I bought a no-name Dutch oven* about eighteen years ago and have used it steadily since. It continues to serve me well, but I'm wondering whether I need to worry about the wear and tear on the enamel, as shown below:

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Is there a point at which a Dutch oven is no longer usable, or are they basically immortal barring structural damage?

* So no lifetime warranty or anything.

1 Answer 1


Sufficiently damaged enamel could allow the metal underneath to start corroding. Eventually the corrosion could spread under larger pieces of the enamel, allowing them to flake off in large pieces. I don't see any evidence of that in your picture.

Scratched and crazed enamel won't cause subtle problems, though, other than a minor loss of nonstick properties (not that enamel is particularly nonstick to begin with). If you're happy with it, there's no need to second guess that based on how it looks.

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