Enamel cast iron cookware is attractive, durable and easier to clean than regular cast iron. Here's how to keep it in great condition for a lifetime.
Proper maintenance can make your cast iron pan, skillet and other cookware last a lifetime. Photo: Flickr, WordRidden
Since 1925, Le Creuset has been manufacturing its iconic enamel cast iron pots. Like traditional cast iron, these pots are heavy, durable and can heat food evenly over a long period of time. Outstanding heat-retention properties, make the cookware perfect for soups and stews, as well as browning meats. Yet unlike traditional cast iron, enamel-coated cookware doesn't require seasoning, features an attractive, slick finish, and is easy to clean and maintain.
Kristin Martin Mancia, senior brand manager for cookware at Le Creuset, shares the secrets for keeping enamel cast iron looking like new.
- Before cleaning, let cookware cool. You want to give a hot enamel cast iron pot a few minutes to cool down before washing. Putting a hot pot or pan in cold water can warp or crack the surface. Once cooled, unlike regular cast iron, it's safe to wash with hot soapy water and dishwashing liquid soap. The enamel coating over the cast iron eliminates the need to season the metal and protects it from water, and thus, prevents rusting and other types of damage.
Le Creuset cookware can be put in the dishwasher, but this action can dull your cookware over time. To increase your cookware's lifespan, hand-washing is advisable.
- Soak it. To remove stubborn food residue, fill the pot or skillet with warm water and leave it to soak for 15 minutes before washing. Use nylon or soft abrasive sponges to loosen stuck or burned-on food.
- Avoid metallic pads or any harsh abrasive cleaning solution. These tough cleaners will damage your enamel, as well as make the pots harder to clean in the long run.
- Don't mind a little browning. The brown discoloration on the inside of the pots happens from frequent use. Many foods are acidic or colored, which leads to temporary discoloration of cast iron pans. The high heats from cooking can also darken the outside of your cookware. This browning can be minimized with proper care.
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How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet [The Kitchn]