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I adore my new Cowboy Cauldron. While it’s not unlike the Schwenker, the German swinging grill that Sal Vaglica wrote about for SAVEUR Issue #166, there is a crucial difference: Rather than a simple grate, the cauldron, of course, is a vessel. My model, called The Dude, is a 24-inch-diameter cast-iron witch’s pot that, with its deep basin and removable grill top and rain cover, multitasks as a barbecue, a firepit, and even a stew pot. Hung from its six-foot-high tripod, the Cowboy Cauldron is the type of backyard feature that invites landscaping around it; at a far corner of our yard, it’s framed on two sides with comfy benches and tulips. On a recent chilly afternoon, friends and neighbors huddled around it, feeding the fire with the well-seasoned branches of a cherry tree we had had to take down a few years ago. We had only planned on a quick get-together over sangria and some snacks, but as the day wore into evening and the lure of The Dude proved too powerful to disperse the crowd, we gave into its charms. I ran across the street to the market, and we soon were feasting on diverse charred sausages in the warming glow of my new favorite lawn fixture’s flames. —Betsy Andrews
The Dude, $895 at CowboyCauldron.com