When choosing kitchen utensils made of enameled cast iron, it is important to know the nature of the enamel, which distinguishes them from ordinary cast iron pots and pans. Regular cast iron can be made non-stick and easier to clean by rubbing it with hot oil or grease. Baking oil into the pan at a high temperature creates a bond that reduces the likelihood of rust and iron getting into the food, green chilli, making the pan relatively non-stick and easier to clean.
kitchen utensils for enameled cast iron cookware
Enameled cookware is relatively easy to clean and has an acceptable level of nonstick properties. However, you should avoid burning food on the bottom or sides of the pan. If you do, enamel is quite scratch resistant – much more so than cast iron, stainless steel or non-stick Teflon surfaces. As a result, it tolerates scrubbing better than these other surfaces, but it is very sensitive to bumps and knocks, which can cause the enamel to peel off the bottom.
Enamel is not baked-on paint, as many think, but silica or glass mixed with pigments and then melted onto the iron surface. This process creates a compound that is strong enough for normal handling, but can chip if hit hard. For example, if you drop enameled cookware on a hard floor, it may chip, but not if you stir the contents with a metal spoon.
Although you can use stainless steel and other metal kitchen utensils for enameled cast iron, you should refrain from doing so and use wood, plastic or silicone instead. Silicone is a form of plastic that has been cured and cross-linked to make it heat-resistant, a property that ordinary plastic kitchen utensils lack.
Wood is best for any type of cookware, but most people have a set of wooden spoons in their kitchen arsenal and maybe a wooden spatula, but very little else. There is a larger selection online, but the ladles and skimmers tend to be very small compared to their metal or plastic alternatives.
Plastic, while great for protecting your cookware, is very soft and gets even softer with heat. Not only that, but if you forget to take the spoon off the pot while cooking, plastic food takes on a new meaning! The same goes for a plastic spatula or fish stick: these kitchen tools rarely last long without a few burns. And that brings us to silicone kitchen tools.
Silicone kitchen utensils are heat resistant, some even up to 900 degrees, so they won’t soften or melt like regular plastic. There is also a good selection of silicone tools, such as turkey lifters, fish slicers, spatulas and wooden spoons, but still not as many as there are in stainless steel.
The problem with stainless steel is not that it scratches the enamel, because it won’t unless you try hard, but that it can chip if you hit the pan with a heavy stainless object. That said, it is possible to use stainless kitchen utensils on enameled cast iron as long as you are careful and take care not to bump or drop objects on the pan.
Overall, when choosing kitchen utensils for enameled cast iron, you’re probably best off using wood or silicone where possible, especially for stirring spoons and such, and stainless steel where necessary. That’s a reasonable compromise, but if you prefer to have a whole battery of tools hanging on racks on your kitchen wall, stainless steel looks great, but be very careful when using them.