I decided to start cooking in Enameled Cast Iron cookware, because the depth of flavor in the food is superior. It is nonstick to a point by using very little oil, can utilize lower temperatures because of its heat retention, and easier to clean/maintain then regular cast iron. Also 97% of the time, the meal can be prepared in one pot. Plus my childhood memories of Mom cooking with one pot, and meals tasting delicious was another factor in deciding to invest in Enameled Cast Iron. There are several high price brands and after exhausting research, I discovered both Anolon Vesta and Lodge which are more economically priced. After starting with various dutch oven sizes and one skillet, I discovered an everyday pan referred to as a 'Braiser' I absolutely love this type of pan and use my 3.5 Lodge quite a bit, but needed one with more depth. That is when I found Anolon's 5 qt, and web pictures do not do it justice. The color is a deep, purplish blue -- wide and deep enough at the base and up the sides -- also heavy, but you want that in a good enameled cast iron pan. I cooked in it tonight, and the meal was great. Clean up was a breeze. I would highly recommend this pan, and the other sizes in Anolon's enameled cast iron line.
Pots and pans seem of pretty high quality for the price I have yet to cook with them yet. The utensils on the other hand are tiny and made of flimsy plastic that is fraying off the edges. You could probably find a better set at the dollar store. Also, one of the handles on the lids was broken when I pulled it out of the box.
This pot is great for stews. The only issue I have is that the inside of the pot is not like the other Paul Deen pots & pans that I have. Her other pots & pans have a non-stick coating on the inside. This pot does not! So you have keep it on a very low heat or whatever you are cooking will stick & burn on the bottom.
i've never had a true steamer (just a cheap 'universal' insert that usually falls into the pan) or a pot large enough for corn on the cob...i'm lovin' this new pot 'n my steamed veggies 'n tamales that come out of it
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