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Complete Reviews of Cast Iron vs Enamel Dutch Oven

  • 10 min read

Adding this respective cookware to your kitchen collection is nothing but a great investment. You have a choice to choose between Cast Iron vs Enamel Dutch Oven. They both have some similarities in functionality but a few differences with contrasting appearances that set them apart. Both are heavy cookware and have excellent heat retaining properties. The cast iron vs enamel Dutch oven comparison stated below will unveil the differences and similarities between this 2 cookware.

Are you trying to know the similarities and differences in Cast Iron vs Enamel Dutch Oven? Enameled Dutch oven is a large pot or kettle that highly conducts heat. The Enamel Dutch oven is made of cast iron and uses a tight-fitting lid to prevent and trap steam from blowing out; it comes in gorgeous hues and an enameled finish over the interior and exterior of the pot. The walls are thick to evenly distribute and retain heat with no hot spot that could burn food. It is mainly used for moist-cooking methods such as braising and stewing. Enameled Dutch oven pots do not need to be seasoned before use and are not prone to rusting in the same way.

While Plain cast iron cookware is sturdy, durable, and with proper maintenance, it can last for generations. Naturally non-stick if seasoned regularly before and after use to achieve a non-stick surface over the inside of the pot. Foods like lemon juice, tomato sauce, and vinegar can strip seasoning on your cast iron. A special carefulness is put into washing it as no washing with soap as it also gets rust is left in a wet place. It can be used to cook any food both on the stovetop, oven and on grill. 

What is a cast-iron skillet?

cast-iron skillet Cast iron is a type of iron alloy that is formed using a mold to shape molten iron; it’s generally grey or black in color. This type of cast iron is ideal for cooking, as it retains heat well, making it ideal for placing on top of wood-burning stoves. It can be heated up quickly and then taken from the stovetop to the table, where it will provide a steady flow of heat.

A cast-iron skillet is an essential tool for any kitchen. Also known as a lodge skillet, this cast iron cookware can sear, roast, or fry foods using high temperatures without the risk of burning. While typically used in cooking meat and vegetables, cast iron pans can also be used to make brownies and cornbread.

Cast iron skillets are typically pre-seasoned with vegetable oil, then dried before being shipped to the store for purchase. After that pre-seasoning, the surface of the cast iron skillet is nearly non-stick.

What is a Cast iron Dutch oven?

Cast iron Dutch oven Cast iron Dutch Oven offers even heating on all sides, retention of heat, and is made of durable material long-lasting. It can hold many vegetables for soups or stews. Also great for cooking meats, including hamburgers on the grill with the campfire.

It is one of the strong pieces of cookware you can have in your kitchen. It works on all stovetops, comes in various sizes, is made out of heavy-duty cast iron for excellent heat distribution, and really holds the heat well, which makes it great for keeping items warm for long periods.

Enamel cast iron health risk

Scratching the surface of enamel cast iron while cleaning the pot is risky. The enamel could get into your food and cause heavy metal poisoning. At very high temperatures, especially if something acidic, such as tomatoes, is being cooked, chemicals from the food can leach through the enamel into the food.

Enamel cast iron has an enamel glaze finish which is porous and may cause excessive leaching of lead and other heavy metals into food if used without proper care.

It is a great kitchen tool as it distributes heat evenly and slowly, making it ideal for slow-cooking stews and casseroles. It is to clean, as food does not stick to the enamel coating. However, cured pork such as bacon and ham may begin to cook and smoke at low temperatures in the cookware because of this coating. If they’re left out for too long, you should use a lower temperature and remove cured pork from the cookware as soon as the desired doneness has been reached.

Cast Iron vs Enamel Dutch Oven

best dutch oven

The following are attributes of both cookware; the decision to go with either of the two will be according to your preferences and what you want to cook.

1. Stickiness

Cast Iron.  The surface needed to be seasoned before use and regularly to coat the cookware surface to avoid food sticking to the pan. It will start building a natural non-stick coating surface; it can only be retained through proper maintenance. Perfect for searing and browning.

Enamel cast-iron Dutch ovens. Most enamel cast iron Dutch ovens have a smooth cooking surface. They may be a little sticky, but you cannot build the same layer of seasoning on its cooking surface, unlike bare cast iron. A slight improvement can be made on it than the uncoated version, which gets slicker with use.

2. Appearance

Cast iron. Cast iron doesn’t have multiple colors; sometimes, it comes in the dark and leaves you with just one choice of color. The purpose of buying cast iron is far beyond color but for durability and high performance during cooking.

Enamel cast-iron Dutch ovens. If you are the type that gives preference to color, then enamel cast iron is just for you. There is the various color to choose from in the dutch oven that will complement your kitchen design and other existing pot and pan.

3. Durability

Cast iron. Beautiful cookware is excellent and friendly, but the durability of nature is something to consider too. It doesn’t require plenty of processes to maintain and keep. It can be over a campfire, open grill, and for kitchen use. It has been known to be cookware that can be passed from one generation to another as it is indestructible.

Enamel cast iron. When it comes to the use of cast iron and its durability nature, enamel cast iron is not tough and tick as cast iron cookware. The enamel surfaces can start cracking after several years, just as the outer part can begin to chip off if hit on the ground. Handling this cookware takes so much care to avoid damage. It does not get rust so far. The coating is intact.

4. Maintenance

Cast iron. Cast iron needs some specific things to be done to maintain it. You will need to season it after purchase and re-season it after every use. It is also served for non-stick purposes. It is very rustable when soaked inside water or placed in a wet area.

Enamel cast iron. It is effortless to use maintenance compared to cast irons. No pre-seasoning and post-seasoning. The interior and exterior coating protects it from rust.

5. Acidic Food

Cast iron. Cooking with cast iron has one significant side effect: reacting whenever it comes in contact with acidic food. The surface seasoning can get destroyed, and your food may start having metallic. It would help if you did away with such as tomatoes, chilies, and vinegar. The release of iron metal into your food due to acidic recipes won’t affect you in any way but will change your food taste.

Enamel cast iron. Acidic foods can be prepared because of the coating that won’t allow food to get to the porous cast iron. With this coating, food is not retained on the cookware surface. Never heat an empty enamel cast iron as it can damage and crack and coat.

6. Price 

Cast iron. Is relatively cheap. The cost of making cast iron cookware is low, and that’s why the end product is not expensive. There is also no coating to be done, so there is no need to worry about cracking or chipping that may occur.

Enamel cast iron. The price is far higher than cast iron. The price is high due to the coating material used when modern color and design are attributed to this cookware, making the demand relatively high at a high price.

  How to clean cast iron and Enamel Dutch oven

lodge dutch oven

Cast Iron

Cast iron is easy to clean without any further stress only if you know the basic procedure. Seasoning it before use will develop a natural coating that won’t food stick to its surface, making it easy to wash. Washing it with soap will destroy the surface; use hot water with a rag to wipe it. Putting it inside the dishwasher machine is not advisable. Always rinse with warm water and re-season after cleaning with a dry rag.

Enamel cast iron

It can be washed with soap and can be used with a dishwasher. You don’t have to re-season it, and that makes washing it easy. But it would help if you still handled it with care for it to last long.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better, enamel or cast-iron Dutch oven?

Your purpose of usage will determine which one is best for you. If you do outdoor cooking, you should go for cast iron. But if you want cookware for indoor cooking, the Enamel Dutch oven is the right choice for you as you won’t need to worry about re-seasoning after every use.

What is the difference between a Dutch oven and cast iron?

Cast iron comes in traditional form without any coating. Enamel is more extensive in size with a fitted lid cover; the interior and exterior are coated with different colors and designs.

Is enamel eco-friendly?

Producing enamel cookware requires many guidelines like the use of iron and steel without any poly-type material. The perfluoroalkyl chemicals used during the manufacturing of enamel cookware make it safe and eco-friendly.

How is safe enameled cast iron cookware?

Materials used in manufacturing enameled cookware do not leach into foods. Qualities like non-stick surface and rust-free add to the durability nature of enamel cookware. All these qualities are not associated with any health issue.            

What can you not cook in enameled cast iron?

You can cook any food with enamel cookware but with minimal acidic food. The cast iron is not exposed to food due to the enamel coating on the cookware’s interior and exterior.

Conclusion

Picking either cast iron or enamel Dutch all depend on the purpose of usage. Cast Iron vs Enamel Dutch Oven, both are good cookware but it’s left to you to decide what you want based on what we explained above.