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A cauldron is a vessel similar to a bucket or kettle and is used to brew and hold potions and also may be used to carry supplies. Cauldrons are heated over an open fire and can be hung over a fire from an iron handle.


Early history

Cauldrons were once used by Muggles and wizards alike, being large metal cooking pots that could be suspended over fires. In time, magical and non-magical people alike moved on to stoves; saucepans became more convenient and cauldrons became the sole province of witches and wizards, who continued to brew potions in them. A naked flame is essential for the making of potions, which makes cauldrons the most practical pot of all.[1]

Modern developments


While cauldrons remain classic potion-making utensils, there have been attempts to revolutionise the cauldron, like the invention of the Self-Stirring Cauldron by Gaspard Shingleton,[2] or the Collapsible Cauldron.[3] Humphrey Belcher once theorised "the time was ripe for a cheese cauldron" (Albus Dumbledore would later comment he had been "woefully wrong" in this belief).[4]

The fire crab, which resembles a tortoise with a jewelled shell that shoots fire out its back end, is prized for its shell for use as a cauldron. This practise of poaching has lead to protected colonies in its native habitat of Fiji island.[5]

All cauldrons are enchanted to make them lighter to carry, as they are most commonly made of pewter or iron. Modern inventions include the self-stirring and collapsible varieties of cauldron, and pots of precious metal are also available for the specialist, or the show-off.[6]

Cauldron thickness

"We're trying to standardise cauldron thickness. Some of these foreign imports are just a shade too thin — leakages have been increasing at a rate of almost three percent a year"
Percy Weasley's explanation[src]

In general, cauldrons must stand up to great wear and usage. As one of his first assignments with the Ministry of Magic, Percy Weasley worked with the Department of International Magical Cooperation lobbying for a standard for cauldron thickness. Apparently, there was an issue with sub-standard imported cauldrons having defective, thin bottoms.[7] Perhaps this is the cause for Neville Longbottom's knack for melting cauldrons during Potions class. First years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry used pewter standard size 2 cauldrons, as mentioned on the list that accompanied their Hogwarts acceptance letter.[3]

Types of cauldron

Here is a list of known types of cauldrons, including those created as a joke:

Cauldrons in wizarding culture

Behind the scenes

Melted cauldron

A melted cauldron on Pottermore.


Notes and references

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