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Enamel or cast iron pan supports are an essential element for any home or commercial kitchen and have several other uses as well.
Pan supports are now available in various variants like gas and electrical. Generally, Pan Support is placed on top of gas stoves or cook hobs to hold the cookware over the flame.
Every gas stove or hob have pan supports and they tend to be moved and cleaned easily. However, cook enthusiast are always eager to know the difference between enamel vs cast iron pan supports.
Are enamel pan support the same as cast iron support? What are their major differences and why should you use the cast iron pan supports over the enamel pan support. Let’s dive in to find out why.
ENAMEL PAN SUPPORTS
Just before we talk about the major differences or similarities between enamel vs cast iron pan supports, let’s first explain briefly an enamel pan support.
Generally, pan supports have various capacities and number of slots depending on the type of usage intended for.
Enamel pan supports are made up of metal such as steel or ceramic glass. Enamel pan supports are easy to install and extremely intuitive and consumers can adapt quickly.
Enamel pan supports are smooth and sleek and so are easier to clean. Enamel pan supports are very popular on freestanding gas cookers.
The Enamel pan support are very durable and are generally covered with a heat resistant coloring (usually black) to give the cooker a better-looking finish.
ENAMEL VS CAST IRON PAN SUPPORTS
One major similarity between the enamel pan support and cast iron support is that they are both fittings, grates, burners for gas hobs, cooker ranges, stoves, burners, and multi-fuel ovens designed to give stability to any cookware on a specific cooking appliance.
The cast iron pan support material is a little wider than the enamel hardened pan support therefore they tend to hold cookware more stable while cooking.
Cast iron supports are heavy-duty and resilient to wear and tear. While the enamel pan support material can chip and become brittle over time, as the enamel coating is exposed to so much heat during cooking.
Enamel pan supports are easier to clean, and cast iron supports are really sturdy and robust. While Enameled pan supports can be cleaned in the dishwasher, it is highly recommended that cast iron supports are washed by hand with a neutral detergent such as washing up liquid. To get rid of stubborn dried-on dirt a brass bristle BBQ brush can be used and then rinse clean.
Furthermore, cast iron pan supports are durable. Hence it is able to use year after years, which seems very cost-effective. Also, cast iron products are economical fuel consumption, then save money for the users.
Finally, cast iron pan supports are Corrosion resistance, smooth finish, easy installation, and competitive price.
READ ALSO: CERAMIC VS ALUMINUM PAN
ENAMEL COATED CAST IRON FRYING PAN
When it comes to enamel cast iron products, there are various deigns and brands available on the market.
We have the enamel cast iron pan, the enamel cast iron skillet, the enamel cast iron Dutch oven, the enamel cast iron frying pan, the enamel pre-seasoned cast iron cookware, the enamel cast iron casserole dish, the enamel cast iron sauté pan and the enamel cast iron grill pan.
These various types of enamel coated cast iron cookware is used for various food recipes to get the best from the recipe. However, for the purpose of this article I will list below the top 5 enamel coated cast iron frying pans;
SENSARTE NONSTICK CAST IRON SKILLET, DEEP FRYING PAN WITH GLASS LID, COOKING PAN.
The Sensarte enamel non-stick cast iron frying pan and skillet is our overall best recommended cast iron pan. It is eco-friendly has a non-stick coating and made in Switzerland.
The Sensarte best-cast iron frying pan is 100% free of APEO, PFOA, and it’s safe for healthy cooking. Easy to clean, suitable for 360 degrees stir-frying, easily wipe with a paper towel, and rinse with water.
The Sensarte enamel cast iron coated frying pan is constructed with die-cast aluminum that ensures a durable, sturdy, and anti-warping high magnetic conductive stainless steel base.
The thick and wide bottom, heat up quickly and evenly, suitable for all stovetops, such as induction, electric, gas, ceramic, and halogen stovetops.
Finally, it has an ergonomic wood grain Bakelite handle for a comfortable handle while you stir fry. We highly recommend this scratch resistance skillets fry pan with a lid suitable for making pancakes, omelets, casserole dishes, sauce, curry, fajitas, and more. Suitable for fried eggs, steak, vegetables, sausages, fish and seafood, and so on.
LE CREUSET ENAMELED CAST IRON SIGNATURE SKILLET
The Le Creuset enameled cast iron skillet and frying pan is a very popular heavyweight cast iron fry pan that requires very little oil which makes it excellent for low-fat cooking.
The Le Creuset enameled cast iron provides superior heat retention, fast clean-up, and dishwasher safe but hand wash recommended.
The Le Creuset enameled cast iron is suitable for all stovetops, including induction, Oven safe up to 500 degree Fahrenheit.
Finally, it is optimized for steady, even heat, Le Creuset’s improved enamel interior resists staining, dulling, and wear and tear.
GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN NON-STICK CAST IRON FRYING PAN
In my previous article on enamel cast iron skillet vs regular, I mentioned that the Geoffrey Zakarian is one of the best cast iron skillet for every home as it is designed by a Professional Chef.
The Geoffrey Zakarian enameled cast iron frying pan is easy to clean, PFOA and PTFE FREE. The infused ceramic non-stick cast iron coating allows for easy and quick release of food.
They also easily distribute heat for superior slow cooking, frying and searing. Use this frying pan on the stovetop, oven, and grill, with the ability to withstand up to 500°F.
This enameled cast iron pan comes equipped with two easy-pour spouts on each side of the pan, for easy serving and precise draining.
LANDHAUS ENAMELED CAST IRON SKILLET AND FRY PAN
The Landhaus enameled cast iron cookware is an old reputable cast iron pan brand.
It is a universal cookware (cast iron frying pan) that holds heat and distributes heat evenly for perfect cook.
Safe to cook, roast, fry, sauté, pan-fry, braise, prep and bake on gas, induction, glass ceramic and electric stove tops/cooktops. Perfect for slow cooking in the Oven (safe use up to 450 °F).
The four coats of enamel finish aid for even heating and can release food with no scraping. The four layered high quality BPA free enamel coating is great for cooking and is also a perfect nonstick alternative to Teflon and other toxic coated pots and pans.
Gently hand wash with soap and sponge to clean and dry thoroughly. Silica, the element used to create the gloss glaze on the cast iron, is a natural compound and is food safe.
LODGE SEASONED CAST IRON SKILLET AND FRYING PAN
The Lodge seasoned cast iron frying pan is our second best-cast iron frying pan. This seasoned cast iron frying pan and skillet is extremely versatile for a campfire, oven, and tabletop cookware.
Lodge cast iron fry pan seasons its cookware with 100% vegetable oil; no synthetic coatings or chemicals. The more you use your iron, the better the seasoning will get.
Lodge’s dynamic 2-loop handle cast iron skillet can be used for slow weekend mornings with bacon and eggs or summertime BBQ’s with roasted veggies.
Lodge cast iron frying pan definitely won’t disappoint. It’s an amazing price and an amazing pan. We highly recommend this enamel cast iron pan!
WHAT IS PAN SUPPORT IN GAS STOVE?
As I stated above that pan supports are used on various cookware tops be it gas or electric stove, one outstanding thing about pan supports is that they are an indispensable accessory in the gas stove.
Generally, pan supports for a gas stove or hob is made from cast iron, stainless steel, and enamel materials. Stainless steel pan supports are often used in gas stoves or hobs having stainless steel surfaces. However, the stainless steel pan supports are less in use because their properties or material are easy to tarnish from the daily heat of cooking.
PAN SUPPORT SIZE AND DESIGN
Pan support come in various sizes and designs. The common pan support shapes are round, square and rectangular.
HOW TO CLEAN CAST IRON PAN SUPPORT?
Generally, it is recommended that pan supports, burners, caps and gas rings should be periodically cleaned to keep the kitchen clean and in good hygiene.
Attention should be given to pan supports as they are always in direct contact with the cookware and the flame. Don’t form a habit of cleaning only your gas stove or hob and leaving out the enamel or cast iron pan supports.
If you do this for long, you will damage your gas stove pan support because they become rusty, dirty and a carrier of bacteria.
It is highly recommended to often clean the pan supports with warm soapy water, then rinsed and carefully dried.
While for stubborn stains, you can use baking soda or specific degreasers. Due to the presence of salt in the wash solution used, remember do not wash them in the dishwasher.
ENAMELED CAST IRON COOKWARE PROS AND CONS
Enameled cast iron cookware is easy to maintain. One of the disadvantages of Enameled cast iron is that it contains lead and cadmium. We recommend you subject your enameled cast iron to a lead and cadmium test, making sure it’s at the safe level recommended by the food and Nutrition organization.
While the traditional raw cast iron skillet needs attention and careful use as it can rust if not properly maintained.
Enameled cast iron cookware allows for flexibility of use. According to some professional chefs and Personal preference, using regular cast iron cookware allows for perfect browning of food recipes over the Enamel cast iron skillet.
One of the Cons of Enameled cast iron is that it is expensive though it is easy to maintain. With Enameled cast iron cookware, you can cook freely sauces containing acids without interfering with iron if properly seasoned.
Enameled cast iron cookware is perfect for cooking liquids and other types of food for an extended period of time. While a disadvantage of the Enameled cast iron cookware is not to use excessive heat on them.
Do NOT clean enameled cast iron in the dishwasher; always clean by hand, as the dishwasher’s aggressive water action and high drying temperatures may damage it.
Avoid exposing enameled cast iron to a direct flame UNLESS food or liquid is already inside.
Use wooden, nylon, silicone and similar utensils with your enameled cast iron cookware to PREVENT chipping.
Since it has iron at its core, enameled cast iron is magnetic, so you CAN use it on an induction cooktop, as well as gas, electric and ceramic ranges.
BENEFITS OF ENAMEL CAST IRON
Below are the benefits of using the Enamel cast iron;
Enamel cast iron are very durable. Enamel cat iron van withstand high heat (Kindly check manufacturer’s specification), to enable you sear meat and other ingredients in it.
Enamel cast iron is non-stick and rust resistant. Since Enamel cast iron maintains heat well, making it ideal for soups, chilies, stews, bread-baking, and braising.
Most Enamel cast iron cookware have a flat base that allows for use on an induction stove oven. Most Enamel cast iron cookware have ergonomic knobs and handles that can resist heat to the temperatures of 260 degree Celsius.
Thermal mass is what sets apart enameled cast iron from other cookware construction materials. Since cast iron gives an even heat retention ability, most people prefer baking with enamel cast iron.
Enamel cast iron is very easy to clean and maintain because of its non-stick properties. Enamel cast iron exists in a number of colors and variety giving the customers a range of choices.
READ ALSO: CAN YOU USE INDUCTION PANS ON A CERAMIC HOB
ENAMEL CAST IRON VS CAST IRON
It is general knowledge that we have the traditional, regular, natural or raw cast iron cookware and also we have the Enamel cast iron cookware.
The traditional cast iron pan or cookware is without any coating which can be in form of porcelain or ceramic coating. While the enamel cast iron pan simply has a coating attached to it giving it the tendency of non-stick and easy clean ability.
The Enameled coating of the enamel cast iron can be chipped and damaged as it has a certain amount of stress it can handle. However, it takes time to wear and tear.
The Enamel cast iron needs less maintenance while the regular natural, raw cast iron needs heavy maintenance.
Most traditional or natural cast iron are made by Swedish brand; Skeppshult while most Enameled cast iron is made by French cast iron cookware brand; Staub, LeCreuset or Chasseur.
You can comfortably use cast iron for anything, as long as you properly season it. It is also advisable you pre-heat enameled cast iron pan before use to allow it to perform perfectly.
ENAMEL CAST IRON HEALTH RISK
Enameled cast iron is a beauty in the kitchen and come in handy for various food recipes. When the regular or enameled cast iron is properly seasoned with oil, it prevents food from sticking to the pan from frying, sautéing and cooking of various food items.
However, there are ways in which you use the regular or Enamel cast iron making it not a very good choice for your kitchen needs. Cast iron may cause “iron toxicity” for most individuals.
For children and menstruating women this might not be a problem as children area still growing and menstruating women are shedding blood. So the amount of ion from the cast iron can help them replace depleted amount of iron in the body.
While for men and post menopause women, there might be a large deposit of iron in the blood stream. Excess iron in the body might lead to fatigue, excess weight loss, muscle weakness, loss of sex drive, blood and sugar related issues.
To avoid excess iron, we recommend you properly season your cast iron pan with oil and bake it in a hot oven, baking the oil pass the smoke point. A good seasoning prevents acidic reaction to your food leading to less iron. We also recommend do not cook for a very long time with the regular cast iron pan to avoid excess iron.
While the Enameled cast iron is coated with porcelain making cooking easy and non-stick tendency. With the Enameled cast iron, you can avoid the transference of iron into your food because of the coating.
However, one of the health risk of using the Enameled cast iron is the transfer of lead and cadmium into your food. Lead and cadmium are both metals. They are both toxic and can lead to brain damage, settles in your bones in place of calcium and not good for pregnant women.
The unborn baby draws calcium from the bones of the mother but instead what the baby gets are lead and cadmium.