I have this 5 quart, aluminum nonstick pot. enter image description here

It is my go-to pot for candy making (fudge, toffee and brittles), jams and jellies. It also gets used for stews and chili.

The non-stick finish is wearing off so I'm looking to replace it. I really like the nonstick surface for candy and jam making, but don't like that it wears off.

enter image description here

I'm considering an enameled cast iron Dutch oven as a replacement.

Would enameled cast iron work well for candy making, jams and jellies, where controlling the temperature is very critical? (I'm sure there would be a learning curve). I know that one these will be considerably heavier, but also more durable.

Or should I just replace my current pot with the same pot, and plan on replacing it when the finish starts to wear?

(There are also ceramic coated pots. I've never used any of these and don't know if I should be considering one.)

  • 4
    You might also change your utensils used IN the pot - looks like stirring with something too hard, from the wear pattern. I happen to use an enameled 6-quart cast iron pot for the jam/jelly function, but it's certainly not non-stick. Everything I've seen about or with ceramic nonstick appears to be marketing snake-oil on cheap pans, but I haven't been trolling for new pots at high-end stores, either.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jun 5, 2016 at 1:17
  • @Ecnerwal I never used metal in nonstick, only wood, heat safe plastic/nylon and silicon.
    – Debbie M.
    Jun 5, 2016 at 2:36
  • If a product suggestion is allowed here: In case a german reader has the same requirements, the Aldi "Crofton" non stick aluminium pots that seem to be on sale every 1-2 years are a good choice here, except for a little design flaw that makes the handles impossible to use one-sidedly when hot, even if the contents are light and/or you are strong - they have silicone rubber handle pads that are only loosely attached and WILL slide your hand against hot metal. Apr 7, 2018 at 22:21
  • I've made some wonderful baked beans in my fuzzy logic rice cooker. They come in all sizes and be used for many things besides beans. It's my go to machine for most soups, including onion, and grains. Apr 7, 2018 at 23:33

1 Answer 1


Ceramic does not quite have the nonstick properties of "true" (based on some kind of PTFE-ish material) nonstick, neither does enamel. Especially not for applications like jam making where charred jam might get stuck to the bottom. Also, from my anecdotal evidence, ceramic coatings hate thermal shock (eg when adding cold liquid into a hot pot to deglaze) and can stain.

The damage shown in the photo does not look like normal wear, but like wear from using tools that aren't inherently nonstick-safe too forcefully - metal-based immersion blenders, metal wire whisks, metal spoons....

But then, wear of "true" nonstick surfaces happens - slower if treated gently, faster if treated rough, so eventually, non-stick cookware that is seeing regular use will need to be replaced.

  • 1
    Also it seems that there are a lot of "cheap knockoff" brands of ceramic, that fail quickly. If you go that route, be sure to check online evaluations of the exact product. Apr 9, 2018 at 15:25
  • Anything that is hard and can easily develop cracks that are not following a smooth "V" shape is an easy target for any geometrically locking adhesive - and overheated jam fits that definition admirably :) Apr 11, 2018 at 23:10

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