Porcelain enamel cookware refers to pots and pans made of metal that's coated with a form of glass called porcelain enamel, which is bonded to the iron, steel, stainless steel or aluminum metal to form the body of the cookware. Porcelain enamel cookware from a host of manufacturers offers a huge variety of solid colors and designs on an easy-to-clean surface.
Porcelain enamel provides a hard, lustrous finish that won't scratch, corrode, fade or peel with normal use. However, it may chip or crack if the utensil is dropped on a hard surface. Most porcelain enamel cookware has an outside enamel coating, with teflon or plain metal on the inside. It comes in a wide range of prices. Price differences are based on metal thickness, number of porcelain enamel coats, color and design, and accessories such as covers and high-temperature plastics for handles. Better grades of porcelain enamel cookware have seamless coatings.
Enamelware is a variety of porcelain enamel cookware that's distinguished by having a porcelain enamel coating on the inside as well as the outside. Enamelware has a base of steel, stainless steel or cast iron. The porcelain coating is applied after the utensil is formed to create a smooth, non-porous surface inside and out. Enamelware isn't affected by heat, humidity or food acids and can be used to cook, bake or roast foods, or as a serving or storage utensil. Cheap enamelware can scratch or chip easily; high-quality ware has a thicker enamel coating that resists scratches and chips.
Porcelain enamel cookware is very strong and durable, with excellent heat-transfer characteristics. It doesn't react with acidic foods like tomatoes, and you can use any type of metal or plastic cooking utensils. But there are some things you shouldn't do with this cookware. For instance, you shouldn't use it over high heat for extended time periods. Extreme high temperatures can melt the porcelain enamel coating. And you shouldn't allow porcelain enamel cookware to boil dry, especially on a glass or ceramic cooktop. This can crack the finish.
Cleaning Porcelain Enamel
Porcelain enamel is quick and easy to clean. This cookware is stick-resistant, and resists staining and scratching. Clean your cookware while it's still warm; don't let it sit around until food residue dries and hardens. Use a dish sponge or a plastic or nylon dish scrubber. Don't use steel wool soap pads or abrasive household cleaners as these can scratch the finish over time. Alternatively, you can put porcelain enamel cookware in a dishwasher after wiping out any food residue.
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