Among the cooking vessels that have been circulating in the market today, the cast iron cookware is one of the oldest ones still around.
Despite its low level of technology, it has been known for its durability and its ability to hold heat longer, therefore enhancing the quality of home-cooked meals. Before the 20th century, pots and pans of this kind used to be hung above fireplaces and hearths. They would usually stay there for long hours of cooking, and they serve their purpose to the fullest.
Nowadays, different types of cast iron vessels are sold with additional material and one of these is the enameled cast iron cookware. This is a cast-iron topped with a vitreous or porcelain enamel glaze which functions to resist rusting and allows more scrupulous cleaning to be possible. Cast iron cookware of this type is ideal for long periods of cooking, such as braising, broiling, or baking. On the other hand, some are also beautiful to use as serving plates and are suitable for marinating and storage. They are sold in various colors and are popularly used by celebrities such as Martha Stewart, Mario Batali, Rachael Ray, and Emeril Lagasse.
One of the biggest and probably the most expensive manufacturers of enameled cast iron cookware is Le Creuset. It is a French company known for its “French ovens” or colorful enamel cast iron casseroles. It also sells a range of saucepans and tagines, which are pots of different shapes. The Le Creuset enameled cast iron cookware is designed to sustain all cooking surfaces such as gas and electric stoves as well as induction stovetops. It can also be used for all ways of cooking but does not particularly recommend that it be used for deep frying. Some oils may absorb too much heat and damage the enamel. Le Creuset offers a 99-year warranty and extends its services to repair and replacement of pots or pans that homemakers may have issues with.
Staub USA is another popular manufacturer of enameled cast iron cookware. It boasts of its non-chipping features and the distinct spikes underneath the lids of their casseroles, pots, and pans. Its inside is made of coarse black matte enamel with a smooth bottom, perfect for every cooker in the home. Staub cookware is also recommended for restaurant use.
Lodge Manufacturing, also an American company, continues to operate and has been operating since the 1800s. It was famed for its pre-seasoned cookware but then ventured into the creation of enameled cast iron cookware in 2002.
Lodge manufactures all types of cooking vessels including skillets, griddles, and Dutch ovens. Among the three companies, Lodge Manufacturing offers the most affordable prices.
Other famous manufacturers of enameled cast iron cookware are Chasseur, Calphalon, and Tramontina, a Brazilian company that is slowly making its waves in the market with good reviews.
The enameled cast iron cookware is an ideal choice for the entrepreneur and the homemaker. Additionally, for those who are fond of searing or frying, bare cast irons are also an option. These types of cookware are designed to endure high cooking temperatures and are better retainers of heat than any other type of cookware.
New Age Enameled cast iron: Nowadays people do not go for pure cast iron cookware they are very less convenient in terms of usage and aesthetics. That is why Enameled cast iron cookware was introduced and is quite popular these days. As cast iron is a rough material and is not smooth like steel and therefore it is not used anymore. Moreover, pure cast iron cookware has very low melting points so it cannot be exposed to very high heat. These reasons were the reason for the creation of new age Enameled cast iron cookware. This cookware is made from cast iron only but they are enameled. The process of enameling adds aesthetic beauty to the cast iron cookware which the pure cast iron cookware always lacked. In the process of enameling powdered glass is made to fire straight for the surface of the cast iron. The glass melts on the hot surface of the cast iron and sticks to it. This melted glass makes it look beautiful and also adds to its physical properties.
Benefits of using an Enameled cast iron:
The major benefit of using Enameled cast iron cookware is that they are extremely beautiful in terms of physical appearance. Moreover, they also have the health and other beneficial qualities of pure cast iron cookware. Now beauty and benefits can both be achieved together with the help of Enameled cast iron cookware. The enameling gives the smooth surface required for any cookware and also adds to the convenience of usage. It also makes the cookware harder meaning it won’t break easily on a slight fall. The cookware becomes chemically inert by inheriting glass’s property if being chemically inert. You can cook almost anything in it without having to worry about destroying or damaging your cookware. Lastly, it can withstand very high temperatures.
SAFE AND EASY CLEANING ENAMELLED CAST IRON COOKWARE FOR YOU
The first thing you will notice about enameled cast iron products is that all of them come with a vitreous enamel glaze. This glaze enamel coating over the cast iron cookware and other utensils made with them can effectively prevent rusting and allows the user with a better chance for thorough cleaning. Another advantage of using enameled cast iron products is that with them the need for seasoning the metal can be eliminated and color pigments can also be used during the enameling process to provide the utensils with vibrant color to make them more attractive and stylish. But one thing that we must consider is that as the enameled cast iron has the rust preventing capability and there is no need of seasoning the metal also they are comparatively much expensive against the bare cast iron. Moreover with these enameled products lack some of the qualities of bare cast iron products like their ability to withstand high temperature and stick resisting capability which may be considered as potential disadvantages of enameled cast iron products. Moreover, they also limit the leaching of dietary iron, and chipping of the coating can also be an issue to consider regarding these products.
For many years enameled cast iron cookware was extremely popular but with the introduction of new metal alloys and Teflon products, they lost their popularity and favor though they are still very much popular for the Dutch ovens. Consumers need to be careful about the quality of the cookware they have been using because several health hazards and different health problems may generate from the use of inappropriate cookware.
You can always find several advantages as well as disadvantages of enameled cast iron cookware products. One of the most important advantages of using enameled cast iron products is that they do not react with any kind of food and are just perfect and tailor-made for braising and other cooking methods that require a long period of cooking over low heat. The enameled cast iron products are also suitable for broiling, sautéing, and marinating. You can safely put these utensils in the refrigerator or in the freezer too. Another important feature of these items is that enameled cast iron products are extremely energy efficient and you can always cook on low or medium heat because they tend to retain the heat longer than any other type of cookware.
Another advantage of enameled cast iron products and cookware is that they are lead safe because they do not contain any lead at all. Lead is a harmful element for the body and can create some hazardous health problems. But during the 1970s some products were found to have cadmium present in their coating. Just like lead, cadmium is also a toxic element and can result in harmful side effects. However, those products were immediately banned and now the entire enameled cast iron product range that is available in the market is free from both lead and cadmium.
The Benefits of Using Enameled Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron cookware has always been my favorite cookware over the years and with the advancement of technology, enameled cast iron cookware was introduced. The ability of a cast iron to withstand any heat intensity, from the medium-hot temperature to the hottest temperature required in cooking, makes it a necessity in any working kitchen.
Before, bare cast iron was the popular choice for frying or searing and for cooking braised meals and stews. The ability of the cast iron to withstand and retain the heat within the pot helps in making perfect dishes that require long cooking time. Although bare cast iron has many great features, enameled cast iron cookware enhances these features even more.
Ordinary cast iron cookware needs additional seasoning to avoid the food from sticking on the pan when cooked. With the enamel coating of the cast iron, there is no need to put additional seasoning. The enamel coating makes a “non-stick” property on the cookware that keeps the food from sticking on the pan which makes it even more perfect for frying. There is no need to worry about chemicals sticking to the food because enamel cookware prevents the chemicals to mix with the food and avoid any chemical taste. This ensures that the taste of the food is well preserved.
The enameled cast iron cookware also features easy to clean and durability properties. The black enamel coating is usually used to cover the surface of the pot. The coating protects the cast iron from rusting which is a common problem before with bare cast iron. This is a common issue with bare cast iron where iron mixes with the food that may cause negative effects to people.
There are health effects when the rust is mixed with the food prepared. Cleaning is not a problem with enameled cast iron. It is much easier compared to bare cast iron. You can just use a cloth or sponge with some dishwashing soap to clean up the pot. No need to scrub heavily, you can just wipe out the surface with ease and then rinse off the pot. Others only use a clean rag or a paper towel to clean the surface of the enameled cast iron cookware.
Cleaning the enameled cast iron with a dishwasher is also possible. Most of the enameled cast-iron products offered today have 10 years warranty which proves that the cookware can last long.
Related article: Why Should You Cook with Enameled Cast Iron Cookware?
With the enhanced properties of the enameled cast iron, expect to see a high price tag that comes with the item. Most of the brands sell enamel products at a higher price compare to regular cast iron. You’ll find various brands of cookware that offer enamel-coated cookware, from the most expensive ones to budget ones. However, with the benefits of using an enamel coated one over bare cast iron, you will surely find buying one worth it. You may spend too much today but you will use the enameled cast iron cookware for a long time. Enjoy a more tasty food cooked perfectly with enameled cast iron cookware.