So you’re cooking up the “Perfect Pot Roast”, courtesy of Ree Drummond and the Food Network. The recipe calls for some searing time on the stovetop, and then you’re supposed to throw the whole thing in the oven to cook.
Queue the groaning at having to wash another pot or pan. You really can’t just throw the original pot you used into the oven to cook the rest of the way.
Or can you?
Well, that really depends on the pot.
When Can I Put a Pot in the Oven?
I’m sure you’re scratching your head right now, wondering how on earth you are supposed to know if the pot is oven-safe or not. Here are a few ways to tell if your pot is oven safe:
The first step to figuring out if your pan is oven safe is to look on the bottom for a symbol indicating whether or not you can put it in the oven. Most of these symbols will look like some variation of an oven.
You may also see the words “Oven Safe” printed on the bottom of the pot.
The type of metal could also determine if it is oven safe. The following are metals that can be safe if used correctly:
1 – Cast Iron
Cast iron is super durable and relatively non-stick if seasoned properly. This type of metal can even go into an open flame!
Cast iron can be relatively inexpensive, which makes it a great option to go from stove to oven.
2 – Enameled Cast Iron
Just like normal cast iron, enameled cast iron can stand up to being put in the oven. This is likely the type of pot that the recipe referenced above is calling for.
Enameled cast iron is relatively non-stick itself, but it does not need to be seasoned. It is coated with enamel, which acts as the non-stick coating.
Enameled cast iron can cost a decent amount more than normal cast iron, and it is quite heavy. The price tag is worth it though, as its versatility makes it an essential part of any kitchen.
3 – Stainless Steel
A lot of stainless steel pots can also go into the oven. You will want to watch your dish though, as it can cook unevenly.
4 – Carbon Steel
Carbon steel is basically a cross between stainless steel and cast iron. It will have to be seasoned like cast iron (it can rust if not), but it is cheaper.
It’s lighter than a cast iron pan, which can be beneficial.
5 – Copper
Copper is a bit more finicky than the other metals listed. It doesn’t do well at high temperatures, since copper is a very reactive metal. It is almost always lined with another metal because of this reactive nature.
Copper is a great metal to work with in pots and pans, as the cook can control the temperature significantly better due to its high conductivity. This high conductivity results in high prices for this type of cookware.
6 – Aluminum
Aluminum must be treated before it can be used in cookware. When combined with other metals or treated to increase its durability, it makes for an inexpensive, lightweight option.
7 – Non-Stick
Though most non-stick pans are probably not a great option for the oven, there are some that are specifically made to be versatile in that sense. This type of cookware is where you will want to look for the oven-safe symbol.
***With all of the pots, you will want to double check with your manufacturer to see if there is a recommended maximum temperature that they advise.
When Shouldn’t I Put a Pot in the Oven?
There are definitely instances where you shouldn’t be using that pot in the oven. Some pots have words written on the bottom that specifically say that they are not oven safe. Please heed that warning.
Pots with plastic handles are also a no-go when it comes to putting them in the oven. If you were to put a pot with plastic handles into a 450 degree oven, there is a very good chance those handles will be gone when you open up the oven, with melted plastic and toxic fumes in their place.
Similar to plastic, if your pot has silicone handles, it may not make sense to put it in the oven. While silicone can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees before melting, getting near that temperature is not a good idea. Melted silicone is extremely dangerous, as it can cling to skin.
While a lot of different pots are able to go into the oven, be cautious when making this decision. Different handle and coating materials may change the temperature that the pot is safe at.
Please be sure to double check your manufacturer’s recommendations as there may be something you are unaware of in regards to the pot’s construction.
Cast iron, enameled cast iron, stainless steel, and carbon steel are pretty reliable in their ability to be transferred to the oven, so if you are using one of these pots, your chances of being able to move it to the oven are great. Happy cooking!