Before You Go Shopping
There’s a great variety of options to choose from when it comes to enameled cast iron; consider these tips before you decide to buy.
- Cost & Brands:
In the past, purchasing enameled cast-iron cookware was very pricy—I could’ve made a mortgage payment with what my first three pieces cost! But with new players to the game, enameled cookware is now within reach of many more people. I have had experience with both expensive brands and inexpensive brands. While there are some slight differences, mainly with how each piece is made, experience has shown me that they cook the same.
- Size & Shape:
Always purchase a piece that is a little bigger than you think you need. If you’re looking at a 6-quart Dutch oven to cook a pot roast, on the shelf it might look big enough, but once you get the meat and a few veggies in the dish, it fills up very quickly. Although you don’t want the food to get lost in a vessel that’s too big, bigger is always better than being too small. If it is your very first piece of enameled cast iron, I recommend something no smaller than 7 quarts. Another important factor is the shape. The majority of enameled Dutch ovens are round, but I have found it incredibly advantageous to have one that has an oval shape. Things like roasts and whole chickens have wide, elongated shapes. Having a piece that will accommodate them is handy.