Lodge or IKEA enameled dutch ovens?
Can anyone share their experiences with the enameled cast iron dutch ovens from Lodge or IKEA?
I really want (need) an enameled cast-iron dutch oven, but Le Creuset is just not in the budget right now. I recently saw a new enameled line from Lodge -- and I love their "regular" cast iron. Someone else on the boards mentioned getting one from IKEA option.
I'd really like any feedback on how they work and wear, and how they clean. Someone in another thread mentioned something about lower end dutch ovens chipping. Obviously, that's what I need to avoid too.
Any advice much appreciated!
We just got one of the Lodge ones, and it's been great so far. It's seen some use for stews / soups, and also for baking / roasting, and no problems so far. Wal Mart has one that's even cheaper, made by Tramontina. I haven't seen it, but people were raving about their stainless steel stuff on here. The colors are kind of ugly, though. Hard to say about chipping yet, but given the price difference, I'll tolerate a couple of chips.
My friend got one (forget the brand) at Marshall's recently for a pretty good price too, I think.
I have not used the Lodge brand but do have a LC knock off. Tramontina makes good products as well. The Martha Stewart dutch ovens seen at Macys and Kmart are also look good and are in the same price range. Look for one with a good fitting lid and no nicks or defects in the enamel. All these dutch ovens work well. CI did a review and found some better than others but the difference isn't that great as far as overall performance. LC has a good warrenty and should for the price. Mine has crazed on the inside bottom and is stained but I see no difference in performance. I consider these cheap dutch ovens as use and lose products. I wouldn't be too broken up if I had to replace it after a few years of use.
I haven't tried either of these, eamcd, but I have a couple of Staub, and despite their price tag, after heavy use, they've gotten a few little dings and chips, too (on the exterior). But they're still fine, and we just keep on rollin'.
So I wouldn't worry too much, but if I had the choice, I'd probably go with the Lodge. I love my Lodge cast iron, which has gotten tons of use and abuse by a cook who sometimes breaks the rules. E.g., I (hand-)wash mine with detergent, which a lot of people except chefs who have to deal with health codes say not to do. The regular cast iron has borne up beautifully and gets better with age. So I personally would definitely take a chance on one of their enameled dutch ovens. JMO.
Get Le Creuset, it doesn't have to cost much.
I have 4 pieces of Le Creuset in my kitchen. Three were garnered from garage/estate sales. It is surprisingly easy to find. It seems that when older folks pass away/clear out their homes to move into retirement villas, that the folks in charge of clearing out their kitchens often don't recognize quality stuff. The first 3 Le Creuset pieces I bought were for less than $5 each.
If you want your enameled stuff to last, don't ever put it in the dishwasher and don't ever use metal utensils in them.