Can you cook with enamelware? 

In this brief article, we’ll address the query “can you cook in enamelware?” We will also discuss what enamelware is, how enamelware is made, and if you’re looking to buy, what should you look for in enamelware?

Can you cook with enamelware

Yes, you can cook with enamelware. It is convenient for many recipes to cook with enamelware, though there are exceptions such as spit roasting, cooking with clay, and some traditional dishes where in place of enamelware, the use of clay pottery vessels and other materials is encouraged.

But first, let’s talk a little bit about what enamelware is. 

What is enamelware? 

Enamelware is cookware that is coated in glass, which makes it safe to use, easy to clean, and durable. The cookware itself can be made of different materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, or cast iron, but for it to be called enamelware, its surface must be glazed over with layers if coating and on top, a special mixture of powdered glass.

How is enamelware made? 

Enamelware is made by first giving a sheet of metal or even molten metal the shape of a basin or any other hollow container. Once the container has been crafted, it will then be coated.

Coating the container will first require a base layer of paint or enamel to be applied, to prepare it for subsequent layers. 

Once this first layer has dried, the freshly painted container can be exposed to higher temperatures and the selected colors can then be applied by enameling.

Depending on the colors in mind for the design, the inside and outside can be painted in different colors and different motifs, then glazed with powdered glass. This is a delicate process, and executing it correctly assures enamelware’s durability. 

Finally, crafting enamelware requires the finishing touches, such as applying decals and decorative elements. Once this last step has been completed, the coated enamelware is once again heated up to high temperatures to temper the layers and make them resistant. 

Enamelware has been manufactured and sold in the US since the mid-nineteenth century, though before that, this type of cookware had been crafted for thousands of years, by different civilizations. Pieces of it have often been found in archaeological digs, further adding to its reputation for durability and hardiness. 

However, enamel kitchenware didn’t become a staple within households in America until the 1850s, when the industrial revolution made it easier to stamp sheets of metal into kitchenware, and the process of coating them also became streamlined. 

What should I look for in enamelware

When looking to buy enamelware, one should take things such as quality and budget, size, shape, and weight and handling into account. 

  • Quality and budget – kitchen enamelware worth buying should last for years, and this will be reflected on the price tag. Enamelware with a modest price tag, will most likely also be of modest quality. If however, you’re budget is limited, review the warranty and check if chipped kitchenware can be replaced. 
  • Size- If you’re looking to cook for large groups or households, consider buying larger sized enamelware. If you’re more inclined to cook for small groups, buying large enamelware sets can may clutter your pantry and use up storage space.
  • Shape – there are many shapes to choose from when shopping for enamelware, consider which shape is best suited to your cooking needs (something with corners? Completely round? etc.)
  • Weight and handling – Handling hot dishes off the stovetop or out of the oven is something that requires handling with care. Enamelware that is too hot to handle or to heavy to carry from one surface to another can be dangerous, but enamelware that is too light may be of poor quality and not cook your food evenly. Consider finding the ideal weight for your enamelware. 

Enamelware is safe to cook with, and if properly cared for, durable and easy to maintain.  

Conclusion

In this brief article, we addressed the query “can you cook in enamelware?” We discussed what enamelware is, how enamelware is made, and for those looking to buy, what should you look for in enamelware? We hope the reader has found this article useful and enlightening. 

References: 

https://www.delightedcooking.com/what-is-enamelware.htm

https://barebonesliving.com/blogs/products-notes/the-history-and-benefits-of-enamelware

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.