Porcelain-enamel cookware is easy to clean, scratch and stain resistant and nonreactive. The material is baked onto a metal base in ovens at 1,200 to 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit and is safe for use on the stove top or in the oven. However, it can chip if the cook drops the pot.
The porcelain completely encloses the metal, so it does not rust or corrode. Some porcelain enamel cookware pieces have black handles, but this is simply a matte finish on the porcelain. This allows cleaning of the cookware in the dishwasher without fear of damaging it. The glass-like coating resists stains from food cooking in the pot.
Cooking acidic food in metal pans often causes chemical reactions that affect the taste and quality of the food. These reactions also affect the cookware, such as the discoloration of an aluminum pan after simmering tomato products for several hours. With porcelain enamel, the pot does not react with the food, ensuring there is no change in flavor or etching of the pan. The finish makes the pot safe for marinating foods in acetic marinades.
The high-heat application of porcelain to the pan makes it safe for cooking in many different situations. Some porcelain-enamel-coated cast iron cookware is safe in ovens up to 500 F.