If you are interested in Japanese cast iron, you must check out a brand called Vermicular. The company currently manufactures high-end enamelware and takes on French brands such as Le Creuset and Staub. I have to say Vermicular makes some great-looking pots. And because the company uses graphite cast iron for added strength, their cookware is worth serious consideration.
But unlike Staub and Le Creuset, Vermicular is relatively unknown outside of Japan despite its reputation for quality. So, in the article, you can learn about Vermicular, including its history, product features, and product range.
Table Of Contents
- Company information
- History of Vermicular
- Manufacturing process
- Is Vermicular cast iron worth it?
- Final thoughts
Vermicular is a family-owned business that manufactures cookware for the Japanese market. Despite this, the brand is gaining a worldwide reputation for manufacturing high-quality enameled cast iron. And equal to other well-known brands such as Staub and Le Creuset.
The company also successfully combines one of the oldest cooking materials, cast iron, with modern technology and specializes in high-end enameled Dutch ovens and frying pans. The company has also developed an induction cooker for one of their Dutch Ovens.
Name of Manufacturer
Aichi Dobby Ltd.
The company was founded in 1936 and was called the Hijikata Foundry.
1-28 Soencho, Nakagawa
Japan (Google map)
Vermicular cookware dates back to 2010.
The company makes enamel cast iron Dutch Ovens, frying pans, and kitchen accessories.
History of Vermicular
Two brothers, Kunihiro and Tomohiro Hijikata, are the founders of Vermicular. The brothers manufacture the cookware line in the Hijikata’s Aichi Dobby Foundry (Wiki Japan). Despite Vermicular being a relatively new cookware line, the family has been in the cast iron business since 1936.
The Original Aichi Dobby Ironworks
The Hijikata family operated the original Aichi Dobby ironworks, known for its ability to cast and machine iron. The factory produced industrial sewing machines and dobby looms. However, the business slowed in the mid-20th century during an economic downturn. And due to the development of new technology over that time.
Reestablishing The Ironworks
In 2010, the two brothers decided to revive the legacy of family casting works by creating world-class enameled cast-iron cookware.
The brothers began designing an enameled Dutch Oven with an innovative induction cooker.
After extensive testing and product development, the Hijikata brothers launched the Vermicular brand with their first product: the Musui-Kamado, a cast iron pot with a companion induction cooker. The cooker took three years of product development and testing before the brothers were happy with the final design.
Features of Vermicular Cast Iron Cookware
Vermicular cast iron contains a mix of iron and a small amount of 13 other metals to produce graphite cast iron.
Graphite iron is more durable and can be machined thinner than standard cast iron. This results in lighter ironware.
However, graphite iron is not easy to machine and requires a lot of technical expertise. This type of casting metal is uncommon for cast iron cookware, but it plays to the strengths of Japanese metal casting that date back thousands of years.
How Are Vermicular Dutch Ovens Made?
Workers melt the iron and trace metals at 2700 degrees Fahrenheit. The molten iron is then poured into sand molds using the green sand casting.
Pots are then tooled by hand, removing the gate mark and rough burrs. Workers then smooth and round the edges of the oven and handle.
Next, staff carefully inspected the ovens for any imperfections. And the cookware undergoes the base coat of enamel.
Vermicular enamel cookware receives three coats of enamel glaze in total. Multiple layers of enamel help ensure the enamel glaze is less likely to chip and develop fractures, known as crazing. Various layers of enamel also help ensure the cookware stays rust-free and will last for years.
Induction Oven/Dutch Oven (Matsui-Komodo)
The signature Vermicular product is the Matsui-Komodo, a removable cast-iron Dutch Oven that fits into an induction slow cooker.
The induction cooker occupies little space on your kitchen countertop and is ideally suited for smaller families and kitchens.
The Musui-Kamado is a revolutionary cast iron induction multi-cooker. It can cook various dishes and is ideal for slow-cooking your meals. You can use the cooker for the following cooking methods:
- and braising
The Musui-Kamado allows home cooks to make one-pot restaurant-quality meals right in your home. Vegetables will retain their natural flavors, and meat will fall apart. Put the Matsui-Komodo on your watch list because this little beauty isn’t a small purchase. But if you are looking for a cast-iron alternative to an air fryer, you may want to check it out. Here’s an affiliate link to Amazon to see current prices.
Dutch Oven (Musui)
Suppose you decide to purchase a Vermicular Dutch oven. In that case, it will have three coats of enamel, similar to Staub and Le Creuset ironware. Unfortunately, Vermicular ovens also come with an equally high price tag.
But you can expect your Vermicular Dutch Oven to be equal in quality to its French counterparts. And just like other premium cast iron, your oven is carefully inspected and individually smoothed. Workers check the handles and edges and smooth any rough areas before enameling.
You can also expect a tight-fitting lid. Vermicular proudly states they can machine cast iron to .01mm accuracy. Vermicular is right up there with the best Dutch Ovens you can buy.
Now, let’s see how the Japanese pot stacks up against one of the most recognized brands in the cast-iron industry, Le Creuset.
Comparing Vermicular and Le Creuset Dutch Ovens
|Dutch Oven||Vermicular Dutch Oven 3.5 liter||Le Creuset Dutch Oven 3.5 quart|
Place of manufacture
4.2 kilograms or 9.2 pounds
3.6 kilograms or 8.1 pounds
Enameled graphite cast-iron
Handled lids for easy and safe handling
A multitude of different colors to choose
Choosing a new skillet is already hard enough. But now, Vermicular has also introduced cast-iron frying pans to the company lineup. The pans are thinly cast but retain all the benefits of regular cast iron.
Unlike regular cast iron skillets, the Vermicular skillet features a wooden handle to reduce the weight further. Reducing the weight caters to the Japanese market that finds standard cast-iron skillets too unwieldy. The frying pans have a classic, timeless design and will look great on display in any kitchen.
Vermicular frying pans are a great option if you want cast iron but are hesitant because of the weight of regular cast-iron skillets.
But since the handle is wooden, it’s not the best choice for oven use.
Comparing a Vermicular and Lodge Skillet
|Skillet/Frying Pan||Vermicular 26cm skillet||Lodge 10 1/4 inch skillet|
Place of Manufacture
United States of America
1.1 kilogram or 2.4 pounds
2.4 kilograms or 5.2 pounds
Polymerized vegetable oil
Lightweight and semi-smooth cooking surface
Should I buy Vermicular Cast Iron?
It’s a sensible question since the cookware brand is not the cheapest on the market. However, the company produces high-quality cast iron cookware equal to Le Creuset and Staub. The cookware is made with durable graphite cast iron, so it should last years.
I’d opt for a stand-alone Dutch oven and not the induction/Dutch Oven combo. Unlike many Japanese homes that only have a small toaster oven, you are unlikely to need the Matsui-Komodo combination.
The Vermicular Dutch oven features a classic French design handled lid that places downward pressure when lifting, making the Dutch Oven easier and safer to move from place to place.
Vermicular is high-quality ironware that uses Japanese precision casting technology. The cookware tends to be lighter than alternative cast-iron brands and looks fantastic. It’s more expensive than competing brands, but this Japanese cast-iron is sure to please.