Did You Know That Lodge Now Makes Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Ovens In The USA?

For years, consumers asked why Lodge had its enameled Dutch ovens made overseas. The answer has always been the same: “We don’t have the ability to do it here.”

Lodge had a dream to build a facility to enamel cast iron in their hometown of South Pittsburg, TN, and finally, it became a reality.

A Little About Lodge

Lodge Cast Iron is a family-owned business in South Pittsburg, Tennessee.

Joseph Lodge founded this company in 1896, originally called Blacklock Foundry.

However, after the building burned down in 1910, Joseph rebuilt and renamed the company Lodge Cast Iron.

Over the years, Lodge survived several economic downturns and thrived even when other foundries closed down.

As business continued to grow, they built another foundry. The new foundry enabled Lodge to increase its manufacturing production by 75 percent.

Lodge makes cast iron and carbon steel cookware, though cast iron remains their primary production.

They offer a variety of cast iron cookware, including classic, enamel, chef, and Blacklock.

Additionally, Lodge carries bakeware and several series, all cast iron.

They also have many accessories and a cast iron grilling cookware line.

Lodge continues to be a leading manufacturer worldwide, making nearly 2 million cast iron pans monthly.

How Lodge Started Enameling in the USA

Lodge promised themselves they would find a way to design and produce colorful enameled cast iron in their hometown of South Pittsburg, TN.

They finally decided the time was right, invested in the equipment, and repurposed a building on their campus.

The original plan was to celebrate Lodge’s 125th anniversary in 2021 by introducing its new line of American-made enameled cast iron Dutch ovens. However, Covid hit and set the project back by two years.

But in June 2023, the new line was finally introduced.

Enameling is rare in the USA because it is costly to do safely. So, when Lodge invested in enameling in their hometown, it did so with the highest standards, meeting the strictest environmental regulations.

The enameling facility is on the same campus as the cast iron factory, so once the Dutch ovens are cast at the foundry, they go next door to be enameled.

The Design

Kelly Peterson, a Senior Product Marketing Manager, was responsible for the design. She says the team drew inspiration from classic cars, vintage guitars, and various 1950s spaces.

The team wanted the Dutch oven to be iconic, aesthetically pleasing, and functional. Of course, it would have to meet Lodge’s already high standard for every cast iron piece they make.

Additionally, they wanted it to stand out as unique from every other enameled Dutch oven on the market. Ultimately, they accomplished this by listening to what others said they wished was different about their Dutch ovens.

So, they added a raised knob for easier handling when using oven mitts and gave it a domed lid and larger looped handles. They also rounded the Dutch oven a bit but still gave it a large cooking surface.

The team tested the Dutch oven by cooking many different foods. Kelley remembers one of her first meals was a roast for her grandma.

Although Lodge is the first company to produce colorful enameled cast iron, Borough Furnace, a much smaller cast iron company in New York, had already launched the first enameled cast iron Dutch oven a few years before.

USA Enamel

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Lodge is the only place in the USA that designs and manufactures colorful enameled cast iron Dutch ovens.

USA Enamel is available in three colors: “Cherry on Top” (red), “Cloud Nine” (white), and “Smooth Sailing” (blue). And each color comes in four sizes: 3 qt, 4.5 qt, 6 qt, and 7.5 qt.

You can also find one on Amazon: Just click on the color and size.

Your Dutch oven can braise, broil, roast, simmer, deep-fry, and more. It moves from stovetop to oven to tabletop with ease and can even marinate foods in the refrigerator.

Technically, enameled cast iron is dishwasher-safe. However, Lodge recommends washing and drying your enamel by hand to preserve the finish. Also, make sure it’s completely dry before storing.

Another thing to know is that a small amount of staining is normal and won’t affect performance.

I will mention two available accessories:

Please note that the price of USA Enamel reflects the cost of making it in the USA.

You can learn more about the enameling process at The Art and Science of Enameling USA Enamel.

Celebrate Being An Original

Essential Enamel

Lodge is exceptionally proud to make USA Enamel but knows only some can afford it. So, it continues to offer the less expensive Essential Enamel made in China.

This is what they say about their Essential Enamel line of cookware:

Essential Enamel is our much-loved imported line of enameled cast iron. Essential Enamel delivers great performance for value-minded homecooks who have big families to feed or those simply looking for a starter pot as they learn to cook.

Lodge Essential Enamel makes quality cookware that is accessible to everyone. It regularly rotates and refreshes the colors and sizes of its Dutch Ovens and Casseroles, ranging from 1.5 qt to 7.5 qt.

You can find Essential Enamel at Lodge or Amazon: 1.5 qt, 3 qt, 4.5 qt, 6 qt, 7 qt, 3.6 qt Casserole, 11 in skillet, or 2 qt oval casserole.

Even though Essential Enamel is made overseas, know it is through a “trusted and vetted partner who maintains Lodge’s high quality standards.”

Answering Your Questions

You may have some questions when deciding which enamel cookware is right for you. Here are Lodge’s answers to some of the more frequently asked ones.

Why is there a price difference between USA Enamel and Essential Enamel?

Lodge USA Enamel is priced alongside many competitive products on the market, but what makes it different is that it’s made in the United States—American labor, quality, and ingenuity in every pot. Our Essential Enamel carries the same high quality standards as our USA Enamel but is made overseas. This makes it possible for us to offer it at a value for customers looking for hard-working cookware at a lower price.

Are there any functional or performance differences between the two lines?

At the end of the day, both USA Enamel and Essential Enamel will help you make a great roast. That said, USA Enamel pieces are heirloom quality and made for generations; Essential Enamel is more accessible to bring great performance to every kitchen.

Is there a warranty for the USA Enamel and the Essential Enamel?

Yes! Lodge offers the Made Right Limited Lifetime Warranty on all our products, including USA Enamel, Essential Enamel, and our Seasoned Cast Iron. Check out all the details to see if your piece qualifies for repair or replacement.

Is enamel manufacturing dangerous or bad for the environment?

One of the reasons enameling is so rare in the United States is that doing it safely—for people and for planet—comes with a lot of costs. We built our Enameling Facility from the ground up to meet the strictest environmental impact regulations. Our entire manufacturing process is designed to keep our people safe, with strict procedures around use of PPE and protective gear.

Is the entire USA enamel made in the USA?

Every USA Enamel Dutch Oven is made in the United States with imported stainless steel accents. In fact, the iron is poured in the same South Pittsburg, Tennessee Foundry as Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron, then transported a few yards across campus to our new Enameling Facility. Each dutch oven has been packed-out by hand and is distributed directly from cast iron’s hometown since 1896.

You may want something other than enameled cast iron for outdoor cooking with a Dutch oven. Lodge also carries a line of cast iron camp Dutch ovens.

RELATED > > > > > Lodge 6-Quart Camp Dutch Oven Review – Outdoor Cooking

Final Thoughts

I hope you have enjoyed learning about USA Enamel and Essential Enamel, Lodge’s two enamel cast iron lines.

For years, all enameled cast iron cookware was manufactured overseas, but now you can choose between USA and Essential Enamel cookware.

Lodge has a long history of making cast iron cookware, and they were very excited to add the USA Enamel line in 2023.






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