Cooking with cast iron is a time-honoured tradition, but with so many options available on the market, it can be hard to decide which type of cast iron cookware is right for you. In this article, we'll be taking a closer look at the differences between traditional cast iron and enameled cast iron, to help you make an informed decision when you're ready to invest in a new skillet, Dutch oven, or other piece of cookware.
First, let's take a look at traditional cast iron cookware. This type of cookware is made from raw cast iron that is heated and poured into moulds to create pots, pans, and skillets. Once the cookware cools, it is smoothed and polished. Traditional cast iron cookware is then seasoned with oil to create a non-stick surface that can withstand high heat.
It is important to note that traditional cast iron cookware needs regular seasoning to maintain it, otherwise, the iron will rust and it will be difficult to cook with it.
On the other hand, enameled cast iron cookware, like that of Biroix products, is made from cast iron that has been coated with an enamel layer. The enamel layer is usually made from glass, and it is fused to the cast iron at high temperatures. The enamel coating is non-stick, so it doesn't require the same kind of seasoning as traditional cast iron. It also doesn't react with acidic foods and won't rust. It can come in different colours, is dishwasher safe (but not recommended) and more versatile than traditional cast iron.
The main difference between the two types of cast iron cookware is that enameled cast iron is non-stick and non-reactive, while traditional cast iron needs seasoning to maintain it. Enameled cast iron is also more fragile and a little bit heavier than traditional cast iron, but it is also more expensive.
When it comes to cleaning, traditional cast iron cookware can be cleaned with warm water and a gentle dish soap, while enameled cast iron is dishwasher safe but not recommended due to the high heat and harsh detergents that can damage the enamel coating. Scratches in the enamel can also trap food particles and bacteria, which can be difficult to remove and could affect the taste of food. It's better to hand wash enameled cast iron and avoid using abrasive materials such as steel wool, or harsh chemicals, avoid using high heat to dry and make sure it's dry before store it.
In conclusion, both traditional cast iron and enameled cast iron are durable, versatile cookware options that can withstand high heat. The main difference between the two is that traditional cast iron needs seasoning to maintain it, while enameled cast iron doesn't. Both types of cast iron cookware can be used for a wide range of cooking tasks, but it ultimately comes down to personal preference and how much maintenance you're willing to do. Consider your cooking style, budget, and how you plan to use the cookware before making a decision.