Enamel cast iron cookware pieces come in a variety of colors, patterns and styles. Decorative cookware pieces can go straight from the oven to the table. Some older, traditional enamel cast iron cookware sets may pass from generation to generation. Follow care instructions for enamel cast iron cookware to ensure their longevity.
Always carefully wash enamel cast iron cookware by hand, even if the manufacturer claims it is dishwasher safe. The enamel may chip in the dishwasher. Use a nonabrasive sponge or dish cloth in order to prevent scratching the enamel. To prevent the enamel from chipping or cracking, do not bang enamel cast iron cookware against other objects or drop the cookware pieces. Never use the cookware as a deep fryer. The cookware may crack when exposed to extreme temperatures incurred while deep frying or blackening foods.
Enamel cast iron cookware does not need to be seasoned like traditional cast iron cookware; the enamel coating protects the iron. If the enamel has small chips on the outside of the piece, rub a generous amount of shortening into the exposed metal as soon as the piece is washed and dried. Wash the cookware by hand, thoroughly dry it and reapply shortening after every use. Monitor for any signs of rust. If chips or cracks occur on the inside of the piece, throw the cookware away. Properly cleaning cracked pieces is impossible as foods and liquids will seep under the edges of the cracked enamel.
Enamel cast iron cookware tends to stain but is easily restored to its original color. To get rid of stains, thoroughly clean the cookware. Rub shortening into any chips or cracks on the piece. Fill a sink full of lukewarm water and add ½ c. of bleach to the water. Let the piece soak overnight. Thoroughly wash and dry the piece the next day. As an alternative to bleach, a baking soda paste will remove cooking stains from enamel cast iron cookware. Pour ½ c. of baking soda into a small bowl. Gradually add small amounts of water to the baking soda. Mix until a paste is formed. Apply the paste to the enamel cast iron cookware and allow to soak for one hour. Use a cellulose sponge to gently scrub the stain from the cookware. For stubborn stains, allow paste to sit on the piece for longer.
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