I tested this Lodge enameled cast iron dutch oven back in 2016. With more recently tested items I capture a much more comprehensive panel of test results, however with this one I just captured the following two sets of readings (which are enough to support my opinion that enameled cast iron should always be avoided because there is all-too-often a possibility that it is positive for one or more toxicants!) The owner of this piece told me they had purchased it around 2006.
When tested with an XRF instrument this piece had the following readings…
Blue Enamel (outside):
- Lead (Pb): Non-Detect
- Arsenic (As): 555 ppm
White Enamel (inside food surface):
- Lead (Pb): 1,693 ppm
- Arsenic (As): 508 ppm
Regardless of whether or not this type of item is leach tested at the time of manufacture (and determined by current standards to be safe because it is not leaching at that time) I personally do not believe that there is any defensible reason to have Lead and ARSENIC in our cookware.
Safer choices for cookware include plain (undecorated) stainless steel, plain undecorated cast iron and plain undecorated clear glass. These are the types of things I use in my home. They also tend to be inexpensive (as well as free of toxicants!)
I don’t currently have a dutch oven brand that I recommend or would use in my home (and I have never cooked in one of these in my 49 years on the planet – so am also not sure what I might use one for if I had one!)
Lodge is otherwise a good brand and their plain (unadorned, without enamel coatings) cast iron pieces are generally a good safer choice (from a toxicant perspective). Here’s a link to a good example of a safer Lodge cast iron piece (that is likely to be free of toxicants like Lead, Cadmium, Arsenic and Mercury!): https://amzn.to/2VT2GBz*
Please note, I have heard that Lodge pieces sometimes arrive broken in shipping – a fact which might indicate they are weaker cast iron than some of the more expensive brands (or than the vintage cast iron of our parents and grandparents) … however the price point for Lodge pieces seems to make that a reasonable risk. If you can get ahold of your grandmother’s vintage or antique cast iron (when she is ready to pass it on) that’s always the best choice! I have my great grandmother’s pans that I use (and I believe, based on family lore, that some of these are from the late 1800s!)
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*Amazon links are affiliate links. If you purchase something after clicking on one of my affiliate links I may receive a small percentage of what you spend at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my advocacy work in this way!