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home > articles > a guide to enamel cookware

A Guide to Enamel Cookware

If you're thinking about buying new cookware for your kitchen, enamel is a practical and beautiful option to consider. Many professional chefs and cooking programs rely on enamel to prepare their meals. This guide to enamel cookware will cover the basics of this material and help you make a decision about whether it's right for you.

What is Enameled Cookware?

Enameled cookware combines a heavy metallic pan, usually made of cast iron, with a coating of porcelain enamel. The enamel, created from powdered glass, is fired at high temperatures and creates a smooth, hard coating which is nearly impossible to destroy.

What are the Advantages of Enameling?

Cast iron is an extremely good conductor of heat, which makes it an excellent choice for cooking. However, it has some disadvantages which make it difficult to use. Cast iron pans will stick unless properly seasoned, can rust easily, require great care when washing or storing, and can pit over time. Also, acidic foods such as those containing tomatoes or lemon juice, can react with the metal and damage the seasoning.

Enameling retains the best features of cast iron, while eliminating some of the more frustrating aspects of working with this temperamental metal. Some of the advantages of enamel cookware include:

  • Better Heat Transfer
  • Non-Stick Surface
  • Very Durable
  • Does Not React with Foods
  • Heavy Weight - Sits Solidly on the Heating Element
  • Works With Every Type of Oven - Conventional and Induction
  • Can Be Used on the Grill, in the Oven, and on the Stovetop
  • Easy Clean-Up - Dishwasher Safe

Furthermore, enameled cookware is very attractive, and comes in a variety of bright, cheerful colors. Many cooks love to have the option to depart from standard black and silver cookware, and to choose among colors like cherry reds, flame oranges, kiwi greens, cobalt blues, and browns.

How Do You Care for Enameled Cookware?

Enameled cookware is usually very durable; however, it is vulnerable to stresses like bending or sudden shifts in temperature. Enameled cookware should only be washed after it has completely cooled. If any food sticks stubbornly, remove with gentle soaps and a nylon or plastic scrubbing sponge.

What are Some Popular Brands of Enameled Cookware?

The French company, Le Creuset, is one of the oldest and highest-quality brands of enameled cookware. It has been producing hand-finished cookware made of enamel and cast iron since 1925, and remains extremely popular today. Other popular brand names include Chantal, Mario Batali, and Staub.

Only Cookware provides information and advice to consumers on how to choose cookware and includes cookware reviews for stainless cookware and coated cast iron cookware.

Benni Jenyfari
New York, NY

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