Lodge cast iron combo cooker
Does anyone have experience with this? It's a 3-quart chicken fryer with a lid that can actually be used as a skillet. I want to make the no-knead bread and am trying to decide if this would suffice. I think it may be a little small for the bread but the lid gives it a little extra height, about an inch I would think. But does the lid stay on as tight as a regular lid, and is the piece overly unwieldy (and heavy)? Is it better to just have 2 separate pieces? (I want a fryer but I also want to make the bread, and I do a lot of braising).
Should I get the above or the 5-qt dutch oven plus a cheap, unseasoned fryer with a regular lid? That would only be $10 more than the preseasoned combo. But at some point I want to get a Le Creuset dutch oven, so maybe the combo would suffice for a while?
Also, if I have the fryer, is that shallow enough to use as a regular skillet as well?
chicken fryers are just usually a bit deeper (not alot) than regular skillets, so they can be used as uncovered skillets. Can't advise on the rest of your questions. Do you have an illustration of the model you're asking about?
My Lodge chicken fryer is a 3 quart, 7 inches across at the bottom, sides are sloped so it is about 10 inches at the top. It is 3 1/4 inches high, NOT including slightly domed top. I have made 3 loaves of the Lahey bread so far, all 3 just as nice as can be! My fryer is pretty well seasoned now, (it was bought unseasoned) the bread just falls out, no sticking. The bread does NOT come close to the top, there is plenty of room, don't worry. The lid is nice and heavy, I don't know if the lid you are considering, that doubles as a skillet, would be as snug a fit, but if they are selling it as a lid, I think maybe it works as a lid.? From the pictures I have seen of the "combo" online, I think that this would certainly do for the bread.
Thank you, both, for the very helpful comments. I'm glad I only need to get the chicken fryer (to use as a dutch oven and skillet, as well) as I don't have that much space. I'm going to get the one with the regular lid since it's big enough for the bread, and I like simple design.
i have a lodge chicken cooker that is about 9" across the bottom and the sides are maybe 3.5" high. the lid is just a lid. i use it weekly for really good chicken. regular skillets won't be close in performance to cast iron, they have hot spots and cook unevenly, usually burning things. glass pans for oven fried chicken work very well too. i bake bread in metal bread pans but cast iron fry pans are great for making pizza as they act like a pizza stone most people don't have in their ovens. sprinkle corn meal in the pan and add your dough, itwill cook up like a pizzeria. i thought of making commercial pies in cast iron pans but got out of the restaurant biz. john