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Enameled Cast Iron 101

How to clean and care for your Enameled Cast Iron

Care for your new piece of USA Enamel™ or Essential Enamel so that it can last for generations to come. Plus, learn more about our favorite cooking, cleaning, and storage tips—along with helpful accessories to get you started.

Chocolate Bar Chili USA Enamel

Quick tips for cooking

An enameled dutch oven is one of the most versatile cooking tools you can own! Use it on the stove and in the oven up to 500˚ F, or safely store it in your fridge to marinate food or refrigerate leftovers. Plus, the durable enameled surface can handle acidic and alkaline ingredients like tomatoes, wines, and citrus ingredients. 

To start, choose a burner closest to the size of your dutch oven and preheat with a little oil before adding food. Don’t preheat an empty dutch oven on your stovetop—this can cause your cookware to crack or break. Some bread recipes call for preheating the dutch oven in the oven. This is perfectly safe to do since the heat will be more consistently distributed across the entire dutch oven. 

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! This prevents burnt food and stuck-on messes. 

As you cook, use wooden, silicone, or nylon utensils to stir, blend, or flip your food. This will protect the enamel finish from being scratched during the cooking process. We love to bring our dutch oven to the table for family-style serving! Just be sure to place your hot cookware over a trivet to protect your table or counter. 



Cleaning & Storage

A person uses the Lodge pan scraper to clean cookware.

Cleaning enameled cast iron

Our favorite way to clean our enameled cast iron is simply with warm soapy water. Allow your enameled piece to cool, then use a gentle dish soap and reach for a scrub brush, scrub cloth, or pan scraper to easily remove food from the cooking surface. Technically, our enameled cast iron is dishwasher safe, but to best preserve your piece’s finish, we recommend hand washing your cookware. After you clean, dry your cookware completely before storing. 

Please note: a small amount of staining is to be expected with enameled cookware and does not affect performance. Learn more about removing stains here.

Storing enameled cast iron

We love to store our enameled dutch oven on our stovetop—but any cool, dry place will do! Before you store, make sure your enameled cast iron has been dried completely and use our handy pot protectors to prevent moisture buildup and chipping.


Enameled Cast Iron Cleaning FAQs

Lodge Enameled Cast Iron is cast iron with a smooth porcelain surface bonded to the iron. Enamel is resistant against acidic and alkaline foods and can be used to marinate, cook, and refrigerate.

Stains are to be expected when you use enameled cookware and does not affect performance.

To remove slight stains:

  1. Follow the steps above to clean your cookware.
  2. Rub with a dampened cloth and Lodge Enamel Cleaner or another ceramic cleaner according to directions on the bottle.

For persistent stains:

  1. Follow the steps above to clean and remove slight stains.
  2. Soak the interior of the cookware for 2-3 hours with a mixture of 3 tablespoons of household bleach per quart of water.
  3. To remove stubborn, baked-on food, boil 2 cups of water and 4 tablespoons of baking soda. Boil for a few minutes, then use a pan scraper to loosen the food.

If rust develops around the rim, it may be that the pan has been in a damp area. Leaving pans on a draining board to drip dry or cleaning in the dishwasher can cause a rust deposit. Rust can also form if the rim of the pan is not dried sufficiently after being washed. Should rust develop, we recommend cleaning with a nylon sponge and dish detergent and dry thoroughly. We recommend rubbing a small amount of cooking oil around the rim to create a seal and prevent rust from re-appearing. We recommend rubbing with oil periodically to prevent rusting.

To remove stubborn baked-on food, boil 2 cups of water and 4 tablespoons of baking soda. Boil for a few minutes, then use a pan scraper to loosen the food.

We do not recommend preheating an empty piece of enameled cast iron on the stovetop as it could damage the enamel coating. Instead, make sure the cookware has water or oil inside it to distribute heat evenly, and be sure to start with low heat while the vessel is getting warmed up.

It is perfectly safe to preheat empty enameled cast iron in the oven since the heat will be more consistently distributed across the entire cooking vessel.

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