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Dec 18, 2009 06:13 PM

Berndes Dutch Oven

Hey Everyone,

I'm new here but it seems like there's a wealth of information around so I think I found a new favorite website. Anyway, I had a question. I recently picked up a dutch oven at a local Ross for $35.00. Comparing it to some around, it didn't seem to be any worse than comparable ones. I can't find any information about it so I was wondering if anyone had any info they could share. This is a Berndes 5.75 Qt Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven (or it's called a Cast Iron Casserole on the box. It came in a very nice orange color (called Orange Flame) but there was also another color (Kobalt Blue I think) if anyone is interested. It says it's oven safe to 450 Degrees. The Berndes website is down until Dec 21 so I can't do any research there. Has anyone had any experiences with this cookware? I'm attaching a photo of the DO itself and the box so you can see what it looks like.

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  1. I also bought the same Berndes dutch oven at Ross, same price I can't find any info at Berndes websit regarding cast iron. I'm wondering if these are knock offs. does anyone know?

    6 Replies
    1. re: asti

      alirov and asti, Berndes makes some very high quality cookware in Germany. The company's reputation mostly was built upon aluminum cookware, however. But Europe (and to a lesser extent, the rest of the civilized world) is moving toward induction, so Berndes is positioning itself to be a major player in ferrous cookware as well. Some less expensive Berndes lines are made in the Peoples Republic of China; whether the enameled cast iron has that provenance, the box (or the piece itself) should reveal. Aside from politics, I personally would shy away from Chinese enameled ware because the pretty colors of enameled cast iron are achieved with various chemicals, and recent history is not encouraging as to the purity and toxicity of chemicals in consumer products from China.

      1. re: Politeness

        My DO came in a box that said designed in Germany and manufactured in Chine! Can a person so a test to see if it is toxic? Why would a company jeopardize it's reputation by making an potentially dangerous product and selling it. I don't want to be cooking in it and have lead leaching in to my food. Anyone one have suggestions?

        1. re: asti

          The enamel coating is not paint -- it is glass that has been fused at high temps to the surface of the cast iron. Heavy metal poisoning shouldn't even remotely be an issue.

          1. re: MikeB3542

            MikeB3542, your statement is unequivocal, and I am not qualified to argue it on the basis of my own training. However, I do know that certain chemicals in glazed ceramics, which, like the coating of enameled cast iron, are fused at high temperatures, should not be used in tableware. My question, which I hope that you can address for me, is why or how are the coatings of enameled cast iron cookware different from ceramic tableware? (Here is an article on toxic materials in ceramics which is concerned primarily with the dangers to the potter who makes ceramics but also refers to the dangers of tableware containing certain chemicals, but does not specify which of the listed chemicals are the ones that are dangerous in tableware:

          2. re: asti

            I conducted an unscientific study tonight with my Berndes DO. Everything I have read says the lid should fit tightly. Well, i put a lit flashlight inside it and put the lid on and turned out the kitchen light. I could see light around the edges in several places. I tried the same thing with my trusty old black cast iron DO and no light showed at all. I think I'll take the Berndes back to Ross and stay with my old one.

            1. re: asti

              Thanks, Mike for the info, I realized it wasn't paint, but thought there might be the same problem with leaching from the glass enamel. I wonder if the uneven lid fitting will affect desired cooking results.

      2. Berndes in the USA was sold to Range Kleen in Dec. 2009. I contacted RK and was told that this particular dutch oven was discontinued. I asked if there were any product or material specifications for this product and was told no. I asked why it was discontinued, but the rep did not know why. I'm returning mine to Ross and will use my old cast iron one until I can find an enameled one at a reasonable price.