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Oil- cured Cast Iron vs Enamel Cast Iron

Oil- cured Cast Iron vs Enamel Cast Iron | Blog

With various 3-legged-, flat- and bake pots available for you to purchase, we understand the struggle of choosing the best cookware for your indoor/outdoor kitchen! Not only do you need to decide on the best cookware to use, but you’ll also need to determine the material that piece of cookware should be produced from.

And just to complicate things further, two of the most popular materials to pick from are enamelled cast iron and pure cast iron- our two main sources of cookware! Don’t stress, we’re here to simplify the difference for you so that you can understand the difference and know which cookware is perfect for you.

The Difference

When putting an enamelled cast iron potjie and pure cast iron potjie next to each other, your first thought would be that only an expert would know the difference! But in fact, these two potjies are very different from one another. Both types of cookware have significant benefits and advantages, so you really need to weigh up what, how and where you’re planning to cook.

Traditional Oil-cured Cast Iron Potjies

Pure cast iron is a thick and traditional piece of kitchenware that’s famously known for their extreme heat-retention, indestructible qualities and ability to withstand intense heat!

Traditional Oil-cured Cast Iron Potjies | Blog

Our range of potjies are oil cured which means they have no coating other than a protective layer of vegetable oil to prevent rusting and to help with curing during storage. Cast iron has been an essential cookware in millions of households across the world for hundreds of years making it a trusted cookware material.
Each piece of cast iron from Best Duty can last over a century, but only with good care. Therefore, knowing your cookware and the difference in materials are crucial. What makes this cookware even better is the versatility of it; it can be used on your stovetop, induction cooker, in your oven and on the open fire, making it perfect for camping!

Modern Enamel Coated Cast Iron Potjies

Enamelled cast iron is essentially a modernized version of the heavy-duty traditional cast iron that’s been around for centuries!

To simplify things for you, an enamelled cast iron bake pot is a traditional cast iron pan with an enamel coating that acts as a useful protective coating on the surface of your cookware protecting it from unwanted things, such as rust.
Our enamel range of potjies are fully coated on the inside and out, in a tough, durable vitreous enamel coating. It’s also the best cookware to use for slow cooking your favourite dishes. To preserve the enamel coating it is recommended that wooden utensils are used.

Modern Enamel Coated Cast Iron Potjies | Blog

Which Is Better?

Surface Coating:

  • Oil-cured cast iron cookware has a seasoned surface, which is created by applying multiple layers of oil and heating the cookware to high temperatures. The oil polymerizes and forms a natural non-stick coating.
  • Enamelled cast iron, on the other hand, is coated with a layer of enamel, typically made of porcelain or ceramic. The enamel provides a smooth and non-reactive cooking surface.

Non-Stick Properties:

  • Oil-cured cast iron develops a natural non-stick coating over time as the oil seasoning builds up. This seasoning improves with use and proper maintenance.
  • On the other hand, enamel-coated cast iron has a smooth and inherently non-stick surface due to the enamel coating. It requires less seasoning and maintenance compared to oil-cured cast iron= less seasoning, storing and repairing on your side!

Maintenance:

  • Oil-cured cast iron requires regular maintenance to maintain its seasoning and prevent rust. It needs to be seasoned periodically by applying oil and heating it to maintain its non-stick properties.
  • Enamelled cast iron is relatively low-maintenance and does not require seasoning. The enamel coating protects the cookware from rust and provides an easy-to-clean surface.

Learn more on how to care for your cast iron potjies HERE

Cooking Experience:

  • Oil-cured cast iron is known for its excellent heat retention and even heat distribution. It can withstand high temperatures and is ideal for searing, frying, grilling and baking. The seasoning also adds a unique flavour to your food.
  • Enamelled cast iron also offers good heat retention and distribution but may not provide the same level of heat transfer as seasoned cast iron. The enamel coating makes it suitable for cooking acidic foods that may react with bare cast iron. Enamelled cast iron cookware doesn’t stick and makes for a much smoother cooking experience, at lower temperatures. If you love slow cooking, then an enamelled cast iron cookware will be a great addition to your kitchen. They are perfect for slow-cooked stews and oven-baked casseroles. If you’re looking for a way to sear meats at high temperatures or stir fry vegetables with lots of heat, then a traditional cast iron pan will be the best choice.

Versatility:

  • Oil-cured cast iron is often favoured for its versatility and ability to develop a natural non-stick surface. It is commonly used for a wide range of cooking techniques and can be used on the stovetop, in the oven, or even over a campfire.
  • Enamelled cast iron is also versatile and can be used for various cooking methods, but it is not suitable for high-temperature cooking or open flame use, as the enamel coating may get damaged.

Ultimately, the choice between oil-cured cast iron and enamelled cast iron depends on personal preferences, cooking needs, and the specific dishes you plan to prepare.

If you need extra guidance on making the best possible choice, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] and we’d love to guide you!