"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cookware and Accessories > Cookware
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 11-14-2004, 06:52 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3
Descoware care

Hi all-

I'm new to the forum--it's great to be here!

I am fortunate to have found a set of descoware pots and pans at a thrift store in Nebraska a few months ago. There's a large skillet, and two sizes of small, stacking saucepans with lids. The enamel is off-white inside and robin's-egg blue on the exterior. I paid $7 for the lot, which, compared with what I've seen on eBay, is a very good price for what I got. On top of that, the set is nearly flawless. Or it was when I brought it home...

You see, I live in Georgia. I unthinkingly stacked the saucepans in the skillet in my cupboard, forgetting that the humidity here was likely to cause rust. I now have some cardboard rounds in between the pieces.

I haven't yet cleand the rust ring out of the skillet, because I wasn't sure what kinds of cleaners and scrubbers were okay to use on the enamel. I've never had any, and my mom never used cast iron. I'd like to use my set for cooking, but not if it will compromise the condition too seriously. From what I've seen the blue is a very rare color, so I'd like to keep it as nice as possible. I'm thinking of taking it back to my parents' in Nebraska to avoid the humidity (somewhat).

So, if anyone has any advice on use or care of enameled cast iron, or else expertise or experience with Descoware, I'd really appreciate hearing from you.

Thank you so much!
Jen

jkuzuz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2004, 07:17 PM   #2
Executive Chef
 
marmalady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: USA,SouthCarolina
Posts: 2,642
IF you have rust on the enamel, I would think the enamel has worn through to the cast iron. And I don't know how you'd fix that - I do know there are 'enamel repair kits', but I don't know if they're okay to use on cooking equipment. :( Sorry I wasn't more help!

I have several pieces of le Cruset, one of which inadvertantly sat outside the entire winter, under the grill (don't ask! :roll: ), and have had no rust problems (I'm in Charleston, SC, the home of humidity)

PS - Welcome to the forums!
marmalady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2004, 07:35 PM   #3
 
choclatechef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,680
I think you are referring to rust from an exposed part of a pot getting on the intact enamel of another pot.

Am I correct?

If I am, you need a very mild abrasive like barkeeper's friend to remove the rust mark from the porcelain without damaging it.
choclatechef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2004, 07:42 PM   #4
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3
Hi there-

Yes, Chocolatechef, it was the iron from the bottom of one that left rust on the inside of the other. I'll look for the barkeeper's friend next time I'm at the store. Thanks for the tip!

Marmalady, I'm totally impressed that your le Crueset survived a whole winter outdoors! These pans must be at least 40 years old (I think descoware stopped being made in the 60's?) but they clearly haven't seen much use. I'd really like to use them, but I don't really know what to expect from iron. I'm a grad student, which means I've been cooking with non-stick mirro (yelch) since I moved out (they should really just make us take a vow of poverty before enrolling us!) and cooking with iron is such a luxury, but I don't know how fast it will heat, or what temperatures to use for things. Or even what kinds of cooking to use it for. Any advice on what kinds of special occasions to use the descoware for?
jkuzuz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2004, 07:49 PM   #5
Executive Chef
 
marmalady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: USA,SouthCarolina
Posts: 2,642
Oh - Duh - the pots are meant to have an exposed cast iron bottom? Sorry, didn't know!

After you've gotten the rust off, season them following the instructions on the many topics in the 'cookware' forums, and you should be okay.

As far as how to cook with them, you'll find they're wonderful for just about anything, once you learn how they heat up and hold the heat. Cast iron is traditionally slow to heat, but holds its heat a long time once it's hot.

How lucky for you that found this bargain!

Happy Cooking!
marmalady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2004, 07:53 PM   #6
 
choclatechef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,680
Enameled cast iron excels at those tasks calling for long slow cooking....like braising, oven roasting, etc.

It will not brown as well as regular cast iron, but it will brown foods well. If you use adequate fats/oils it is great for deep frying.

Enameled cast iron is good for baking also. It will retain heat well, but does not heat up or cool down fast.

You do have to be careful about chipping the enamel. Don't put a real hot pot into cold water or it may crack the enamel or even break the cast iron. Do not leave the pot on heat without having food in it. Be careful about using metal utensils, or scouring with abrasives.

Soaking stubborn foods off is better than scouring.

I hope this helps.
choclatechef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2004, 11:30 PM   #7
Master Chef
 
SizzlininIN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: USA,Indiana
Posts: 5,023
jkuzuz..........don't you just love this cookware. I was fortunate to find a nice piece (yellow) about a month ago. I keep mine out right on the stove because its such a great color and shape. I used it today to make goulash and just love cooking in it and it cleanse up so easily. I can't wait to find other pieces to go along with it. Hopefully I'll get the others at a steal also. You got a heck of a deal yourself!

Sorry I can't help you with the rust situation but follow the advice the others have given you as they always come through with the best solutions.
__________________
Se non supporta il calore, vattene dalla cucina!
SizzlininIN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 12:05 PM   #8
Executive Chef
 
LEFSElover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: ...lala land..............
Posts: 3,697
I used to work in the Housewares department of Gemco.
Most of you won't know that name. It's like WalMart Supercenter.
Anyway, we sold DescoWare by the oodles and it was wonderful stuff, but even back then, very pricey. (the store I worked in was in a movie star neighborhood and Lana Turner or Charlton Heston didn't seem to notice).

I agree with Choclatechef about how to clean. We sold Bartenders/Barkeepers Friend even in that department, as a users' guide for how to clean this great cookware. I too have purchased many wonderful finds of DescoWare in thrift stores. I have had similar problems with rust and it will come off and not damage your treasures but be sure to use a soft hand and don't rub too hard. Also, if you cook something like chili or stew or something that discolors your off white interior, I have filled up the whole pot, after washing it, with water and 2 tablespoons of bleach, simmer on low, then turn off, and let it sit for hours. I came back to a completely clean and bright inside again. If you don't want to use bleach, do the same with washing it out first, then using a Babbo or Ajax or something similar to that, softly scrubbing the entire inside, then leave that cleanser in there and fill up with water. Turn stove on, let water inside get good and hot, turn it off and let set. The bleach from the cleanser will brighten it up just like plain liquid bleach.

On a topic that also involves rust, is black cast iron cookware. A friend of mine, years ago, told me she always bought her cast iron heavy stuff, whatever brand, from Thrift stores whenever she saw something there she wanted. Her secret for preventing rust was to wash it, then put it on the stove over flame for a few minutes until she was she there wasn't a drop of water on it. She did something similar for existing rust if it was present on her purchase. She washed it down as best she could, then put the cast iron piece in the fireplace while a fire was going. NOT THE DESCOWARE, but rather just plain black cast iron skillets etc. This is just mentioned as a seasoning tip for future notice.
[/b]
LEFSElover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2006, 10:25 PM   #9
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1
Question descoware question

Hi,

I have recently come into owning some pieces of descoware and I am wondering if you can use your descoware in the oven. also does anyone know if there is lead in the brand? Thankyou.
IslandGurl2286 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2006, 10:32 PM   #10
Chef Extraordinaire
 
kitchenelf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 19,725
Send a message via MSN to kitchenelf
Isn't Descoware like Le Crueset? ..enameled cast iron? If that is the case then definately they can be used in the oven.
__________________
kitchenelf

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
kitchenelf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2006, 08:48 AM   #11
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1
Lightbulb Cleaning Descoware

Hi,

I do not own any descoware as of yet(biding on some now). However, I do own several Le Creuset pieces which is vary similar to this. I have put mine through the ringer considering I was only 18 when I bought it and it still looks like brand new. It is my favorite cookware. They cook very evenly but the thing to remember is they heat fast and hold their heat VERY well. Keep that in mind when simmering food.The only thing I do to keep mine clean is use baking soda on tough stains. Most things will wipe out with no problem but if you get something like the rust or a bad burnt on stain make you a thick paste of baking soda and water and coat the pan let it stand for about an hour then fill the pan with water. Let it sit overnight and next morning you can run a washcloth over it and it is brand new. I love doing this because I dont like using chemicals on my cookware. Something about chemicals and food i havent liked..lol. Best of luck with your cookware.
barefootsdesigns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2008, 02:14 AM   #12
Assistant Cook
 
sugarx2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Ventura County, California
Posts: 45
I have a lot of cast iron, black original stuff, and the Orange Flame Descoware enamel.

I am allergic to HYDROGENATED OIL, AKA TRANS FATS. So, I season my cast iron with NATURAL PALM OIL SHORTENING. I get it at WHOLE FOODS. There are a few brands available. Make sure the shortening smells good. If it smells odd, it is RANCID, and DO NOT USE IT!!!! If It has no bad taste, it will work great.

I grease up the pots inside and out lightly, with some shortening on a paper towel. Rub it around throroughly.

Place a baking sheet, (cookie pan) on the bottom oven rack to catch any drippings. I put the cast iron pot, pan or dutch oven on the baking sheet, in the oven and let it bake at 300 degrees, NO HOTTER! for about an hour.

Let it cool wipe off the excess oil, and store it. I don't let them stand for months. Any oiling gets odd in time. So take them out if you haven't used them in a while, rinse off and dry on the range on low, or back in the oven. They stay in great condition that way!

To wash after using, I use plain dishsoap and rinse well, and if they get gummy or something burns or sticks on them I like BON AMI or BarKeepers Friend. But DO NOT LET THEM SOAK, DO NOT LEAVE THEM WET or they WILL RUST! I will use olive oil as a light coating, but only if I know I will use the pan again in a day or two. Otherwise OIL will go rancid on the pots in time. You can reseason when needed. In time a great darker patina happens. Then it rarely needs reseasoning unless you scrub it off!

I love them. The enamel doesn't need that kind of seasoning, unless parts of the cast irom shows. You can treat those areas the same way!

The taste of the food is better in the original cast iron, in my opinion, but the cleanup is so much easier in the enamels!

Candy
ENJOY!
sugarx2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2008, 02:15 AM   #13
Assistant Cook
 
sugarx2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Ventura County, California
Posts: 45
I am trying to find the code list for Descoware, so I can tell what sizes the pots and lids are by their numbers. Any ideas where I can get this?

Candy
sugarx2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2010, 12:36 AM   #14
Assistant Cook
 
sugarx2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Ventura County, California
Posts: 45
Stains on DESCOWARE ENAMEL

I have used BON AMI the original one, not the polishing one. Make a paste with water, and put it on the area and let sit over night and wash off. If that doesn't work, you can soak it with bleach and water, this once. It is not a good idea to use bleach much on enamel cause over time it will weaken it, but I have done it a couple of times for touch staining, and it worked just fine. I have a lot of DESCOWARE all from different purchases in the past two years. Thrift shops, garage sales, craigslist, ebay, and they are all great pieces. If they have any black cast iron showing I put some SPECTRUM PALM OIL SHORTENING (with NO hydrogenated oils) on the black areas, and heat to 300 degrees in the oven for about a half hour. That will protect it from rusting again.

ENJOY!!!http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...ilies/chef.gif

Candy
sugarx2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2010, 01:56 AM   #15
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 23,531
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
Quote:
Originally Posted by barefootsdesigns View Post
Hi,

I do not own any descoware as of yet(biding on some now). However, I do own several Le Creuset pieces which is vary similar to this. I have put mine through the ringer considering I was only 18 when I bought it and it still looks like brand new. It is my favorite cookware. They cook very evenly but the thing to remember is they heat fast and hold their heat VERY well. Keep that in mind when simmering food.The only thing I do to keep mine clean is use baking soda on tough stains. Most things will wipe out with no problem but if you get something like the rust or a bad burnt on stain make you a thick paste of baking soda and water and coat the pan let it stand for about an hour then fill the pan with water. Let it sit overnight and next morning you can run a washcloth over it and it is brand new. I love doing this because I dont like using chemicals on my cookware. Something about chemicals and food i havent liked..lol. Best of luck with your cookware.
I agree to use baking soda. It's what I use on my Copco enamelled cast iron cookware. It is probably more like the Descoware because it has the naked cast iron on the bottom too. I have a rust stain from stacking a pot on its lid. Now I make sure the naked cast iron doesn't touch the enamel.
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2010, 02:00 AM   #16
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 23,531
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
Quote:
Originally Posted by LEFSElover View Post
I used to work in the Housewares department of Gemco.
Most of you won't know that name. It's like WalMart Supercenter.
Anyway, we sold DescoWare by the oodles and it was wonderful stuff, but even back then, very pricey. (the store I worked in was in a movie star neighborhood and Lana Turner or Charlton Heston didn't seem to notice).

I agree with Choclatechef about how to clean. We sold Bartenders/Barkeepers Friend even in that department, as a users' guide for how to clean this great cookware. I too have purchased many wonderful finds of DescoWare in thrift stores. I have had similar problems with rust and it will come off and not damage your treasures but be sure to use a soft hand and don't rub too hard. Also, if you cook something like chili or stew or something that discolors your off white interior, I have filled up the whole pot, after washing it, with water and 2 tablespoons of bleach, simmer on low, then turn off, and let it sit for hours. I came back to a completely clean and bright inside again. If you don't want to use bleach, do the same with washing it out first, then using a Babbo or Ajax or something similar to that, softly scrubbing the entire inside, then leave that cleanser in there and fill up with water. Turn stove on, let water inside get good and hot, turn it off and let set. The bleach from the cleanser will brighten it up just like plain liquid bleach.

On a topic that also involves rust, is black cast iron cookware. A friend of mine, years ago, told me she always bought her cast iron heavy stuff, whatever brand, from Thrift stores whenever she saw something there she wanted. Her secret for preventing rust was to wash it, then put it on the stove over flame for a few minutes until she was she there wasn't a drop of water on it. She did something similar for existing rust if it was present on her purchase. She washed it down as best she could, then put the cast iron piece in the fireplace while a fire was going. NOT THE DESCOWARE, but rather just plain black cast iron skillets etc. This is just mentioned as a seasoning tip for future notice.
[/b]
I wouldn't use bleach or cleanser. I haven't tried them on enamelled cast iron, but I know what they do to tea cups. They eat off the shine, not the first time you do it, but with repeated use. I recommend baking soda.
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cast Iron Use and Care Ten_Spoons Cookware 35 11-11-2008 01:49 PM
Is the Descoware I found at a Flea Market safe to use? layla76 Cookware 8 01-10-2008 01:49 AM
How well do you care for your Le Creuset? mjsorkin Cookware 11 12-13-2004 03:55 PM
Care for copper cookware 2dogsmom Cookware and Accessories 8 01-14-2004 02:02 PM



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.