Big Beautiful Pots
29th November 2010, in FIND IT, Kitchen Ware (0 Comments)
If someone gives you one of these, they love you. They’re not cheap, the big ones get up to $300+.
Of course, you can use a beat up old heavy pot for low slow cooking or braising. It’s just that these beauties were made for the job and they brighten this dark season.
Why so special? They are are porcelain enamelled cast iron inside and out. Their weight keeps the heat in and distributes it evenly. The enamel keeps the flavours true. This picture just happens to show big ones, but they come in all shapes and sizes.
Le Creuset from France is the most popular. Great size selection and colour choices. Quality all the way.
Staub, also French, has rich, warm colours – some with beautiful rooster handles. Comparable in quality to Le Creuset.
Lodge Cast Iron, the old American company, has got in the enamel act. A far cry from their original cowboy pot and missing the European design spirit but good quality. Made in China – if this matters, you should be checking all products, no matter what the company.
Then there is the budget made-in-China variety. They work just fine, are much cheaper but not so pretty.
How to love one? The enamel finish, though durable, needs some special attention (what quality tool doesn’t?). Use wooden or silicon utensils to avoid scratching and wash by hand. Regular dishwashing and high heats can cause pitting (confusion alert: there is a black matt enamel finish that looks like seasoned cast iron). Discolouration is normal, don’t worry, it works just the same and shows your love of cooking.
Where to get one? Besides the usual cook ware shops? There’s a Le Creuset outlet store in the Premium Outlet Mall just south of Bellingham.
The Army and Navy (since 1919) often has the cheaper Chinese ones.
Or watch for deals at Winners/Home Sense where you can sometimes get the name brands at a discount. They won’t have the colour choice but who cares? What really matters is what you serve from it.