Not Martha

enameled cast iron

What with all this bread baking in a pot thing going on I have been considering buying an enameled cast iron pot myself. While I desire a small oval shaped Le Creuset pot to shape the bread, realistically I’d rather have a larger round one to make stews*. So of course I kept an eye out for the 5 qt. Chefmate pot that was so surprisingly well reviewed in the January 2007 Cook’s Illustrated magazine. Of course now it’s not to be found, and yesterday I came across this discussion on Chowhound. Looks like the plans where for Target to only carry the pot through January, and most people are unable to find it. People in the thread kindly give the item number for the pot and a customer service number you can phone** to find out if a Target store near you has one in stock. I did this and no luck. Oh well. I’ll have to keep an eye out for sales and hopefully I’ll find a nice no-name one like Domicile did.

* I just know a crock pot would be used once and put away, and my kitchen is too small for that.

** They’ll ask for your name and address, just tell them you aren’t comfortable giving out that information and they should back off, the guy I spoke with was happy enough to do so.

· comments [23] · 01-4-2007 · categories:food ·

23 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Amber // Jan 4, 2007 at 11:45 am

    I asked for one for xmas, and my parents got me a regular cast iron one instead. Do you know if anyone’s had luck doing the bread in just a regular cast iron oven?

  • 2 L // Jan 4, 2007 at 11:58 am

    Have you seen the
    Innova enameled cast iron? I ordered a round, 5-quart dutch oven in blue for a friend as a Christmas gift this year, and it seems to be a great product so far. The color is beautiful. She has not yet tried baking The Bread. I should confess: I have the oval, 5qt. Le Creuset (in green) and have not yet made The Bread… I think I smell a bake off in the near future.

  • 3 jess a. // Jan 4, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    I got a Le Creuset round dutch oven (I -think- it’s 2.5 qt, but I’m not certain) at T.J. Maxx for around $35. I don’t know if they have T.J. Maxx stores in your neck of the woods, but you might try looking there or at Tuesday Morning (if you’ve got those).

  • 4 seth // Jan 4, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    yeah, i was going to say, the tj maxx here ALWAYS has le creuset and often has off-brand enameled cast iron.

  • 5 megan // Jan 4, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    Amber – I have not heard anything about regular cast iron for baking the bread.

  • 6 megan // Jan 4, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    I’ve never found Le Creuset in the TJ Maxx stores near me, but they aren’t close enough for me to drop in regularly. I’ll have to check more often though, thanks for the tip.

  • 7 lsaspacey // Jan 4, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    My best suggestion for anyone loving Le Creuset is to start out with one of their cookware sets. This one has a 7 qt. dutch oven plus a large skillet, large grill pan, and a covered deep dish baker. This one is $400 from at
    and it comes in Kiwi. Then there is a red and blue 9-piece with a smaller dutch oven for $400:

    That’s only about $90-$100 a piece (!) compared to $150 + for an individual pot. I was lucky to get find Le Creuset 14 years ago when I was in college. I bought a similar cookware set from JCPenneys for $250 in Hunter green. Other sources are: Mario Batalli’s $100 one at Sur La Table and at

  • 8 Skylar // Jan 4, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    Hey Megan, I just got the Rachael Ray enameled pot from and I love it! It was about $80 I think!

  • 9 Erika // Jan 4, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    My mom bought me a 5 quart cast iron dutch oven from Amazon on sale for about $17.00. I made the bread and it came out fine.

  • 10 Kate // Jan 4, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    I have this little guy and have happily used it for both bread baking and stew making. I like the smaller size as it gives me a slightly higher loaf. And I love the orange colour.

  • 11 Christelle // Jan 4, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    I wonder if the big syoneware bowl w/ a cover from Pampered Chef would work?

  • 12 Jessica // Jan 4, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    Fred Meyer is carrying enameled cast iron, I think it’s Chef Mate but I definately wouldn’t swear to it. It’s cute and very reasonably priced but I haven’t tried it out myself. Worth a look if you are there anyway though.

  • 13 mw // Jan 4, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    I use my crock pot a lot. Soups, stews, chilis, meats, everything. I love it!

  • 14 Debra // Jan 4, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    My friend the gourmet cook got a great one at Ikea for $45 and over the holidays made about 30 loaves of the most wonderful bread on the planet.

  • 15 liz // Jan 5, 2007 at 1:51 am

    If you’re talking about the no knead bread in NYtimes, you eed a 6-8qt pot. I got enameled Lodge from Amazon for $119, hakf the price of Le Creuset.

  • 16 laura // Jan 5, 2007 at 6:37 am

    There is a slow-cooking article in this month’s Martha Stewart Living that for some reason has been the tipping point in making me want an enameled cast iron dutch oven. I grew up with my Mom using the regular cast iron stuff (makes the best peanut brittle ever). Can’t find the article online, but the recipes are just a chicken and vegetables, barbequed pork, beef ragu with pasta (and squid of all things)–for me it was more inspirational than anything.

  • 17 megan // Jan 5, 2007 at 11:13 am

    Liz – a lot of people have found that making the bread in a smaller pot is preferable as the 6 to 8 quart pots allow it to spread out and get flat. I use a 4 quart casserole dish, and in this follow up article Mark Bittman says he uses a 3 to 4 quart pot himself.

  • 18 Sarah // Jan 5, 2007 at 2:58 pm

    Saw the Chefmate at Target today. They had two red ones in stock and they were pretty chipped. I hope that makes anyone pining for one feel better.

  • 19 H // Jan 5, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    wow! I bought one of the red ones for my mom for Christmas. I’ll have to look this weekend to see if my Target has any left

    my mom-in-law, a great cook, swears by garage sales for finding inexpensive le creuset

  • 20 liz // Jan 6, 2007 at 9:43 am

    I’m so bummed because I bought the 7qt as opposed to the 5qt specifically for this recipe. I’ll console myself making army sized stews I guess.

  • 21 Amber // Jan 11, 2007 at 9:10 am

    Just FYI I made the bread in my smaller regular cast iron dutch oven last night and it came out just fine!

  • 22 Nia // Jan 13, 2007 at 2:22 am

    Save your pennies and buy the le creuset you will use it all the time. I did see some cast iron at ikea – though I can’t rememnber if it was enameled inside. Also Lodge is doing an enameled line. Mario Batali’s stuff at crate and barrel is gorgeous.

    We have the ‘regular’ sized round Le Creuset in flame, I have no idea how big it is but it bakes a proper sized loaf of bread. I’m hoping the birthday fairy brings me the buffet pan – kind of a covered paella. I think I could cook for months using just those two pans.

  • 23 megan // Jan 13, 2007 at 10:50 am

    Amber – thank you

    Nia – I’ve seen the Ikea pots and they are enameled inside but with a matte black. Does anyone happen to know if the black interior creates trouble when cooking – like it is more difficult to see if the meat for a stew is browned correctly?

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