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Jan 1, 2008 10:38 PM

Salvage damaged teflon lined dutch oven?

I have a 35 year old cast iron dutch oven (Club colorcast made in Waterford, Ireland) that is enameled on the outside and has a teflon coating inside. Unfortunately, I left a batch of beans on the stove top too long. They ran out of liquid, burned and stuck to the bottom and sides. Hunks of tefton came off with the beans leaving dozens of "pock" marks where the cast iron is exposed and rusting.

I sanded off the rough edges of teflon as best I can but am a little afraid to use the pot in case more flakes off. Plus I haven't been successful in seasoning the exposed cast iron. I have thought about finding someone to sandblast the inside. Does this sound logical? Safe? Reasonable? Any suggestions? I hate the thought of abandoning this wonderful pot. DMc

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  1. With the price of a new 5-6 qt. enameled cast iron oven at about $50 from Lodge and others I would definitely toss it. It's not worth the risk, or bother. If it has sentimental value then keep it as a planter, but I wouldn't cook in it, or try and fix it.

    1. Using damaged Teflon isn't a good idea and burned Teflon is a real no-no. It's had a good run. I'd say toss it. You can get a pre-seasoned Lodge cast iron pot for very little money. At least one company makes enameled cast iron for a fraction of the price of Le Creuset. (You'll need to search for this - it MIGHT be Tramontina, though I'm not sure.)

      I have a Waterford colorcast Teflon lined skillet from that era. It is a fabulous pan and shows no signs of wear. I wonder whether they are still around?

      1. The first thing that came to my mind was to sand blast the interior of the pan. The mere fact you mentioned the vessels age suggests to me it has history for you, and worth salvaging. The price for sandblasting would be inconsequential to me to preserve family memories and all the excellent meals prepared with the dutch oven.

        Once all the Teflon has been removed, there should not be any safety concerns.....and you could eventually pass it on to another generation of family.

        4 Replies
        1. re: fourunder

          You really don't know what they used though to bond the enamel to the cast iron back then. I've read that some used a layer of tin. I still wouldn't risk it. You can still keep it around, but I wouldn't cook with it.

          Also look for one on Ebay. There's one there now!

          1. re: blondelle

            I do not know about the effects or safety concerns when it comes to tin and or tin coatings on cookware, so I will defer to others more knowledgable......but let me say this, if you are truly concerned about the metals you cook with, find out everything you can about cooking with aluminum cookware which is far more prevalent in the home and in EVERY commercial kitchen.

            There has been reports, studies and suggestions.......Parkinson's Disease may be caused by eating foods cooked with aluminum pots and pans over the years.

            1. re: fourunder

              How did "tin" get into this discussion? A metallurgist you are not, but you are forgiven. Cast iron is what we're discussing here and cooking in it is a source of iron in the diet.
              Regarding aluminum, large amounts of it have been found in autopsy's of the brains of Alzheimers patients as well. They haven't decided if the aluminum causes Alzheimers or if the amyloids that cause Alzheimers also attracts aluminum.

          2. re: fourunder

            I agree with fourunder
            If you love it and you can afford it, do it... If you love it and it's not feasible, take blondelle's advice and turn it into a planter, or fill it with something like your spare change and save up enough for the sandblasting...:-}

          3. whatever you decide to do PLEASE don't use it until you decide. If the teflon has flaked off then it will get into your food ... and yes, that's unsafe.
            it might not be worth it $-wise to have it sandblasted unless you know someone who is a metal worker and have a connection.

            1 Reply
            1. re: oliveoyl

              I just purchased a red porcelain coated cast iron griddle with a 2 1/2" high backsplash and large iron handles on each side. I love the overall design but it comes with a "non stick coating" that everything sticks to. I have a sand blaster and I'm going to blast off the coating and then sand the surface smooth with a random-orbital sander. (These are tools I keep in my vehicle garage, not in my counter-top appliance garage.) I will then season the cast iron in the traditional and reliable way I'm familiar with.

            2. I don't use Teflon any longer. I once put a teflon coated aluminum skillet on the stove to warm up while I made other preparations. I was busy a bit too long and the skillet warmed up past the temperature that Teflon can handle. I happened to come back to the stove just as a puff of chemical smoke suddenly emerged from the whole surface of the skillet. It creeped me out! I'm glad that didn't happen with food I was about to consume concealing what was happening. No more Teflon for me.