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.
I have a 7 qt. Lodge, and I'm very happy. I'm pretty sure the Amazon price has gone up since I bought a couple of years ago. I don't think you have to spend top dollar to get quality. Mine hasn't chipped yet, but I imagine that is a risk even with LC. I went to an LC outlet, and there were many chipped models available at a discount.
Don't ignore the Target dutch oven at about $40, I believe, for a 5 qt. Also, Marshall's or T J Maxx usually have good deals, and Mario and Rachael both have their own models.
As far as cleaning goes, I've had no problems. When the inside becomes discolored, a soak with a little bleach or Cascade cleans it up just fine.
Thanks to everyone! Hubby picked me up a Lodge 6 qt (in red). So far I've only used it for the T-day stuffing (dressing to some, since not in the bird). But it heated so evenly, gave a nice crust without hot spots, kept it very hot, and cleaned beautifully.
Now I know I'll be hitting the stews and braises with this soon!
Cooks Illustrated has Tramontina as their new best choice. WalMart has it for $38, in a very pretty color of green. I have their stainless cookware, and love it.
I just got the Lodge 6 quart. I really like it, I have a couple of LC pots and it seems comparable. I have an Ikea skillet which I use constantly and have been very satified with it. Ikea went to the green color this year (I have the red) which I do not care for. The Lodge will give you a couple of color options. I paid $59 from the Cabela's website plus about $9 shipping. It came quick and I am pleased with the weight and performance.
The IKEA is amazing. Made in France(like Le Crueset) NOT China! Just now they have the 8 qt. oven for the same price as the 5 Qt. $59 IT WON'T LAST.
The inside is seasoned cast iron. really fantastic. I have Le Creuset, Descoware, Dru Holland..... Batali too IKEA is amazing for the price only one colour the pesto green....
also never use soap on the inside if you can help it - just use a nylon scraper and water
Stovetop to oven it's great.