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Feb 17, 2013 04:25 PM

Used/Vintage Le Creuset--Downside?

I am poised to purchase two used Le Creuset dutch ovens (enamel over cast iron). They appear in good condition. One has a slightly chipped handle. Both have slightly discolored inner surfaces from years of use. The enamel is in good shape on both.

What are the downsides, if any, to buying these pieces used?

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  1. As long as you are OK with the chipped handle and the interiors are in good condition, I do not see a down side.

    1. <What are the downsides, if any, to buying these pieces used?>

      The fact that someone else has used them. Seriously, most cookware last for a long time (aside from nonstick Teflon cookware), so the downside of an used cookware is the fact that it has been used.

      As long as the enamel is in good shape, you don't have much to worry.

      1. Hi, Hallie:

        There really is none, except perhaps your own subjective feelings concerning new vs. used. LC isn't going to ask for receipts as a condition of granting you warranty service.

        I hope you get a good bargain.


        1. Some of the older, vintage pieces in red, flame and yellow contained cadmium in the glaze. Their new pieces do also but LC claims it has been contained in their new glaze and it's not possible to be affected by it.

          6 Replies
          1. re: blondelle

            Blondelle, I'm confused by this post. Are you speaking of the colored glaze on the exterior of the LC pots or the interior?

            1. re: Sherri

              The glaze on the exterior. Particles of cadmium are released into the air on some older pieces while heating.

              1. re: blondelle

                Fascinating, Blondelle! I knew nothing about this until you told me, and I have been doing some reading up on it. These pieces are in very good condition, so I am going to proceed with the purchases. But I'm not as gung-ho about older LC pieces, now. I appreciate the info.

                1. re: blondelle

                  Some of the colors in the Copco line were also discontinued due to cadmium content when EU rules tightened. That's why I'd only buy pieces in which the interior of the lid is white enamel (some of the lids are colored enamel inside and out).

                  It's a little late in my life to be worrying about cadmium particles dispersed into the air in the oven, so I'm happily using a collection of gratins and casseroles that together cost less than half of what a new LC piece would.

                  1. re: ellabee

                    [E]llabee and I are walking on the wild side. Happily, the interiors of the ones I purchased, both lid and vessel, are white (whitish, actually, due to use). Not to discount the toxicity of cadmium, though. It's nasty stuff.

                    1. re: HalliePM

                      Agreed on seriousness of cadmium toxicity. I haven't read up much on the EU rules, but would not be surprised to learn the no-go for cadmium in glazes had as much to do with the workers' exposure and disposal issues as any release of cadmium during cooking.

            2. If the pieces are not cracked or the inner enamel worn and the price is very right, why not!