We're giving you a 30-day FREE trial of Prime

Are “Stuck Bits” On Your Enamel Cast Iron Dangerous?

You’ve probably heard that enamel cast iron improves with age. Do you think that’s correct?

Of course. Many folks I’ve met have maintained their enamel cookware for a long time and it’s still in good condition.

Enamel cast iron does not deteriorate. In fact, the more you use it, the better it gets. When you cook with oil, it seeps into the pan, making the surface less sticky. 

However, I’ve discovered that over time, my enamel cast iron sticks on food. My enamel cast iron was supposed to be non-stick, right? I was completely mistaken!

Enamel cast iron is not non-stick. When enamel cast iron is misused, it becomes sticky and builds up with food, making it challenging to cook.

Now, let’s discover the truth about the best method for cleaning cast iron and preventing food from sticking to its surface.

Why does food stick on to Enameled cast iron?

There are some instances that your food may stick to your enamel cast iron cookware. Why does it stick? 

Cooking at high temperatures is a guaranteed method to cause an enamel pot to stick. And if you’re not using nearly enough oil when you’re cooking. 

Certain foods are more likely to stick than others. These foods caramelize, stick, and burn easily and fast like tomatoes, wine, garlic, and sugar.

The enamel is stained by the sorts of components used and by the cooking process itself.  Discoloration might occur even after the food has been removed and the pot has been well cleaned

What’s the benefit of food sticking?

We can’t seem to keep foods from clinging to our enamel cast iron cookware. Is it beneficial?

Sticking foods on the surface of an enameled cast iron can be beneficial in adding flavor and aroma to your meal. When protein gets heated, and changes shape and gets sticky, and sticks to the pan. 

It is called the Mailliard reaction. It’s one of the essential flavor-producing reactions. The flavor and fragrances of the Maillard reaction are more important than the color.

It produces brown pigments in cooked meat by rearranging amino acids and certain simple sugars, forming rings that reflect light and give the flesh a brown color.

You can read more about the Mailliard reaction here.

Are there any dangers to keeping bits of food on Enameled Cast Iron?

When using enamel cast-iron cookware, always remove the food and keep leftovers separately. To prevent rust, keep your enamel cast-iron pot dry as much as possible. 

Mailliards reaction can have pros and cons when it comes to our health. The food sector has made numerous measures to minimize the spread of the Mailliard reaction in foods. It is responsible for a decrease in the nutritional value of many foods and the formation of harmful compounds. 

What’s the best way to clean your enameled cast iron?

Enamel cast iron is delicate cookware that is easily chipped and stained if not well-taken care of. So, Here’s how to avoid this. (Link to How to Prevent Chips from your Enameled Cast Iron?)

It’s essential to look after your enamel cast iron if you want it to last longer and become an heirloom to the family. And one method to take care of your cast iron is to clean it properly.

  1. Begin by filling your dirty pan with water.
  2. Place the pot on the stove and turn on the heat.
  3. Once the water has reached the boiling point, add the baking soda to the enamel cast iron.
  4. Allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes.
  5. Scrape the burned parts off the pot with a wooden spoon. The stains will be fully removed. All of the burned particles will be visible in the water.
  6. Pour the baking soda and water mixture down the drain, then rinse with hot water and dry.

There are other accessories available that we have reviewed for you to help care for your cast iron.

What do experts say about it?

Enamel cast iron can come off as intimidating from its price to its weight and maintenance. But there’s a reason why these products are beloved in kitchens across generations despite those perceived drawbacks.

According to Martha Stewart, a businesswoman, writer, and television personality, “If I had to choose my favorite cooking pot, it would be without a doubt, the enameled cast iron pot.” She added, “Enameled cast iron pots are my go-to in the kitchen.” 

The author of “Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge” also praises the cast iron saying, “It’s one of the best kitchen investments, likely to be handed down through multiple generations.” She also added that “If you use it with care and keep it properly seasoned, it will repay you with decades of delicious meals.”

A lot of people love using enamel cast iron for its benefits and convenience to the user. Tim Hagedorn talks about how incredible an enamel cast iron is. Take a look at his video below. 

People Also Ask

Is enameled cast iron toxic?

Enameled cast iron is completely safe to use with food because it doesn’t react with anything. So, it’s completely non-toxic.

Does enamelware contain lead?

There is no lead in modern enamel cookware. If you have an old enamel pot, especially one with bright colors, it might have lead in it. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has strict safety rules to make sure that all enamel cookware is safe to use.

Is enameled cast iron better for bread than other cookware?

Cooking bread in enamel cast iron is a great idea. The cookware effectively holds moisture, giving your fresh-baked bread the ideal texture.


If you want to extend the life of your valuable enamel cast iron, you must take proper care of it. Because it is made of iron, it will not deteriorate with time. It also has benefits to our health when we are cooking on an enamel cast iron. 

We can’t prevent foods from sticking to the cast iron’s surface. But the is also a benefit if the food sticks on your enamel cast iron. It adds aromas and flavors to your dish. 

Of course, there is also a negative effect with it. Mailliard’s reaction lowers the nutritional value of food and can form harmful compounds in foods. 

So, are you going to use your cast iron daily now? Not that cleaning it and properly using it should be simple now that you’ve read this guide.