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MDFraley 05-30-2016 12:35 AM

Cooking In Enamel Cast Iron
Following Hilditch's rules I decided to scramble a couple eggs for breakfast in my #5 Enamel Cast Iron fry pan. Burner was set to med/high, waited for temp. to rise, added my butter, butter started sizzling, added the eggs and stirred with my wooden spoon, eggs cooked and surprised to me the whole bottom of the pan had stuck eggs. What went wrong? Have never had eggs stick so badly to any piece of cookware I have.
After breakfast I soaked the pan with Dawn and it took almost 5 min. using a soft sponge to remove the baked on eggs. The surface is smooth and shinny and appears to have never been abused......Help.....

W. Hilditch 05-30-2016 12:50 AM

Re: Cooking In Enamel Cast Iron
Glad you had a top on. Way too much heat! Preheat slowly on low and keep it there for eggs. The butter shouldn't even sizzle if you used enough. Med/Hi - Damn! - I ain't taking the credit for that one!!!


Mark H 05-30-2016 01:21 PM

Re: Cooking In Enamel Cast Iron
Enamel wear has been my defeat in rendering the perfect egg. Same with those al clad skillets. Always stick and seem useless compared to cast iron plain.

But after reading your suggestion I went ahead this very morning to conquer my inability. Slow heat, butter, and sticky enamel made me grab my cast iron for my sanity.

W. Hilditch 05-30-2016 02:52 PM

Re: Cooking In Enamel Cast Iron
Squeaky clean and soap residue in an enameled skillet can be a problem. Put a teaspoon of bacon grease or butter in & heat just until it melts. Swirl it around and let it sit & cool for a few minutes. Wipe most of it out, coating the sides. That will prove to be your buffer between the enamel and the food.

Now, put in 2 tsp or more bg or butter and proceed to cook. It is different from seasoned cast iron and takes some practice. If you are doing multiple batches of eggs one after the other you will notice less sticking as you progress. Shake loose as soon as you can and keep those scrambled eggs moving. Food will absorb your buffer layer if it is in contact too long.


MDFraley 05-30-2016 06:59 PM

Re: Cooking In Enamel Cast Iron
I have sided with Mark....The enamel skillet went back on the display rack and will most likely stay there. Most articles I have read on enamel pieces were to make the house wife look pretty while cooking.
They may very well work as you say but my patience wears thin when something sticks for no reason. It may be that the surface is crazed but to the naked eye and touch it looks to be very smooth....Lesson No. 11....Stick to what you know how to cook in and don't worry about looking pretty. Ha ha

W. Hilditch 05-30-2016 08:53 PM

Re: Cooking In Enamel Cast Iron
An enameled CI piece is a different tool, like a tin lined copper pan, and they have their own unique qualities and techniques for success. They are not for everyone. Those that have a desire to master the tool, like any tool, will preserver until satisfied. Once I was really lousy with a screwdriver. Along the way I learned and Iím much better now. Same with a cast iron skillet.

BTW MD, youíre right as crazing has no effect on the toolís performance.


W. Hilditch 05-31-2016 12:34 AM

Re: Cooking In Enamel Cast Iron
Guys, if you are interested in learning how to cook eggs in an enameled skillet, read on. One morning put your skillet in the car and go to the Waffle House. Sit at the counter where you can see what the cook is doing but within talking range. Order coffee and just watch for a cup or two. When he gets a chance to breath tell him you are there to learn how to cook eggs & what you are having a problem with. Ask for advice. This will be the first time in weeks he has heard anything but complaints. Offer to show him the skillet and away you go. You need help and he will try to help you.

Please donít brag about how good you are with your other skillets as you are there to learn.


Sharon Shuman 06-02-2016 09:07 AM

Re: Cooking In Enamel Cast Iron
More excellent advice from Hilditch!

W. Hilditch 06-02-2016 02:10 PM

Re: Cooking In Enamel Cast Iron
Thanks Sharon. Iíd prefer to think I was planting seeds as most folks donít love unsolicited advice and even Ďyes,butí solicited advice.


MDFraley 06-02-2016 05:34 PM

Re: Cooking In Enamel Cast Iron
No "yes, buts" from me....As much as I try to do the best in everything I approach this enamel cooking still has my number. Tried a different piece this morning using the techniques you have suggested and ended up with the same result. I purposely used a bit more oil this time and used low heat to cook with this time and did a fried egg vs the scramble egg and spent 10 min. cleaning the cooking surface afterwards.
When "if ever" I may try it again, it certainly will not be in the near future as I have other more important things to do. I have a family reunion to go to in Kentucky end of this month and will ask some of them what their secret is.
Your advice is good and I always try to follow and or vary to cook my favorite things.

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