Enameled cast iron
(Le Creuset Dutch ovens have a recommended 480F maximum in the oven, though removing the knob as some sites suggest can up this to any temperature—so unless you're regularly making sourdough at 500 degrees like me, it may not affect your day-to-day cooking).
When using a Dutch Oven in the oven, however, you should check with the manufacturer to determine the maximum safe temperature for baking. Generally, most enameled Dutch Ovens should be safe to about 450 degrees Fahrenheit, but you'll want to be sure before you get started.
Just like with all of our classic cast iron cookware, enameled cast iron has great heat retention, so there's no need to cook over a high heat. We stick to a low to medium heat for best results!
Enameled ceramic and cast iron Dutch ovens are usually safe to heat to between 400 and 450 degrees, and some non-enameled Dutch ovens can safely be heated beyond 500 degrees (check the product details for your dish to be sure).
Traditional uncoated cast iron ovens are built to withstand use on any cooktop, as well as an open flame. Bare cast iron can typically handle over 500 degrees; high-fired ceramic is rated to about 500 degrees; enameled cast iron can be heated to around 450 degrees before it could start to damage the enamel coating.
Because Dutch ovens are cast iron, they're champs under heat. OvenSpot says most enameled Dutch ovens can take up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
The enamel can crack if heated when empty, so never set a dry cast-iron pan over a flame. Instead, pour in some fat, like oil or butter, to heat up along with the iron. Some liquid, like broth or even water, will also keep the surface safe. Warm up with these Dutch oven recipes for winter.
Preheating your enameled cast iron without oil or water can scorch your pan and damage its finish. When you use oil and cooking spray when cooking, you get a better cooking experience by reducing the risk of baked-on food and it also makes for easier cleanup.
Don't attempt to use a knife to cut up something in your Dutch oven or use a pointed utensil like a metal fork to stir the contents of your pot. These utensils can scrape and scratch the enamel finish. The best utensils to use in a Dutch oven are wooden, silicone, or heat-resistant plastic spoons and spatulas.
Dutch Ovens are typically made of cast iron but they come in two varieties—unfinished or Enameled Cast Iron. An unfinished cast iron Dutch Oven resembles a cast iron skillet, with the entire body made of pure cast iron. It can be used for many recipes, but will need to be seasoned before its first use.
Heavy duty use with metal tools can also do some damage to the enamel over time. As a result, you may notice your skillet becomes more difficult to clean, and it may start forming rust on the surface as well. If you suspect your enameled layer has taken damage, replace your cast iron skillet.
Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Ovens
Use it to broil, braise, bake, or roast in the oven up to 500° F, and sauté, simmer, or fry on any stovetop. "My enameled dutch oven is one of the most reached-for items in my kitchen.
Dutch ovens are best for low-heat cooking, and higher temperatures may actually damage your pot's finish. The enamel coating on the bottom of a Dutch oven can wear down relatively quickly if it's constantly exposed to a high-heat stovetop, so we recommend low or medium heat.
You can use any size cast iron skillet for pizza, as long as it is not enameled on the inside. (An enamel coating will prevent the pizza from getting that evenly browned, crispy crust you're going for.) Just cut your dough ball in half if you're working with a pan that's 10 inches or smaller in diameter.
Two words: heat & oil.
The most common reason food sticks to cast iron is because the pan is simply too hot. Because cast iron retains heat much better than other types of cookware, you generally don't need to use as high of a heat setting as you normally would with stainless steel or aluminum cookware.
Lower-quality porcelain enamel has a thinner coating that can crack and chip easily, which significantly affects the cooking experience. Dropping porcelain enamel cookware can also crack or chip the surface. Some porcelain enamel cookware has non-stick coatings, including Teflon, so be sure to check labels.
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.
Yes, enameled cast iron is completely safe and non-toxic. Unlike traditional cast iron, enameled cast iron does not leach any iron into your food. It is also more durable, protects your pan from rust, and does not require seasoning.
Enameled cast iron cookware doesn't stick and makes for a much smoother cooking experience, at lower temperatures. Enamel works best at medium temperatures, whereas cast iron works great at low, medium, and higher temperatures. We do loads of stovetop cooking with our enameled cast iron Dutch oven from Uno Casa.
It's Non-Reactive: Enameled cast iron will not react with acidic foods, such as those made with tomatoes, wine, vinegar, or citrus. I reach for enameled whenever I make things like spaghetti sauce, chili dishes, and sauces.
Oven use. The maximum oven temperature for use is 260°C/500°F or 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7 if the pan is used with a Le Creuset Toughened Nonstick heat-resistant glass lid.
Cracks may form if the heat is too high, i.e. cooking above medium-low heat, especially when cooking dry or semi-dry recipes. It's best to cook these kinds of recipes (like stir-fries and sautés) after the pot is fully seasoned.