Product Review: Crofton Enameled Cast Iron (Dutch Oven and Braiser)

I have two tiny Le Crueset pots (cocottes) that I inherited from my grandmother, but just about fell over when I looked to buy larger pieces at a Le Crueset outlet this summer. The 5 quart Dutch Oven that I could get at ALDI for $29.99 would run me $270 to $300 in Le Crueset. I purchased the braiser as a Christmas gift for myself and asked my mom to pick up the dutch oven.  I am thrilled with the performance of both and honestly notice no differences between them and the LeCrueset. Having said that, I also don't have any new LeCrueset pieces to compare it to so it's not a fair comparison. If Le Crueset would like to send me a new piece - I wouldn't turn it down, but this Aldi Girl is content with her $29.99 steal ;)

 I have used the Crofton Dutch Oven to make Chicken and Whole Wheat Dumplings and the Crofton Braiser to cook Homemade Marinara and Chili. I wanted to have enameled cast iron specifically for my tomato dishes that can get a little "tinny" or metallic tasting in my regular cast iron.

 A few tips and facts you may want to know about these Crofton Enameled Cast Iron pieces:

  • Both the pot and the lid are oven-safe. The product information did not include a top temperature, but if they are similar to Le Crueset, then the recommended limit it 375*. 
  • They are NOT dishwasher-safe. To clean, allow the pan to cool. Use hot, soapy water with a cloth or sponge to the wash the pan by hand. You can use scratch-proof scrubbers for anything stuck on, but do NOT use steel wool or harsh chemical cleaners. Rinse and thoroughly dry both the pan and lid. There is an exposed cast iron edge on both that will rust if you do not treat it properly. 
  • Use wood, plastic, or silicon cooking utensils with your cast iron, never use metal. That means do NOT use hand mixers, immersion blenders, or cut anything with a knife on your cast iron.
  • You should be able to cook with enameled cast iron on gas, electric, glass, and induction cook-tops, but they do recommend checking your appliance manual to make sure it is safe.  
  • The product comes with a 2 year limited warranty or normal use. 


This list makes it sound like the are dainty little babies in the kitchen, but they are actually really durable pieces that should last decades if they are treated well. The only thing I have managed to do to my cast iron skillet in the past two years is to chip some enamel off the handle and stain the bottom black. Both happened when I took it camping, which is not recommended with enameled cast iron by the way:) If I had bothered to read my manual that came with my piece, I would have known that. Any other questions - please fire away.

Comments

  1. This has become my best pot ever!! With any cast iron always start out on med or low heat,I have had it almost 3 years and all is good. I do cook a lot with red sauces so every once in awhile after cleaning I will do a bleach soak then rinse with vinegar water and Whala! Perfect!!It is a Great Pot! Tank you Aldis!!!

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    1. I purchased mine about 2 years ago and I absolutely love it! So much so, that I have been hunting Aldi's since to purchase as many as I could get for gifts! I think everyone should own one. It's got to be the easiest pan to clean too!!

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    2. I purchased mine about 2 years ago and I absolutely love it! So much so, that I have been hunting Aldi's since to purchase as many as I could get for gifts! I think everyone should own one. It's got to be the easiest pan to clean too!!

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    3. Susie not sure where you are but I just purchased one in Aldi's in East Tennessee. They are back. I love them as well.

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    4. I recently got the Dutch oven, brazier pan, and the smaller oval one, all in a beautiful gray...and I love them!

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  2. hi i was given an aldi dutch oven as a gift and would like to use it but wondered if i need to treat/season it before using it for the first time? can anyone help please?

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    1. HI Linda,

      No seasoning is needed - it is enameled. The seasoning is to make an enamel-like finish on an uncoated (porous) cast iron pan. Hope the helps!

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  3. The Aldi ad says they are oven safe up to 500°F.

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    1. I just purchased (STOLE) one at an OPP-SHOP for $5 AUSSIE. Well, it feels like I stole it. Thanks for the info. about the high temp. as I will be making loaves of bread in it & the recommended temp is 450 deg.
      Thanks again JOHNLGALT.

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  4. Is it stove safe? The box only says oven safe. However, the box for the Aldi French oven says both oven and stove safe. The only difference I see is the size, so I'm wondering why one (French) is both oven and stove safe and the other (Dutch) is only oven safe.

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  5. I bought one today and always wanted a cast iron enameled pot. This one is a 6 quart and just right. Not to heavy. I was in Kohl's and their price is 99.99. That is too much to pay for a non-brand name. I read all the reviews and am happy I bought it. There was only 2 left.

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  6. I have an extensive collection of cast iron skillets, dutch ovens, and pots. Always wanted an enameled Dutch - didn't want to pay $300..... saw this one at Aldi and figured it's worth the gamble for a trial run. One of best purchase ever. Use it several times a month. It's on the stove now making a cabbage dish. The others may be better quality ( I would hope so or they are ripping us all off ) but for the $, I feel that you get more value than what you are paying for.

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  7. Found one in the garbage still new in the box never used just wondering how awesome this pan is

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    1. I like that you shared that. It's a blessing, and double awesome when it comes in an unusual way like this. You wonder who would throw a brand new pot out. But, maybe an angel put it there to be found by you. Seriously.

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  8. I bought one last fall - the brassier. I just took it out of the box today. I have several other pieces but alas only 2 of the "real stuff". This new pan performs beautifully. It is well worth the price I paid for it. I did keep the little clips for the edge of the pot so I can avoid chipping the edges. If you take care of these type of pots they last forever. Of course I opted for the red!

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  9. Bought at Christmas and have used approx 6 times. I hand washed/ dried each time. Noticed tiny bit rust staining on enamel from the top rim, guessing from steam/ cooking with lid on. Not a big deal, but certain to dry the raw cast iron xtra well, and lightly rubbed with oil. Today I hand washed after use and noticed a chip of red enamel off a handle. How can this be? I was amazingly careful. I plan on lovingly using and caring for it until they are available again and exchange it. Maybe a sink mat or towel in sink bottom when washing in the future. I still luv cooking in it.

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  10. 25 year old male here. These pots came out right when I graduated high school and I asked for ALL of them for Christmas. I've never found better cookware and wish Aldi sold them all the time.

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  11. I agree, I wish they sold them more often. The induction skillet is greatest. Big, deep, non-stick, easy-clean, permanent coating, rugged handle. Do it again ALDI. I can't find this cookware at the Crofton web site.

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  12. That's because you're not supposed to cook acidic things in your bare cast iron pan. Cooking tomato-based sauces or reducing an entire bottle of wine for dishes like Coq Au Vin will strip the seasoning off your cast iron.

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  13. I want to put the 1.75 quart on top of a small wood stove. Can someone please tell me what the bottom diameter is, thank you.

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  14. Regarding oven temperature: there is a recipe in the brochure (French Oven Cranberry Herb Bread) that uses 450ยบ oven temp and says to place the dutch oven in the oven while preheating.
    Regarding availability: It's a seasonal item and is usually available early fall.

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  15. Where can I find your 4.6 crouton Dutch oven. swilliamson247@gmail.com. Please contact me.

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  16. Brilliant bit of kit! I bought the Dutch oven and the big pan. I use the pan a lot and the Dutch oven occasionally. Amazing quality at a tenth of the price of the French stuff. The Dutch oven is Grey and the pan light green, I would have preferred red, but at around $25 each, who's going to argue?

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  17. Just got one last night from Aldi, it was the last one for 19.99. Just wanted to see what the overall experience has been and I'm glad so far. Time to unpack it and start cooking.

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  18. Love mine. They are of substantial size and quit durable. I have both pots and they'll stand up to any top of the line name brand.

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  19. I enjoyed the information lot. Thanks for sharing this information about cookware reviews.aluminium gourmet ceramica

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  21. I just got the 5 quart braiser at Aldi for $20. It's really great. I'll probably get the Dutch oven soon if it's still there.

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  22. I’m a bit confused about stove top use. Like for making soups or doing prep cooking before putting in the oven. What do ya think?

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  23. I just checked the inside measurements of my bench-top oven, it will be a very tight fit unless I modify the knob on the lid, or get a modified rack to make it sit lower, but for $5 AUSSIE it will at an OPP-SHOP it will be a bargain.

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