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Is Enamel Cookware Safe? An In-depth Guide

Is Enamel Cookware Safe? An In-depth Guide

Cast iron is a popular cookware type you will find in many kitchens. However, today’s chefs prefer enameled cookware as the best alternative to the traditional cast iron cookware. Using enamel-coated cast iron cookware is effortless because you don’t need to deal with seasoning issues. Additionally, cleaning is easy.

Enamel cookware also features an inner coating with some nonstick characteristics so the iron will not leach your meals. You can get the cookware in various colors to match your kitchen design. I will give you a detailed overview of enamel cookware, its advantages and disadvantages, and how you can maintain the cookware well for long-lasting performance.

Is Enamel Cookware Safe?

What Is Enamel Cookware & Is It Safe?

Many enamel cookware features aluminum or copper base to contribute to efficient heat distribution. You can also find enamel pans with steel or cast iron base with a porcelain enamel coating that offers a smooth cooking surface with nonstick properties. They make the porcelain coating from natural clay which is then baked and glazed to make it durable and very hard.

Enamel cookware is completely safe to use compared to bare cast iron. The cookware doesn’t react with your food so you have the freedom to cook any type of meal. The enamel coating also offers a great nonstick surface to make cooking easy since no food will stick at the bottom of the cookware.

To ensure that you are using safer enamel cookware, it is great to buy from a top brand. also, check if the cookware has a thick coating that will not chip off easily.

Benefits Of Enamel Cookware:

Using enamel cookware in your kitchen comes with some advantages like the following:

  • Enamel cookware is safe to use which makes it a healthy option than using bare cast iron. It doesn’t react with your food so you can cook acidic food and tomatoes confidently.
  • The cookware provides an excellent nonstick surface that enables you to cook without food particles sticking.
  • Top-quality enamel cookware is durable and you can pass them to your next generation.
  • The cookware can withstand high temperatures but not so high as bare cast iron and this makes them ideal for braising and searing. 
  • They have excellent heat conduction because of the cast iron that holds heat well for consistent cooking.
  • The cookware offers efficient heat retention so it can maintain the food warmer when serving.
  • You can use the cookware on all types of stovetops. 
  • Additionally, you can use the cookware to store food in the fridge or for serving purposes.
  • It doesn’t need seasoning and you will also need very little maintenance.
  • The cookware is available in many vibrant colors which gives your kitchen a visual appeal.

Disadvantages Of Enamel Cookware:

  • Larger enamel cookware can be heavier.
  • Enameled cookware has low thermal conductivity than bare cast iron.
  • It is fragile and hence prone to chipping. 
  • You should only use silicone and wooden utensils to avoid scratching the nonstick surface. 
  • The cookware is expensive.

How To Maintain Your Enamel Cookware

Investing in enameled cookware is making a huge investment so you need to take care of it properly to enjoy better cooking services for many years. If you clean and take care of enamel cookware, then you can pass it to your kids. There are several things that you should do when cleaning enamel cookware. They include:

  • Before you clean it, always let the cookware cool completely.
  • Hand wash the cookware with warm soapy water a soft scrub brush.
  • If there is sticky food, cook the cookware in soapy water and use a nylon scraper to remove the stuck-on food.
  • Dry the cookware immediately with a towel after cleaning to void rusting.

When it comes to maintaining your enameled cookware, there some essential tips that will help you. Always remember the following:

  • Use low heat on the cookware because cast iron features excellent heat retention.
  • You can use the cookware on various stovetops even induction. It is also oven safe up to 500 degrees F.
  • Lift your cookware to avoid scratching or causing damages to the bottom.
  • Pre-heat the cookware with some oil, butter, or water when cooking to make cleaning easier. Do not use cooking sprays because they can cause damages to the coating which makes cleaning difficult.  
  • Use enamel cast iron cleaner to remove stubborn stains on the cookware.

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

Q: Is enamel cookware toxic?

A: Cookware with enamel coating is non-toxic because they are non-reactive. This allows you to cook different types of foods using enamel cookware. The FDA center also regards enamel cookware is safe to use.

Q: Which is better enamel or ceramic cookware?

A: It is hard to find pure enamel cookware. What you will find is enamel coating in various materials like steel, cast iron, or ceramic. Enamel-coated cookware can chip off easily especially if it is subjected to abuse and ceramic cookware doesn’t chip off the coating. However, it can break or shatter easily. Ceramic cookware also has a hard and smooth surface but porcelain is harder.

Q: Is enamel better than stainless steel?

A: Enamel cookware that has a steel base does not provide effective heat distribution, however, you can use them to boil water. Stainless steel is a great material for baking because its uneven heat doesn’t matter in the oven as it does when using a stove.

Q: Is porcelain enamel the same as ceramic?

A: The two look similar but there are some differences. Porcelain refers to a type of ceramic but you cannot regard all ceramic as porcelain. 

Q: What are enamel pans good for?

A: Cookware with enamel coating ensure that the metal doesn’t leach or react with your food. 

If you maintain the coating of the cookware well, then the cooking surface will be great for marinating cooking, and serving your meals. 

Q: Is porcelain enamel the same as Teflon?

A: You can find some porcelain cookware with a nonstick coating like enamel. The major benefit of porcelain enamel cookware is they are safer than Teflon, aluminum, and iron cookware. The Teflon pans scratch easily after frequent use which can lead to the production of toxic chemicals.

Q: Is it safe to use vintage enamel cookware?

A: It is safe to cook with enamel cookware. However, if you notice that the enamel is cracked or wearing off, you can replace your cookware and use the older one for decoration purposes.

Q: How do you clean enamel?

A: Cleaning enamel cookware is easy. Use hot water, a non-scratch pad, and dish soap. Do not use metal scrubbers and steel wool to clean enamel cookware because it can lead to scratches on the enamel coating.

Conclusion

Adding some enamel cookware in your kitchen will bring some aesthetic appeal. This cookware is safe to use compared to the bare cast iron. The enamel coating is hard, durable, and smooth which all lengthen the life of the cookware. 

Additionally, the cookware doesn’t react with food and it is easy to clean. You will also find it versatile since you can use the cookware on all stovetops and it has high heat resistance. I hope you understand everything about enamel cookware, its benefits and disadvantages, and this will help you make a wise purchase.

  • Updated May 6, 2021
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