cast iron

I recently received an email from one of you wonderfully loyal followers of this blog, asking about pricing, brands, etc. on enamel coated cat iron cookware.  Let me say this: I’m no expert.  I haven’t tested more than about two brands of this stuff.  However, I AM a pretty savvy consumer and like to pinch pennies and still get something that I’ll love and that’s got some endurance.  Since the topic seemed semi-beneficial, for what it’s worth, here was my response:

“I see that Macy’s has a 5.5 qt. or 7 qt. cast iron Martha Stewart stock pot on sale for a reasonable price – can’t afford the fancy brand – do you think this will be worth it?  I know you love yours.   Thanks and please share your thoughts.    http://www1.macys.com/catalog/product/index.ognc?ID=256785&CategoryID=37845 – Martha Stewart stock pot   http://www1.macys.com/catalog/product/index.ognc?ID=198774&CategoryID=31667 – Le Cruset   I also saw where BBB [Bed Bath and Beyond] now has a line of cast iron cookware.  Any suggestions?  Pacific Hardware has a huge selection of the Lodge brand but that’s not the same as what I’m looking for in a stockpot.”

Sharon Steele

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Hi Sharon,

Seriously, who can afford those name brand things?  Even at the outlet prices….blech!  The Martha Stewart price seems pretty reasonable to me (and Macy’s is pretty good about refunds and exchanges if anything happens).  The one I have is actually from Sam’s Club (http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&item=402223) and was a present, but from what I can tell was really reasonable.  If you decide to get a cast iron stock pot, I would totally go with one that’s enamel coated (like the one you’re looking at) for easy clean up.  My only word of warning is to be careful about how big you decide to go because these bad boys are HEAVY.  I think mine is a 6.5qt and with a chicken or soup or whatever in there, I mean, wow: HEAVY…but also a great arm workout.  = )

In general I really like Lodge cast iron (which you can find at Target and sometimes Walmart) for skillets and whatnot, but I’m with you on the stockpot (but good to keep in mind if you want a nice skillet that will last longer that I will).  By the way, Target’s brand seems to have had some pretty good reviews: http://www.target.com/dp/B000N501BK/sr=1-8/qid=1255020734/ref=sr_1_8/182-8418347-4621813?ie=UTF8&search-alias=tgt-index&frombrowse=0&index=target&rh=k%3Acast%20iron&page=1.

If you do get one, I’ve been dying to try this recipe out: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/recipedetail.cfm?objectid=3D454627-DD8E-4D0B-EE3171FF7FEA996D


-Kristina (Culinary Pilgrim)

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