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Luxurious Enameled Cast Iron Cookware

Colorful and beautiful, enameled cast iron cookware is healthy cookware for every kitchen. With the excellent heat distribution and retention benefits of cast iron, enameled cast iron cookware is functional and attractive.

Enameled Cast Iron Cookware

Staub Coq au VinWhether Le Creuset, Staub, Lodge, or any other enameled cast iron cookware manufacturer, the enameled colors add a luxurious look to the standard black cast iron. With various shades or red, green, blue, and brown, the colors can fit just about any decor. Cast iron cookware traditionally is one of the least expensive cookware materials. While an enameled finish will add to the cost, there are still inexpensive options. The cost will often be associated with the quality and number of enameled layers. The higher quality enamel will be chip resistant, stain resistant, and have as many as four (4) layers of colorful enamel. While the term enamel is often associated with paint, cookware enamel is a glass product, thus healthy and easy to clean.

Enameled Cast Iron Skillet

Probably one of the most famous pieces of cast iron cookware is the skillet. While today they do make casserole dishes, Dutch ovens, and even sauce pans in enameled cast iron, the skillet/omelet pan/frying pan is most common. Placing your cast iron skillet on the stove top with low to medium heat will result in fantastic fried eggs, bacon, potatoes, or anything else fit for a skillet. Cast iron griddle pans are becoming immensely popular. Ridges on the bottom make an ordinary skillet not only healthy but also gives that restaurant quality presentation. Use a grill pan for steaks or any other food where grill marks would add to the taste and/or visual appeal.

Enameled Outside and/or Inside

On the outside of the cookware, the enameled finish makes it easy to clean as well as visually appealing. On the inside, it adds a level of nonstick performance and opportunity to use the same cookware for stove and table top. It is non reactive with foods. And it does not need to be seasoned as traditional cast iron cookware.

Use and Cleaning Enameled Cast Iron Cookware

Like most high quality cookware, it is important to read the care and use instructions. You will find it is usually recommended:

• Do not use metallic utensils

• Use low to medium heat

• Do not use in the oven over 475 degrees

• Use a cloth or mitt to handle the cookware

• The surface can chip or scratch if banged or dropped

• Use plastic or nylon scouring pads. Not metal

• While some are automatic dishwasher safe, hand washing is still highlyrecommended

• Dry the cookware before storing

Beautiful, functional, and healthy, enameled cast iron cookware adds a level of sophistication to any kitchen. The busy cook, chef, or healthy cook will enjoy the colors and usefulness of enameled cookware. For more information about using cast iron cookware, be sure to read our article on The Growing Cast Iron Cookware Set.

 Happy Cooking!

 

Can the Right Cookware Make You a Better Cook?

We need cookware to cook our food. Your Cookware Helper says the right cookware can actually help you cook better! Here are 4 reasons why cookware matters. Cookware plays an important role in the art and science of cooking.

How Cookware Can Make Us a Better Cook

There are 4 primary reasons why the right cookware can help us to cook better.

  1. The right cookware will heat evenly. 

    All-Clad Stainless Steel D5 Cookware SetOne of the most important attributes of quality cookware is that it heats evenly. Consider all the cookware that is clad with copper and/or aluminum, for the sole purpose of helping the cookware provide even heating. When you use the properly sized cookware for the stove heating element, you expect the pan to provide an even amount of heat throughout the cooking surface. If it does not, the food will need more attention for flipping or stirring, cause food to stick, and possibly even provide food that is not cooked thoroughly.

  2. The right cookware is appropriate for the job. 

    Here is where a little experience goes a long way. Obviously one will use a skillet to fry eggs or chicken, a sauce pan to boil water or heat liquids, and a sauté pan to cook up a bunch of veggies or meats. The appropriately sized cookware for the job is important. When you have multiple choices of cookware to use, choosing the right one can make the cooking process easier, or add a really nice touch to the meal.

    Consider these real life cooking stories. I have an All-Clad stainless steel sauce pan that is clad with aluminum all the way up the sides. I recently used it when I was cooking grits with mushrooms as a side dish for swordfish steaks. During the cooking process, the heat was set to low, and the grits were slowly bubbling in the All-Clad sauce pan. The aluminum up the sides allows the pan to provide an even heat that wraps around the food, not just on the bottom. It was the appropriate cookware for this thicker side dish. Had I used a simpler Farberware sauce pan with aluminum clad just on the bottom, I would have to stir more frequently, and possibly risk having it burn on the bottom. For thinner liquid based dishes, the Farberware would be suitable.

    Staub Grill Pan WideHaving sear marks on certain foods adds that restaurant quality touch to dishes. When making an Orange Chicken dish recently, I slowly baked the chicken in the oven. However, before serving it, I used my Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan to put sear marks on the chicken before I placed it on the serving dish, where I then drizzled the orange sauce over the top. The presentation was a success.

    Here is another tip to help with a restaurant quality presentation. Consider using Staub Cast Iron Roasting Dishes, preheated in the oven, and place your chicken, steak, or vegetables on the Staub Roasting Dishes to give that sizzling effect, and final cooking, as you bring your dish to the table.

  3. The right cookware is comfortable to use. 

    Comfort is an important variable when selecting cookware. Is the cookware too light or too heavy? Are the handles properly sized for your hands? If it is a heavy piece, does it have a helper handle to allow both hands to pick it up? As a tennis player, I know that a grip that is too small can cause elbow strain. Cookware with handles that are too small can also cause arm strain. Do the handles heat up too quickly? Many pieces today like the KitchenAid Brushed Stainless Steel cookware have handles with silicone inserts for soft, cool handling. Determine what makes cookware comfortable for you. With comfortable cookware, you will use it more, and enjoy handling it. If it is not comfortable, you may not handle it as necessary to get the proper results.

  4. The right cookware gives you confidence in our cooking abilities.

    Consider the folks you find to be good cooks. Do you think they are confident in their abilities? Such confidence starts with the cookware. If you use cookware that heats evenly, the appropriate cookware for the job, and comfortable to use, don’t you think that would add to your own confidence? Of course it would. Confident cooks are not worried about the outcome. They try new things. They are creative. Their cookware is something they don’t have to be concerned with. They know it will perform satisfactorily. It is the right tool for the job just a a plumber or carpenter uses the right tool.

Cookware comes in all shapes and sizes. Using the “right” pieces will help you in your cooking abilities, and build your confidence. Anyone can be a good cook. Cookware is an important part of the cooking process. 

If you want help learning how to cook, I recommend my very own Home Cooking Academy. It offers structured online cooking classes that teach busy home cooks how to consistently make attractive, aromatic, and delicious meals.

Happy cooking!

 

5 Father’s Day Cookware Gift Ideas

When it comes to Father’s Day Cookware Gift Ideas, guys love kitchen gadgets and cookware. If something can make him look good in front of the family or friends, he’ll be for it. I know! If it’s sharp, shiny, or slick, we get excited. Here are several great Father’s Day cookware gift ideas that will make your guy happy!

5 Father’s Day Cookware Gift Ideas

1) Cast Iron Grill Pan

Staub Grill Pan WideAs summer approaches, grilling is his territory. How about grilling inside all year long with a Cast Iron Grill Pan! I love mine and there is something about grill marks that makes a meal special. Lodge or Staub offer excellent grill pans. Keep them seasoned, heat them up, and watch your guy put those restaurant quality grill marks on chicken, steak or veggies all year long. 


 

2) Large Quality Stainless Steel Skillet

All-Clad Stainless Steel D5 SkilletA great saute means perfectly done meats and vegetables, and the fond for the beginning of a great sauce. How about a large Stainless Steel Skillet that won’t warp. Chefs know to make a good sauce one has to deglaze a pan. That means putting a cold liquid into a very hot skillet. Normal pans will warp under that temperature stress and cause uneven heating in the future. That’s why if your guy is a good cook, he’ll appreciate a quality stainless steel skillet from All-Clad or Cuisinart.  


 

3) Grilling Tool Set

Cuisinart Grill Tool SetHow about a grilling tool set with all the tools he’ll need to flip, slice, and clean that grill? Do you call your guy in to do the grilling? Does he grab a cold beverage, put on the grilling apron and march outside to do his assigned duty? If so, give him the tools he’ll need to do it right. 


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4) Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Cookware SetIf what he’s cooking with now is getting old, discolored and warped, he’ll love a new cookware set. Stainless steel is attractive, easy to clean and healthy cookware. A great value is the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro. It’s fully clad with aluminum in between the stainless steel, not just on the bottom like many cookware sets, but also up the sides of the cookware. That gives more even heating especially when cooking foods like rice, soups and stews. It’s sturdy and able to withstand whatever he dishes out. For under $300 the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro is a great value. 

Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Triple Ply Stainless Steel 12-Pc. Set Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Triple Ply Stainless Steel 12-Pc. Set
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5) Chef Pan

Calphalon Tri-ply Stainless Steel Chef PanA chef pan is like the SUV piece of cookware. It can be used inside the stove, on top of the range, covered or open, and it’s large enough to cook just about anything in it. A chef pan will quickly become the go-to cookware for your guy. I use mine for braising short ribs on top of the stove, baking chicken casseroles inside the stove, rice pilaf and corn on the cob. It’s a handy piece of cookware. The recommended item below from Scanpan is considered healthy cookware and very easy to clean! 

Scanpan Classic 12-1/2-Inch Covered Chef Pan Scanpan Classic 12-1/2-Inch Covered Chef Pan
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To all the Fathers out there I know these Father’s Day cookware gift ideas-are sure to please.  Happy Father’s Day!