I'm in Ohio, so unfortunately I'm not near the factory. What are the main differences between enameled vs non-enameled?
I really want to try this stuff. http://www.olvidacookware.com/
The pans themselves are made in China but the plating is done in NC. I think this may be the cat's meow.
Enameled has a ceramic coating on the outside and in most cases the inside of the pan. Main difference is the asthetics. Secondary is that some people do not want to cook acidic foods in cast iron because the acid can leach / eat away the seasoning of the pan. I have never run into that with our well seasoned pans and have cooked a lot of stews up north with no flavor / damage to the pan, but I will not store these foods in the pan after cooking. The enamel allows you to utilize the heat retention of CI without worrying about that. If I am making a stew or something with a lot of tomatoes, I generally use the enameled just because I can store it in the fridge without transferring it. Downside is I do not like to sear stuff in the enameled pans because they are a PITA to clean up and also you have to use non-metal spatulas/spoons to not damage the enamel where cast iron is actually better to use metal spatulas.
That olvida looks interesting, I may have to look into that a bit further. My only concern with going non-enameled is the extra care needed to clean it. I always thought you never "cleaned" a cast iron, but just scraped out burnt food and called it a day. How do you guys care for your cast iron?
For non-enamaled I hit it with water while still hot, scrape the bottom like you would a fond, toss the water and wipe out with a paper towel and return the pan to the stove top to hot dry.
For enameled I soak in the sink and scrub with a scotchbrite, dry with towel. No problem.
For cleaning I sometimes use salt if there is a lot of caked on stuff (I get this especially if I cook bacon and some breakfast sausages which I believe is sugar used in the curing) otherwise I usually will just clean it in hot water and then scrub it with either a bamboo brush, sponge or a plastic sponge. Mine are so seasoned that I can use soap, but I almost never do.
Also, as I said, you have to be careful not to chip / scratch the enamel. The reason you use metal spatulas with reg CI is that it actually will knock down the jagged edges of the seasoning and work to make it smooth / nonstick.