Here's a story. In 2009, I bought a 6 quart Le Creuset, a discontinued model that I got for a deep discount. It lasted one year, whereupon I found that a small chip of enamel flaked off on the bottom (not underside) of the pot. I sent the pot back to Le Creuset, anticipating that they would replace it. Instead, they said that the chip was the result of "improper use" of the pot - too high temperatures. But they offered to sell me a new pot in the same model at half price (still more than I paid for the original). Since I liked the pot, and couldn't find an equivalent for (much) less, I bought it. Tonight, I fried up some vegetables in the pot, and ended up burning the pot. Nothing extraordinary, the enamel blackened - but that happens all the time, even with moderate heat. I was able to wipe the blackened portion off, relatively easily, with a sponge. But. Two small chips in the enamel came up!
So what should I do? The pot is all of 2 years old, and I've obviously had limited success with Le Creuset. Should I 1) just go ahead and use the pot with the small chips in it. I'm not really worried about doing that, but Le Creuset says never to do so (of course not- that way you have to buy a new pot; or should I 2) look for some other model of enameled cast iron Dutch oven that's more durable or; 3) go some other direction. I have a 20+ year old copper lined aluminum Dutch oven that I used forEVER before I got the Le Creuset. And it got scratched, but nothing major, is light weight, but cooks evenly, works great. I'm inclined to just stick with that, though I do like the enamel surface for soups, etc.
Please share your thoughts! Thanks.