Top positive review
December 28, 2012
This is the third enameled iron pan I've purchased, and the combination of functionality, weight and price are very hard to beat. The two other enameled pans I compare in this review are Le Creuset and Lodge.
I really like cooking on enamel iron pans because of durability, ease of cleaning, and not having to worry about the chemicals in non-stick pans. But to prevent sticking, one should use lower flames than one might be used to with other kinds of pans. Iron retains heat and gets hotter than other types of pans, which causes burning and sticking. And one must coat with oil after heating and before putting the food in the pan.
Shape - The Cuisinart bottom is perfectly flat, whereas the center of the Lodge pan is slightly raised (imagine a dome that has been almost completely flattened, but is not perfectly flat). Consequently, the Cuisinart is better than the Lodge for cooking omelettes because eggs gravitate to the perimeter of the Lodge and might not cook evenly.
Shape - The Cuisinart bottom intersects the wall of the pan at an angle. The same is true for the Lodge. In contrast, the Le Creuset bottom rises gradually upwards to form the wall, so food won't get caught at the edge of the Le Creuset. Depending on your cooking technique, you might prefer one shape over the other.
Weight-wise, the Cuisinart and Le Creuset are manageable, and the Lodge is very heavy (it is a workout to wash and dry).
Durability - the enamel is chipping on the handle of the Lodge, but not on the cooking surfaces, where it matters most. So it's unsightly, but it does not affect functionality. There is no chipping with the other pans.
Price - the Cuisinart and the Lodge were each about a third the price of the Le Creuset.