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Cracked Le Creuset; should I be worried?

caseyjo Sep 2, 2011 02:51 PM

I just picked up a #28 flame Le Creuset skillet from a thrift store for three bucks. Score! It's in generally good condition except it has a crack in the enamel near the handle, on both the inside and outside of the pan. The crack is about 1/12 inch wide by 2 inches long. It appears that there may be a teeny hairline fracture in the actual cast iron on the inside of the pan as well.

Should I be worried? I don't want to have some catastrophic incident where it shatters into many pieces and impales me, whilst exploding risotto all over my tiny kitchen. This thing has a wooden handle, so I'm guessing it will be mostly used at lower temps on the range. For $3 I just couldn't pass it up, especially since it matches my vintage Descoware.

  1. Chemicalkinetics Sep 4, 2011 06:15 AM

    I agree with others. First, you should contact Le Creuset. Chances are that it won't shatter into pieces as long as you are cooking at low temperature without sudden change of temperature. The crack may get worse, but it shouldn't just shatter for no reason.

    1. CindyJ Sep 3, 2011 06:35 AM

      You might just want to contact LC. Their warranties are forever and their customer service is excellent. Also, if you're interested in swapping out the wooden handle for one that's more heat-resistant, they might actually do that for you at no cost. I have a 40+ year-old LC skillet that came with a wooden handle, and they sent me a free replacement. It's worth a call.

      5 Replies
      1. re: CindyJ
        p
        ProfessorBear Sep 3, 2011 08:01 PM

        Their warranty may be forever, but it only covers manufacturer defect. A crack says one thing and one thing only: the piece was dropped.

        I'll nearly guarantee you it's not covered.

        I love the company and own over 50 pieces of LC enameled cast iron, but they're not going to go giving away freebies any time someone breaks their own stuff.

        1. re: ProfessorBear
          CindyJ Sep 4, 2011 09:31 AM

          LC replaced a French Oven of mine that I'd had for nearly 40 years. The only "problem" (and it really wasn't a concern, it was an aesthetic thing) I had with it was that the interior had discolored -- darkened -- with years of use. I contacted them only to find out what I should use to restore the interior. They offered to replace it with a brand new pot, and I was thrilled. I wouldn't consider that a manufacturer's defect.

          1. re: CindyJ
            p
            ProfessorBear Sep 4, 2011 10:15 AM

            No, but that's wear and tear - not damage. You can still use a darkened LC vessel without any issue, but a crack through the iron isn't just something that happens. No company would be that stupid. Otherwise, you'd have every idiot dropping their pots when they wanted new ones. Think about it a minute.

            1. re: ProfessorBear
              Chemicalkinetics Sep 4, 2011 10:23 AM

              A crack through the iron or a crack through the enameled surface? A crack through the iron is a huge problem. Either the cookware has been seriously hit or there is a serious quality control problem.

              1. re: ProfessorBear
                CindyJ Sep 4, 2011 11:07 AM

                That's my point. Normal "wear and tear" isn't generally covered under a product's warranty. And the pot that LC replaced was definitely usable.

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