The heavy cast iron pot (cooking) is also called a caldero or caldron. This main pot is similar to the Dutch Oven. Most times they come with a heavy lid, other times you get the pot and cover separate to buy (those smart businessmen). They come in various sizes, the largest I've seen measures some 3 feet across, and are used to cook meat, stews, soups and rice dishes such as pelau and mixed rice. When it comes to Trini cooking this iron pot forms the core of our style of cooking. It could be passed on from generation to generation.
Cleaning Your Cast Iron Pot
These pots start their cooking career looking nice and shiny but the real veterans in the kitchen become black with use, over the years. I have learned a couple of things over time about keeping these pots clean. For one thing, never use harsh detergents to clean the pot. Also it is easier to clean by letting it soak with hot water for a little while. It is easier to scrape out anything stuck to it, with a scouring pad or even a spoon. My mother-in-law uses an oven cleaner to remove burns accumulated over time, but uses it with rubber gloves for safety.
Why Use a Cast Iron Pot
The versatility of this utensil lies in the fact that it could also be used on a wood fire outdoors to give the same or even better cooking results. It is said that these pots are better to use than it's aluminum counterparts because the tiny traces of iron that gets in the food, does not pollute the body but rather helps strengthen it; possibly over time you wouldn't need an iron supplement. 🙂 So if you're into Trini style cooking, this is one pot you got to have.
I recently discovered your blog. Great posts! I can't wait to try the recipes.
I was given an Iron Pot one year for Christmas, and it's become one of my favorite kitchen items. However, I was wondering...was I supposed to "season" it before using it?
I am just not quite sure if I am taking care of it properly.
Thanks Roana for you comment. Congratulations on your iron pot. All you need to do is take good care of the pot and try not to burn anything in it. These pots have a tendency to get black over the years, as you would see in some of my photos, but a good scrub could take care of that. Follow the guidelines in the post and you will be okay.
I have a cast iron pot that looks like yours. My friend is concerned that it might not be iron because it's quite light. My pot is 13 inches wide and 6 inches deep and it weighs 4 lbs. How much does yours weigh?
I'll be interested to find out. Thanks!
I have a question about an 'iron' pot that I picked up from a West Indian grocery (I live in Toronto). I took the pot home and tested it out with a magnet to see if it attracts - it didnt. So I assume that it's not iron, since that metal is usually magnetic.
Now this pot looks similar to the one that all my relatives use back home. My question is, ar typical Trini 'iron' pots actually made of iron? Or is it ok for them to be made of some other metal, like aluminum. I spent a lot on this pot, and I don't want it to be the wrong thing.
Sorry to say that your pot is not an iron pot. Iron pots will be magnetic so a good thing to do would be to walk with a magnet when you're going to buy your pot next time.
Yaya this seems to be a trend now even here in Trinidad and Tobago. From my experience, they are selling aluminum "knock offs" as iron pots and we all know that cooking in aluminum utensils is very dangerous since it can leak into your food. So the pot is similar but not the same. Happy hunting for a good trini iron pot and remember to walk with your magnet.
Thanks for commenting 🙂
Do you know of a website where the iron pots can be purchased??? Thanks
No, not at the moment
Is this pot available for sale in Trinidad?