Innova Color Cast Porcelain Enameled Cast Iron 5 Quart Round Dutch Oven
(2 Epinions reviews)
Poor product, Innova doesn't honor warranty
Jun 24, 2005 (Updated Jun 25, 2005)
Review by gruber16
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:In theory, enameled cast iron cookware is sturdy and practical. Not Innova cookware though!
Cons:Chipping enamel. Poor and rude customer service. Innova doesn't honor warranty.
The Bottom Line: Do not buy. This is poor quality cookware and it's likely that you'll get a defective piece. You'll deal with rude customer service who will not honor their warranty.
When I first got this pot I was thrilled because I love robustness and practicality of enameled cast iron. I thought I got a good alternative to Le Creuset... but it seems that I just wasted $40.
Recommend this product?
Soon after I started using the pot, enamel started chipping off (very common problem with Innova cookware, as I later discovered). I contacted customer service and they asked if the chipping is on the inside or the outside. When I told them it was on the outside they said:
"That would not be covered by the warranty because it does not affect the function of the cookware.!!!
The warranty, however, explicitly states that it "does not cover scratches, stains or discoloration of the exterior or interior which do not affect the function of the cookware".
It's the type of the damage that is not covered, not the location of the damage. In addition to this, chipping enamel is not a scratch, stain or discoloration, but manufacturing defect.
After I complained about this misinterpretation, they simply stopped replying to my emails.
DO NOT BUY! Innova cookware is low quality, very likely to cause problems (chipping enamel is first on the list), you'll deal with rude and poor customer service, and you'll end up throwing your money away.
I was suggested by one of the reviewers to add some additional info about the pot, like weight, heat distribution and cleanup. So, here it is:
WEIGHT: According to my scale, the pot weights about 11.5 lb. This sounds like a lot, but I don't find the pot awefully difficult to lift and handle, even when it's full. After all, the pot is meant to sit on the stove or in the oven (it's not like you are going to flip crapes in it!).
COLORS: Innova offers only 4 colors (red, yellow, blue and green), vs. LeCreuset which offers a lot more colors and their colors are nicer. But, these colors are not bad either.
HEAT DISTRIBUTION: The pot is cast iron, heats evenly and cooks nicely. This kind of cookware is great for stews (cooking over low heat for long periods - to tenderize meat etc.) Handles do get hot (just like any other cast iron cookware). If the pot is in the oven - be absolutely sure to use mitts. Handles don't get as hot if the pot is sitting on the stove, but you will still get a burn if you don't use mitts.
CLEANUP: Dishwasher safe, although you should make sure to turn drying on (I keep drying off to preserve energy). If the pot is wet for too long - the rim, which is not enameled, will rust. Don't throw away if it does - just scrape off the rust and "season" the pot rim, just like you would season non-enameled cast iron (rub a drop of oil on the rim and put in the 450F oven for about 1 hour). This will keep the rim from rusting. I don't know if LeCreuset protects the rim somehow, but Innova does rust in this unprotected area if exposed to water for too long. Final word about cleanup: Le Creuset does clean up better, but if you don't have a budget for LeCreuset - some vineger and baking soda will do the trick for cleaning.
If it was just the cleaning issue, I would go with Innova and save some bucks, but again, because of chipping enamel issue (very common problem), I advise that you seriously consider better quality alternatives (LeCreuset) before buying Innova. After all, enameled cast iron is supposed to be built to last, and if the pot becomes useless in a matter of months - you really just wasted what you could have saved for better quality cookware.
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