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Cast Iron, they are the original nonstick pan. They are affordable and great at retaining heat. As a result, people flock to them. However, the one thing that isnt affordable is the Enamel Cast Iron Cookware. That colorful coating will increase the price 3-4 x or regular cast iron. Whats more alarming is that they actually perform worse. But if you take a closer look at it, there are some benefit to having a Enamel Coating. The Best Enamel Cast Iron Cookware Set should have all that you need for a standard kitchen and should be able to withstand chip/breaking.
What is a Enamel Cast Iron Cookware?
Most people are confused on what a Enamel Cast Iron Cookware is. Its just regular cast iron with a enamel painting on top of it. These enamel painting is a variation of glass so they can crack and chip. Underneath it, is just regular cast iron. Its perfectly safe to use even if it does have chip.
These day, most manufacturer do their enamel coating in China. However, some French brand like Staub and Le Creuset still do it in France. In my experience, the one made in France are generally more durable. But that is not to say they perform better, just a little more durable.
Is Enamel Cast Iron Cookware Safe?
Yes, Enamel Cast Iron Cookware is safe. Its just a coating and it shouldnt cause any ill effect. When the enamel flakes off, the bottom black portion is cast iron. So its still safe to use. However, I recommend replacing so you wont accidentally ingest the enamel.
Enamel Cast Iron vs Cast Iron Cookware
What might shock most people is that Bare Cast Iron Cookware perform better. The enamel coating is made of glass and it has worse thermal conductivity. This means it takes longer to heat up and sear worse. Not only that, its also worse at holding a seasoning. This means it does not have as good as a nonstick performance.
There are some plus to the Enamel Cast Iron Cookware. First, they have a protective coating. This means that it wont rust like regular cast iron. Second is that its easier to wash. You can use a soap and sponge without any issue. Finally, they look fantastic, which is why I think most people want it.
Which Cookware is Best for Enamel Cast Iron
The Dutch Oven is the Best option for Enamel Cast Iron. They look great and they are better at retaining heat. Since searing things like steak is not as important, having the extra oomph from regular cast iron is not important. Not only that, since stews and liquid gets simmered in the Enamel Cast Iron, they wont rust.
Another good option is a Rondeau Pan. A Rondeau Pan is meant to braise and simmer in liquid. In this situation, the enamel coating will protect it as well.
Best Enamel Cast Iron Cookware Set List
Below, you will find a list of some of the Best Enamel Cast Iron Cookware Set. Since there are only a handful of company that sells them in sets, I will list individual model as well.
Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron Cookware Set, 10-Piece, Cerise (Best Overall)
No one does Enamel Cast Iron like Le Creuset. They have little fine touches like thickness, weight and ergonomics to make it the best around. This set is pricey but should let you cook just about anything you need. Theres even a baking tray, which is preferable over those glass model. The braiser included is also versatile and can be used for both braising and frying.
Enameled Red 2-In-1 Cast Iron Multi-Cooker By Bruntmor (Best Multipurpose Model)
This combo cookware can be used for just about anything. The lid acts as a frying pan and the base act as a dutch oven. You can even use it for braising and other task. Le Creuset does have something similar called the Multi Function Pan but thats a bit smaller. If you are looking to save space and do many task, this 2 in 1 model is great for you.
Lodge 3.6 Quart Enamel Cast Iron Casserole Dish with Lid
This Rondeau or Braiser is versatile and compact. You can use it to fry food, bake, braise and serve all in one pot. You can even use this to serve at the dining table. While this is made in China, it is still held to the same standard that the USA made Lodge product has. You have a range of colorful choice from blue, red and white.
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron 12-Inch Chicken Fryer with Cover
This deep saute pan is perfect for frying and stews. The taller side can make it difficult to turn food, but if you use tongs, it should be fine. There are also pouring spot on either side so that it wont drip when pouring. What I like most about this model is its heavy lid. This helps in retaining moisture and great for stews as well.
The Best Enamel Cast Iron Cookware are Dutch Ovens, Multi Purpose Pan, Braiser and Deep Saute Pan. Since there arent a lot of Enamel Cast Iron Set, your only choice is Le Creuset. The only issue is that its really expensive. You can find smaller sets that are multi functional. Piece them together to fit your need is a good idea as well. Have Enamel Cast Iron isnt always the best choice, unless you want a matching kitchen.
Looking for a Enamel Skillet? Check out our article on the Best Enamel Cast Iron Skillet.