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Dec 30, 2010 11:28 AM

Enameled Cast Iron Safety in LC vs. Staub

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to Chowhound, but I've been reading everyone's posts for a while -- you all have good advice! I've been researching the whole LC vs. Staub debate, and I'm still undecided as to which one is actually 'better.' Given that people praise both, I think that the issue regarding cooking performance is rather moot to me. I believe that I can always make either one work, so issues of comparable size, whether one slopes more than the other, which one has better knobs, which one has a better range of colors, which one I can see burned food in, which one cleans better, etc. are important, but not necessarily the most important to me.

I'm more interested in the durability and safety factors and was wondering if any of you had information regarding whether they are safe to use in the kitchen, in terms of lead-based paint? I've been trying to research the lead-based paint thing, but I can't seem to find much information regarding the Staubs. I know the LC posts on their website that they don't use lead and only use cadmium in the more vibrant red color spectrum, but does anyone have any updates regarding whether Staub is the same? I've read people mention that if there were lead it would be in the glaze on the outside and not on the inside (i.e., where food is cooked), but I would rather just avoid lead glazes if possible. It's just like the made in China toy stuff, where I would rather minimize handling products containing lead or other harmful substances. I know that you can't avoid it 100% of the time, but whether or not the paint contains lead seems an easy enough choice. Thanks for all your help!

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  1. It really does not matter, even the one which uses lead in their glaze, they are doing so for the exterior of the cookware, not interior cooking surface. If you are a woman, then the chance is that you will consume lead from lipstick and not an enameled cast iron cookware:

    1. "whether they are safe to use in the kitchen" ?????????

      Millions of people have been using them in their kitchens for generations.

      1 Reply
      1. re: C. Hamster

        Millions of people have been using lead-based paint in their homes for generations. That does not imply its safety.

        The issue here is if anyone has specific knowledge of whether or not the amount of lead and cadmium in the glaze should be a cause for concern, even if it is only on an exterior surface. You can't be too careful these days.

      2. Welcome to CH. If you've read the entire "LC vs, Staub" thread, you must've started reading over a year ago (Please, PLEASE, someone lock that thread down, I'm begging...).

        I have no specific knowledge of whether Staub has stopped using lead-based glazes and cadmium-containing pigments; but at least LC is talking about it, making disclosures If you want to be most safe, I say stick (pun intended) with LC and in colors that don't require cadmium--not reds or yellows.

        3 Replies
        1. re: kaleokahu

          Thanks for the reply! I guess you're right -- since LC discloses it on their website, I think that would be my best bet.

          1. re: Woonendez

            When using cookware that contains a heavy metal on the exterior of the pot, do not cook any food on the exterior of the pot. Only use the interior. Also, don't gnaw on the exterior of the pot.

            Seriously, the biggest safety issue with enameled pots is that the handles could potentially burn you. Use hot gloves. And don't lie awake at night worrying about the low levels of lead on a surface that won't be in contact with your food.

            1. re: Indirect Heat

              The lighted makeup mirror that I recently bought my wife had a lead warning. My guess is that some junction in wiring had lead based solder (the kind of stuff I used frequently in electronics projects years ago).

        2. It's highly unlikely that articles manufactured in the EU contain lead pigments, the EU has been very proactive in this regard for a number of years. China, on the other hand, is a totally different story. Also, white lead, used as a pigment, has a number of excellent replacements and red lead was only used in a very limited number of applications that for the most part did not include pigments, again, unlikely this is in any enameled cookware surface.

          Since the pigment, whatever its composition, is essentially covered in glass, the danger would be in the manufacturing process, not in the finished product. Again, it's highly unlikely there is any manufacturing in the EU that allows lead.