the joys of cooking with enameled cast iron

lecruset

I’ve never been one for traditional cast iron – I just don’t have the patience for keeping it in tip-top shape. But ever since I splurged on my first piece of Le Creuset (on super clearance at Macy’s, if memory serves) a few years ago, I’ve been smitten with cooking in enameled cast iron. Expensive though it is, enameled cast iron is unquestionably my cookware of choice now, for nearly everything but crepes and fried eggs. It has just enough non-stick properties to make clean-up relatively easy, browns food beautifully, heats evenly and holds onto that heat well, and is so bright and cheery, it’s a joy to look at in my cupboards. Plus, the stuff is virtually indestructible. In fact, I still have two pieces of enameled cast iron my grandmother gave me years ago, that she had gotten from her mother. While there are a few chips here and there, they still cook perfectly.

Are you a fan of enameled cast iron? Do you have a favorite line? I tend to remain partial to Le Creuset, if only because there’s an outlet 45 minutes from my house (if you have one nearby, get on their mailing list – 30-40% discount coupons are prolific!), but I’m always curious about Staub, and some of the excellent vintage enamelware out there (all perfectly fine to buy, just make sure there aren’t any chips on the cooking surface). I recently found a piece of Dansk at Goodwill, and brought it home, but it’s incredibly thin, which means it’s screaming hot in a matter of seconds. Great for stir-fry, but not much else.

Have you tried enameled cast iron? Do you have a favorite brand? And if you collect it, I’m curious – do you stick to one color, or do you go for the rainbow effect? –Becki S.

From our partners
Blu

Le Creuset in Cassis & black my #1 choice. I also do love Staub products particularly their covered plates. I’m partial to just 2 colors but inherited several nice grey pieces.

Megan B

I’ve got a ton of vintage Le Creuset and was gifted a Staub dutch oven for our wedding — I LOVE my Staub. It has a metal handle on the lid which is essential for no-knead bread. The best part, though is the matte black interior: easy to clean! I use mine every day.

p

I have only used Le Creuset since I started college. I worked in an outlet mall and there was an outlet there. I bought a couple of pieces, and then Williams Sonoma made the pumpkin! From there, I went on a Flame colored frenzy. I have more Le Creuset than I can use regularly, but now only buy a new piece when I have a specific need, although I saw the Duofeu in Flame and have to find a need for that one. I was always fascinated by how it worked. I love the flame and since that is the original I have dreams of finding vintage pieces that are no longer made, but so far…no luck.

Julie

LOVE enameled cast iron~ I have 2 dutch ovens that rarely leave my stove! One was a gift, and is Kitchen Aid (who’d have thought? and it is actually great!), and the one I bought is Le Creuset. And, come to think of it, both are red- though not by design!

Love your blog!

Jan

I bought my Dutch Oven and a roasting pan in Aldi. They’re about one-fifth the price of Le Creuset but they’re absolutely great. I even put them in the dishwasher and they stay as good as ever. They’re not available in Aldi all year round, but two or three times a year they’ll have them in as part of the weekly ‘specials’. If you sign up for Aldi’s emails they’ll let you know in advance when they’re coming up for sale.