What You Need To Know
- It Prefers Medium Heat:
Enameled cast iron should be used mostly over medium heat, which is not ideal for searing. When I make my Ultimate Pot Roast, I sear in my 13.25” Lodge cast-iron skillet, and then transfer the roast to my enameled Dutch oven. While you definitely can sear large cuts of meat in enameled cast iron, it will eventually lead to surface staining, which is difficult to remove.
- The Finish Can Be Fragile:
The great thing about regular cast iron is that even if you beat it up a little, it comes back for more. With enameled cast iron, not so much. Bang it on the grate of your stove, and there’s a good chance you will chip it. Slide it across your stove, and you could scratch it. My rule of thumb is this—handle them all very carefully, regardless of the brand. A chip won’t harm your cooking much, but it sure does hurt your feelings when you see a chip in your beautiful colored finish!
- It’s Not Nonstick:
While one of the advantages of enameled cast iron is that it doesn’t need to (and can’t) be seasoned, this is also somewhat of a disadvantage. With regular cast iron, the better a piece is seasoned, the better it performs. With enameled cast iron, since it can’t be seasoned, you need to be careful to avoid sticking. Do this by cooking over moderate temperatures, and using adequate amounts of oil or fats. I don’t reach for enameled cast iron for scrambled eggs or bacon. For these things I want a regular, well-seasoned cast-iron skillet.