Not Martha

they pull me back in

I found the Grail Of The Moment at Target last night. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Cheftmate enameled cast iron pot:

I was starting to seriously doubt if I really even needed an enameled cast iron pot after all, but there it was sitting all innocent and unchipped.

For those of you just tuning in the $40 Chefmate enameled cast iron pot at Target was ranked as good as (though limited to a single 5 quart size) a Le Creuset in a recent Cook’s Illustrated magazine. Combined with the great no-knead bread incident of late 2006 and the pots were quickly sold out. Checking back on the thread over at Chowhound and it appears the pots are reappearing on Target shelves, though the rumor is that they were only going to be stocked through the end of January 2007. Be aware that some people who spotted them at Target reported that the ones remaining on the shelf were badly chipped, which doesn’t bode well for the long term durability. I’m not a prolific cook and figure I’ll only be using my pot a dozen times a year, so I’m happy with the quality/price compromise.

Related links:

How do I wash flour and dough covered towels without making wheat paste in my washing machine? at Ask Metafilter.

Jim Lahey was on the Martha Stewart show making the No-Knead Bread, and you can watch the segment here (fifth and sixth segments) and find the recipe here. Thanks to Sassy Priscilla for the link. (Cup and a half of water, in case you’re wondering.)

updated: Oh hey, they are offering it online now as well – Round Cast Iron Casserole Pot with Lid – Red:

Thank you for the heads up Christine and Chelsea.

· comments [38] · 01-24-2007 · categories:food · shopping ·

38 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lindsey // Jan 24, 2007 at 10:01 am

    I’ve had this pot for about six months now. I love it! I’ve used it many times for chili and whatnot and no chips yet. Plus, it’s such a cheery red.

  • 2 Anastasia // Jan 24, 2007 at 10:12 am

    I have a few Le Creuset pots– all gifts, mind you!– and I bet you’ll end up taking it out more than once a month as you find myriad uses for it. Enjoy!

  • 3 L // Jan 24, 2007 at 10:12 am

    Congratulations on bringing home your cast iron baby!

  • 4 Jodi // Jan 24, 2007 at 10:39 am

    Ooooh. I am SO glad that you posted this. I was just lamenting to my husband the other day about how expensive these are.

    I have a date now. Tuesday. Target. That cast iron pot is mine.

  • 5 megan // Jan 24, 2007 at 11:06 am

    Jodi – you can phone ahead to make sure it’s in stock, the phone number and item number are here. Also, if they ask for your name and address just tell them you are not comfortable giving out that information, the guy I spoke with was happy enough to skip over that stuff.

  • 6 maryse // Jan 24, 2007 at 11:07 am

    thanks for the info. i found (and bought) a 7 qt pot but i’d like to try making the bread in a smaller one.

    one question. is the plastic knob ok in the 450 degree oven?

  • 7 Sara Jane // Jan 24, 2007 at 11:23 am

    Drat. You had to tempt me, Megan. And now when I called Target, there are none left at all in the far west Chicago ‘burbs.
    Unrequited dutch oven love.

  • 8 megan // Jan 24, 2007 at 11:43 am

    Maryse – The knob on the lid is only ovenproof up to 350 degrees, however it unscrews the same way as on a Le Creuset. I can likely replace it with a metal one, or a loop of steel cable, for higher heat cooking.

  • 9 Kim // Jan 24, 2007 at 11:55 am

    Why, oh why, is it that once something good is discovered it’s immediately discontinued. How can you have a #1 rated pot and decide to not carry it anymore?

  • 10 Chelsea // Jan 24, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    I was thinking about getting that Dutch oven, but concerns over enamel integrity have quelled that thought. It was finally at our Target last weekend, but I didn’t get it. If others are still looking for it type in “cast iron casserole” on or just go here and you should be able to find it if your store doesn’t have it. It’s sold through Target.

    I have to run to Target tonight. I still may get it if it is there.

  • 11 Chelsea // Jan 24, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    Sorry for the really long link!

  • 12 Kim // Jan 24, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    If you’re not die-hard for enameled, I got one that wasn’t enameled, but was pre-seasoned for all of $25 at Target as well. My store has been all out of the red ones for months now.

  • 13 christine // Jan 24, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    Hooray! They had one at my local Target. Of course, I just noticed on the Cook’s Illustrated that they’re on sale online too. Wonder how long that will last…

  • 14 Sarah // Jan 24, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Happy you finally found it! Let us know how it works!

  • 15 sogalitno // Jan 24, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    welll, i went to not one but TWO Targets yesterday and neither of them have ANYTHING like that … one was a pretty raunchy one but the second was a super store one.

    I am so tired of something coming out and then NOT being available.

  • 16 holly_44109 // Jan 24, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    I have been searching and calling around to find this pot and had finally gave up. My husband just bought me a Le Creuset for my birthday this past weekend…now I’m wondering if they’ll be restocked!!!

  • 17 klm // Jan 24, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    Congratulations! I’ve been using that exact pot for two years now and I love it. I make stew, pulled pork, chili, you name it. It’s indestructible and so cute. I read about the no-knead bread and plan to try it in that exact pot.

    To the people who can’t find it — I’ve seen it every year since, but usually in the fall through maybe Christmas. If you don’t find it anywhere now, check around next fall.

  • 18 Virtual Frolic // Jan 24, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    Ooo–so tempting. After reading the reports on how Target was running out of the pans, I gave up. I’ll have to go back and check it out now!

  • 19 Jenny // Jan 25, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    Yay! I just scored the last one on the shelf @ my local Target yesterday. Thanks for the heads up!

  • 20 julee // Jan 25, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    I love mine, got it as a wedding present, had it for about 4 months now. We used the lid this weekend to keep the chicken stock pot contents submerged. Slightly boiling the lid for 6+ hours seemed to have no effect on lid or handle.

  • 21 Clara // Jan 25, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    Took two buses to get there – but I got the last one at the Target here in North Seattle. very happy!

  • 22 Susan // Jan 26, 2007 at 9:37 am

    Noooo! I was just at the N. Seattle Target , half-heartedly looking for this pot and didn’t spot it. To think that my timing was off…. Guess it’s Amazon for me.

    Skip the towels. They’re nothing but trouble. I’ve been using a sheet of lightly-floured parchment paper, clipped at the top w/a chip clip. It’s kludgy, but hey, no mess!

  • 23 megan // Jan 26, 2007 at 9:53 am

    Susan – I’ve been using a Silpat pushed into a large, wide bowl for the second rise, it works pretty well.

  • 24 megan // Jan 26, 2007 at 9:55 am

    Christine – thank you! I didn’t realize they a have started offering it online at as well. Superb, if heavy.

  • 25 Cath // Jan 26, 2007 at 10:44 am

    I like the Martha Stewart dutch oven from Kmart. It’s a really pretty grey color, and totally decent as far as they go.

  • 26 amy // Jan 26, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    just ordered online because i have been to 3 stores in seattle with no luck. even on sale and with a 10% off coupon code (TGTSAVE3) it was $3 more than the store. oh well, at least i save some gas huh?

    i was also a little worried it wasn’t the exact one as the brand wasn’t listed. i put the code from amazon in at and it came up with the matching upc from chowhound.

  • 27 susan sobon // Jan 27, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    oh, i probably shouldnt say this but i found the red creuset one on sale at sears for $35! i have to go bake and buy it because i wasnt sure i needed it! ha! they had about 8 and they were in good condition and all were red

  • 28 kat // Jan 28, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    This might be a duh on the washing flour/dough covered towels but how bout knocking most of that stuff off in the trash?

    I fell in love with this oblong bowl with handle holes at Elder Beerman last nite. Forgot it’s name…

  • 29 Ellen // Feb 1, 2007 at 9:01 am

    Silly thing is sold out on Amazon again … that’s what I get for waiting until this morning to order :o)

  • 30 Katie O // Feb 16, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    Just found mine at Target and snatched it up! Woo hoo! I’ve been wanting one, but didn’t want to spend the $ on a Le Creuset, even though there’s an outlet not too far away (I only save 10-15% there though). Anyway, am looking for all the recipes that called for a dutch oven but have been skipping in the past. Where are they?

  • 31 megan // Feb 16, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Katie – I have not kept a formal list of recipes for dutch ovens, but you can see what I’ve made here on Flickr:
    I link to recipes for each of those when I can.

  • 32 Pam Warner // Jun 9, 2007 at 11:18 am

    Can you use these on the flat top stoves?

  • 33 Star Silva // Sep 17, 2008 at 6:45 am

    I bought the Martha Stewart cast iron dutch oven at K-Mart two weeks ago. I used it once and it worked wonderful. I was going to use it for a second time but had issues with it. I put it on the stove top on medium for browning then it was going to go into the oven. While it was heating, all of a sudden I heard a loud pop and pieces of the enamel flew everywhere. Right in the middle of the dutch oven was a huge area of missing enamel. The enamel flew all over the place and there were shards of it everywhere. I will be returning this item and will not be replacing it with another one. I guess I should have known better since it was made in China, what did I expect.

  • 34 christina // Oct 13, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    I have a problem with this pot. I know that it gets great reviews for no-knead bread, but when I put it in my oven, it smelled disgusting!! It gives off the worst chemical smell! I have not used it in the oven since.

  • 35 karen // Sep 15, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I just bought a Martha Stewart glazed cast iron casserole pan, and I got two chipped spots the size of half dollar the first time I use it. –It’s going back!!

  • 36 Forkable » Freedom Fry Pans // Sep 29, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    […] around $59.99 and the Mario Batali version available for around $100. Of course, everyone is all excited over the frugally friendly Chefmate. Although listed to be available at target, people seem to be […]

  • 37 Susan // Jan 15, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    I just bought the Martha Stewart cast iron caserole and asked the salesperson if I could use it on the stove top like a Dutch Oven and she assured me I could! I just unpacked it from the box and it says “Not stovetop safe.”
    Does this mean I can only use it for casseroles? No chili?

  • 38 megan // Jan 16, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Susan – I’m afraid I cannot tell you, have you tried contacting the manufacturer listed on the box?

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