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My Mum had just purchased a Le Creuset Casserole with enamel coating and is wondering how you add liquid to it when it is already hot without cracking the enamel? This not only includes water, but wine and beer as well.

  • Depending on the recipe,you could heat the liquid in a different pan before adding it to the main casserole. – Max Sep 1 '15 at 14:44
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Adding cold liquids to a hot enameled pan is not going to crack the enamel, you can add a cold beer to a dish without worrying about your cookware. The main thing to keep in mind when adding cold liquids is that it will bring the temperature down below your desired cooking temperature, you will need to either crank up the heat to bring it back up to the desired temperature quickly or lengthen the overall cooking time.

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Don't worry about it. I have poured white wine or other liquids straight from the refrigerator into a hot Le Creuset casserole, in order to deglaze drippings and make a pan sauce, more times than I can count. I can't speak for cheaper enameled pans, but Le Creuset cookware is made to take this kind of treatment.

You won't damage the enamel in any kind of normal cooking scenario--you would have to deliberately try very hard to scratch it with a stiff, sharp metal utensil like a chef's knife, or heat the casserole for an extended period of time with nothing in it, which could possibly cause crazing of the enamel. (If you want to preheat the pan before adding food, add some oil or other liquid while it heats up first.)

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    Or over-heat the pan (which can cause crazing ... this is typically from pre-heating or an otherwise empty pot. – Joe Sep 1 '15 at 18:09
  • @Joe Good point. Added. Heating an empty pot is never a good idea, of course. – dodgethesteamroller Sep 1 '15 at 18:11
  • Yeah, but it's the instructions for many 'no-knead' bread recipes -- they call for heating a cast iron dutch oven ... but if you do it with enameled cast iron, you risk crazing – Joe Sep 1 '15 at 19:08
  • Interesting. News to me, I must be the last foodie on earth to have not tried the famous Bittman no-knead bread. But I would definitely only use a cast-iron Dutch oven for that. – dodgethesteamroller Sep 1 '15 at 20:50

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