Cast iron pots

There have been several threads focusing on the care and use of cast iron skillets. But what about cast iron pots/Dutch ovens? I can see them being useful for roasting a small whole chicken or a pot of chili, but I just can’t think of anything I’d make frequently enough that I really ‘need’ one.


They aren’t essential by any means, and they take up a lot of space. Skip them unless you are feeding a large family, or making chili for work every week.

In between uses, they make great fireplace decorations, especially if you have a trammel.


I weep for you.

For something that cost me $15, it’s great to have for making osso bucco, short ribs or other braising stuff. If I didn’t have that ‘top of cabinets hold all the big stuff’ shelf, yeah, it would take up a lot of space.

Dad used to make pot roast. I’ve only made it a couple of times, and I just used a baking pan. I normally roast prime rib, which I can just put into a cast-iron skillet in the oven.

And space is definitely an issue.

I like mine quite a bit. It’s good as a slow cooker; any time you want just a little bit of heat for a long time.

Tangent: I stopped by a yard sale on the way home and bought a cast iron fajita skillet and a wooden base for a dollar. It’s pretty nasty (dried on egg and stuff) so I’m going to clean it and re-season.


I use mine constantly. I have a big one and a little one.

What do you make in them?

I wasn’t sure if Le Creuset counted, but they seem to think they do. Right now I’ve just got one dutch oven, but the family’s got tons of pieces spread all over. They’re great for pot roasts and things like that. I’m not sure if they still have it, but at one point, my parents had an old painted cast-iron pot that was only used for beans for barbeque. Damned good beans too.

I could easily get by with my big cast-iron dutch oven as the only piece of cookware in my kitchen. You can do almost anything with it on the stovetop you could do with a pot or a skillet; you can do anything in the oven with it you could do with a casserole. I’ve made everything in it from pot roast to Tuna Helper to fried chicken to spaghetti. It doesn’t -quite- replace a wok, because the sides are too straight, but it does just about everything else, honestly. It’s my one absolute kitchen necessity.

Pretty much everything that’s too sloshy for my cast iron frying pans. Stews, soups, etc. Easy dinner: toss some coarsely chopped carrots, potatoes, onions, etc., into your small iron pot. Throw in a frozen chicken breast, or pork chop, or whatever. Splash half a can of beer. Salt, pepper, sage, etc. I sometimes add those very robust egg noodles that take 20 minutes to cook.

Anyway, simmer low for about an hour. Eat.

Variation: mix up some biscuit dough, plop a few plops on top for dumplings.

Well, of course Nanny Ogg would consider something cauldron-like indispensible! :wink: