So someone told you about enameled cast iron, and you have decided to give it a try. Or you read about them somewhere and have your mind made up that you also must own at least a piece of kitchen equipment made from this strong material. You can find the best-enameled cast iron products such as cookware sets or equipment like the Dutch ovens.
If you are not familiar with enameled cast iron, well, let me enlighten you; it is a cast iron cookware that has been glazed with a coating of fused glass particles. The enamel protects the iron from rusting and corrosion. It also makes the enameled cookware a variety of colors and eliminates the need for seasoning, making the cookware easy to clean.
You probably own cast iron cooking equipment and may be wondering how they differ from enameled cast iron. I want to take you through the differences.
What is the Difference Between Cast Iron and Enameled Cast Iron?
Cast iron and enameled cast iron may sound the same, but they are not. If you own any cast iron cookware, you will know that it makes some of the best cookware. Enameled cast iron is also cast iron, only that it is coated with enamel. That said, let us now jump into the discussion.
Cast iron is an alloy of iron and carbon, with their percentages being 98 and 2, respectively. The alloy is melted and poured into a mold that hardens to create the desired product.
As mentioned earlier, enameled cast iron is cast iron that has been glazed with a coating of fused glass particles. They come in different colors, and the coating also makes the cookware easier to clean.
Enameled cast iron cookware comes in different colors and finishes, and due to its glossy finish, the enameled cookware is suitable for cooking and serving. On the other hand, bare cast iron is only available in black or grey.
The enamel coating is more susceptible to damage from scratching during use. The coating can also crack when repeatedly used over an open flame. Bare cast iron has a rugged cooking surface and can last a lifetime. However, rust and harsh cleaning products can damage the cast iron.
(d). Cooking Performance
While you can use enameled cast iron cookware in the oven and on the stovetop, it is not suitable for use on an open flame as that may damage it. Also, due to its coating, you can use it for cooking acidic foods, which you cannot cook on the bare cast iron as the acidity may cause corrosion of the iron. Bare iron is also the best for use in an open flame as it has excellent heat retention properties and can keep your food warm even after cooking.
(e). Maintenance and Cleaning
Enameled cast iron cookware is low maintenance and is easy to clean. It can also withstand harsher cleaners than raw cast iron cookware which also needs seasoning before use. Seasoning is the process of coating the cast iron cookware in fat and heating it to create a protective layer. The seasoning needs to be done every once or whenever you see the layer wearing down.
When cleaning raw cast iron, you do not need to use soap or any other harsh cleaner to corrode the seasoning. However, you will also need to dry the bare cast iron immediately after washing to prevent it from rusting.
Those are some of the major differences between enameled cast iron and bare cast iron. So, which is the best-enameled cast iron? First, let us look into that and see what's in store for us. Then, keep reading to find out more.
1. Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Casserole Skillet
- Casserole cast iron skillet in white with loop side handles for easy transport; oven safe to 400 degree Fahrenheit
- Cast iron for even heat distribution and retention; Enamel doesn't have non-stick function
- Always use hot-pads, oven mitts, or potholders while moving or removing cast iron cookware on or from the stove or oven.
- Holds 3.3 Quarts
This enameled skillet by Amazon is one of the best-enameled cast iron cookware, and its white finish makes it attractive and suitable for serving after cooking. In addition, it has loop side handles that make it easy to carry around even with food inside. The handles, however, are not heat-resistant, and for that reason, you need to use hot pads when moving the skillet from the oven or the stove.
This enameled cast-iron skillet holds up to 3.3 quarts and weighs 12.4 pounds. It is generously sized so it can carry large amounts of food for the whole family. It is oven safe to 400 degrees Fahrenheit to cook different types of foods with varying heat levels. The cast iron heats evenly and retains heat. However, enamel does not have non-stick properties to stick on the bottom during cooking.
2. Crock Pot Artisan Enameled Cast Iron Round Skillet
- Distributes and retains heat evenly
- Perfect for cooking, serving and storing
- Great for searing, frying, roasting and stir frying
- Works on gas, electric, ceramic, and induction cooktops
- Oven safe up to 500 degrees can go from stove top to oven just wear pot holders!
Like any other cast iron cookware, Crockpot Artisan enameled skillet distributes heat evenly and retains it even after you have removed it from the oven or the cooktop. It has a beautiful teal color, and it looks attractive, so you can use it for cooking and serving. It is also suitable for storing food.
This Crockpot artisan is the best enameled cast iron skillet to try if you are looking for a skillet to use for searing, stir-frying, roasting, or frying. You can easily transfer it from the stovetop to the oven, and it is oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Its diameter is eight inches and works well on electric, gas, ceramic, and induction cooktops. This skillet also features one long handle and a shorter one for support.
3. Cuisinart Chef's Classic Enameled Cast Iron Round Fry Pan
- Porcelain enameled interior is perfect for cooking: surfaces do not impact flavors or absorb odors.
- Wide cast iron handles provide a comfortable and secure grip. Oven safe knob for a durable grip and endless cooking options.
- Cast Iron construction provides superior heat retention and even heat distribution.
- Strong, durable finish in rich colors complements any kitchen décor. Perfect for cooking, serving and entertaining.
- Convenient maintenance and easy cleanup and dishwasher safe
Cuisinart enameled fry pan is suitable for cooking various food types as the porcelain-enameled interior does not absorb odors or impact flavors. In addition, its handles are wide enough to carry it with a secure grip comfortably, and the oven-safe knob provides a durable grip and a variety of cooking options.
The cast iron material makes this pan provide superior heat retention and distribution, so your food can cook evenly. The enamel finish is durable, and the rich color makes this fry pan attractive, so you can even use it for serving when the food is ready. It is dishwasher safe, and cleaning it is easy, so you don't have to spend a lot of time scrubbing and scratching.
4. Puricon Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven 3.3 Quart
- 👍3.3 QT: Perfect for a braise, bake, broil, saute, simmer, roast, and bread baking; Compatible for most stovetops: gas, glass, ceramic,...
- 👍Heavy enamel-on-cast iron construction with matte black interior provides excellent heat retention and distribution; Porcelain enamel...
- 👍Innovative Self-circulating Lid: Condensation rings on the underside of the lid act to circulate moisture, continuously redirecting...
- 👍Heavyweight, tight-fitting lid with bumps ensures moisture retention, worry-free about the steam leaking; Wide and comfortable handles...
- 👍Matters Need Attention: Oven-safe up to 260℃/500℉; Dishwasher safe. Hand washing with warm water and wood/silicone utensils is...
This 3.3-quart Dutch oven has a smooth enamel bottom that works on all stovetops like halogen, ceramic, electric, and gas. This enameled cast-iron Dutch oven features a matte black interior that will provide you with excellent heat distribution and retention to cook your food evenly by distributing the heat in an even manner. The porcelain enamel does not react to food, neither modes it absorbs the food's smell.
This enameled Dutch oven has a tight-fitting lid with bumps that ensures moisture is retained and the food cooks well and deliciously. You will like the comfortable handles as they are wide and let you hold with a firm and secure grip. If this Dutch oven does not qualify to be the best-enameled cast iron, I don't know what does. Its tight-fitting lid has condensation rings on the underside to circulate moisture and redirecting it back into the food.
You will also love the size of this Puricon enameled cast iron Dutch oven. It is large enough to cook enough food for your family, and you can use it for cooking using different cooking methods like braising, baking, sauteing, simmering, roasting, and baking. You can use this round Dutch oven to maximum oven temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It is a dishwasher-safe enameled cookware. Avoid cleaning with stainless steel wire or other harsh tools that may scratch it.
5. Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Set, 5 Pc
- Enameled cast iron delivers superior heat distribution and retention
- Ready to use, requires no seasoning
- Easy-to-clean and durable enamel resists dulling, staining, chipping and cracking
- Light colored smooth interior enamel allows easy monitoring of cooking progress
- Ergonomic handles are designed for easy lifting
This set of Le Creuset includes a 5 1/2 quart signature round Dutch oven and lid, 13/4 quart saucepan with lid, and a 9" Signature iron handle skillet. The Le Creuset Dutch oven and the saucepan have sand-colored interior enamel, making it easy to monitor your cooking.
This set has a colorful exterior that makes it attractive and suitable for serving. Have I already mentioned that you can use this cookware set on all heat sources? You can use gas, vitro-ceramic glass, induction, radiant ring, and ovens fired by coal, oil, or wood. This makes it very useful as you can use it regardless of your cooktop.
If you insert the pan in water when it is still hot, it can lead to cracking or loss of enamel. Also, do not use scourers to clean this set of cookware as that may be scratched.
What Should You Consider When Buying the Best Enameled Cast Iron?
Before buying any kitchen equipment, you should always consider a few factors. Some factors to consider when shopping for enamel coated cookware include;
You need to ensure that the quality of the enamel coating is high and that it is heavy-duty. This ensures that it does not peel easily, which means that the cookware will give you a longer service of well-cooked meals.
You need cookware that you can use on most cooktops if not all. This ensures that you can use it regardless of what you use for cooking, making it convenient. Also, if you want to buy enamel cookware, ensure that you can use it for most cooking methods and that it does not limit you to one method of cooking; this makes it useful on different occasions.
c). Oven Temperatures
Different cookware can withstand different oven temperatures, which makes them different and suitable at different times. For example, some models can withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, while others can withstand 400 degrees. If you're prone to cooking foodstuff that needs higher temperatures, ensures that your enamel cookware can withstand the needed heat levels.
With different sizes available in the market, it is only wise to choose the best size to suit your needs. For example, if you have a large family or often cook for many people, a bigger size will be more reasonable than getting a smaller one. However, if you only cook for yourself most of the time and you need to buy a Dutch oven or a skillet for your meals only, buying a piece of smaller equipment will make more sense.
e). Easy to Clean
The enamel coating is not stick-resistant; therefore, food may stick on the bottom during cooking, and in some cases, the debris comes off easily after soaking the cookware for a few minutes or hours. However, you can also get a kitchen tool that is not easy to clean even after soaking. So, before you buy any item, check how much time cleaning it takes and if it is easy or a hassle. Again, you can get other customer's reviews for best judgment.
Enameled cookware is attractive, and serving from them may even increase your appetite. Therefore, if you are still sitting on the fence not knowing whether to buy one or not, I suggest you give them a try, and you will have a new lover. You will not regret upgrading your kitchen with a Dutch oven or a set of Le Creuset cookware.