Cast Iron Saucepans: What They Are and Why You Need One

Expand your Enameled Cast Iron collection with a versatile, do-anything saucepan.

By Sasha Weilbaker
Jun 27, 2023
cast iron saucepan on griddle
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Say goodbye to rusting and seasoning troubles when you switch to enameled cast iron saucepans. The definition of versatility, enameled cast iron brings the heat retention and distribution of unfinished cast iron to the (literal) table—infused with a protective enamel layer that makes cleanup a breeze.

Cast Iron Saucepan: The Basics

Enameled cast iron saucepans are crafted from a base made from heavy-duty cast iron, an age-old material known for its durability and retention. This is then coated with enamel. The result? A glossy, impermeable layer that prevents the cast iron from rusting and eliminates the need for regular seasoning, a maintenance process that’s required to keep raw cast iron cookware in working order. The enamel surface is also non-reactive, meaning it won't interact with your ingredients to alter flavors, and it cleans up beautifully too.

Why Should You Use a Cast Iron Saucepan?

So, why should you choose a cast iron saucepan? Besides the versatility and resilience cast iron brings to cooking, the saucepan truly does it all across any heat source you choose, be it induction, electric, gas, or even an open flame.

Speaking of, cast iron excels in the backcountry, standing up to the challenge of an open fire just as well as it does your stovetop. It looks good, too—there's a rustic charm to cast iron that's truly timeless. Whether you're a home cook ready to elevate your culinary game or you’re on the hunt for durable, outdoor-friendly cookware, our enameled cast iron saucepan is the tool for you.

How to Use a Cast Iron Saucepan

For those new to the world of cast iron cookware, using an enameled cast iron saucepan is pretty straightforward. Start by preheating the pan on a medium setting, as cast iron's superior heat retention can lead to overheating if placed directly on high heat. When it's up to temperature, adjust the heat as needed for your recipe. One of the beauties of this pan is its versatility—sear steaks, simmer stews, sauté vegetables, or even bake bread, as there's hardly a task it can't handle.

Beyond the kitchen, the saucepan's rugged nature and high-heat tolerance make it perfect for outdoor cooking, whether you're camping or grilling in your backyard. Set it over an open fire to cook hearty meals in the great outdoors, or use it on your grill to add a delightful char to veggies or meats. This pan thrives in high-heat, rustic cooking environments, creating flavors and experiences in the outdoors that it's hard to come by from other pieces in your kitchen.

What to Cook in a Cast Iron Saucepan

The beauty of the enameled cast iron saucepan lies in its versatility, making it a top-notch choice for a variety of culinary endeavors:

  • Soups: The saucepan's even heat distribution makes it ideal for simmering soups. Whether it's an elegant bouillabaisse or a hearty chili, its consistent temperature prevents burning and ensures that your meal cooks evenly and thoroughly.
  • Sauces: Thick walls prevent scorching and burning, while encouraging sauces to reduce at an even rate.

Seared proteins and browned vegetables: The high-heat tolerance of cast iron is perfect for searing meats and browning vegetables. It creates a beautiful crust on steaks and a delightful caramelization on your veggies that's hard to achieve using other types of cookware.

When you venture beyond the kitchen:

  • Camping Cuisine: The saucepan’s versatility makes it a trustworthy companion for summer camping trips. Its ability to handle high heat and open flames while maintaining even cooking is a game-changer for outdoor meals, from sauces to making even canned soups or chili feel upscale.

  • Grilling Side Dishes: Using the saucepan on your grill opens up a new world of culinary possibilities. Cook side dishes like grilled vegetables, baked beans, stovetop (or grill top) mac and cheese, and slowly simmered barbecue sauces right alongside your burgers and steaks.

Ready to Shop?

Made In’s Enameled Cast Iron Saucepan is a workhorse in the kitchen, whether indoors or out. From searing and sautéing to simmering and baking, our enameled cast iron saucepan offers unparalleled versatility and performance, whether on your stovetop, in your oven, or over an open flame.