Many individuals discover cookware made of cast iron and are shocked to find out that there are different types available.
You have probably already noticed that there are a lot of choices on the list if you’re trying to determine which skillets, pans, griddles, or woks are perfect for your home.
You might have chosen that you want to start cooking with cookware made of cast iron, but you do not know where to start.
Determining which particular type of cookware you require, you would also need to decide what material that piece of cookware is made up of.
And to simplify your kitchen any further, enamelled cast iron and cast iron are two of the most common materials to choose.
Bare and uncoated cast iron and enamelled cast iron cookware (or coated cast iron) have similar characteristics and have comparable advantages.
They feel about the same, but there are a few main variations between cast iron enamelled and cast iron.
While choosing to buy the cookware, there are a few key distinctions to remember. In this post, we’ll delve deeper into the world of cast iron.
I will describe the benefits of both forms of cookware (and the limitations).
Cast iron versus enamelled cast iron, then? Which one would be better for your kitchen?
Keep reading to find out more!
Let us start this topic by looking at what cast iron is. It is a thick, dense, and standard piece of cookware.
Previously, you might have already seen it.
Also, for hundreds of years, cast iron has been used in households all over the planet, as it performs well on open fires and in fireplaces.
Cast iron is still admired by chefs today for its outstanding features.
A cast-iron skillet or cast iron griddle are vital pieces of kitchen equipment for many. Essentially, they’re indestructible, you can cook on the gas stove with them, or in the microwave, and you can even carry them during outdoor activities such as camping.
It’s a modernized version of the heavy-duty cast iron that has been used for decades.
An enamelled cast-iron pan is just a usual enamel-coated cast iron pan. Cast iron is coated with enamel which, on the surface of your kitchenware, forms a useful protective coating.
The enamel helps shield your kitchen appliances from all types of undesirable stuff, including rust.
It also adds a new aspect to your preparation of food, as slow cooking is best with enamel cast iron. There are a lot of things to remember in the heated debate on enamelled cast iron vs cast iron, and soon we’ll get into more of the specifics!
For hundreds and hundreds of years, uncoated cast iron has been used as kitchenware.
From fifty years ago to this very day, your grandma may still be using a cast-iron skillet.
With the right treatment, classic cast iron cookware will last forever. I feel like I can cook almost everything with the help of standard cast iron.
The enamelled version could be the best choice, however, for excessively acidic foods like tomato sauce.
Leave your costly enamel pans behind when you go on family outings.
For preparing fajitas, cooking lunch and searing the perfect steak, cast iron is wonderful.
Enameled cast iron is also heavy, depending on whether you have other kitchenware plans, such as defence against an attacker, it can be a plus or a downside.
You should use a preheated dutch oven or skillet if you do not have a sandwich or a panini press. Compared to plain cast iron, enamelled cast iron often has a lower thermal conductivity.
Often chefs use the time it takes to heat a Dutch oven of enamel cast iron and perform other tasks in the meanwhile.
I will take you through the various qualities you need to think about when it boils down to the question of, ” Should you be using enamelled cast iron or cast iron?”
The enamelled cast iron has a much sleeker, simpler appearance, and a modern style at the end of the day. Cast iron might not be as sleek, and it’s certainly not modern, but when you’re cooking with it, it has a classic, rustic, and a durable feel.
Products from Enamel cast iron appear to come in a greater variety of colours and designs. If you are looking for diversity to bring a new element to your kitchen, that’s also fine. The cast-iron cookware comes only with the typical dark style.
The most critical benefit over non-enamelled products provided by enamel products is that they do not need to be seasoned.
Seasoning requires the formation of a protective coating over the cast iron. It is achieved by heating the oil and allowing the iron to react. The bottom line is that cast iron needs to be seasoned, whereas enamel does not.
If this seasoning begins to disintegrate, you may start rusting the pan, particularly if you wash it with water.
You wouldn’t need seasoning for enamel cookware, and it won’t rust. A safe coating shapes the enamel, and you shouldn’t need to think about it disintegrating.
The main question, however, is how good, when you’re in the kitchen, do cast iron, and enamelled cast iron properly cook food?
I would say that both Enameled Cast Iron and Cast Iron are different because a distinct experience is provided by both. Cast iron has to be seasoned, as we already stated.
A cast-iron pan isn’t non-stick without this coat of seasoning. You don’t need to stress if it’s well seasoned.
But, as soon as the seasoning begins to break down, you will find that food begins to adhere and burn to the bottom of the pan.
Enameled cast iron cookware is non-stick and, though only at lower temperatures, ensures a much smoother cooking experience. At low temperatures, enamel works well, while cast iron works best at even higher temperatures.
If you enjoy slow cooking, then your kitchen would be perfect with an enamelled cast iron cookware. It is great for stews and oven-baked casseroles that are slow-cooked. If you are searching for a way to sear meats or stir-fried vegetables with plenty of heat at extreme heat, then a conventional cast iron pan would be better.
Traditional cast iron is considered to be highly tough, and it’s always been popular with cooks who want to invest in a hard-wearing piece of equipment for that purpose. Cast iron will last a lifetime if it’s properly maintained. Enameled cast iron is almost as strong as its predecessors of cast iron, but there is one major distinction.
Even though, for example, the outer cast iron shell and the handles on an enamel cast iron skillet are just as robust and resilient as any cast iron counterpart. But, the enamel internal coating is not quite so durable.
In contrast to raw cast iron, the enamel coating is thin. It is possible to chip or scratch the enamel, and it can be catastrophic if you drop an enamel pan. For cast iron, for something other than what you drop it on, dropping it would not be a concern.
Cast iron is remarkably durable.
With the proper care, your cast iron skillet can last for centuries. Regular cast iron is generally cheaper than enamelled options. The seasoning (or coating) provides a simple semi non-stick surface. In contrast to enamelled cast iron, cast iron has many advantages.
Standard cast iron will bring iron to your meals, which is a perfect way to supply your diet with more of this vital nutrient.
In short, the advantages of a regular cast iron pan are listed below:
- Naturally non-stick
- More affordable
- Can be used on the grill
Below are a few things to note about regular cast iron cookware.
After any use, you should clean regular cast iron cookware. Try to stop making it soak in water to resist corrosion to keep your cast iron cookware in better condition.
Luckily, cast iron can be washed quickly. Using a cast-iron brush or a soft brush such as a Tawashi, quickly scrape some dirt off the pan and wash.
Only dry with a tea towel then. You can use regular cast iron on the stovetop, oven or the grill. I usually put my kitchenware back on the heat to make sure my cast iron is dry.
Cast iron cookware creates a “seasoning” or covering that automatically renders it non-stick. Seasoning removes corrosion and offers a finish that is easy to release. With time, cast iron cookware gets better. Cast iron seasoning is easy to maintain.
After washing, quickly add a very thin layer of vegetable oil and heat the cookware.
Before stacking your cast iron cookware, make sure to dry it fully. It will inevitably rust if your cast iron cookware remains wet. You can, nevertheless, repair cast-iron if rust forms.
Foods such as lemon juice, tomato sauce and vinegar can strip seasoning on your cast iron. Cooking these products in cast iron can also make food taste metallic.
I hope the information I mentioned so far was useful. I will cover this topic with all of the deets in the next section.
This list is for regular cast-iron pans. If you have an enamel-coated cast iron pan, you do not need to stick to this list. Don’t worry. Get preparing!
No trouble at all until the pan is well-seasoned.
But even though it is seasoned, there could be some trouble. When the pan is fresh, messy stuff like eggs can still pose a challenge. Relegate them to a non-stick pan for a bit, unless you want brown eggs and a gunky pan.
For the non-stick pan, save the delicate fish. But a cast-iron pan is good with salmon and other meaty fish that can handle the heat. For wonderfully crispy skin and flaky seafood, I would recommend you to try a cast iron salmon recipe.
Garlic, peppers, some seafood, stinky cheeses and more are more likely to leave your pan with bad aromatic experiences.
Thanks to these foods, the next few things you prepare in your cast iron will keep having that leftover smell and taste.
But note that, ten minutes in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven will get rid of the scent. However, I would say it is best to stop cooking foods that will spoil the next few cooking experiences by those residual aromas.
On this one, there appear to be conflicting thoughts.
Like I mentioned before, some people claim that the metal will react with tomatoes or lemons and cause it to seep into the food and break down the pan’s seasoning.
Others consider this is a misconception. And if acidic food discolours the pan a little, it can be taken care of with a baking soda rinse.
As you might already know, enamelled cast iron does not need seasoning.
Unlike standard cast iron skillets, acidic foods cook well in the enamelled version, and you can cook everything in it.
When it is exposed to water for a long period, standard cast iron can rust.
Without having to think about it is rusty, you can soak enamelled cast iron.
Classic cast iron skillets usually look the same in several colours.
Enamel, though, comes in many lovely shades, including white, blue and red. There are several different colours sold by popular brands, and they sure look wonderful.
Enameled cast iron can be used to roast, marinate and refrigerate foods and is versatile. It is fine to cook acidic and alkaline foods in an enamelled cast iron pot.
In short, the advantages of an enamelled cast iron pan are listed below:
- Does not need seasoning
- You can cook anything in it
- Will not rust
- Comes in a variety of colours
- Enameled cast iron is versatile
- Prepare acidic and alkaline foods
Below are a few things to note about enamelled cast iron cookware.
The porcelain glass coating or frit may be affected in comparison to pre-seasoned cast iron. Be vigilant not to drop the cookware or to smash it.
If you are using metal tongs or turners, the interior of the pan will chip. Using wooden, nylon or silicone utensils for this purpose will help.
Pans of enamelled cast iron are more costly than the old-fashioned variety.
An empty enamelled cast iron skillet must be never too hot to cook. Unlike a standard cast iron skillet, which can be preheated to a searing heat, if preheated too hot, an empty enamelled skillet might get ruined.
So, for recipes that call for preheating the skillet to a high temperature before adding ingredients, stop using enamelled cast skillets.
If you cook it on high heat, food will stick to the pan.
For enamelled cast iron, it is easier to use low or medium heat. Start at low heat when searing meat and gradually increase the heat.
It is much easier to care for enamelled cast iron than to care for standard cast iron cookware. It is the reason why I would go for enamelled cast iron cookware over cast iron.
When it comes to caring for it, you do not need much practice. You can’t even go incorrect.
But one advice from my side is that do not drop it. If you’re choosing a regular cast iron pan, periodically season it. Do not use soap or detergent to wash them.
Contrarily, enamelled cast iron cleans quickly, and no seasoning is required.
On enamel, you can use as much soap and detergent as you want, and you don’t have to think about producing any rust. You are free to scrub an enamel cast iron pan as much as you like if you’re concerned about sanitation.
The topic of health and safety is one significant issue that typically comes up very easily when addressing cast iron versus enamel.
Is there a healthy enamelled cast iron out there? The response is a resounding yes.
An enamel coating on your cookware is no less safe than raw cast iron when it comes to enamelled cast iron versus cast iron. In reality, cooking with it is completely reliable and in no way risky at all.
Enamel forms a stable coating, and the protective surface won’t break down and cause any damage except at high temperatures.
Enamel would also not respond in any harmful way to the food you’re preparing, making it a healthy option for your home kitchen.
If you’re still concerned, then the fact that enamel is considered healthy to cook with by the FDA can ideally put your mind at ease.
One thing to remember, however, is that an enamel coating means your food never reaches the cast iron surface of the pan directly.
Cooking directly on cast iron would give a higher content of iron to your food.
It is an important point to consider for some chefs when they are choosing between an enamelled vs non-enamelled cast iron skillet.
I have had people ask me, “What kind of cast iron kitchen equipment you should add to your home if you’ve agreed that cast iron is for you?” “What is the right cast iron cookware?”
I was guessing, at this point, you might be curious too. Fortunately, there is a great selection of outstanding cast iron cookware to choose from, and a cast-iron cooking appliance that can suit your needs is assured.
Generally, cast iron was used to build robust cooking pots. For extended periods, it could be left in the fire.
This tradition persists in many respects, and a Dutch Oven is one of the finest pieces of cast iron cookware you can have.
They come in a wide variety of sizes. A regular cast iron pot can be used in the oven, on the stovetop or the campfire. It is exactly the way they were initially supposed to be used.
For slow cooking stews or casseroles in the oven, Dutch ovens are ideal, or for warming up a one-pot meal while camping in the mountains.
For skillets, griddles and woks, cast iron is often used. If you want a pre-seasoned skillet, I have done extensive research and carefully selected a few excellent options. I don’t own all of these products, but I am a big cast iron enthusiast.
One noteworthy point about the Victoria Cookware Large Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet is that it has excellent thermal retention.
It is made from high-quality industrial iron casting for longevity. I would suggest you use the large frying pan for:
- Oven-to-table meals
Keep your food hot for fifteen minutes or longer in this seasoned frying pan. I would say that the Victoria Cookware Large Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet is ideal for cooking in:
- There is a greater transfer of heat as well as preservation and in the twelve-inch wide cast iron bath.
- Curved, wider and longer, with a stronger grip.
- Crafted in Colombia using machines made of European cast iron.
- Flavoured covering with 100 per cent non-GMO flaxseed oil.
- A great natural easy-release seasoning that gets much better over time.
- Does not contain PTFE that could be detrimental to your wellbeing.
- Better efficiency
- Lifelong Warranty
- Ready-to-use seasoning
- When cooking with a seasoned cast iron skillet, trace quantities of iron are naturally produced, enhancing the mineral in your diet.
- I noticed that a few reviewers in Amazon said that the casting is rough but not uniform, and they were not happy with that aspect. But, I did not have this problem with my Victoria Cookware Large Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet.
Check out the link on Amazon to see the latest prices:
If you’re searching for a new skillet, another fantastic alternative is offered by Utopia.
I would recommend you to hand wash your Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet from Utopia Kitchen even before first use and dry immediately.
To maintain it, rub with a light coat of vegetable oil after every wash. A 12.5-inch skillet that is significantly bigger than the Lodge and Victoria skillets, is sold by Utopia.
I like firms that make their goods, however.
As some of the most relatively affordable cast iron cookware, the Utopia skillet is a good competitor. Allow the Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet from Utopia Kitchen to cool completely before washing them in hot soapy water with a sponge using regular dishwashing liquid soap.
- Product Dimensions: 17 x 12.5 x 2.3 inches
- Item Weight: 8 pounds
- Superior heat retention
- Keeps your tasty food warm for a long time
- The Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet from Utopia Kitchen is not dishwasher safe
Check out the link on Amazon to see the latest prices: https://www.amazon.com/Seasoned-Cast-Skillet-Utopia-Kitchen/dp/B00X4WQMAS/
When it comes to manufacturing cast iron, Lodge is an expert.
For more than a century, they have been producing cast iron skillets.
I got a small 10.25 inch cast iron skillet, and I love it. It’s large enough for my requirements, but I’d recommend you to opt for a 12-inch skillet if you’re preparing for a few people.
- One Lodge Pre-Seasoned 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet with Handle Holder
- Pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil
- Use to sear, sauté, bake, broil, braise, fry, or grill
- Use in the oven, on the stove, on the grill, or over a campfire
- Assist handle for better control
- Unparalleled heat retention and even heating
- Great for induction cooktops
- Rarely, a few customers felt that the surface finish was too rough.
Check out the link on Amazon to see the latest prices: https://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Skillet-Pre-Seasoned-Skillet-Silicone/dp/
There’s even a wonderful selection of enamelled cast iron cookware to pick from, too.
All those sturdy, classic cast iron skillets and pans that have been beloved for decades by chefs. Well, these days, they all have elegant, modernized, enamelled versions too!
When you settle on cast iron versus enamelled cast iron, it is no longer a matter of preference.
You will find superb enamelled cast iron skillets, grids, and woks.
Although you do not want to carry it out hiking with you, you can even get an enamelled Dutch Oven.
With enamelled cast iron and regular cast iron having a wide variety of advantages, it can be difficult to determine which cookware is better for you.
I have used the Lodge Enameled 6 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven, and I have some tips to share to make life easier for you.
While safe for the dishwasher, hand washing with warm soapy water and a nylon Scrub Brush is advised to maintain the original appearance of the cookware. Thoroughly dry cookware until storage. Do not have cookware stacked.
To clean food debris, use nylon pads or scrapers if required. Metal pads or utensils will damage or crack the porcelain.
Citrus juices and cleaners based on citrus should not be used with the Lodge Enameled 6 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven. The reason is that they can dull the exterior polish.
Note that this applies to certain detergents from the dishwasher as well. Rubbing with a dampened cloth and Lodge Enamel Cleaner or other ceramic cleaners as directed on the bottle will remove faint stains.
- Comes with a stainless steel knob
- Loop handles for great control
- Use to marinate, refrigerate, cook, and serve
- Broil, braise, bake or roast in the oven up to 500°F
- Item Shape: Round
- Smooth glass surface won’t react to ingredients
- Unparalleled heat retention and even heating
- Great for induction cooktops
- I did not have any complaints with the Lodge Enameled 6 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Most reviewers on Amazon seem extremely happy with this product as well.
Check out the link on Amazon to see the latest prices: https://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Enameled-Classic-Enamel-Island/dp/
The Lodge 3.6 Quart Cast Iron Casserole Pan can be used to bake, broil, sauté or grill at up to 500 °F. It is ideal go-to cookware.
It includes dual handles making it convenient to move this dish from the stovetop to the table.
The lid guarantees the food won’t splatter.
You may choose from a compelling hue of either Caribbean blue or Oyster white. It is similar to a skillet, but a convenient lid comes with the casserole pan.
- Saute, simmer or fry on any stovetop, including induction.
- Rims are black matte enamel
- The cooking surface is off-white.
- Stainless steel knob.
- Workhorses in the kitchen and showpieces on the dinner table
- Measures approx 14.4″ x 12.55″ x 3.4″, and is 11.75″ diameter, 2.13″ deep.
- Cast iron is unparalleled in heat retention and even heating.
- The smooth glass surface will not react to ingredients
- Erases the need to season
- The Lodge 3.6 Quart Cast Iron Casserole Pan is an ideal way to marinate, refrigerate, cook and serve.
- The Lodge 3.6 Quart Cast Iron Casserole Pan is dishwasher safe, but hand washing is suggested to preserve cookware’s original appearance.
Check out the link on Amazon to see the latest prices: https://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Casserole-Enamel-Handles-Carribbean/dp/
In conclusion, cookware with cast iron and enamelled cast iron is both durable and long-lasting. For most surfaces, you can use either. They cook uniformly and sustain a steady temperature. Since they can be used at high temperatures, any type of pan is suitable for searing meat.
Like I mentioned before, an empty enamelled cast iron skillet must be never too hot to heat. Unlike a standard cast iron skillet, which can be pre-heated to a searing heat, if pre-heated too hot, an empty enamelled skillet could get damaged.
But, for recipes that call for preheating the skillet to a high temperature before adding ingredients, stop using enamelled cast skillets.
Many chefs enjoy using all kinds of cookware made of cast iron.
One of both, traditional and enamelled cast iron, is recommended for purchase.
For cooking chilli and other acidic foods or when you want a quick cleanup, use the enamelled version.
When you go hiking, take along your traditional cast iron pot.