch on the inside part of the lid. I looked at LC's FAQ and it says, Although unattractive, chipping does not impair the performance of the product or make it unsafe to use.

My question is should I return it? (I figure thats why it was only $100. But It was not marked as such)
IF I keep it, will the scratch get worse?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. It should be ok, especially since it's in the lid. However, Le Creuset does have that great policy with damages. Maybe give them a call and ask about it? Others will be able to say more about that, but from what I hear they are really good about damage.

    1. The scratch won't be a huge problem . . .but it will rust where it is scratched if you don't keep it dry or wash it in a dishwasher.

      And they are pretty good with fixing defects, but probably not if you got it from Marshalls, since it's likely a cull or second.

      1. If the pan has a chip it is not safe to use. A Le Creuset representative (from Sur La Table) told us this. Also, the company does not consider this their fault and are very reluctant to take it back, since it states this in the instructions. Good Luck. It's from cooking at too high of heat.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ChefGirl412

          I would not hesitate to use it even with the chip. I'd probably make sure to protect from rust with a bit of oil though.

          Nobody I know with a Le Creuset more than a year old DOESN'T have chips and/or scratches. I've heard that LC is also very good about taking back faulty pieces, although this may not apply since the OP bought it from Marshall's, as someone else suggested.

        2. I was in the same type of predicament (sp?) this weekend. I've been in search of a Dutch over, looking at TJ Maxx and La Sur Table as well as other places. I found a 7 or 8 quart at TJ Maxx for $100. I was able to talk down the price to $70. The problem with the Dutch oven was that it had a chip that was the size of a small bandage on the outside of the pot. I thought it was just cosmetic. Thank goodness someone else saw a faint crack on the inside of pot. I did not buy it.

          Be careful about these cosmetic flaws as they were probably caused by trauma to the pot.

          1. What reason did the rep give for the pot not being safe with a chip? Makes me wonder what's in that enamel, then, since once can cook in plain iron with no "safety" problems whatever.

            A scratch is different than cracked enamel, how could heat produce a "scratch?" Particularly on a new pot?

            Since it's right out of the box, I don't see why LC wouldn't replace it, but the shipping won't be cheap. Will another $30 or so bucks make you sorry you bought it? If so, just return it and save yourself the trouble.

            2 Replies
            1. re: MikeG

              Yes, it was a chip in the enamel.

              1. re: MikeG

                They replaced a pot I bought that had a chip. Call them, they will give you an authorization number that you include when you send it and I bet they send a new one like they did for me. Cost me one way shipping. They are very nice about it, even asked what color i wanted.

              2. I have some ancient cast iron cookware (LC and other) that's all chipped to a small degree. Apart from rust, there's no problem with it of any kind. As there are no health issues with cooking with 'raw' cast iron I can't really understand why anybody would say it's not safe to use.

                Enjoy your new pan.

                1. First, let me say that I can understand a person not wanting a scratch on a brand new pot. So if this bothers you, then go right ahead and return it to the store. I'm sure they'll oblige.

                  However, to say that a chipped enamel cast iron pot is unsafe to use is pure nonsense. Give me a break, folks - the cast iron underneath is just that - cast iron. You can use cast iron perfectly naked without any problem. As for the enamel, maybe the manufacturer HAS to say it's unsafe because some lunatic once tried to sue them because a microscopic chip of enamel ended up in their cassoulet. This is utterly absurd and typical of the litigation paranoia we live with. Generations of grandmas cooked in chipped enamel pots and their families lived to tell the tale. If people had to throw away their pots when they got a chip, no one would have had anything to cook in.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Nyleve

                    I WANT to believe this as I have a few chipped Creuset pots and use them all the time. But why is there always such a controversy? Anyone have scientific data?

                    1. re: Nyleve

                      I agree with you. I just wonder if "unsafe" refers to exposed cast iron (nonsense, of course) or to the possibility of enamel shards in your food (plausible). Either way, as I said before, I'd keep the pot!

                      1. re: Kagey

                        I would imagine the rep was CHA about any further degradation of the chip spot--tiny pieces of enameling getting into food, etc. Rust is not a safety issue as far as I know.

                    2. Thank you all for your advice. I am just going to keep it. I could try and go through LC for replacement and even if they would replace it, I would have to pay for shipping and there goes my great deal.

                      In regards to to the LC sales rep who said it is unsafe to use if chipped. I ask why does their web site say the contrary? I'm sure that it's no longer at optimal performance but perfectly safe. Sounds like the sales rep was just pulling that one out of their butt trying to make a sale? Or maybe she was refering to comercial use?


                      I just wanted to be sure it wouldn't get worse and I think that if I use a little oil on the scratch and wash and dry it properly it should be fine.

                      A friend of mine has the same LC french oven that I do and showed me what it will look like in about a year with heavy use and good care. There was a small chip in the bottom of the pan that she said was there when she recieved it. She said that it has not worsened but did get darker. Maybe rust?
                      Ok now I can finally use my new toy!
                      Lahey bread, short ribs, coq au vin!!!