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Enamelled soup pot burning food.

I want to know if I can salvage my enamelled pot. I used it to reheat soup, and it burned and left ugly scars. Clearly, soup is not something that burns easily, so there must be some issue with the condition of the enamel. After I get it cleaned up (it has been soaking overnight), should I season it? it has been tucked away in the back of the cupboard for a reason, and this must have been it. With the weather, I will be making a lot of soup.

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  1. Have you considered turning down the heat?

    1. I don't think the enamel itself caused the burning. The poor conductivity of the steel or cast iron pot probably produced a hot spot. That together with lack of stirring, allowed soup solids to stay in one place and burn.

      The enamel at the burned spot might be rougher now, so food might stick more there. You just need to be more vigilant about stirring, and avoiding too high heat.

      Enamel does not take a seasoning.

      1. Most enamel pots are made with thin metal...they are fine as stock pots, steamers and pasta cookers, but not so much for soups (esp. soups that aren't broth based). An enamelled cast iron Dutch oven just might be the ticket. Le Creuset and Staub are nice but crazy expensive...a more reasonably Chinese knockoff (Lodge Color, Cuisinart, Tramontina, Sante') should good enough to find out if it suits you.

        3 Replies
        1. re: MikeB3542

          Or take the middle road with the made-in-France Fontignac (owned by Zwilling, parent of Staub) which falls right in between.

          http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store...

          1. re: DuffyH

            I wonder how they make hearty stews and soups in Mexico and Ecuador without these expensive French ovens?

            1. re: paulj

              More manual labor and attention/supervision while cooking.

        2. Well, it is a dutch oven, and rather heavy. It seems to always burn, so guess it mustnot be wellmade. I am goign to turn it into a flower pot Iguess. Not worth the heavy cleaning required. I would have to use oven cleaner on it, and will just find a stainless steel one to use. Thanks though.

          5 Replies
          1. re: gruenequeen

            Hi, gruenequeen:

            Cast iron pans tend to hotspot unless your hob is quite even. Still, unless your soup was very thick, it's hard to imagine burning without some other vector (e.g., high heat, boiled dry, etc.). Hate to say it, but IMHO it probably wasn't the pan's fault.

            Aloha,
            Kaleo

            1. re: gruenequeen

              Cast iron does not conduct heat well. Enamel is even worse. So on a stove top you can easily get hot spots - where the pot makes better contact with the burner (if electric), or the flame is hotter.

              Aluminium or multilayer stainless steel heats more evenly on the stove top.

              When people extol the 'even heating' of cast iron, they really mean heat over time. With all that mass (weight) they heat slowly, and cool down slowly. Thus they resist fluctuations in temperature, whether on the stove top or oven. But spatially, from one part of the pot to the next, they aren't even heating. You need to use it in the oven to get even heating.

              1. re: gruenequeen

                <Well, it is a dutch oven, and rather heavy. It seems to always burn, so guess it mustnot be wellmade.>

                I don't know if you can call it "not well-made". It is just the nature of the enameled cast iron cookware. You cannot make it better. It is what it is.

                Most likely, you overheated the cookware, and therefore overheated the soup.

                Stainless steel cladded cookware may or may not help the situation.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Guess I have never had a problem with my cast iron (all my stuff is old-school plain cast iron...no enamel). But I keep the heat really low...it takes very little heat to keep a simmer going. If I need to let it go awhile, I put in the oven and run it low (275F)...in the oven, it is the original slow cooker.

                  1. re: MikeB3542

                    <Guess I have never had a problem with my cast iron (all my stuff is old-school plain cast iron...no enamel). But I keep the heat really low...it takes very little heat to keep a simmer going>

                    I think some of it may have to do with your technique. You don't crank up the heat and then crank down. In addition, it may have to do with your stove. Your stove could be a more even heating burner than gruenqueen's.

              2. <there must be some issue with the condition of the enamel.>

                PaulJ is correct (I didn't read everyone's posts)

                The enameled didn't cause the burn. The problem is that cast iron, especically enameled cast iron is not a great heat conductor. It is not the worst, but it is far from the best. Therefore, a lot of time people overheat the pot. The overheating caused the burning. It can happen to any cookware, but it tends to happen more often to enameled cast iron than aluminum or copper based cookware -- becauseof the slower heat response.

                <should I season it?>

                No.