Cuisinart Cast Iron Casserole - 7qt

Amazed these aren’t gone yet! I have an 8 year old one and they’re fantastic, especially at this price. Perfect size for making “no-knead” bread and, right out of the box, can handle the 500° heat needed.

This has been a disappointment.

I bought one this winter from woot. Same color, same model & size. But new. I fell in love with the idea: Simmer tomato-based sauces all-day & don’t get that dissolved cast-iron taste, but still have that heat retention nothing but cast iron can give. First couple uses over a few weeks: GREAT! I used only wood (not even bamboo) or soft plastic utensils, washed (never soaked) it with soft sponge. I never let metal TOUCH the inside. Never dropped it. Handled it like a newborn. Other than cooked with it. On the side, be sure not to put your newborn on a stove. But I digress. You know what I mean.

Then, in the 5th or 6th week of use (I think my 3rd or 4th use, right after making a very nice Italian ragu), I couldn’t scrub-out a 4x3mm black piece of crud off the inside wall, about 3/4 the distance from the top. Then I looked carefully: Not dirt. A CHIP of the inside ENAMEL!. Since then, another chip!

Well, does this appreciatively contaminate the flavor of acid-containing simmered food? I can’t imagine it would. Not yet. But being the inside is enameled, this means the coating is doomed to fail as rust forms on the edge of the hole undermining & enlarging it over time. How much? How soon? I don’t know. I was just saddened at how FAST this happened. And despite really maximal care to avoid enamel damage.

I’m not even going to TRY to return it: This sucker is HEAVY: I’d guess 18-20 lbs. Packaging & shipping costs to return it & get a replacement would be more than it’s worth.

So I’m going to get whatever use out of it that I can: Wear-it-out 'till the holes get too big, or when enamel chunks fall into the food, or rust uncontrollably forms on the exposed cast iron. Maybe I’ll be lucky & it’ll last a long time.

But I doubt it.

YMMV, but I just want to suggest caution.

compv2000: Be sure to check in with Cuisinart. It has a limited lifetime warranty.

I second ThunderThighs suggestion! Hopefully they will help you with an acceptable resolution. It would be a shame not to get to enjoy what this piece can do. Sounds like you’re familiar with cast iron and I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t already know. As I said earlier, I’ve been using mine probably twice a week for over 8 years and, aside from some slight staining of the interior enamel, it remains free of any defects. I always fill it with hot water and some Dawn liquid to soak for 10 or 15 minutes before scrubbing the inside using a Dobie nylon pad. If you end up having to keep and use it, you may want to bring it up to 250 - 300° every once in a while and, while hot, wipe the exposed areas with some vegetable oil to season them and prevent rust buildup. Good luck with Cuisinart!