Enameled Cast Iron Teapot: Stovetop heating
May 6, 2014 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Is it safe to heat water on the stove with an enameled cast iron teapot?

I just purchased a Cuisiland enameled cast iron teapot from Costco yesterday. At the store, they said it could be used on a stovetop (gas or electic) and could be kept warm with a tea light. When I got home, I looked up whether it was okay to use it on a stovetop—just to be sure, because it was a tad pricey—and most sources said it is discouraged. However, some mentioned that it shouldn't be any different than other enameled cookware (ex. Le Crueset) and that it should be okay. I'm very confused now. I purchased it so I could boil water on the stovetop.

The instructions that came with it are minimal—additionally, there appears to be no web presence for the company—and do not say anything about not using it on the stove. (Only not to use it in the microwave.)

My questions are: 1) Is it safe to heat water in it on the stovetop? 2) Has anyone had an experience of their enameled teapot breaking when heated this way?
posted by angelaas525 to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
For what it's worth, I have a Lodge enameled cast iron Dutch oven that I use on my gas stove all the time. That's a major, advertised use of them. While a Dutch oven is not a teapot, it's structurally the same.
posted by waldo at 9:30 AM on May 6, 2014

is this one of those japanese cast iron tea pots that are only enameled on the inside?
I googled the brand and that's what I got.

If so - then yeah they aren't intended to be heated on a stove, but if you do the worst that will happen is that the uncoated iron might oxidize and change colors. Its certainly safe, whether it'll look great in a decade is another question
posted by JPD at 9:51 AM on May 6, 2014

eta: if you do keep this you should buy a flame tamer. If you have an induction top tho this will be perfect.
posted by JPD at 9:54 AM on May 6, 2014

You don't boil water in a teapot. You do that in a kettle, and use the teapot to steep leaves. You probably could put this on a flame without damage, but that's not how it's meant to be used.
posted by neroli at 9:55 AM on May 6, 2014 [6 favorites]

neroli beat me to it. A teapot is used to steep the leaves (either loose or in bags), not to heat the water.
posted by Dolley at 10:07 AM on May 6, 2014

Assuming what you have is one of these, it should only be used for steeping tea.

I'd recommend either an electric kettle (faster) or one of these beauties (more satisfying) for boiling the water.
posted by maryr at 10:14 AM on May 6, 2014

Traditional Japanese cast iron kettles (the bell shaped kind) are meant to be heated by being suspended over charcoal heat, as opposed to having the heat source directly applied to the pot. The usage was to have constant source of warm/hot water throughout the day at a time when no one had water heaters (or running water). They don't do well with fast temperature swings.

The flatter kind with the glazing inside are for steeping/serving only. They are intended to keep your tea warm in the pot. Hot water is used to heat them, not direct heat (not even the charcoal brazier).
posted by jamaro at 10:50 AM on May 6, 2014

What others are saying-- a teapot isn't a kettle. It's cast iron because cast iron is like a battery for heat. But that battery has to be charged with heat; a room temperature teapot will suck heat out of tea.

Put clean hot water in the teapot to warm it up, then dump that water out and put in your hot water for making tea. If you can't spare the water from your tea kettle, at least heat the teapot up using your sink's hottest water. Put it in, let it sit for a few minutes while you heat the kettle. Use your palm to gauge the teapot temperature.

Good idea to do this with ceramic mugs, too, but it only takes 10 seconds or so of hot water to heat them up.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:43 AM on May 6, 2014

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