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Jul 23, 2009 12:06 PM

Cracks on my Mario Batali Enameled Dutch Oven

I've had my enameled cast-iron pot for a few months now and have noticed tiny fractures forming on the cooking surface. I enjoy using it, use it frequently, and have been pretty satisfied with my purchase - I bought it at Costco for about $60.

I've never exposed it to any drastic change in temperature; maybe just a bit of liquid for deglazing, but certainly not enough that it should cause this kind of cracking.

My question is: Should I just keep it and live with it? Or should I take make use of Costco's generous return policy and start hunting for another pot?

I've attached an image of the cooking surface.

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  1. Looks like any enamelled cast iron pot I've ever seen after a few months of use.


    4 Replies
    1. re: legourmettv

      Really? This is my first enameled cast iron pot. Is it normal for them to develop hairline cracks in the enamel?

      1. re: can_i_try_some

        I'm sure that someone will jump in and correct me... But - enamel and cast iron are two vastly different materials with very different thermal properties. So no matter how careful you are with thermal shock, even no shock at all just regular heating and cooling, they will expand / contract at different rates. Something has to give, in this case it will be the enamel.


        1. re: legourmettv

          I think you're exactly right, legourmet. The owner of the pot should not worry. That is normal "crazing" that happens after just a few usages, and should not lead to catastrophic cracks, in my experience.

      2. re: legourmettv

        I had a cheapy and now a Lodge. Both have hair line cracks in the enamel. I ditched the first one when it fimally chipped and exposed the cast iron underneath. The first one, $20, lasted 3 years and I expect to get about 4-5 yrs out of my Lodge. So at this rate it will take me about 30 yrs to equal the price of a LC and I have to assume they will show fractures too

      3. I've seen this on a couple of my vintage pots but I've always assumed they were scratches from metal utensils...

        1. I have my moms Le Creuset it had the same hairline cracks in it, no worry I think mine is really old I do not know when she bought it

          1. Don't buy El Cheapo Chinese-made look-a-like enameled cast-iron cookware--that's the take-home lesson. Staub doesn't do this. Suspect it's all too common for people to exceed the thermal limits of this type of cookware--deglazing would do it. Deglaze a metal saute pan but NOT an enameled surface. Don't use metal utensils, either.

            1. can_I_try_some,

              How did the pot hold up after the cracks? Did you end up returning it?

              I am seeing the similar cracks on my new Batali 6 qt and am debating if I should try to return it...


              1 Reply
              1. re: wmyt99

                The Batali enamel ware has been known to be defective for some time. It should be avoided just like the Lodge enamelware made in China.
                LeCreuset and Staub will not crack like this is maintained and not abused and neither will the Lodge enamel ware made in the USA.
                If your going to avoid any one item made in China I would make it enamel ware.