Here at the Strategist UK, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
While we’ve written about all kinds of kitchen essentials before — including the best chef’s knives, the best blenders, and the best rice cookers — here, we’ve rounded up the best cast-iron pots, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.co.uk.
Best-rated overall cast-iron pot
With 87 percent five-star reviews, the Cocotte cast-iron round pot by Staub was the best-rated overall. Fifty-nine customers said that the quality of the pot was excellent, with a further 27 saying their stews have never tasted better than in this pot. Additionally, 41 positive reviews said this was better than Le Creuset — including a rookie sourdough baker who said the (slightly heavier) Staub was the superior option when making a loaf. Another home cook, who said they own “a sizable collection” of both Le Creuset and Staub, said the Staub always won out for its design features and aesthetic. This pot comes in a range of sizes, from 20cm (1.5L) to 34cm (12.6L), but the most popular size is the 26cm option, which has a capacity of 2.5 litres and serves approximately 4-5 people. Twenty-two reviewers were impressed at how easy it was to clean, with only the edges of the lid proving difficult, though even they relented after a long soak, according to one reviewer. Another notable feature: the self-basting spikes (or “picots”) on the roof of the lid, which gather moisture from steam and drip back into the food, preventing it from getting dry. Nineteen reviewers remarked how effective this was at preserving flavour in their meals. It also comes in a range of colours, like classic black, basil, and grenadine.
Best-rated (less expensive) cast-iron pot
For a fraction of the price, this cast-iron pot from Amazon’s in-house Basics line is also well reviewed, with 80 percent five-star reviews. Eighteen reviewers said they were impressed with the quality (including one review declaring it a solid dupe for a Le Creuset), while seven people said they would recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable new cast-iron pot. Fifteen reviewers pointed out that, despite the low price point, this pot is enameled — which refers to the glaze coating the insides — something that is typically found in more expensive models. Twenty-two reviewers also spoke highly of the pot’s stylish colourways — the green and red are currently sold out, but it’s still available in blue and off-white. This pot is available in 4, 5.6, and 7 litre sizes.
Best-rated shallow cast-iron pot
The best-rated shallow cast-iron pot came from Le Creuset, with 89 percent five star reviews. According to reviewers, the 3.2 litre capacity (about 40 percent of the standard model’s 8.4 litre one) was still hugely versatile and was particularly good for making paella, curries, and dhals. Ten customers said they specifically wanted a shallow pot due to limited space in their kitchens, with one customer saying this helpfully doubled up as a sauté pan. Despite the fact it is shallower, 19 customers said it was still rather heavy and could be difficult to carry to the table. But 17 reviews mentioned how stylish this pot was (it comes available in 11 different colours), and 26 people said it was easy to clean.
Best-rated oval cast-iron pot
The best-rated oval cast-iron pot also came from Le Creuset. The 3.2 litre pot has 87 percent five-star reviews, and, like the shallow pot, comes in a range of colours including “volcanic” and “Marseille blue.” One happy customer said this model was “drop-dead gorgeous” to look at, while another commented that the oval shape made roasting a chicken far easier. It was particularly popular with people cooking Sunday roasts; reviewers noted that this was the perfect shape for a medium-sized lamb shoulder (or 3-4 lamb shanks), but that a full or even a half leg of lamb would be too large. Like the previous Le Creuset cast-iron pot, this was particularly easy to clean — eight reviewers said it required a gentle wipe with a warm cloth.
Best-rated mini cast-iron pot
This individual-size cast-iron pot by Staub has a capacity of just 0.25 litres, and was well reviewed, with 78 percent five star reviews. Reviewers spoke highly of the Staub’s lid, which is both heavier than the Le Creuset lid and, unlike the Le Creuset, also features the “picots” that help the food inside retain moisture. Due to its size, 21 reviewers deemed it “perfect” for both solo dining and individual servings of dishes. These included an elderly woman who lived alone (and didn’t need to make large portions) and a fan of French cuisine who liked to serve food to guests in individual cast-iron pots. Though it’s easy to clean by hand, four reviewers appreciated that this cast-iron pot was dishwasher safe.
Best (non-enameled) cast-iron pot
We have written about this cast-iron pot on the Strategist before — and it’s highly rated according to Amazon customers, too, with 85 percent five-star reviews. Though it lacks an enameled glaze on the inside of the pot, reviewers were still impressed. Thirty-seven customers mentioned the cast-iron finish, and 26 commented on how affordable it was. Several customers noted that food could stick to the surface, even with a glug of oil, but it was very popular with bakers; 49 people said it was excellent for baking sourdough and other loaves in. The quality came up in 33 reviews, including from a customer who was used to buying far more expensive models.
The Strategist UK is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Read about who we are and what we do here. Our editors update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.