We have been hankering after a Big Le Crueset Cocotte for a long while because of the multi use hob and oven capability, The price has held us back as they sell at £100+ for the size we want, Anyway I happened upon the Sun Pot by accident really after seeing a recipe on a show using the pot. I had a quick search round and came up with 2 options.
Out of two sizes I went for the biggest at 30cm and turned up swiftly and well packaged.
£39.52 to my door by courier.
I was a bit worried that it would turn up with legs, like the cast iron dutch pots I've seen on here and in stores, that would stop me from using it on our ceramic hob, I was prepared to hack them off but good job it has a quite a small 6 inch diameter flat bottom. The pot weighs 1.5 Kg empty, the lid weighs just under 1Kg and the Pot holds 6 litres of water with roughly a 1 inch gap from the top. The thickness of the Pot wall is about 3mm throughout. Pot is over 30CM (12 inches) in diameter and stands just under 6 inches tall.
This is a big Pot! it's made of cast aluminum and is shaped like a bowl rather than square edge saucepan. I had to remove some sharp burrs (as warned online) with a file, easily done. It is a bit agricultural, certianly not a show piece but that not why we wanted it. Also Sun Pot does look a bit fragile and if I ever dropped it from stomach height I would worry it would crack but hopefully would dent or bend.
We gave it a good wash and Hot oven season with Vegatable oil and have been using it a good bit lately mainly for big dishes like 4 man lasagne sauce/bolognaise, Sausage casserole and Chilli's. I would happily use it for casserole type dishes in the oven. It now has a pretty good not stick surface that is as good as any of the cheaper non stick pans we have. There are 2 holding ears/handles (which get extremely hot when on the hob so you have to remember what you are cooking with). The Lid is a good size and would double up as a large dished fry pan in embers well I would imagine after a good seasoning.
The picture shows my bolognaise recipe which has one large onion, 3 large carrots grated, 3 sticks of celery finely chopped, 500 g of lean mince, 1 tin chopped tomatos, 500g of sieved passata garlic cloves salt/pepper, glass of white wine maybe, to give an idea of how much it holds.
The Pot holds the cooking heat very well and distributes it up to about the level of the sauce in the picture, I normally have the power on full to start with and gradually turn down to 1 or 2 out of 6.
Cleaning is simple, I have only had one burn so far most of the food wipes off with hot soapy water since we seasoned it for the second time.
So although I haven't had it outdoors on a open fire, It perform well indoors and I would look forward to camp cooking with it now the weather has brightened up. I'm sure that it would not take much to drill a couple of holes in the handles and make a stainless handle to hang it over a fire.
Although I would rarely cook with such a Big pot, I Would be interested to see others opinions of the pot in the field.