article caring for your cast iron cookware

Caring for your enamelled cast iron cookware

by: Kitchen Warehouse | August 29, 2022
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Treat your enamelled cast iron cookware the right way and you'll be handing it down to your grandchildren. These tough and durable pieces are the original kitchen heirlooms.

What is enamelled cast iron?

Enamelled cast iron is raw cast iron that has had an enamel glaze applied to its surface which prevents rusting, eliminates the need for seasoning and the smooth, non-porous surface also makes it easier to clean.

It is an excellent choice for slow cooking, searing, frying, baking and sautéing. Plus, the added bonus is that enamelled cast iron is available in a rainbow of colours to choose from making them both functional and beautiful.

How do I clean my enamelled cast iron cookware?

Okay, let’s get this question over and done with, as lots of people worry about how to care for their pan or casserole. It’s actually very easy. The key thing to remember is not to leave it overnight soaking in the sink — it's not a disaster if you do, but not best practice. Ideally, wipe your pan immediately after cooking with a damp kitchen towel, or wash with warm water if needed, and once it is clean, dry it immediately before storing. It is very important to cool a hot pan for a few minutes before washing, as thermal shock can cause enamelled cast iron cookware can crack if plunged into cold water straight off the heat.

How do I cook with enamelled cast iron cookware?

Slow and steady wins the cast iron race so heat and cool your cookware slowly. Use medium to low heat where possible and don't forget that cast iron absorbs and retains heat evenly. Once the pan is hot, you can turn down the heat and continued cooking over a lower setting. Cast iron is a great choice for searing a piece of fillet steak to medium-rare in a skillet, or for braising a casserole before slow cooking in a Dutch oven. You should really only need to use high heat if you're boiling water or reducing a sauce and it's worth remembering that the base of the pan will need a little oil or butter on it before you start heating it. If you boil the pan dry you can damage the enamel surface.

Tips and tricks

Never preheat your cookware to extremely high heat, because it holds the temperature so well you may end up burning your food. Heat it to the desired temperature slowly. Never place your dish on the floor of your oven as it may overheat. Always dry well and store in a well-ventilated area.

What's the best thing about enamelled cast iron?

There are many good things, but the fact that you can cook everything in the one pot which can move from the stovetop to the oven and then to the table, is hard to go past. You can use enamelled cast iron on any stovetop, including induction. Enamelled cast iron comes in a range of beautiful colours so you can mix and match them to your kitchen décor and they really do look gorgeous on the table - plus serving straight from the table makes entertaining easier. Their heat retentive properties also make them a great choice for mid week family dinners as a covered pot will keep the contents warm for second, even third servings!



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