How To – Cleaning Enameled Cookware

A couple years ago I switched out all of my non-stick coated Teflon cookware for ceramic, enamel cookware.  I made the switch because I was tired of having the non-stick coating flaking off into my food.  I figured ingesting the coating could not be healthy….

I also became increasingly concerned about the news and awareness of the possible carcinogen levels in non-stick Teflon cookware.  After doing a lot of research on what alternative types of cookware would fit my cooking style, I settled on ceramic, enamel cookware.

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Because ceramic, enamel cookware provides a non-stick surface, I have found it to be a great way to cook healthy foods while using little to no oil.  I have also found ceramic, enamel cookware regulates heat amazingly well and provides a consistent way to cook foods of all kinds.

While cooking with ceramic, enamel cookware provides a whole host of benefits, I have found one drawback.   Cleaning hard residue or stains off ceramic, enamel cookware can be a relentless battle.  Thankfully, most of the time the cookware can simply be cleaned with soap and water.  However, there are times when a residue from sauteed onions or a stain from a tomato sauce resides in the cookware after it has been cleaned.  This residue can be extremely annoying to say the least.

Since the surface of ceramic, enamel cookware can be pretty delicate, caution should be exercised when selecting what type of cleaning instruments or methods can be used.  The traditional methods of using a scour pad or even steel wool cannot be used when cleaning ceramic, enamel cookware.  Any aggressive cleaning instrument could scratch the ceramic surface and cause serious damage to the cookware.

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With traditional non-stick cookware, a less aggressive approach of simply soaking the cookware in soapy water can usually be effective in loosing the residue or removing the stain.  However, with ceramic, enamel cookware I have found this does not always happen.  Sometimes for the extra tough residue or unsightly stains,  something more is needed.

The something more that is needed comes in the form of good old fashion baking soda.  I switched to ceramic, enamel cookware because I am not a fan of chemicals and wanted to try and lessen chemical use in my household.  So when I heard about using baking soda to clean ceramic, enamel cookware I was eager to try it out.  And while I was not surprised at the cleaning ability of baking soda, since it cleans just about everything else, I was taken aback at how quickly and nicely it cleaned my ceramic, enamel cookware.

There is no real magic recipe when it comes to cleaning ceramic, enamel cookware with baking soda.  In general, a good rule of thumb is using about a tablespoon of baking soda for a large pot that is filled with water.  The first step is to fill the dirty pot or pan with water.  Next bring the water to a boil over medium/high heat.  Add the baking soda and stir with a spoon.  Turn down the heat and allow the baking soda mixture to simmer for a few minutes.

If needed, use the spoon to gently scrape any residue that might be stuck to the bottom of the pan or pot.  Once the pot or pan is clean, carefully pour the water/baking soda solution down the drain.   Rinse the pot with hot water (soap if needed) and then wipe dry.  Your ceramic, enamel pot or pan should now be squeaky clean!

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