Best Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Sets

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I’ve researched enameled cast iron and found the 6 best product lines on the market. Among them, the Le Creuset Signature line offers the best enameled cast iron cookware with enviable quality and durability. 

Enameled cast iron cookware combines the best parts of different types of cookware: Durable, Beautiful, Low Maintenance, Easy to Clean, Healthy, and Heat Retaining.

That’s why I love it!

Yet not all enameled cast iron is the same quality. Some chips easily, and (whisper it) some just looks better than the competition.

When you look at Le Creuset Signature cookware, it offers a certain je ne sais quoi. Hard to describe, yet you just know it will take pride of place in your kitchen.

It’s also durable–the type of cookware you pass down to your children. 

Yet, it comes at a steep price. If you need a more affordable option, there are some solid sets out there.

Some are good options for beginners, while others are lighter and literally easier to handle.

The question is: which one is best for you?

Keep reading to find out.

Contents

What to look for when buying enameled cast iron

What is enamel cookware?

Enamel cookware is cookware that has an outer coating of porcelain enamel. The cookware has a base of stainless steel, aluminum, or, most commonly,  cast iron. 

Why do manufacturers coat cookware in enamel? For several reasons.

First, the porcelain enamel coating is less prone to sticking than other cooking surfaces, like stainless steel. This makes cleanup a cinch. It is also non-reactive, so you can cook acidic food without worrying about health issues.

Enamel is available in a wide variety of colors, so it’s attractive. Lastly, the enamel is safe for all types of heat sources, which is great for home cooks and chefs alike.

What are the advantages of enameled cast iron cookware?

Enameled cast iron takes the best of cast iron construction and pairs it with all the advantages of an enamel coating.

Cast iron products are durable and versatile. My cast iron skillet is a kitchen workhorse. I use it all the time to cook all types of food. If that’s not enough? When properly seasoned, it develops a natural nonstick coating.

So what’s the catch?

Bare cast iron has a couple of drawbacks. It can be a little tricky to care for and clean.

Want to toss your skillet in the dishwasher after dinner? Sorry.

You’ll want to hand wash cast iron without dish soap to avoid rust and breaking down the seasoning.

Speaking of seasoning, bare cast iron cookware requires seasoning prior to cooking. And that process can be a hassle.

Do you love cooking tomato-based dishes and other acidic foods? Not the best idea for a cast iron pot. The acid reacts with metal and can cause trace amounts of iron to leach into your food.

Will it harm you? Extremely unlikely. Can it affect the taste of your food? Absolutely. No one wants metallic-tasting marinara.

For all of those reasons, using enameled cast iron is an attractive option for the chef and home cook.

What food works well in enameled cast iron cookware?

One of my favorite things about enameled cast iron? You can cook almost anything in it.

From side dishes and vegetables to beef stew and bread, this cookware can handle it.

Don’t get too excited, though. There are a couple of caveats.

Enameled cast iron takes a while to heat, and you shouldn’t overheat your pot. If you plan to use your cookware for stir-frying or searing meat on high heat, you may have issues with your cookware.

While enameled cast iron resists sticking, it’s not technically nonstick. Foods won’t slide off like they do with a Teflon surface. Be prepared for that if you want to use your cookware for sticky foods like scrambled eggs.

How do you care for enameled cast iron?

No doubt, enameled cast iron cookware can be expensive. So you want that investment to last. To keep your cookware at its best, you should avoid using metal utensils. The metal can chip or scratch the enamel.

You should also clean your enameled cast iron soon after use. Prompt cleaning can help prevent stains on the enamel interior. It also means your cookware is easier to clean.

Check Out this video on cleaning your Dutch oven:

You should hand wash most enameled cast iron. Some manufacturers claim their cookware is dishwasher safe. I would still be cautious about putting it in the dishwasher. Hand washing is your safest option.

Enameled cast iron does not like extreme temperature changes. If you plunge your hot cast iron pan into cold water, you might crack the enamel. Yikes.

A good rule of thumb is to heat and cool slowly. Slow and steady will keep your cookware in tip-top shape.

What features should you look for in enameled cast iron cookware?

Heat distribution

A piece of cookware is only as good as its performance. When you get down to it, you want your cookware to do its job–cook.

Soup that’s scalding on one side and cold on the other is a nightmare. Even heat distribution is key to getting perfectly cooked meals.

Lid

If you want tender vegetables, juicy braised meat, and fluffy rice, you need a good lid. Why is that?

If the lid is loose-fitting, too much moisture will escape. The result is dried-out food.

Not all pieces come with lids, however. Dutch ovens will come with a lid, while frying pans and skillets often do not. 

Handles

Whether it’s a skillet, sauté pan, or Dutch oven, you want comfortable handles. Enameled cast iron is quite heavy. Draining food can get dicey. Having sturdy handles is important.

For cast iron skillets, it’s good to have a looped helper handle opposite the large handle. This allows you to hold the skillet with two hands, distributing the weight and making it more secure.

A wide loop handle is also a must on a Dutch oven. A beautiful cast iron Dutch oven can go from stovetop to range to table, but only if you can carry it. Good handles are essential.

A big enough loop handle lets you carry your cookware easily, even when wearing oven gloves.

Appearance

Enamel comes in a wide range of attractive color options. Most people prefer specific colors and styles over others. Some brands offer more choice than others.

If you have a specific color in mind, you might want to choose a brand that offers your desired color.

Price

Not only is this cookware heavy, but it can also put a heavy dent in your wallet. The best enameled cast iron cookware is going to be pricey. Some cookware is more affordable than others, however.

Many people choose to purchase a single piece at a time over an entire set. Whatever your price point, you can find quality enameled cast iron pieces.

Ready to see the details? Let’s jump in right in.

The Best Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Sets

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Line– Best Overall

When it comes to Dutch ovens, there are few brands more eminent than Le Creuset. This French brand has been individually crafting cast iron Dutch ovens since 1925.

But did you know Le Creuset makes all types of enameled cast iron cookware? From skillets and saucepans to braisers and Dutch ovens, Le Creuset makes them all.

This 5 piece Le Creuset set includes a 1.75 quart (1.65 liter) saucepan with lid, a 7.25 quart Dutch oven (6.8 liters) with lid, and a 9″ (22.8 cm) skillet.

Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Le Creuset’s Dutch oven is their pièce de résistance. Le Creuset has perfected the casting process, coating each piece in colorful enamel.

The tight-fitting lid locks in moisture, and the thick walls retain heat, keeping food warm until you’re ready to serve. The wide looped handles give you the ability to carry this pot from stovetop to tabletop.

The sand-colored enamel on the interior is excellent for browning meat properly. It also makes it easier to see food particles when cleaning.

Pros:

  • Superb heat retention and distribution
  • Consistent high-performer
  • Comes in a range of attractive colors
  • Wide looped handles

Cons:

  • Expensive

Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron Skillet

This 10.25-inch (26 cm) cast iron skillet has a smaller cooking surface area, with a diameter of 9 inches (22.8 cm). This cast iron skillet has a wide helper handle and pouring lips on the sides.

Customers rave about how the taste this skillet gives dishes. They love the sturdy construction and even heating.  There are reports of food sticking to the pan, however. Also, while technically dishwasher safe, Le Creuset recommends hand washing the pan.

A word of caution. Take care to use proper cooking techniques to avoid damaging your skillet. Always preheat the skillet and avoid using high heat. Stick to silicone or wooden utensils.

Le Creuset’s warranty does not cover any type of misuse. If you’re going to spend the money on Le Creuset, you want to make sure your cookware lasts. Be sure to follow all of the guidelines regarding use and care.

Pros:

  • Comes in a range of attractive colors
  • Black satin enamel requires no seasoning
  • Oven safe for temps up to 500°F (260°C)

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Warranty is limited

Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron Saucepan

The Le Creuset Signature line includes a 1.75-quart (1.65 liter) saucepan with lid. The saucepan is oven-safe up to 500°F (260°C). It is also compatible with all cooktops.

I like that this saucepan has two handles. This is especially helpful for handling the extra weight of this pan.

Le Creuset advertises this pan as dishwasher-safe. I might recommend hand washing to ensure the coating stays smooth and undamaged.

Pros:

  • Oven-safe up to 500°F (260° C)
  • Sand-colored interior to see food

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Smaller size

Which buyer should choose the Le Creuset Signature Set?

Le Creuset is best for those who want the highest quality and are willing to pay for it. I would recommend the Le Creuset pieces for those who have experience cooking with cast iron.

I would not suggest a novice cook begin with Le Creuset. At least not without learning about how to properly cook with and care for enameled cast iron.

If you have to choose just one piece, I would go with the Le Creuset Dutch oven. It’s hands down one of the best enameled cast iron Dutch ovens on the market and will last for years.

Ayesha Curry-Best for Beginner Cooks

Ayesha Curry Enameled Cast Iron 10-Inch Skillet/Fry Pan

The Ayesha Curry enameled cast iron skillet has a diameter of 10 inches (25.4 cm) and comes in many popular color options. This piece has two pouring spouts and a black enamel cooking surface.

When it comes to frying pans, this one is heavy. Be prepared to lift some weight. Also, some customers mentioned that the handle is short and uncomfortable.

Pros:

  • Black enamel interior requires no seasoning
  • Heats evenly
  • Range of attractive colors
  • Very affordable price

Cons:

  • Heavier weight, short handle
  • Food sticks
  • Enamel susceptible to chipping

Ayesha Curry Enameled Cast Iron 6-Quart Dutch oven

This 6-quart (5.7 liters) pot can easily hold enough to feed a family of 5. The teal-colored enamel and heart-shaped knob give this oven an appealing look. This Ayesha Curry Dutch oven also has a sand-colored interior and is oven safe for temps up to 500°F (260°C).

There are some reports that the enamel chips easily. To protect your Dutch oven, make sure to use only heat-resistant silicone or wooden cooking utensils. Avoid extreme temperature changes and use low to medium heat.

I would also hand wash this Dutch and avoid stacking it with other cookware in the cabinet.

Pros:

  • Good heat retention
  • Attractive appearance
  • Oven safe up to 500°F (260°C)

Cons:

  • Enamel susceptible to chipping

Who should choose the Ayesha Curry set?

I would recommend this set for those on a budget or for home cooks who are new to enameled cast iron cookware.

Lodge- Best for Baking Bread

Lodge is a Tennessee-based brand that specializes in all things cast iron. Their cast iron pots and pans have been gracing kitchens since 1896.

Lodge Enameled Cast Iron 6-Quart Dutch Oven

The Lodge 6 quart enameled cast iron Dutch oven comes in a beautiful variety of colors. This pot has a round shape and a cream interior.

Many customers loved how well this Dutch oven performs in baking bread. The tight-fitting lid holds in moisture and gives a nice crisp to the bread while keeping it soft inside.

Others, however, weren’t big fans of the rounded bottom, which cuts into the cooking surface area.

This cast iron oven holds 6 quarts (5.6 liters), enough for one-pot meals, chilis, soups, and roasting small birds.

One thing to note is that while Lodge manufactures all of their cast iron ovens in the U.S., the enameling process happens in China. Lodge does conduct quality control on all its enameled cast iron cookware.

Pros:

  • Distributes and retains heat well
  • Beautiful range of colors
  • Affordable
  • Oven safe up to 500°F (260°C)

Cons:

  • Rounded bottom
  • Complaints of chipped enamel
  • Heavy

Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Skillet

This skillet has a diameter of 11 inches (28 cm) and comes in multiple colors. It is oven safe for temperatures up to 500°F (260°C).

Several reviews complained of the rough interior surface. Many mentioned food sticking to the pan. Some customers suggested seasoning this pan before cooking with it.

The size of this skillet is not the standard 10 inches (25.4 cm) or 12 inches (30.5 cm). If you like to use lids from other cookware with your skillet, the size could be problematic.

There are also no pouring spouts, making it harder to drain cooked ground beef.

Pros:

  • Sturdy
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Rough cooking surface
  • Complaints of food sticking
  • No pouring spout

Which buyer should choose the Lodge set?

The Lodge Dutch oven is the best for serious bread-bakers. Customers consistently praised this Dutch oven for baking perfect crusty loaves.

When it comes to the skillet, I would opt for one of Lodge’s plain cast iron skillets or go with one of the other brands. There are just too many issues with this skillet, in my opinion.

Bruntmor 2-in-1 Enameled Cast Iron Combo Cooker-Best for Saving Space

The Bruntmor 2-in-1 Combo Cooker can pull double duty as a Dutch oven or skillet, while the lid can function as a shallow frying pan.

Unlike the other Dutch ovens on this list, this pot is smaller, holding only 3 quarts (2.8 liters). It comes in a few colors, as well as a plain cast iron option.

There were several reports of foods sticking. Since enamel is not technically nonstick, this is normal. However, the company does advertise the pan as 100% nonstick. It isn’t.

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Smaller capacity
  • Reports of foods sticking

Who should choose the Bruntmor Combo Cooker?

This combo cooker is the best enameled cast iron pot for those who want to cook in smaller batches or maximize storage. This option is great for campfire cooking, as well.

If you cook for a crowd, you might go for a larger capacity Dutch oven. Also, if you want a perfectly nonstick pan, I would just go with Teflon, check out my nonstick pan reviews here. This pot will have some stickiness to it.

Cuisinart- Best Affordable Option

Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron Skillet

This cast iron skillet has enamel on the exterior and interior surfaces, making it dishwasher safe. It comes in a pretty Cardinal red or Provençal blue option.

The pouring spouts make cooking and draining dishes a snap.

Cuisinart Youtube video: Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron Skillet Demo:

Pros:

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Pouring spouts
  • Oven safe up to 500°F (260°C)

Cons:

  • Small helper handle is not looped, making it hard to use

Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 5-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Casserole

This 5-Quart (4.7 liters) option is a popular choice when it comes to cast iron Dutch ovens. The manufacturer calls this piece a casserole, but it functions like other Dutch ovens. When tested against competitor Dutch ovens, this casserole is frequently at the top of the pack.

It’s large enough to easily feed a family of 5. Just like the other pieces, it comes in a Cardinal red or Provençal blue. The cream-colored interior makes it easy to brown meat.

Customers love how easy it is to clean this pot. There were reports of the enamel chipping, but that was mainly on the handles. While chipped handles can be unsightly, that won’t affect the cooking performance of the pot.

Pros:

  • High performer
  • Easy to clean
  • Good value, affordable

Cons:

  • Some reports of chipping on handles
  • Not as attractive as other competitors

Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 12-inch Enameled Cast Iron Sauté Pan with Lid

Cuisinart dubs this a chicken fryer, but this sauté pan can do so much more. The only sauté pan on the list, this pot can braise lamb, fry eggs, and cook bacon.

This pan comes in Cardinal red and Provençal blue color options, and it has a lid and two pouring spouts. This pot is heavy, so the looped handle is helpful when lifting the pan.

Pros:

  • Pouring spouts
  • Comes with lid
  • Deep sides and larger diameter

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Reports of chipped porcelain coating

Who should choose the Cuisinart set?

This set is best for those who want the best combination of performance and affordability.

Cuisinart will be a more budget-friendly option than Le Creuset without sacrificing too much quality. This brand is consistently a favorite of editors and kitchen testers.

Tramontina- Best Budget Option with Saucepan

Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Dutch, Round

This 5.5-quart (5.2 liters) Tramontina pot is one of the more affordable Dutch ovens on the list. It comes in a variety of pretty colors.

Check out this video on making bread with a Tramontina Dutch oven

Customer reviews praised this Dutch oven’s performance. There were several reports, however, of staining on the interior. The manufacturer also recommends seasoning the rim of the lid and pot where the cast iron is exposed.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Variety of color options
  • Oven safe up to 450°F (232°C)

Cons:

  • Stains easily
  • Rim requires seasoning

Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Open Skillet, 10-inch

This 10-inch (25.4 cm) skillet comes in red and blue. It has a porcelain coating on the exterior and interior.

With two pouring lips and an integral handle, this heavy skillet is still manageable. Many reviews mentioned damage in the shipping process but also complimented the company’s excellent customer service.

Pros:

  • 2 pouring spouts
  • Good reviews of customer service

Cons:

  • Hand wash only
  • Reports of chipped porcelain coating

Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Covered Sauce Pan

Tramontina also offers a 2.5-quart (2.3 liters) covered saucepan. The saucepan is also available in a blue and red option.

Customer reviews praised this piece’s performance. It’s heavy, but it distributes and retains heat well. And a bonus? Unlike many saucepans, this one is oven-safe.

Just make sure to hand wash this pan and avoid metal utensils. You should also add liquid before preheating. Heating a dry pan may damage the enamel coating.

Pros:

  • Oven safe up to 450°F (232°C)
  • Performs well

Cons:

  • Hand wash only
  • Requires caution with utensils

Which buyer should choose the Tramontina set?

This is the only set that includes a saucepan, other than Le Creuset. For those who want an oven-safe saucepan at a friendlier price point, this Tramontina set is a good choice.

I would also recommend this set for those who place a high value on a good warranty and customer service.

Best Enameled Cast Iron Set: What’s the verdict?

If you want the best quality and reputation, I would go with the Le Creuset set. You just can’t beat the performance and durability.

I know it’s expensive, but here’s the thing: quality enamel cookware is pricey. If I’m spending the money I may as well go all the way and get something that will last.

If it’s too pricey for you, then one option is to get it a piece at a time. But the piece you need the most first.

If you are specifically interested in enameled cast iron Dutch ovens, check out my Le Creuset vs. Staub guide.  (Spoiler: Le Creuset wins again).

Best Budget Enameled Cast Iron Set

On the other hand, there are some decent budget options out there. If I had to have a whole set and was on a budget, I would go with Cuisinart. It has great reviews and comes in at a more comfortable price.

Cuisinart is a solid workhorse which performs well and offers great value. On the other hand, perhaps it doesn’t look quite as nice as some of the competition.