Ah yes, the putative acclaim of a good enamel cast iron pan. The Goliath in the kitchen – the mighty Dutch Oven.
If you are culinary inclined and entertain spending any worthwhile time in the kitchen, do yourself a huge favor, which I guarantee you won’t come to regret. Invest in a good enamel cast iron pan – or better yet, a few, if you haven’t already.
There are a couple leviathans dominating the arena that stand proud in the winner’s circle. Le Creuset and Staub. Both share the spotlight in equal notoriety, and for any seasoned chef, it comes down to a matter of personal preference.
True, a great enameled cast iron requires a small chunk of cash, however, when properly cared for, it will provide you with a loyal and steadfast partnership.
There are other lesser costly brands procurable, but the enamel chips easily as they don’t employ the quality or lifespan and longevity of Le Creuset or Staub. With either brand, rest assured you are investing in the Rolls Royce of kitchen equipment.
Some of us have one proudly sitting on our stove and know it’s a real workhorse and our go-to pan. When it comes to the maintenance of these kitchen jewels, avoid utilizing metal utensils and wash them by hand for maximum durability.
The highpoint of the enameled Dutch Oven and what really makes it so brilliant, other than the uniformity of heat distribution, is the stove top to oven feature. Its superb performance for roasting and braising, makes it the perfect vessel for stews (perfect for coq au vin), roasts, soups, risottos and the like. This cookware is not finicky with regards to what stove they prefer: gas, electric or induction. Nonetheless, if you own a ceramic cook top – exert caution and refrain from sliding the pans across the glass surface, as that will scratch it. That applies for any pan not just cast iron.
If you have been eschewing the idea of acquiring an enameled pan I suggest you capitulate and pull the trigger. Once you do, you will lament on wasted time. Not only the quality of your cuisine will be much improved, but your food will cook more uniformly. The cost might be somewhat alarming at first, but as with anything, you pay for what you get!
Featured above are Le Creuset oval Dutch and Baby Dutch, my go to choice. As aforementioned, selecting the brand rests solely on the personal choice of the chef.