Thanks for any suggestions or comments,
Edited by Schmoozer - 3/10/10 at 4:12pm
On Friday, I called Sur La Table and asked them to hold a 5.5 qt Le Creuset French Oven in white for me and I would be there Saturday (it is a 2 hour ride to that store for me). When I got there, the piece was a damaged piece. They offered to reduce it but I am anal about such things. I considered going to the 7.25 size. The 2 pieces they had there were also damaged. They offered to order it on their website for me, free shipping. My husband was with me and he said he was not impressed with the appearance of the line as compared to Lodge. He said, by appearance, they appear very similar.
I didn't order it.
I was also interested in the Le Creuset 3qt casserole/braiser @ $199
When I got home I did a search and found a Lodge 3qt casserole on sale for $43
I didn't order it.
I have a set of Viking cookware which really cooks and cleans very well and one 6qt Dutch Oven, enameled cast iron, from Lodge, which I seldom use. However, I want to braise more and make more one-pot meals . Whenever I do use the Lodge, I never have any issues and the food always comes out good. If you soak it, cleaning is not an issue at all.
Previously, I purchased the All-Clad braiser from Chef's for $199. It was gorgeous. When I washed it with a soft sponge and hot soapy water as instructed, I noted there were scratch marks BENEATH the surface of the lid. Chef's told me to return it.
Viking has a 6qt casserole on sale for $299
I've got several LC pots -- never had any problem with the enamel chipping or bubbling. The inside of one has gotten a bit discolored though -- probably due to cooking with red wine -- but that hasn't affected the cooking properties. There is a method ofr removing most of the discoloration, but I read that it is hard on the pot, so I don't do it very often.
TJMaxx sometimes carries LC.
I have two Tramontina dutch ovens 3½ ($30) and 6½ qt ($40) versions, prices reflect sale prices. I have also bought them for five friends and family members. I use the smaller one for no-knead bread and the larger for soups and stews. Aside from having to wrap the knob in tinfoil to protect it from 500 degree ovens, all have performed extremely well. I don't have any Le Creuset to compare them with, but I do have Staub and all perform equally. I purchased the Staub only because it had sizes that were not available in Tramontina. I knwo America's test kitchen tested the Tramontina againist Le Creuset and named it best buy with no significant difference between the two brands.
I did read that review. ATK chose the Tramontina over the Lodge because Tramontina was larger and cost less. From what I understood in their review, the 3 brands were comparable.
I value their reviews. I own a 6 qt Lodge. I used it this morning to boil chicken for my dogs.
I was planning to order the LC french oven this morning but now I am really confused because I really want a few pieces (7.25, 5.5 and casserole) but can only order one today. However, I can order the 3 qt and casserole version in Lodge for $100 total and have $170 left over, which I didn't spend on the one piece....
My husband said to splurge because it is a birthday gift but I am a little more practical than he
Has any of the people who own LC and another brand, such as Lodge, compared how they both cook and can actually see a difference?
BTW, I love white and have everything I could in white in my kitchen. The Lodge 6 qt is brown which matches the rest of my house. It is rustic looking and I have rustic decor. Either would match. The one thing in favor of the Lodge, beside price, is that I would not live in fear of ruining it
I have just purchased an enameled cast iron Le Creuset braiser - 3.5 quart. Even though I will eventually use it for braising once I read some recipes on how to do this, I am interested at this time to cook stir frys, curries, rice, etc. I have just been looking through my Indian cookbook and see that a lot of the instructions say to use medium-high heat. I have heard that to protect the braiser it is best to stay on low to medium heat. Will this still work because the pot will heat up quite a bit even on medium? Also, what is a good cookbook for braising? I am a bit apprehensive at getting started because of the heat issue. Is this braiser good for cooking rice? Would love to hear from you.
I would not use for stir fry, as this requires a great amount of concentrated heat. As far as rice thats ok
. Usually these type pans and pots are great for home use, but do not hold up to the everyday vigors of commercial kitchen, but they are pretty. As far as a book for braising, I do not know of a specific text. Since the procedure of braising is almost the same in all applications(except for the type of liquid added)
I should think any procedure or recipe would be done in same manner as boiling is to boiling, and baking is to baking.
Problem with these pans is you really cant scrub them because you would scratch outside finish
. I like them for stews, curries and long cookng sauces.
I would never buy another LC again.
My generous husband bought me a 5.5Qt round Dutch oven in DUNE, similar to the Martha Stewart line (prior to unfortunate mix up) and that SOB is so heavy, hard to clean, and temperamental. My new electric range top doesn't have a low enough setting to keep a simmer in it and therefore scorches the bottom. I have to put in the oven at very low setting to simmer.
But, it sure is pretty sitting on top of my black range.
I think I would consider the cast iron-enameled pot recommended by CI/Americas Test Kitchen,
I can't seem to remember the name of it, dang, and it cost only like around $50...
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