Shopping Online: How To Tell If It's A Cast Iron Pot

Get your money's worth!

Shopping online can be risky. All you have to go on are the photos that are provided and the product description. Even these can be vague if the seller is not willing to divulge certain points or too lazy to provide more information.

You might already have a cast iron pan or skillet. This pan is usually the beginner cookware many are willing to try out first before investing in the bigger pots. If you already own a cast iron pan and enjoy cooking in it, you are going to look to upgrade. One of the most sought-after cast iron cookware is the Dutch oven. 

A Dutch oven is a heavy-duty cooking pot, usually with a heavy bottom, with a tight-fitting lid. This special pot does not have to be made of cast iron, but it's one of the materials that can hold the heat longer than other materials. While cast iron is not a good conductor of heat, it can retain the heat once it's been heated up. This is why this kind of pot is fantastic to use for braises and stews since it can go from the stovetop to the oven easily without any danger of parts melting off or the lid popping off as it simmers. This is also why the Dutch oven is the original slow cooker without the electronic plug.  

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How can you better assess if the pot you're eyeing online is really made of cast iron? Here are tips on how to tell if the pot you're eyeing is the real deal: 

Photo by Carote/Lazada
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1 Read the description carefully. 

The product name commonly states that the pot is made of cast iron, but there are those who are crafty and do not mention this straight up in an effort for you to look at the product and their store longer.

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If it's not in the product name, it might instead be stated in the product description box. Look for these words: 

  • • material
  • • cookware material
  • • made of
  • • features 

You have to read this area carefully since there are some Dutch ovens that may look like its made from cast iron. After reading the description, the material of the pot listed is not cast iron after all.

Some pots are merely decorative and meant as a serving pot, such as those made of ceramic. You might even find a few pots listed as being made of spodumene, a mineral used in the clay pottery which is basically what this would be, a clay pot. Both of these kinds of pots can be made to be used on the stovetop, also known as flameware. You will have to refer to the manufacturer's manual to determine if these can be used over direct heat or on the stovetop since most clay pots are best used over charcoal. Neither of these kinds of pots are as durable as cast iron.  

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If the words in the description do not lead you to learn if the pot is made of cast iron or some other material, you might need to change stores and look elsewhere. 

Carote Light Blue Green Casserole (also available in pink, dark blue, and white), 23 cm and 26 cm, P2,267.60 and P2,659, Lazada

Photo by Lazada
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2 Ask the seller. 

If the product description doesn't say what the pot is made of, ask. A simple yet direct question such as "Is the pot made of cast iron?" can be resolved when the seller answers. If the seller cannot answer that for you, however, you might be better off shopping in a store with a seller who knows their wares better. 

Enamel Cast Iron Pot Oval in red (also available in blue-green), 28 cm, P2,549.96, Lazada 

Photo by KitchenPlus/Shopee
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3 Read reviews. 

Those who have already bought the cookware might be the most useful as well as the least useful source of information. Some owners may not know the difference between a ceramic and cast iron pot, but those who are knowledgeable and willing to share their experience can tell you if their purchase was worth the price.  

Kitchenplus Selena Enamel Coated Cast Iron Pot (available in red, yellow, and pink), 20 cm, P3,500, Shopee 

Cast iron cookware is not cheap but it can also be not as expensive as you think. While price isn't a great indicator of whether the pot you're eyeing is made of cast iron, sales are always a great way to get a great bargain deal and save on your budget. Plus, you can finally buy that coveted piece of cookware you've always wanted. Win-win! 

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

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Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here!


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