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Enamel Cookware: An Extra Layer of, or Just Icing on the Cake?

Mar 12, 2008
Enamel is the protective covering of our teeth. It provides them with an extra layer against plaque and bacteria and gives our teeth their spit-shine appearance. And while enamel is an integral part of our teeth, we are yet to discover if enamel in cookware is. We will now look at the differences and similarities between enamel and cast iron cookware.
Manufacturing

Enamel cookware is just cast iron topped with a layer of enamel. We can use enamel cookware faster because we don't need to season it. Rusting is prevented by the layer of enamel. In cast iron, as long as you have the layer of fat stuck to the metal, then it's virtually rustproof.

Seasoning
I'm not talking about the preparation where you put pepper, garlic, chopped onions, laurel leaves on the marinade. Seasoning of the cast iron cookware involves removal of its wax cover and then spreading of fatty substances like lard or vegetable oil and then applying heat. This will make the fat stick to the alloy, so that the surface will not eat at the outer part of whatever it is you're frying. Seasoning can also be used for old pans even those with the enamel coating already removed, exposing the cast iron. You just need to scrape the pan thoroughly to make it shine, and then you can proceed with the seasoning steps mentioned above.

Cooking Techniques
Enamel cookware can be used to cook anything but foods that need very high temperatures, because the coating is damaged and removed. Cast iron cookware can be used to prepare anything but foods having high acid content because the fatty coating is removed.

Cleaning
With cast iron you can only wash it with warm water and apply a few soft scrubs. Great care has to be taken so that the layer of fat is not removed. Heat is able to kill disease-causing microorganisms but another point to consider is that microorganisms thrive, and are preserved in fat. So better make sure that you don't put back the leftovers into the pan, or if you do, to thoroughly reheat the food before serving it. However, with enamel, you can scrub and put a pound of detergent powder in it if you want. No problem. If you really want to make sure that your enamel cookware is spotless, then you may put it in a dishwasher because it won't rust.

Upon examining the things presented above, I have realized that enamel cookware is not just icing on the cake but is indeed an extra layer. Cast iron and enameled cookware complement each other very well. Foods we can't cook in enamel cookware, we can cook in cast iron. With the quality of the material, there is also no dispute because enamel cookware also has an inner cast iron layer. So now we know that enamel in cookware is just like enamel found in teeth. Vital to cooking and as a complement to cast iron cookware.
About the Author
Rachel Nunez is ready to answer your questions about camping gear. For more tips and information about enamel cookware, check out http://www.campinggearpro.com.
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