Is it safe to put an enameled cast iron dutch oven in a pre-heated oven, when the dutch oven is starting at room temperature? Or will this cause thermal shock and break the enamel? The Internet says contradictory things.

I have a recipe that says to do this (i.e. put it straight in the oven, without heating it first, with some uncooked vegetables and oil in it).

This is the model I have, if it makes a difference: https://www.johnlewis.com/john-lewis-partners-cast-iron-shallow-casserole-31cm/p4055687

2 Answers 2


Enamelled casseroles (aka Dutch ovens) are also designed to be able to be used directly on a hob (aka stove top), which are capable of higher temperature than any domestic oven will ever be able to reach. If thermal shock were a consideration, I don't think you'd be able to do that.

Don't just take my advice however. If you are really concerned about it, give the manufacturer a call.


Do not worry about it. Putting something in a preheated oven isn't usually a problem because air is largely a thermal insulator. Thermal shock occurs when you immediately change the temperature of a thing (baking dish, pan, etc.) rapidly, e.g. by putting a fridge-cold glass dish into a tub of hot water or splashing a hot ceramic dish straight out of the oven with a lot of cold water. In both these cases, you need something with a large thermal capacity (water or other liquid). Air, on the other hand, does not have this thermal capacity and will only gently raise your dutch oven's temperature, making thermal shock almost impossible.

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