If you want your kitchen to cook well and look good, you should have enamel pans in your kitchen as they come in gorgeous colors and styles. But do enamel pans stick?
Yes, enamel pans stick. The coating of enamel on the pan reduces the sticking to an extent but doesn’t eliminate it entirely. However, you can prevent the food from sticking to an enamel pan by conditioning it, keeping it clean, avoiding temperature fluctuations, and preventing it from scratching.
Let’s talk about this in detail now. But, first things first…
What Is Enamel?
Enamel is derived by fusing powdered glass with a metal object using intense heat.
As the glass melts, it forms a continuous layer of enamel. The firing at a high temperature gives durability to the enamel.
The enamel protects the core material, is a great heat conductor, washes easily, and doesn’t rust.
Additionally, it gives the core material a pleasing look.
How Are Enamel Pans Made?
Enamelware usually has a base of cast iron, steel, stainless steel, or aluminum.
The sheet metal is cut into individual rings. These rings are pressed at high pressure to form the body of the pan.
Other parts like handles or rims are welded to form the complete pan.
Once the body is ready, a coating of enamel is applied to give the pan a smooth and lustrous surface.
The coating is usually made by baking and glazing natural clay.
This process of baking and glazing makes the coating very hard and durable and gives the utensil a non-porous finish.
Recommended Further Reading:
- What Must-Have Pans Are Owned By Every Michelin Chef?
- Do Chefs Use Pressure Cookers? (3 Reason Why They Don’t)
- Stopping Smoke from Pans: Advice
Why Have Enamel Pans Become Immensely Popular?
We don’t want our desserts to smell of garlic, right?
Of course not!
Given below are the various reasons why enamel pans have become popular:
- Enamel pans don’t retain strong aromas. Therefore, they neither hold flavors nor alter the taste of food.
- You can wash them easily. Soap and water are enough to make them shine again.
- They are scratch-resistant.
- Enamel pans don’t rust and won’t rust as long as the coating remains undamaged.
- They are suitable for various cooking methods. So use them for baking, stewing, or sautéing.
- They conduct and retain heat exceptionally well. They may take time to heat, but they distribute the heat evenly, ensuring the food gets cooked uniformly.
- They don’t react with food. Cook acidic or alkaline foods; you won’t be disappointed.
- Enamel pans come in a wide range of colors and styles. Choose one that matches your kitchen.
- The high-quality enamel pans live long. So you can easily pass them on to your children.
Why Do Enamel Pans Stick?
Enamel as a substance is semi non-stick.
Given below are a few reasons that cause the enamel pans to stick:
- Higher than medium heat levels make the enamel pans behave like ordinary pans and cause the food on the pan to burn. When the food burns, it sticks to the surface of the pan.
- Heating an empty enamel pan can quickly damage the sensitive coating, causing the food to stick.
- Dropping the pan can cause the coating to chip or crack, leading to food sticking to the pan.
- Using metal utensils in the pan can crack or damage the enamel, which may cause the food to stick to the pan.
Related Further Reading:
- Does Anodizing Include a Teflon Layer?
- Will Hot Pans Damage Quartz Countertops?
- 10 Best Grill Pans For Outdoor Grill + 5 Factors To Select One
- Does Color Fading Happen to Stainless Steel Pans?
How To Prevent Enamel Pans From Sticking?
A little effort can go a long way in ensuring your enamel pan acts non-sticky.
Given below are various ways to prevent enamel pans from sticking:
- Use correct cooking utensils. You should use plastic, silicone, nylon, or wooden cooking utensils for enamel pans so that the enamel doesn’t get scratched. Using metal utensils can lead to scratches and scrapping of the enamel coating. A scratched enamel means the food will stick to it, and we know you don’t want that!
- Don’t heat an empty pan. Pour food before heating the pan to high temperatures. This ensures the coating doesn’t get chipped or cracked due to extremely high temperatures. Heating an empty enamel pan can result in it boiling dry, which leads to a damaged coating.
- Don’t change the temperature abruptly. Don’t subject your enamel pan to drastic temperature changes, like pouring cold water on a red-hot pan. It’s going to hurt! Such temperature variations can lead to the enamel coating getting cracked. So, avoid washing an enamel pan right after you have taken it off the stove.
- Condition the pan. Before you start cooking, heat the pan for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat and add a small amount of butter/oil to the pan, and your food won’t stick. Use any fat of your choice!
- Avoid letting the food sit in the pan. Leaving the cooked food in the pan can lead to oil saturation and food buildup in the enamel coating. This can damage the coating and make the food stick. So, remove all the food once it’s cooked. Then, after the pan has cooled down, you can fill it with water and let it soak for a short duration for easy cleaning.
- Wash the pan correctly. Enamel pans are easy wins when it comes to washing them due to their glassy coating. Wash them using warm soapy water and dry them thoroughly. Say no to steel wool or scour pads. Also, don’t put them inside dishwater as its heavy water action and high drying temperature can damage the enamel coating. You don’t want your most stylish pan to suffer!
- Dry the pan after use. Moisture on the enamel pan can cause the pan to rust. So, dry the enamel pan with a towel after washing to retain its best shape.
Interesting Further Reading:
- Using Pans for Grilling
- Determining if a Baking Pan has a Teflon Coating
- Can Grill Pans Go In The Oven? (List Of Oven-Safe Pans)
- Is Teflon Present on Copper Pans?
How Make Enamel Pans Non-Sticky?
Many brands today offer a lifetime warranty on their products.
If you have bought your enamel pan from such a brand, you can visit the nearest store and check for replacement/repair service for your product.
However, don’t worry if you can’t do it. We will run you through a technique to fix your enamel pan on your own!
To get started, you need to clean the enamel pan thoroughly. No, that doesn’t mean scratching it with steel wool.
Here’s what you can do to make an enamel pan non-sticky:
- Take 1 cup of water and add two tablespoons of baking soda and half a cup of white vinegar to it.
- Now, pour this solution into the enamel pan.
- Keep the pan on the stove and heat until the water boils for 10 minutes.
- Wash the pan as usual and rub vegetable oil on the enamel surface to re-season it. This should bring back the non-sticky surface. Running oil into the enamel pan when it’s either at room temperature or slightly warm prevents it from sticking in the future.
If you think this process is complex, go ahead and purchase a food-safe enamel repair kit that comes with instructions on how to use it.
We hope this comes in handy if you are struggling with a sticking enamel pan.
But if you are only worried about stains, apply some baking soda onto your cookware to see the stains disappear.