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Could a large enameled cast iron pot be used as a saucepan?

Most recipes I cook usually involve a sauce being cooked low and slow in a 20cm saucepan.

I was thinking of buying a 20cm enameled cast iron saucepan but now I'm wondering whether I should just buy a slightly larger 24cm Dutch oven style pot.

The main concern I have is the pot lacking a long non-conductive handle to stabilise it while stirring.

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    As it's enameled cast iron, it's likely heavy enough that you won't need to hold it to stabilize it. – Joe Feb 18 '15 at 15:08
  • Hello Damian! Buying recommendations of the sort "Which brand should I choose" are off topic. Your question is fine, as it is asking whether a Dutch oven is the right tool for the job, but it seems that the way it was worded made someone think of the buying recommendation rule; the question got a close vote. I changed your title to clear it up. – rumtscho Feb 18 '15 at 15:24
  • Keep in mind that the thermal mass of a DO may mean that you can't as easily and quickly adjust temperatures as in a comparatively leightweight skillet. For "low and slow" that's ok, but you need to get used to the "behaviour" of a DO e.g. when roasting onions for your sauce. Works fine, though. – Stephie Feb 18 '15 at 18:56
  • I decided to go for a quality stainless steel lined aluminum pan due to it being lighter and faster to respond to temperature changes. – Damian Wood Feb 28 '15 at 5:15
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You can certainly use a Dutch oven (DO) for cooking sauce. A good DO is probably one of the most versatile pieces of equipment in the kitchen. It cooks, it bakes, it even fries! It will certainly make sauce and the high sides will even help prevent splatters. I wouldn't worry about the lack of a long handle, the weight of the DO will keep it stable.

If anything, the weight is its primary fault. A good DO is also a heavy DO. It can be a bit daunting to lug out every time.

Since you mentioned Le Creuset, I'm assuming you're talking about enameled cast iron - not 'normal' cast iron. And hence haven't addressed that you certain sauces and such may not be well suited to 'normal' cast iron, but enameled is fine all around.

Can you use a enameled Dutch oven for sauces? Absolutely. Should you? There are less weighty options, but at the end of the day it will make the same sauce.

  • I might recommend an enamel DO for sauces though, since many sauces are acidic. Using a plain cast iron DO for sauces will increase it's maintenance requirements. Meaning, it won't stay seasoned for very long. I honestly prefer good stainless steel sauce pans for sauces. – Escoce Feb 26 '15 at 19:18

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