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Before You Buy An Enameled Cast Iron Skillet – Read This Post
Ready to throw out that old and possibly toxic non-stick skillet you’ve been using for years? Looking for a healthier cookware option? You choose healthy food, you’re keen to reduce toxic chemicals in your home, so healthy cookware is a must. Give those old skillets the flick!
Enameled Cast Iron Skillets – The Healthy Alternative
- Enamel cast iron skillets are non-stick and perfect for cooking all types of food. They are durable and the materials do not leach into your food during the cooking process.
- You can even cook acidic foods such as tomato sauces and chili in a cast iron skillet with a porcelain enamel interior. There is no need to worry about chemical reactions with the acids or the taste of your food. Cast iron pans without enamel interiors are not suitable for cooking acidic products like tomatoes until your pan is very well seasoned.
- They are also incredibly easy to clean after sauteing or frying, all you usually need to do is to wipe over with a sponge in warm water. For easy cleaning I put a small amount of water into my skillet right after cooking to soften any food scraps. This makes cleaning the porcelain enamel really easy without the need for harsh scrubbing.
- Cast iron enamel skillets are heirloom pieces that last for many lifetimes. They are strong, and very durable, and you can pass them down to your children to enjoy. Available in a range of beautiful colors from pastel or bright to rustic and earthy they add a glamorous gourmet lover’s look to your kitchen.
- The type of manufacture and materials used make cast iron enamel skillets more expensive than cheaper non-stick skillets so I’m slowly adding to my cookware. When an old pan gets past it’s best I replace it with a new and beautiful enameled cast iron piece. Doing it this way, the financial outlay is not as bad as if you were to replace all your cookware at once. Gradually, I’m adding to my collection of healthier and more beautiful looking cookware.
Best Of Enamel Cast Iron Skillets
1. Le Creuset Signature Iron Handle Skillet 11 3/4”
The LeCreuset Signature Iron Handle Skillet is made from premium cast iron in the north of France. It features function, form and style, and fits well into any kitchen.
Cast iron skillets distribute the heat more evenly for better results when cooking. Out of the options below this is my #1 choice because the black enamel interior does not stain, and stands up to use for 30 to 40 years. It lasts more than one lifetime.
LeCreuset skillets are in the upper price range, made in one piece in a sand mold, using the same manufacturing methods used for centuries.
Unlike standard cast iron, the porcelain enamel interior of the skillet does not need additional seasoning to keep the food from sticking to the pan. This makes it ideal for cooking of all type of foods.
The handle with its loop makes it easier to grip when lifting the pan even when lifting it wearing kitchen gloves. Often it is easier to move this type of skillet using both hands. You can use this pan on ceramic, gas, electric or induction cooktops. It works well on any one of these for great results every time.
Because the pan retains the heat evenly across its surface, this makes your food taste better. There is no need to use high cooking temperatures. You only need to use a low to medium temperature to cook food evenly as the skillet retains is heat.
This skillet is low maintenance and dishwasher safe so there is no need to wash by hand. This makes it easier to maintain. You do not need to season the LeCreuset pan between uses as the interior is enamel. It will never show signs of rust.
Care of your Le Creuset pan
Do not wash your pan while still hot. Let it cool down. Also, do not put it into cold water while still hot as thermal shock can occur which can crack the enamel.
When the pan has food residue stuck to it, fill it with warm water and let it sit for up to half an hour before washing. Use a soft nylon brush to remove any food stuck to the pan. Do not use a scourer, metallic cleaning pads or abrasive cleaners on the surface. These can damage the surface of your LeCreuset pan
Using the LeCreueset cookware cleaner on occasion will remove marks left by utensils. It will also help to keep the pan looking brand new. Do not store pans when still damp and store in a cupboard that is airy and dry.
- This 11 ¾” pan weighs 6.8 pounds and comes in 10 beautiful colors to suit your kitchen décor.
- The exterior enamel colors range from pretty pink ‘Hibiscus’, vibrant ‘Flame’ and Neutral ‘Oyster’.
2. Staub Cast Iron Enamel 12” Frypan
The Staub cast iron enamel frying pan is another great quality skillet, also made in France and perfect for cooking all types of foods. It distributes the heat evenly and is handy for making sauces with its spouts on either side. The spouts also allow for draining off any excess oil from your food.
Cook meats quickly and perfectly in this pan. They form a delicious crust on the outside while the meat remains tender and juicy inside. You can even cook pancakes and vegetable stir fries in this frying pan.
Use this pan on any cook top or in the oven in temperatures up to 900 °F. You can even use it under the grill. It is also a good pan for braising food with its 2.2-inch-high sides and it is 12 inches around.
This pan has a matte black enamel interior. It is perfect for low fat cooking as it needs little oil to stop food sticking. With a hole in the handle of the pan you hang it to store and prevent damage, or store in a cupboard with good air circulation. It also has a small grab handle on the opposite side to make it easier to lift with two hands.
Caring for your Staub frying pan
Make sure your Staub cast iron pan is cool before washing it warm water. If there is food stuck to the pan, fill it with water to let it soak before washing. Do not use harsh abrasives when cleaning or it can damage the enamel. Use a soft nylon brush or pad to remove food residue.
- The Staub frying pan comes in seven beautiful colors to match your kitchen decor and weighs 7.55 pounds.
- Colors include contemporary masculine matte black as shown in the photo to the more usual shiny enamel finish of earthy burnt orange and classy grenadine to name just a few.
3. Cuisinart C122-24CR Enameled Cast Iron 10” Round Frypan
The Cuisinart enamel cast iron frying pan cooks all types of food to perfection. Its enamel interior means that food does not absorb chemicals from the coating unlike non-stick pans. This frying pan is perfect for not only cooking, but for serving and entertaining.
This is a slightly smaller skillet, perfect for one or a couple and it is in the lower price range for enameled cast iron skillets compared to Le Creuset and Staub.
You can use it straight from the cook top or oven to the table for serving. Make sure you do not put the hot pan straight onto the surface. Always use something underneath the pan to protect the surface of the table.
This cast iron pan has superior heat retention and even heat distribution so your food always cooks to perfection. The frying pan has an additional small knob handle that makes it easy to hold with two hands and two pouring spouts.
It is safe to use in the oven at temperatures up to 500 °F. Make sure you use oven gloves or pot holders when removing it from the oven.
Only ever use plastic, wooden, or heat-resistant nylon utensils in your pan. This will ensure you do not scratch or damage the enamel surface. Also avoid cutting food up in the pan for the same reason.
Caring for your Cuisinart enamel cast iron frying pan.
Your Cuisinart enamel cast iron frying pan is easy to care for and maintain. You can pop it into the dishwasher or wash in warm water with a sponge. Avoid using harsh abrasives when you clean it as they can damage the enamel surface.
- It weighs 6.1 pounds.
- It comes in three earthy colors, Matte Black, Cardinal Red and Provincial Blue.
- The Cuisinart C122-24CR enameled cast iron fry pan has a lifetime guarantee.
4. Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Covered Skillet 12”
The Tramontina enamel cast iron covered skillet has superior heat retention and even cooking no matter what foods you cook. It is made from heavy cast iron with an interior coating of porcelain enamel that is easy to clean. When using this pan your food will not react to the enamel surface which is PFOA and PTFE free.
You can serve this elegant frying pan straight from the oven to table, and it looks great while staying hot during a meal. The Tramontina pan is safe for use on electric, gas, induction and ceramic glass cook tops. Even use it in the oven in temperatures up to 450 °F.
This skillet comes with a lid unlike the 4 others in this list. The lid has ridges to collect the vapors so it self-bastes your food for superior cooking. This keeps your food moist and cooks it to perfection.
With a stainless-steel knob, the lid is easy to use. You can even use this pan for slow cooking or small roast recipes with a perfect result every time as the height of this skillet is 4.5 inches. This versatile pan has two sturdy handles to make it easy to move anywhere. You definitely need both handles to move this heavier pan around.
Caring for your Tramontina skillet
It is easy to clean and while it is dishwasher safe the porcelain enamel can develop stains. It is best to hand wash it in warm water using a sponge or nylon brush. Avoid using harsh abrasives to clean it as it can damage the surface.
- This skillet with the lid weighs a more hefty 12.5 pounds.
- It is available in 3 colors.
- Comes with a lifetime warranty.
5. Zelancio Enamel Cast Iron Skillet 10”
The Zelancio enamel cast iron skillet is perfect for cooking all types of food. It is versatile and can go from the cook top or oven straight to the table for serving. This stylish skillet has ergonomic handles for ease of use and the long handle has a hole to make it easy to hang when storing.
The interior of the cast iron frying pan is coated with three layers of black porcelain enamel. This makes it durable and chip resistant, and it will last a lifetime.
You will only need a little oil when using this frying pan so it is perfect for low fat cooking. Use this skillet for braising, frying, baking and slow simmering your dishes for tasty results every time. It is even oven safe in temperatures up to 500 °F
The superior design of the Zelancio skillet distributes heat evenly and stays hot while serving your meal from it at the table. It is suitable for cook tops such as electric, gas, ceramic glass and induction. You can even use it over a campfire while out camping.
It is FDA approved and complies with their standards. This skillet is free of harmful metals and lead so you can be confident none of these will end up in your food unlike other non-stick pans.
Caring for your Zelancio enamel cast iron skillet
Your Zelancio enamel cast iron skillet is easy to care for. Just wash it warm water and wipe out with a sponge for best results. Remove any stuck food with a nylon brush. Avoid using abrasives when cleaning as they can damage the surface.
- The Zelancio skillet weighs 6.99 pounds.
- Available in three stunning colors.
- If you are looking for a budget priced enamel cast iron skillet this could be the one for you.
Putting It All Together
Important Points To Consider When Choosing Your Enameled Cast Iron Skillet
- Make sure you buy a size that you will use most of the time as cast-iron frying pans are heavy. The larger it is, the heavier it will be.
- While you may think you need a big pan to cook with on a daily basis you will not need this unless cooking for a lot of people or a large family.
- A skillet that is smaller is easier to use and does not take up so much space on the stove top or when stored in a cupboard.
- Look for a pan that has two handles. It makes them easier to use. And, because they are so heavy, two handles take the strain off having to work one handed especially when moving the pan in and out of the oven, straining off the juices or emptying it.
- Cast iron enamel skillets are healthy to use compared to other non-stick pans. They do not leach metals or chemicals into the food as it cooks and you need very little oil to cook your food to perfection.
- The skillets come in array of beautiful colors to complement your kitchen decor and table. Most of them you can use them straight from the oven to serve from at the table.
- The deeper the pan the less spatter everywhere. And, the varieties with pouring spouts make it easy to cook sauces and shallow fry foods.
- So, before you buy your next frying pan think about what it is you need from it on a daily basis. Good quality cast iron enamel frying pans can be expensive, so you want one that fits well into your kitchen and life.
- To buy the best pieces, you can buy one at a time to replace your old frying pans to help equip your kitchen with the best and healthiest cookware for cooking at home.
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