How can a Staub enamel interior get seasoned and better over time?
I'm looking at small enameled cast iron pots - Staub has a 1.5 and 2.75 qt size (didn't see any that small from Le Creuset) and the interior is black enamel. Some of the reviews I've read say the ENAMEL on the interior gets seasoned the more the pot is used. Huh? Is it porous? The reason I'm looking at enamel cast iron is because I don't want something that is going to react with water or acidic food.
I've been using a 2qt Lodge plain cast iron pot to cook rice - it does an amazing job but I'm noticing that there is a brown ring forming at the bottom of the interior, where the top of the rice is. Perhaps that is rust from the steam? And I think the rice is absorbing some of the seasoning. Anyway, this is why I now want an enameled cast iron pot for my rice.
Does anyone here have Staub? Can you tell me about the interior? Would it get rusty if it holds water or steam? Does it get seasoned? Thank you.
For most of my cooking life I used Le Creuset exclusively, but then they got too heavy for me so I had to give them up. For the purpose you want the cast iron pot, I would go with an appropriately sized Le Creuset or Staub enameled cast iron Dutch oven that does not have the special black lining. Or maybe they all do now. I bought my full set of Le Creuset in the 50s, and it was turquoise exterior with white interiors, and it held up like a charm.
All "enamel" on cast iron cookware is glass that is fused to the surface of the metal with a flux. Bottom line is that you CANNOT season glass, or the "enamel" on cast iron cookware because it is basically a vitrious (non-porous solid all the way through) silica material.
I think this would be perfect for your purpose! And yes, continuous wet cooking in a seasoned cast iron pan will leach away the seasoning. But small amounts of rust are not a worry. Nineteenth and early 20th Century cooks who used cast iron for preparing all of their family meals NEVER had an iron deficiency in the family!
Good luck with your rice.
I have several Staub roasters/braisers and I don't know if they really season, but they don't rust. I do hand wash them, but they clean easily, so it is not a big deal. Now with the cooler fall weather, I will be using them more. Staub is my favorite cookware for roasting and braising.
My experience with the black enamel is that it does "season" to some degree. A lot less than bare CI, and quite a bit more than SS, aluminum and the glossy ECI. I attribute this to some roughness in the finish, that holds polymerized oils.
It's doubtful what you're seeing is rust. And no, the Staub interior will not get rusty. About the only vulnerable places are around the rim and on the bottom.
Le Creuset does make smaller pots if you prefer that brand. They have small saucepans, a 2 3/4 qt. bowl shaped pot that's very versatile, and small round and oval shaped ovens. The Staub black matte finish as wel as Le Creuset's are a bit rough and oils become polymerized (hardened) as you cook and fill the pores of the finish thus making it more nonstick over time.
I have the Staub 2 3/4 qt. It's enameled black interior doesn't seem to build up a seasoning. No it won't get rusty. I've noticed white staining inside but a 50/50 white vinegar/water soak or simmer gets rid of it. I think it may be due to our hard water here. It cleans up like new.