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How to Clean Enameled Cast Iron: Complete Guide

June 12, 2020 5 min read

How to Clean Enameled Cast Iron: Complete Guide

Enameled cast iron cookware is a trusty addition to any kitchen. Enameled cast iron is easy to cook with, it's incredibly long-lasting, and best of all, we love how sleek, swish, and modern enameled cast iron skillets, pans, and dutch ovens look!

The best thing about cast iron with enamel coatings, though, is how easy it is to clean. All you need is hot water, a dash of soap, and a good nylon scrubber. Keep your enameled cast iron clean, and it really can last a lifetime.

Let's take a look at how to clean enameled cast iron so you can learn the ropes and care for items like an enameled cast iron casserole dish or an enameled cast iron dutch ovenlike a pro!

What's the best way to clean enameled cast iron?

Enameled cast iron is a popular type of cookware that you'll find in many kitchens around the world. It's essentially like regular cast iron but with an added enameled, porcelain glaze on the cooking surface. The enamel on cast iron keeps the cookware non-stick and super easy to clean.

If you're updating your kitchenware, then when it comes to choosing between enameled cast iron vs cast iron, you just can't beat how easy enamel is to clean. Unlike regular cast iron, enameled cast iron can be cleaned in a few easy steps.

Cleaning enameled cast iron:

  1. After cooking, let your enameled cast iron cool naturally.
  2. Fill up your sink or a large bowl with warm, soapy water (you can also fill the enamel pan or skillet directly with hot water once it's cooled down).
  3. Place your enameled cast iron in the warm soapy water and scrub gently with a nylon brush.
  4. If food stains or residue still remain, use nylon pads or a scraper to clean it off.
  5. Rinse thoroughly under warm water and then set aside to dry.

How do you remove stains from enameled cast iron?

Cleaning your enameled cast iron cookware is as simple as using hot water and soap mixed with a little scrubbing. If you find that you have more persistent stains, you might need to put in a few extra steps to get your pans sparkling clean.

Staining is quite natural when you're regularly cooking with enameled cast iron. It's nothing to worry about, and it doesn't affect either the performance of your skillet or the taste of your food. We'll admit that it doesn't look great, though, so if you want to remove the staining, you can start by using a certified enamel cookware cleaner on the surface of the cookware.

If this doesn't work, then another way to get rid of the discoloring is to leave your pans soaking in hot water, with a few teaspoons of baking powder added. This should remove the stains, then you can simply give the enameled cast iron a good wash once again.

Can you soak enameled cast iron?

If you have particularly stubborn stains that don't want to be scrubbed out of the enamel, then it's perfectly fine to leave your enameled cast iron cookware to soak. In fact, if you're wondering how to clean enameled cast iron dutch oven most effectively, soaking is the best option.

Fill your dutch oven or skillet with hot water and soap and leave it for a few hours. When you come back, you should see a lot of the residue has fallen off. Simply clean the enameled cast iron again, using the standard method we provided at the start of this article.

For really stubborn or hard to reach stains (again, you might find these at the bottom of your dutch oven!), a great trick is to add a few teaspoons of baking powder to the hot water. You can leave this to soak overnight, and in the morning, you should find the stains and burnt-on residue have all disappeared!

Can I use a dishwasher?

Enameled cast iron cookware is generally certified for dishwasher use, but we don't recommend this. For starters, dishwashers won't give your lovely pans the due care and attention they deserve. They could easily get knocked about or even chipped if you put them in the wrong position.

Secondly, a dishwasher will only clean the surface of the cookware. If you've got stubborn stains or discoloring, you will probably find that you have to give your enameled cast iron a clean in hot, soapy water by hand anyway.

Can enamel cast iron chip or scratch?

One reason to always clean your enameled cast iron by hand is to lower your chances of chipping it. The enamel, porcelain glaze is the most delicate part of the pan, and unfortunately, it can chip.

When you're washing your enameled cast iron by hand, avoid dropping it and be careful where you place it when it needs drying (don't stack enameled cast iron on top of one another).

Enamel glazing doesn't go well with metal, which is why we always recommend using wooden utensils when you're cooking. The same goes when you're cleaning. Using metal scourers or scrapers can scratch or even chip the surface of the enamel.

Instead, we recommend using nylon scrapers to scour off any excess residue or burnt food when you're cleaning. If you don't have any nylon cleaning tools, then a wooden spoon can also be used to scratch off the residue, although it's not quite as effective. Your best weapon against scratching is a thorough soaking that will loosen any unwanted residue without you having to scrape at it!

Be gentle!

Our final tip is just a friendly reminder that you don't need to use force to have a clean, enameled cast iron cooking pan. Enamel coatings are there because they are easy and quick to clean. That's their major advantage over standard cast iron and other, similar products.

Be gentle, and you should find that your enamel still comes out sparkling clean. If it doesn't, then don't apply force or scrape too hard, just leave it to soak. Be patient, and you'll protect your enameled cast iron cookware in the long run.

On a similar note, you should also be careful about applying too much heat. Enamel cast iron cooks best at medium temperatures. At too high a temperature, the enamel glazing can weaken, especially if you consistently cook at high temperatures. The same thing can be said when you are cleaning too.

Always wait for your enamel cast iron cookware to cool down before cleaning and don't thrust it under cold water. Rapid temperature changes can cause the enamel to weaken and even crack. Instead, be patient, allow it to cool and then clean it using warm water. You'll be grateful that you used gentle cleaning methods when your enameled cast iron is still cooking strong in 10 years' time!

Cleaning your enameled cast iron doesn't need to be complicated! It's easy to keep your favorite enamel and porcelain cookware sparkling clean and enjoyable to cook with.



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