How to Pick the Right Pan for the Task
Enameled Cast Iron
Unlike uncoated cast iron, these pots don't require seasoning, and they're attractive enough to go from stovetop to tabletop.
Like regular cast iron, they're heavy and have superb heat-retention properties.
How to identify: An enameled cast-iron pot or pan is going to be the heaviest one hanging from the rack. The enamel interior is often white. Some are enameled only on the exterior (like the skillet pictured). The most popular enameled cast-iron pot is a Dutch oven.
When to use: As soon as the weather turns chilly―comfort foods and enameled cast-iron Dutch ovens go hand in hand. Cast iron retains a relatively even temperature over a long period, so it's perfect for making soups and stews. A thinner aluminum pan on the same burner over the same temperature will accumulate heat, and the food will stick or burn on the bottom. Also, like regular cast iron, this is a good choice for recipes that require stovetop-to-oven cooking.
When not to use: When you're in a hurry. Like regular cast iron, it retains even heat for long, slow cooking, but it takes the pan a long time to get to that point. When you have to sauté something fast, this is not the pan you want.
How to clean: Pans with metal or plastic (not wooden) handles can be put in the dishwasher. Or wash enameled interiors in hot, soapy water using a sponge scouring pad (never metal).
Most Popular Galleries
A thing of beauty should be a joy forever—or at least until five o’clock. Here’s how to stretch the life of your makeup, hair, manicure, perfume—and more.