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This is a fan site for Descoware–a brand of enamel cookware made until the mid-seventies. The enamelware was originally manufactured as “Bruxelles Ware” with the Descoware name coming from the American import company D.E Sanford Co. The brand was popularized by the wonderful Julia Child, who was kind enough to recommend products without endorsement fees. All are welcome and if you have an interest in Descoware– toss your two cents in. Your email stays safe, no spam here. Please be kind and enjoy your stay. The “Author” has no commercial interest except his own small collection. There are some ads on the site and most years those ads pay for the hosting and nothing more.

Please email pictures if you have some! info-at- descoware.com and YES pictures with food in the piece is good!

The buttons on the right (and top) will move you around the site. Mostly words at the top–pictures on the right.

Your moderator is Kevin, an artist, writer and tinker in Oregon. His Descoware story is here.

325 Responses to Home

  1. Candy Eve says:

    You can use Descoware on any stove, and a diffuser will help alleviate hot spots, if the range burners have uneven heating, but do not use a diffuser on high heat, they will warp if cooked much over 350 degrees. The pot won’t, the Nordicware burner cover will!

    I just got another set on EBAY inexpensively, as my older burner cover got really warped making the pots rock on the range. I boiled spaghetti water on high on the diffuser burner cover, and forgot to lower it fast. DUMB MISTAKE!!!

  2. Candy Eve says:

    I just got an article I wrote about my favorite DESCOWARE published on another site.

    http://www.frugal-cafe.com/kitchen-pantry-food/articles/descoware-tips-info-cleaning-collecting.html

    Please see it. I mentioned YOU KEVIN and your great site in the article. The link is there too!

    Candy Eve

  3. Candy Eve says:

    Patte,

    Get some magnetic bracelets. They will help your wrists to feel better, and give the muscles more strength to lift the heavier Cast Iron Pans more easily. Luckily the DESCOWARE was made 35 percent lighter than the other brands! Best of luck and health to you!’

    Candy Eve

  4. Candy Eve says:

    Descoware did some “clones” of the other companies’ patterns so it seems. I have seen them as well. I do not think that is actually a Dru Holland piece. They are priced now about the same.

  5. LeAnna says:

    I inherited a piece of flame Descoware from my grandmother. After looking at the Le Creuset website, I would consider it to be a braiser, complete with the lid. I didn’t see any pictures of it on the website, though. Does anyone else have one? I have used the thing like mad, making everything from pot roast to lasagna in it. I can remember my grandmother making pot roast in it, then using it on the stove to make gravy from the drippings. She passed when I was nine, so it was quite a while before I inherited the pan, but I’m glad that I ended up with it. It’s been with me since college.

    Thank you so much for this website. It’s very interesting to finally learn about the one piece of cookware that I will never leave my home until I die. Now I have promised myself to keep a lookout for Descoware at garage sales, flea markets, estate sales, and antique stores. I want more of it!

  6. Drat the Luck… more competition on eBay! Send me a picture LeAnna…?

  7. Mark says:

    looking for Descoware Autumn Leaves Casserole, measures 14″ by 9″ by 5″, I think this is atleast 6 quarts . . . willing to pay $$$ if the interior is in good condition as I will use for cooking

  8. Teri says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I so enjoy marveling at the wealth of info on your site, as I am a proud new owner of some fantastic descoware. As a potential collector of this cookware, I am interested to know if there is a catalog of all the items that descoware produced over the years, and, for example, the capacity, size, etc. of the items.

    Specifically, do you know if a bean pot larger than 3qt capacity was made? I am planning to purchase one on E-bay, or Etsy, or Shopgoodwill.com as they come up, but as an avid home cook who often cooks for several people, I feel like 3 quart capacity might be a bit on the small side. Please do share what you know before I am tempted to shell out for something that may not be exactly what I need. :-)

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

    Tx

  9. There were actually dozens of small sand cast foundries that used differing recipes of enamel coatings. FE means iron, not Founderie Emaillerie.

  10. Hi Teri–I’ve been watching nealry 10 year and it’s just the one bean pot size.

  11. Brennen says:

    HEllo,
    i have seen both of your videos on you tube , you have a very nice collection of vintage cookware .

  12. Brennen says:

    Did anyone ever notice that the cosbies Le Creuset cookware ?

  13. Sorry Clint… I haven’t had any luck finding a “RE” enamel shop either. It seems like there is a lot of demand for re-use of old stuff and refinishing enamelware could be a great little business for someone.

  14. Linda L. says:

    Hi – I thought it was a Dru Holland casserole that went into the oven – a blue one with tulips painted on it. I have one like that, and more. Does anyone else have Dru?

  15. tippy says:

    Hi. I recently picked up a what looks to be a “matched” yellow pot and skillet. The skillet fits perfect on the pot when you put it on upside down and align the handles. The pot is marked 89-B 22 O at the top and FE Belgium on the bottom. The skillet does not have any markings. I’m wondering was it really made to be a “set”? Or is it just coincidental that the skillet fits so perfect? I’m wondering if the pieces are hard to find or common items. Thanks!! Here’s a link to a picture:
    http://i975.photobucket.com/albums/ae236/tippythecat/Decowareshrunk.jpg

  16. Becky Leach says:

    Anyone ever seen a piece of Descoware with a BLACK interior, rather than the usual shiny cream or grey? I just received a piece I won, on Ebay–the elusive sky blue gradient color–and now I’m sitting here, wondering if I dare USE it. If it’s teflon, I’ll just have to admire it, instead. Boo hoo.

    I’ve searched various Descoware fan sites, and cannot find any mention of a time when Descoware did the “Straub thing” and had black, non-stick, NON teflon interiors. Anybody know?

    The pot states “Made in Belgium” so that helps date it. I’m hoping that helps date it as PRE-teflon, as well.

    Thanks.

  17. Finding the LATE history has proved more difficult than finding early history… the company kept changing hands. I have one of those non-stick coated blue fry pans, too. I can’t find any brochure or ad that mentions that pan. Sure looks like teflon to me.

  18. joe says:

    I just bought the exact same set at a garage sale – and know nothing about this set except that it appears to be of high quality – i was coming online to try to discover something about it

  19. Candy Eve says:

    I have never seen ANY cast iron with a “teflon” inside, but I have seen many with the original black inside. I would use it. If it is black enamel, it is easy. If it is untreated cast iron, put some PALM OIL SHORTENING, my favorite is SPECTRUM ORGANIC, no transfat or hydrogenated oils (won’t go rancid) in a thin layer on the black parts. You only need to “season” the untreated parts. Put in in a 300 degree oven for an hour, wipe it out and it will not rust. It is probably wonderful. Not sure if it is actually DESCOWARE, but the BELGIUM cast iron manufacturers did a great job. They made things for many companies.

    If the underside is not enamel, and is unseasoned black cast iron, use a cookie pan covered in foil, and place the greased pan inside so it doesn’t get your oven sticky.

    Works great. I have a few brands of cast iron, INNOVA, PRIZERWARE, Le CREUSET, FARBERWARE, and they all cook just fine….
    but my most used and most loved is my DESCOWARE!!!

  20. Candy Eve says:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Salvation-Army-Thrift-Shoppers/153655304655008?ref=ts

    This is my new Facebook site, where I ask you all to tell me what your favorite THRIFT SHOP FINDS are. Of course, my favorite is DESCOWARE!

  21. Candy Eve says:

    I have two, they are a set. They were sold as the saucepan, and frypan lid. One of mine is the flame orange red by DESCOWARE, and the other is a “copy” of the style in brown by Le Creuset. The Descoware is lighter weight and easy to handle. Anyone want to buy the LC??? LOL!!!!

  22. Candy Eve says:

    Look at the ADS and BROCHURES on this site. In the one I supplied there is a picture of the set we are talking about. It is called “CONVERTIBLE”.

    Also on the other brochure there looks to be a picture of a pan and saucepan with a black interior. Is that the other one mentioned above in another letter?

    —————————————————————–
    Thanks, DESCOWARE GUY for keeping this site so well organized!!!

    A BIG FAN OF YOURS!

    Candy Eve

  23. Mark Schreibman says:

    In the mid-to-late 1960’s Descoware was acquired by Le Creuset . . the mating of these two companies was both confusing and experimental for a number of years. Le Creuset used a number of the Descoware molds acquired for a few years and applied their own porcelain interior and/or early non-stick surface. I could tell you more, if I saw a picture of the piece.

  24. Ro Meadows says:

    I have three pots of various sizes. The Brand name is Descoware, made in Belgium.
    The wood handles have long been unusable, I would like to replace the handles but I cannot locate a source. can you help. Thanks.

  25. Tom Filkins says:

    My daughter gave me a set of DescoWare that she received from her mother-in-law. My daughter said she tried to fry and sautee in the pans, but everything stuck. Is there some way that the porcelain has to be conditioned, or is there a secret to the temperature? I love my cast iron ware (of which I have about a dozen), and I’ll try the DescoWare to compare it against the plain cast iron. Please encourage me.
    Tarheel Hawkeye

  26. Candy Eve says:

    Descoware is a porcelainized cast iron. It is NOT non-stick. Treat it like any stainless steel pan, in that you need oil or butter for sauteing. Use heat to about 350 degrees for best results, not higher (MEDIUM.) You can go hotter, but it isn’t necessary. If things stick, it is sometimes because the meat is NOT YET DONE, and it needs to cook longer. Then it should release, when it is cooked through the outside areas, unless the pan is too hot and it is burning.

    “Butter and/or Olive oil” should not go above 300 degrees; canola maybe 350 degrees; peanut Oil, a little higher. I never use Crisco, but opt for “SPECTRUM non-hydrogenated palm shortening”. The good thing is you can soak the inside of the Descoware, by filling it with water, and placing on the range and reheating a bit. It usually cleans up really well. If you do stain it, BON AMI made into a paste, and let stand a few hours should clean it up. ( I have even used a tiny bit of bleach in water to remove tough stains, but know that this will weaken the enamel over time, and should not be done often, but it does work to whiten the stains. ) I love my DESCOWARE.

    IF YOU NEED TO DO SOMETHING in HIGH HIGH HEAT, USE REGULAR WELL SEASONED “BLACK CAST IRON” WITHOUT THE ENAMEL coatings (with no PORCELAIN) FOR EXCELLENT RESULTS. YOU CAN USE BLACK ENAMEL IN YOUR BBQ EASILY TOO!

  27. jaxonld says:

    I just found this site and love it. Have been “collecting” Descoware since 1998 and now have way more than I should, but will never part with one piece. (and still look for things I don’t have)

    Now my question: Does anyone know how much pink Descoware was made….what pieces? The first Descoware item I bought was a pink pot…..small Dutch oven…….and the only other thing I’ve ever found in that color is an exact replica. (I bought it, too)

    I agree with the poster who said these items are great rice cookers. But then, the only things I use to cook in now are Descoware or old black cast-iron.

    To the other poster concerning the black interior of a Descoware dish……I have two that are blue outside/ black inside and use them all the time. No, I don’t think it’s “teflon”…..mine appear to be just cast iron with no enamel on the interior.

    Would love to hear from anyone who knows more about the pink……..or has some to sell!!

  28. I just snagged a SQUARE casserole/baker piece in cherry flame! I have never seen one before, anyone else? It has the “fishtail” style handles on either side with a white enamel interior. Actually, it’s technically a rectangle, but 9″ x 6″ and 3.5″ deep. It’s not specifically marked “Descoware” on the bottom, but has “Made in Belgium” and #20 stamp with an interesting DD (the second D being backwards) mark on the back.

  29. BTW, I have a food blog that I regularly feature my Descoware collection in! For instance, baked mashed potatoes in a small casserole: http://bentobloggy.blogspot.com/2011/01/baked-mashed-potatoes.html

  30. Emily! Thanks for the link showing Some Actual Food. Seems All I ever get is pictures of empty pans…

  31. I have never seen pink, I would love to see that.

  32. I just love it. In fact, I just went through and labeled all my food posts picturing my collection of vintage Descoware and Le Creuset. Some interesting stories there!

    http://bentobloggy.blogspot.com/search/label/Descoware

  33. Chris Devon says:

    We have some Descoware from about 1970 that my mom bought when she first was married. We had a frying pan somewhere. There are now 3 pots. A small one with a wooden handle, a dutch oven, and then a larger dutch oven. They are in sort of an avocado/sage green. I prefer to use them rather than anything else. They are great for stews, rice, poaching pears, making custard, cranberry sauce, making soup, mashed potatoes. You can put them in the oven and cook a pot roast. They are great. Sort of an early Le Cruset.

  34. Tom Edwards says:

    People have forgotten the tricks to using regular pans without sticking. Follow these rules and you shouldn’t go to wrong.

    1. Make sure the pan is already HOT before you put your food in. Put the enamelware over medium flame and let it sit for a full minute or so without your oil.
    2. Add your oil or butter to pan.
    3. Put your ingredients in next. Meat should be thawed and even ‘tempered’ up to room temp is best. I usually bring the thawed meat out of the fridge and let sit on the counter covered while I prep all my other ingredients. That’s usually plenty of time. If your ingredients are too cold, they will cool the pan considerably and now it’s as if you never warmed it.
    4. Even though you have done everything right it will still stick! Don’t fret the glass is half full! Now you’ll know when it’s time to turn it over, because you do it when your able to flip it without tearing it a up! It will release when it has a perfect sear, and the brown stains left behind are the beginnings of a sauce:
    5. Deglaze the pan with a splash of wine.

    Happy cooking!

  35. Miranda S. says:

    I recently found these two yellow descoware pot and pan set and am trying to learn more about them. Does anyone know what year descoware officially started production? Why are they made so small? Thank you for any help!

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/69167296/1950s-descoware-pot-and-pan

  36. Great tips! Thanks, Tom.

  37. Beci says:

    I just picked up a beautiful pale blue Descoware dutch oven with lid yesterday at an estate sale. It has the nice gradation of a pale blue morning-glory. I’m not finding much online regarding this color. I am already totally in love with this piece.

  38. AndieP says:

    I have a green tea kettle/steamer that I purchased in 1974 from the same store in which I purchased my first Descoware in 1968. (Franklin’s Hardware in Woodland Hills, CA) and Descoware was the only enameled cast iron product they carried at that time. They had carried Griswold in the past and indeed still had an advertising piece for Griswold that I tried to purchase – no luck.
    The lid to the tea kettle was significantly damaged in the ’94 earthquake when it fell off the lid rack above the stove and struck the cast iron grate on my stovetop at just the correct angle to break the handle and half the enamel from the lid.
    Descoware produced this distinctive handle on this style teakettle and a slightly different one on a coffee pot.
    I have seen other green Descoware items but they are not the same shade of green and they are sort of cream colored inside. This gray interior is exactly the same shade as in the yellow Descoware I purchased at the same time.
    I got the green teakettle because the store was sold out of the flame and the yellow.
    It is quite heavy.
    You can see photos of it here:
    http://s63.photobucket.com/albums/h129/Basenjibabe91/COOKWARE%20ANTIQUE%20and%20VINTAGE/

  39. Hi Descoware fans! I just wanted to post the link to the brand new Facebook fan page for Descoware (amazingly, there wasn’t one, so I created one.) Please join and post your pictures and stories!

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Descoware/223489987677107

  40. Ada says:

    I am also looking for a handle for a 7″ flame descoware boiler. Has anyone found a substitute?

  41. Beacheagles says:

    I just found a dutch oven…… larger than any I have ever seen…… ever. My grandmother had one. But never this large. I look on Ebay regularly and have for years. Would like info on what I just bought. Size? Could be 18 or more inches across.

  42. margo says:

    I just inherited a set of DescoWare last week – thought all these years it was Le Creuset brand, but looked at the pieces and saw the name… set is the flame orange color, and dates to the early to mid – 60’s, as my mother, who received the pieces for Christmas, Mother’s Day, etc., passed in 1965. All pieces would probably date back to that time.
    There are handles missing from two pcs. and I hope you will be able to help with obtaining replacements. I have a large frying pan and lid, a very small frying pan, a dutch oven with lid, a smaller casserole with lid —

  43. Luella says:

    If information were soccer, this would be a goooooal!

  44. Sabine says:

    i have a pot and skillet with cover and i was wondering what can be done about missing the handles for it. it just came off after being loose for some time.
    I was hoping you would replace it.
    Thanks
    Sabine

  45. Joe says:

    Hi, does anyone know if Descoware ever used cadmium in their cast-iron pieces? I noted concern over Le Creuset’s flame orange pieces, and Descoware has a lot of the same color. Was looking to buy a vintage piece, but not if there’s the potential for cadmium leaching. Thanks!

  46. patricius domesticatus domesticus says:

    Hi y’all……..thrift store and garage sale addicts….fellows!
    picked lovely red saucepan with lid, with grid on bottom, middle of which has DESCOHARE, neath which SPCC-I8, under which is I 1/2 QT.
    NO, I TOO THOUGHT IT OUGHT BE DESCOWARE BUT ON HAVING MARGE READ IT SHE RECKONED THE CONTROVERSIAL LETTER IS AN ….M.

    about two year ago at such a sale got for nought a lid that fits this beauty, by Le Creuset but lighter in colour than the Belgian…..which i have renamed my Poirot!

  47. Alamadre says:

    have had disco ware set since collage, problem is, enamel has started to
    peel. can I repair(how?) or is it safe to continue cooking with it? please
    help!…………………….akanadre

  48. Jessica says:

    HELP!!!! I broke the Handel off my six inch fry pan ( the lid to my sauce pan) do you know of any way I can have it replaced? I have been cooking my morning egg in it for over thirty years (I started when I was six) eggs just don’t taste the same.

    Thank you

    EgglessJess

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