Cast Iron vs Enameled Cast Iron

Cast Iron vs Enameled Cast Iron Cookware: Pros & Cons

If you are struggling to make a choice between cast iron vs enameled cast iron, look no further. In this guide we’ll look into the most important questions and help you make up your mind.

Cast iron is a very though material that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. However, it does require a lot of care, maintenance and seasoning to keep it serving you well.

While enameled cast iron cookware is less durable than the traditional bare cast iron, it requires very little care. It can be used right out of the box with no seasoning required. It is easy to clean and maintain as well.

So, each has its strong and weak sides. To help you make the right decision we need to get familiar with the two types of cookware first.

What Is Enameled Cast Iron?

enameled cast iron pan

Enameled cast iron refers to the process of coating cast-iron with a ceramic non-stick layer. The enamel is made from materials such as clay and glass, which are fired together in a kiln at very high temperatures.

This produces a dense, very smooth surface that is easy to clean and doesn’t rust or deteriorate from prolonged use.

What Is Cast Iron Cookware Made From?

Cast iron cookware is made from cast iron alloy, obviously. However, the process of creating cast iron cookware is more complicated than you might think. Here’s what goes on behind the scenes.

Cast iron pots and pans are made from molten metal that has been poured into a sand mold. The raw material or “bloom”  is just scrap metal from steel mills or pure molten pig iron that has been smelted in a blast furnace. The bloom is then melted in an electric arc furnace, so it becomes liquid and can be poured into the mold where it will cool off and harden.

After being cooled, the cast iron pots and pans are then cleaned in an acid bath to remove any impurities and then they’re ready for use.

How to Clean Cast Iron Pots and Pans

Cleaning your cast iron cookware is very easy. All you need to do is wipe your cast iron cookware with a paper towel or cloth that has been dipped in hot water mixed with salt or white vinegar. This will remove any food residue or rust from the pan and season it even further as you’re cleaning it. After doing this, just give it a good wipe down with a dry paper towel or cloth and then you’re good to go! If there is stubborn food stuck on your pan, then use a soft-bristled brush to scrub away the food left overs.

How to Clean Enameled Cast Iron Cookware

Clean enameled cast iron cookware just like you would clean any other kind of cast iron cookware. Enameled cast iron is pretty much impervious to rust, so you really don’t have to worry about cleaning it as thoroughly as you would other kinds of cookware.Just use soapy water and a sponge to wash your enameled cookware, If needed soak it in warm water beforehand.

Cast Iron vs Enameled Cast Iron

Cast iron cookware is the most durable option, but often requires a lot of maintenance to keep it in proper condition.

Enameled cast iron cookware is not as sturdy, but requires very little care. It can be used right out of the box with no seasoning required. It is easy to clean and maintain as well. However it does not have the same durability as traditional cast iron cookware and is prone ti cracking and chipping off.

Enameled cast iron cookware comes in many different colors and designs to choose from, while cast iron pots are only available in natural cast iron black or gray colors.

How To Choose The Right Type Of Cast Iron Cookware

When you’re shopping for cast iron cookware, there are a few things you need to know about the different types of cast iron cookware, so you can choose the right one between cast iron vs enameled cast iron utensils that’ll perfectly satisfy your cooking needs.

There are three main categories of cast iron cookware: skillets, dutch ovens, and griddles. Each category comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Cast Iron Skillets

Cast iron skillets are the most popular type of cast iron cookware. They come in many different sizes and shapes, from very shallow and wide to very deep and narrow. When choosing a cast iron skillet, the most important thing to look at is the thickness of the pan.

The heavier it is, the sturdier it will be. If you need to buy one for camping or survival purposes, then choose one that can be used over an open fire. Choose one with as thick a bottom as possible so it will hold heat better and distribute it evenly over your cooking surface.

Cast Iron Dutch Ovens

 ceramic cast iron casserole

A dutch oven is basically a large pot with two short handles on either side so it can be easily carried by two people. They are heavy duty pots made of heavy gauge steel with a enameled or porcelain coating on the inside and out. Because they are so heavy, they retain heat well so your food will stay warm for a long time after it’s been cooked.

Cast Iron Griddle

Cast iron griddles are the perfect way to cook up a variety of food items on your stovetop. From pancakes and eggs to steak and chicken, a griddle can do it all. And because they’re made from cast iron, they distribute heat evenly and retain it well, so your food will come out perfectly cooked every time.

They can also be used for baking pizza, roasting vegetables, and searing meat. Plus, they’re easy to clean – just wipe them down with a damp cloth when you’re done cooking.

The bottom line is that you can always choose a cast iron skillet, a dutch oven, or a griddle, but will have to decide based on the above mentioned factors and pick the one that will best fit your needs.

In Conclusion: Which One Is Better?

The answer to this question depends on your personal preferences and cooking requirements. As we have discussed above, both have their pros and cons.

Cast iron and enameled cast iron can both be used on the stovetop or in the oven. Cast iron is more versatile and can be used in a wide range of cooking applications. However, enameled cast iron is easier to clean and has a lower maintenance requirements. If you’re looking for a great piece of cookware that will last you a lifetime and something that will give you the most versatility in your kitchen, then choose cast iron.

Cast iron cookware is one of the most versatile and durable types of cookware available. It can be used to make just about any kind of meal, from steaks and burgers to casseroles and desserts. If you’re looking for a new cast iron skillet or dutch oven, then check out our guides on best cast iron skillets and best cast iron dutch ovens.

If you have any questions or comments let us know in the comment section below. We’ll be happy to help you out.

Additional Questions

Is enameled cast iron as safe as cast iron?

**Absolutely, enameled cast iron is as safe as traditional cast iron.** In fact, it even offers a few additional benefits. Unlike traditional cast iron, it doesn’t impart any iron into your food, making it a healthier choice for some. Additionally, it is more robust and immune to rusting. Unlike its counterpart, enameled cast iron doesn’t need seasoning, making it blissfully easy to use. As a seasoned chef in my own right, my experience with enameled cast iron has always been overwhelmingly positive.

Are enamel pans better than cast iron?

**Determining if enamel pans are better than cast iron really depends on your cooking preferences.** Enamel pans excel in medium temperatures, while cast iron pans are versatile enough to handle low, medium, and high temperatures alike. A stalwart in my kitchen, my Uno Casa enameled cast iron Dutch oven is my absolute go-to for simmering soups and stewing meat on the stovetop. So, if you’re a fan of slow cooking, enameled cast iron cookware can be a game-changer for your kitchen setup.

What are the disadvantages of enamel cookware?

**Despite its many perks, enamel cookware does have some associated drawbacks.** Lower quality porcelain enamel pans often have thinner coatings that can easily develop cracks and chips, diminishing the overall cooking experience. Accidentally dropping enamel cookware can also result in chipping or cracking. These are lessons learned from unfortunate firsthand experience with subpar enamel cookware. So, always ensure to purchase high-quality enamel cookware and handle with care.

What are the pros and cons of enameled cast iron?

**Enameled cast iron cookware is a bit pricey but saves you on the maintenance front.** After use, all you need to do is clean them with soap and water, just like regular pots. Further, you don’t need to season them, so you can whip up those acidic delicacies that could potentially harm a new cast iron. While all these attributes sound fantastic, it’s important to note that enameled cast iron can chip, which is one of its downside. Years of cooking with both enameled and traditional cast iron has made me appreciate the maintenance ease of the former, while also understanding the importance of careful handling to prevent chipping.