Stand By Your Pan – Don’t Throw Away that Le Creuset!

My Old Le Creuset 9qtOven

With apologies to Tammy Wynette, singer and co-writer of the country standard Stand by Your Man, I’m calling this one Stand By Your Pan. This is a good news story, that in our age of lax, unconcerned customer service and “throw it away and buy new” mentality, I am both proud and pleased to relate.

In the late 1970’s I purchased a 9-quart Le Creuset Flame Round French Oven. My family calls it “The Orange Pot.” When they see it on the stovetop or in the oven they know something good is cooking. Over the years I have used my French Oven to make countless braises in red wine, untold gallons of tomato ragù, all manner of dark, rich stews. With every September came quart upon quart of luscious scarlet and purple jams, jellies and preserves; the jewel-like raspberry, blueberry and blackberry creations glistened and bubbled against the oven’s enameled interior as they cooked down to jammy goodness, destined for their glass jars and the darkness of the pantry. Good food, every bit of it, but it was food that over time stained and dulled the interior of the pot, leaving it with a somewhat unappetizing, almost honed appearance. As I pored over catalogs I saw immaculate new pots, pretty pots whose smooth interiors shone brightly and reflected the light.

Old Le Creuset Pot Bottom

While some may consider a well-used pot a badge of honor, the truth was I could no longer thoroughly clean mine. The interior porcelain had become porous and had begun to hold smells. I realized I wanted not so much a perfect pot, but one that I could clean thoroughly. Mind you, the flame red-orange exterior of my pot was as pristine as the day it first emerged from its box.

Le Creuset Lifetime Warranty

Then I read the Le Creuset Lifetime Limited Warranty. It read, in part:

Le Creuset cookware is warranted to you by Le Creuset of America, Inc. to be free from defects in material and workmanship at the time of its purchase… This warranty does not cover damage from abuse, commercial use or other non-consumer use, neglect, abnormal wear or tear, overheating, or any use not in accordance with the cookware instructions provided with the utensil… This Lifetime Limited Warranty begins on the date of purchase and lasts as long as a covered consumer owns the utensil.

That was all I needed to read. I knew I had treated the pot well, never having scratched or chipped it. I called the company in South Carolina, and after a few questions, I had an RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) number, an address to which to send the pot and a pretty darn good feeling about the entire affair. I carefully boxed The Orange Pot and mailed it away. The good folks at Le Creuset inspected the pot and deemed it to have been well treated. The only cost to me was the shipping charge of $37.16 for the return of my original pot, a small price to pay for the replacement the company, in the very best of faith, returned to me.

My New Le Creuset 9qt Oven

Merci, Le Creuset!

Readers, if you have an old and stained, but otherwise well-treated piece of this iconic cookware you wish to replace, contact the company’s Consumer Services Department toll-free at 1-877-418-5547, or email them at

Click here to visit the Le Creuset of America, Inc. website for warranty information.

My Replacement Le Creuset 9qt Oven

Vive Le Creuset!

Note: You can click on any picture to see a slide show!

I have no affiliation with any product, manufacturer, or site mentioned in this article.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Comment by Mariana b:

    I just bought a marseille blue 24cm pot, and the one pot dinners from le creseut. The mediterranean pork dish was superb. The flavours had layers to them. Brought another dimension to my cooking. Of course I dont bother getting take out food now, as Im trying to justify the spending. But the flavours are worth every penny. Much better than getting a thermomix. The best part is I dont worry about burning the food if I walk away from it. Mariana sydney, australia

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Mariana,

      I am so glad you have purchased Le Creuset cookware. It is a superior product, and it really does cook so beautifully. I have every confidence that you will get years of satisfaction from the cookware. Enjoy your time in the kitchen, and thank you so much for stopping by my site.

  2. Comment by Max:

    I partly relied on feedback from this post when I was buying Le Creuset.
    Although post is older from 2014 or so and now is 2017, some things may have changed and I’d like to share my experience.

    Entire Licorice set started with cracking only after few months of light use.
    Customer service was not helpful and denied any warranty/replacement.

    Although pots were treated and maintained with greatest care (hey paid over $1500), customer service has replied that “it should be used only on low-medium temperatures” and cracks are sign of high temperature. (???) If you treat china like that it will last longer than Le Scam-uset.

    I have CusineArt French oven that was used in a same way for 6 years and no cracks ever appeared.

    I wouldn’t recommend Le Creuset to anyone ever! It is just a brand name with very poor quality and dishonest warranty policy.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Max,

      What a shame. I am saddened to hear your troubles. As you say, for the price you paid, the cookware ought to have performed much better and should have lasted forever. I wish I had an answer for you. A thought – have you attempted to return the cookware to the retail outlet where it was purchased? Perhaps they may offer you some satisfaction. Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to share.

  3. Comment by Disappointed Librarian:

    I purchased a 10 quart enameled stock pot 3 weeks ago. I used it twice and it developed an exterior chip on the bottom edge. I called Le Creuset to initiate a replacement but the customer service representative told me that they do not replace for an exterior chip. If I returned it they would issue me a 30% discount to re-purchase it. Outrageous! I am so disappointed and I shall never buy Le Creuset again.

    • Comment by Adri:


      I am sorry to hear of your trouble. Did you call the store where you purchased the enameled stockpot? The Le Creuset guarantee does not cover exterior chips (they figure it is an owner initiated problem.) I suggest you call your retailer, and discuss the problem. So often the retail shops, especially Sur La Table and Williams-Sonoma, are more than happy to replace an item that fails to please. They strive to keep their customers happy. I hope this suggestion helps. Buon anno a te!

  4. Comment by Gail:

    They refuse to honor a broken handle on a sauté pan my mother was going to give me if I could have it fixed. Unfortunately I made the grave mistake of saying I inherited it from my mother who is still living. They denied the claim even though I explained why I am asking to have it fixed, in no uncertain terms they will not honor original warranty since I am the one who is going to be using the pan. The inside of the handle dessintegrate so a new handle can not be connected and has rendered it useless. I just purchased about $400 worth of new pots and pans to give as Christmas gifts to my children…I most likely will be returning them especially since a pan I have as a birthday gift already has chipped enamel on the bottom.

  5. Comment by Jamie Aeschbacker:

    Hiya did u find the new lc pot just as good as the old one? I’ve heard ‘they don’t make em like they used to’ !
    Abd did u need original receipt? Thanks!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Jamie,

      The new pan works just as well as the old one. And they did not require the original receipt! Thanks for stopping by, and best of luck with your return!

  6. Comment by Betsy:

    My 25 year old 4.5 quart Dutch Oven has been my go to pot for stews, etc. I have always treated it with great care, but it was definitely used a lot (just not overheated). I read many comments of success vs failures for replacement, but felt confident that I had not abused my pot when I finished my stew and found a 1/2″ chunk of enamel missing from the center of my pot. I happened to be traveling to South Carolina and gave LC a call and asked if I could come right to LC of America in Early Branch. They enthusiastically told me to come along with my pot. It then dawned on me to find out if I could bring it to an outlet, and again was encouraged to bring it to them. In the end I was close to the head quarters and brought it in. Immediately I was asked to fill out a form with my address, asked how long I had owned it (and was probably way off when I guessed at 15 years and realized after I had it much longer), and was asked to select a color. It all took less than 3 minutes,. I felt very sad to leave my pot behind, but was told to expect a new Dutch Oven in the mail in the next couple of weeks. It could not have been easier.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Betsy,

      Isn’t it terrific when a company really stands behind their product? I was so pleased with the process from start to finish. I too found it surprisingly difficult to part with my orange pot. It was the repository of so very many memories. But all is well with my new one, and I bet you will create many wonderful family meals in yours. Thanks a million for stopping by and for sharing your story.

  7. Comment by Lori Lynn:

    Wow. Thanks for this useful info Adri!
    Glad you were able to get a new one. Cool! We love Le Creuset.

  8. Comment by Cathy at Wives with Knives:

    I have a pot that looks like the one you had, Adri, and I’m very happy to know about Le Creuset’s return policy. I didn’t realize it is possible to get a new one when an old one is so badly discolored and pitted. I love my Le Creuset and use it every day. I’m calling the company immediately.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Cathy,

      I was so pleased with the Le Creuset return program. Words fail me. The company was right there and willing to help, and they were so nice about it. Give them a call, and you will be on your way. It is my pleasure to spread the word! Vive Le Creuset!

  9. Comment by nancy at good food matters:

    This is a feel-great story! I own a number of Le CREUSET pots, dating back to the mid-80’s through present day. I love ’em all. You’ll be creating years and years of new memories in your brand new pot. Enjoy!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Nancy,

      A feel-great story indeed. I love my Le Creuset pots, and I have certainly gotten a lot of mileage out of them. Now I can say I love the company too. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Comment by trevorsisboom:

    There is probably no more important thing in my kitchen than mine. I admire the company for standing behind the product so much. That said, I think I would miss mine if I ever turned it back in. Don’t you miss the old one even a little bit?

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Trevro,

      Oh, but I do miss it. I absolutely do, and I am feeling terribly nostalgic. “The Orange Pot” was the repository of many family memories. That said, I am still just floored by their customer service. The way I figure it is I will just have to cook a lot!

  11. Comment by Steven:

    The Le Creuset cooking set is a pleasant surprise. Thanks for putting this pan set in the spot light, and it’s well deserved. I believe my grandma used to cook with this pan set, and I used to wonder why her foods were so GOOD! The corn pasta squares with beef and mushroom ragu look so delicious.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Benvenuto Steve,

      I bet your grandmother’s cooking was out of this world. These old pans are really spectacular, and they bring back lots of memories for people. Thanks for the kind words about the pasta dish; it’s home cooking, Italian style!

  12. Comment by Marie:

    Now that is what I call quality service! I’m so happy to hear stories like yours Adri, it makes me love LeCreuset even more now. That beautiful new pot of yours just landed in the best of hands!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Marie,

      I’m with you about the outstanding Le Creuset service. It’s just like out moms told us “Girls, buy quality.” And thank you for the vote of culinary confidence. I know I will enjoy thirty more years of creating good food in my Le Creuset.

  13. Comment by Pam @ MyNewlywedCookingAdventures:

    This is great PR for one of my very favorite cooking-related companies! I have a lot of Le Cresuet pots and baking dishes and I never thought about that warranty because it always seems whatever is wrong with my item a company deems unworthy of meeting the warranty. This is fantastic to know I can count on a company when my beloved cooking dishes reach the end of their lives.

  14. Comment by Karen (Back Road Journal):

    That is reason alone to buy Le Creuset. It really is nice to know that they stand behind their products.

  15. Comment by Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen:

    I so totally agree that Le Creuset and their pots are THE best. I’ve had several sizes for a very long time and have, like you, had to return one. They could not have been nicer. What a great company.

  16. Comment by Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella:

    This is a very timely post. My Le Creuset has had some strange pitting at the bottom and for the life of me I don’t know how and why this happened. I should contact them 🙂

  17. Comment by Maureen | Orgasmic Chef:

    What a wonderful outcome AND you have a new pan to make wondrous new things for us to drool over. A definite win!

  18. Comment by sippitysup:

    I am so happy to hear that somethings stand true in our disposable society. I just sent my Shun knives off to be sharpened because (despite the fact that they are 10 yrs old) they have a lifetime guarantee to stay sharp. Like you I was diligent in my care of the knives. But even with regular honing they still lost a bit of their edge. Boom. I expect them back next week good (better??) as new. GREG

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Greg,

      Double Hallelujah! I’m glad to hear that Shun will stand behind their knives. I bet they will be perfect when you get them back. Gotta love this level of customer service.

  19. Comment by Chiara:

    Ho sempre desiderato avere una di queste fantastiche pentole, prima o poi me la compero !

  20. Comment by amy @ fearless homemaker:

    Oh, I had no idea that they had such a great warranty! My big le creuset (which we call the big green pot) is starting to get some of that same staining, so it’s good to know I can possibly get it revamped when the time comes. And it’s the same here – whenever the pot comes out, everyone knows something super delicious (+ ultra comforting) is being made. In fact, I used it last night for a big, meaty, pasta meal. =)

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Amy,

      Oh, I love that you call it the big green pot! That is great. My family loves to see the orange pot on the stove. It is a real memory maker. Boy, did I ever dislike the staining, though. So I am very glad I pursued this and I am delighted to pass the information along. Stand by your pan!

  21. Comment by Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti:

    This is a wonderful warranty and fabulous customer service, Adri! I have a few Staub brand cast iron pans, and I will have to see if they offer the same. Enjoy that new pot–I love its cheerful color!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Pat,

      Yes, a feel good story all the way around. I would expect Staub to also be very good. These pieces are terribly expensive, and now there is so much competition for the consumer dollar, it would make no sense for Staub to abandon its customers.

  22. Comment by Mette:

    Le Creuset is on my wish list every year for Christmas, but apparently I have not been good yet:)

  23. Comment by Glamorous Glutton:

    That’s amazing, it would never have ocurred to me to send my le creuset pot back. Mine looks like yours so perhaps i’ll give it a go. Thanks. GG

  24. Comment by Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen:

    Love this post, Adri! It is so refreshing to know how well your return was handled. So professional with a happy customer ending. We can all have faith now in our Le Creuset and…stand by our pan!

  25. Comment by speedy70:

    conosco queste pentole, sono fantastiche!!!!!

  26. Comment by Foodiewife:

    I love it when companies stand by their product. My fantasy is owning a complete set of Le Creuset. There are a few pieces that I lust over, but I hesitate to make the investment– which, in my book, it is. I just have to convince my husband why I would pay a few hundred bucks for a pot. Why? Because they are well made and I adore searing and braising! Congrats on your calling the company, and your new and beautiful new pot.

    • Comment by Adri:


      Well here is another reason why you should purchase it. They stand behind it. I was floored by the entire experience. I mean after thirty-plus years of service, I actually felt a bitl greedy about sending it back, but the warranty was right there. And so was Le Creuset. Like our moms told us “Buy quality.”

  27. Comment by John@Kitchen Riffs:

    Wow! I have a couple of Le Creuset pots that look exactly like yours. And I know a lot of other people who have the same experience with their Le Creuset. Thanks for the good news — I need to contact them.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi John,

      I’m glad to help. Give them a call. They were extremely helpful and in three weeks I had a new pot. That is Customer Service as it should be!

  28. Comment by Laney (Ortensia Blu):

    And this is the main reason why I bought mine several years ago – So glad to know that you had a great experience returning yours – happy cooking and many more years together with you and your Le Creuset – here’s to orange pots!

  29. Comment by Monique:

    I love stories like this!
    Sadly we discarded my husband’s turquoise one that looked exactly like yours..yrs ago..
    You were very smart in wondering if their lifetime mention was true..and it was..Great products and company:)

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Monique,

      What a shame that you guys discarded the pot, but the good news is now you know. This story just made my day. The company really stood behind their product. After that many years I was just amazed. This is today’s “feel good” story!

  30. Comment by Karen:

    I have at least one Le Creuset with an interior that looks EXACTLY like yours did, in cobalt blue. It’s an old friend…I’d love a shiny new one but would have to say a nostalgic goodbye ! Thanks for sharing Adri.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Karen,

      Oh, my orange pot did not go gently into the night. I had a good bit of difficulty parting with it, and I was quite surprised at just how attached I was to it. I am loving the response this story is getting. It was my pleasure to share this one.

  31. Comment by Ciaochowlinda:

    Oh my goodness Adri, you just made my day. I have that exact same pot in orange and it too, is discolored. If it has a chip or two, does that disqualify it for replacement? I have at least two other Le Cruset pots that may also fit this criteria. Woo hoo.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Ciao Linda,

      I don’t know if a chip would be a problem. I would tend to doubt it as after many ears of use, to my mind, chips are unavoidable. I say call the company. I am so impressed with their service. To be fair and balanced, so to speak, All-Clad Metalcrafters also stood by a pan, sending, a replacement years back. Like our moms said “Girls, buy quality.”

  32. Comment by TheKitchenLioness:

    Adri, I am quite impreessed with the impeccable customer service by Le Creuset! And it goes to show that treating your cookware (and bakeware) kindly, will pay off!
    What a fun post, dear friend!

  33. Comment by Sandra - The Foodie Affair:

    What great customer service! I’ll keep that in mind, but I hope that mine does last a lifetime! I purchased my first Dutch oven over a year ago and love it!

  34. Comment by Lizzy (Good Things):

    Wow, now that is something!

  35. Comment by Bam's Kitchen:

    Great post and thanks for the information about your LeCreuset pans. Now my first line of business is to get one its on my wish list…. Happy cooking!

  36. Comment by Una Walker:

    Oh my! I have the very same pot and vintage and we also refer to it as the Orange Pot. It was my Mom’s and I really cherish it. I’ll have to take a better look at it and see if it fits the criteria. Thanks!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Una,

      I really was surprised. I thought that after thirty plus years they would NEVER replace it. But I read the warranty, and I figured I would give it a go because I really could not get it clean. I sent it, and in just a tad over 3 weeks a replacement arrived. In this day and age, it was really quite heartwarming. Good luck with your replacement!

Content Protected