Affordable vs. Expensive Enameled Cast Iron Pans

Enameled cast iron is one of the most popular materials for pans used for everyday cooking and baking. After ditching potentially toxic Teflon and aluminum cookware, people have turned to healthier alternatives like enameled cast iron.

The enamel coating on the cast iron structure is created when the porcelain glaze is bonded to the iron base. Once applied, the enamel coating is air dried and then vitrified at temperatures between 1000 and 1500 degrees to create a highly durable, impact-resistant, and non-porous surface. The cast iron base is completely sealed so it will not rust or react with the food cooked in the enameled cookware.

Benefits of Using Enameled Cast Iron Pans

  1. One of the main advantages is that, unlike bare cast iron, the porcelain-coated enamel interior is very easy to clean and does not require pre-seasoning.
  2. An enamel surface is inert and will not react with food cooked or stored in the pan. Additionally, the enameled interior is safe for use with acidic foods, allowing you to use the pan to marinate foods before cooking.
  3. Many people like the fact that the food can be served straight from the pan. Enameled cast iron pans are available in many beautiful colors and look elegant on your dining table.
  4. Cast iron distributes heat evenly and retains it for a longer period. The food is cooked evenly and kept hot for serving.
  5. These multi-function pans are suitable for many different types of cooking, including frying, sautéing, steaming, searing, baking, stir-frying, and stir-frying. They are also compatible with almost all heat sources and are oven-safe up to 500°F.

Disadvantages of Using Enameled Cast Iron Pans

  1. The main disadvantage of an enameled cast iron pan is that it can be heavy even without food, so some people may find it difficult to handle the pan when putting food in it.
  2. Additionally, an enamel pan is not completely non-stick and requires more oil than using a non-stick pan.
  3. Metal utensils can scratch the enamel surface, so you have to use non-metal utensils, such as bamboo, silicone, or wooden ones.
  4. Finally, there is a risk of the coating cracking if the pan is dropped. It can also “peel” when exposed to excessive heat.

The Most Reputable Brands:

This post contains links to Amazon. The publisher may get paid if You purchase something through the links without additional costs to You.

1. Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Skillets

Le Creuset is one of the world’s best manufacturers of enameled cast iron pans. Their skillets have all the benefits of classic enameled cast iron cookware and are also enhanced with the latest ergonomic innovations. Le Creuset skillets are expensive because the company uses high-quality materials to create extremely durable cookware. The longevity of the Le Creuset brand speaks for itself. Chips and cracks are rare in their pans. Due to the wide range of beautiful colors, Le Creuset frying pans are perfect for serving, making the cooking process much easier.

Le Creuset skillets don’t require seasoning. The high-quality finish allows all types of food to be cooked evenly. The pans develop a patina over time and are perfect for frying and searing once the patina has formed.

Le Creuset enameled cast iron pans are dishwasher safe, but can easily be cleaned by hand with hot, soapy water and a soft sponge.

2. Staub Enameled Cast Iron Skillets

Staub uses one of the best coatings on the market. The company offers highly durable, strong, and heat-resistant enameled cast iron cookware.

Their durable black matte enamel textured pans tend to become non-stick over time. These pans work well for all types of cooking but are often used for braising and browning.

The black enamel allows for the best browning results. 

One of the biggest problems with Staub skillets is that they are too heavy. Luckily, the lips on both sides make the pan easier to handle. Staub enameled cast iron pans are dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

enameled cast iron pan with vegetables

3. Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Skillets

Lodge has an extensive cookware collection which includes both enameled cast iron and pure cast iron items. Their products are available in most stores at a reasonable price. Lodge makes high-quality pans that are easy to clean and require no seasoning.

Lodge pans are heavier than most of their competitors’ pans. They can be transferred directly from the stovetop to the oven. In addition, they retain heat well, allowing for shorter cooking times and lower energy consumption.

There are some key differences between the three brands. The main difference is that Lodge pans have porcelain enamel, while Le Creuset and Staub use hard-coat enamel. The hard-coat enamel is considered a better option as it is more scratch-resistant and stronger. Thanks to several layers in the coating, the pan can retain heat better and can be put in the dishwasher without damage.

Lodge pans should be hand-washed as they are prone to wear and tear if you put them in the dishwasher regularly.

Final Words

Le Creuset is a well-known brand in the USA. Once you eliminate Lodge from consideration, the choice between the other two comes down to personal preference. Le Creuset and Staub enameled cast iron pans are expensive, but both brands are worth the money. Investing will give you durable, efficient, and high-performance cookware.

If you are not ready to invest in expensive cookware, consider purchasing a Lodge enameled cast iron skillet. The Lodge is still a good choice and performs nearly as well as Staub or Le Creuset. However, Lodge enameled cast iron pans are less durable than the more expensive brands.

Sharing is caring!