Should I Keep My Cheap Berndes Dutch Oven?

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Q: I have been wanting to get a Dutch oven for a while but due to our budget, my boyfriend suggested stopping into Ross for a peek. I was so excited to find this Red Cherry porcelain enamel cast iron 5.75qt casserole by Berndes for $35.

As soon as I got it home, I searched The Kitchn for any reviews, then Googled it. I could not find anything about Berndes' cast iron products, only the cast aluminum. Also, I noticed that some cast iron is exposed on the rim of the pot as well as the lid and that the lid does not sit flush on the pot. The box reads, "Designed in Germany. Made in China."

My question is: Should I return this Dutch oven to the store and save up for a Le Creuset or Emile Henry?

Sent by Yasmine

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Editor: Yasmine, we did a little more digging and we did find a Chowhounder with a very similar question:

Berndes Dutch Oven at Chowhound

There are some good comments there.

Our opinion — well, in some ways this is a return to the classic discussion of quality versus price. I personally have an off-brand Chefmate Dutch oven from Target, and it's great. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't stack up against my Le Creuset Dutch oven. It's really held up over the years. And yet those top brands come with a serious lifelong guarantee and customer service that is very comforting when making such a big purchase. (Although less well-known brands may have this too.)

Readers, what's your opinion on Yasmine's dilemma?

Related: Dutch Oven FAIL...Tramontina WIN!

(Images: Yasmine via email)

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