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buying a dutch oven

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

i'm looking to buy a dutch oven and wondering what other people have and if they're happy with them, both good and bad reviews please. i know that le creuset is the best, but they are well out of my price range. i've heard that lodge logic makes a great dutch oven for a relatively cheap price. this is an important investment that should pretty much last forever. we do a lot of cooking at home. any ideas?

post #2 of 33

well I would say so long as its cast iron you should be okay. After a brief look at the two choices I see no reason not to get the LodgeLogic. Save over a hundred bucks and have a great day.

"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #3 of 33

Quote:

Originally Posted by halmstad View Post

i'm looking to buy a dutch oven and wondering what other people have and if they're happy with them, both good and bad reviews please. i know that le creuset is the best, but they are well out of my price range. i've heard that lodge logic makes a great dutch oven for a relatively cheap price. this is an important investment that should pretty much last forever. we do a lot of cooking at home. any ideas?

You can read my review of the Le Creuset oven here:

 

http://www.cheftalk.com/products/le-creuset-enameled-cast-iron-5-1-2-quart-round-french-oven-red

While Le Creuset is an excellent choice, so is Staub.  I now have both and am extremely satisfied with both brands.  There is another French brand,Fontignac, that is less expensive and, IMO, better quality than the Chinese-made pots.  Prices are somewhat comparable, and better in many instances when shopping at Bed, Bath, & Beyond and using their 20% off coupon.  I have heard that Fontignac is made by, or are a subsidiary of, Staub, but I have not verified that.

 

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=119833&RN=787

 

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=119832&RN=787

Schmoozer
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post #4 of 33

          After 35 years of valiant service we finally put our Le Creuset dutch oven out to pasture ( they make a nice planter ) and had to replace it. I priced a 5 1/2 qt. Le Creuset at Amazon for $232. I'm sorry, I can't justify spending that much for a dutch oven no matter how good it is. We looked at a couple of more economical ovens - the 6 qt. Lodge cast iron enamel coated ($50) and the 6.5 qt. Tramontina cast iron enamel coated ($34). Since we already have some Lodge cast iron skillets and are very happy with them we decided on the Lodge and bought one at Walmart. I've used it weekly for the last three months and so far so good. I took the metal knob off my old Le Creuset and replaced the plastic composition one on the Lodge eliminating the high temperature problem.

         I would not argue that there's a difference in quality and that we'll come close to getting the same amount of use out of the Lodge as we would the Le Creuset. Then again with the money you'll save you can replace it several times over the years and still have enough to buy some nice steaks and a bottle of your favorite wine.

 

 

       Willie

post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie24 View Post

        I would not argue that there's a difference in quality and that we'll come close to getting the same amount of use out of the Lodge as we would the Le Creuset. Then again with the money you'll save you can replace it several times over the years and still have enough to buy some nice steaks and a bottle of your favorite wine.

 

Over the past year or so I've read many reviews commenting on the poor quality of the enamel coatings on the Chinese-made dutch ovens and other cast iron cookware.  Sure, the stuff is cheaper, and you may have to buy a couple, three, or four units over a period of time which might equal the original cost of a Le Creuset or Staub.  But, if all you are doing is considering the cost, don't forget to factor in the cost of your time and energy spent replacing lesser quality pots.  And then there's the waste - it bothers me,and maybe some others as well, to buy "disposable" gear, and replace it every few years.

 

And then there's the guarantee.  As far as I'm concerned, and based on my experience, LC has a great guarantee, and they stand behind their product.  Through my own carelessness, I damaged a 30yo LC pot, contacted the company, and they offered a replacement for only 25% of the selling price.  I like a company that stands behind their products.

 

However, you pays your money and you makes your choice ... I'd rather not bet on  Chinese-made products.

Schmoozer
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post #6 of 33

Why replace something continually over the years when you could buy a Creuset and have it last a lifetime?  I'll never understand this logic... buy a $10 item 10 times over or a $100 item once.  At least you'll save yourself the gas money from going to the store 9 extra times for the cheap item.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #7 of 33

While I agree that you should choose quality over price, I don't see any difference between the Lodge and the LC dutch oven.  (for what it's worth, Lodge's website claims the pots are made in America, not China.)

I love my Lodge dutch oven, and can't really understand how the LC would be any better.  I got mine on the advice of my mother-in-law who, has had both and actually had her LC break in half.  Granted, the LC has a metal knob.  I haven't had any trouble with the plastic knob, though, and I can't see paying $100+ extra just to have a metal knob on the lid, especially since most of my dutch oven cooking occurs at low oven temperatures anyway. Even better, pay a few extra bucks and spring for a Lodge enamel pot with a metal knob -- I just looked at their website, and they now sell them.

post #8 of 33

Quote:

Originally Posted by angela09 View Post

While I agree that you should choose quality over price, I don't see any difference between the Lodge and the LC dutch oven.  (for what it's worth, Lodge's website claims the pots are made in America, not China.)

 

According to an email I received from Lodge, as well as other sources, the enameled pots are made in China and the regular cast Iron are made in the USA.  Lodge notes that the enameled Dutch ovens are made in China on their web site:

http://www.lodgemfg.com/use-care-enamel.asp

 

Lodge also mentions that "you may notice small surface cosmetic irregularities"  in the product, although they point out that those imperfections shouldn't effect performance.  My thoughts are that these irregularities may contribute to early failures ...

 

Comments by numerous reviewers mention that with Lodge and other Chinese made enameled cast iron, there are substantially greater instances of peeling, chipping, cracking of the coating, warping, and poor fitting lids.  You pay your money and you make your choice.

 

Were I to buy a Chinese-made Dutch oven, I'd probably go with Lodge rather than any of the other brands.


Edited by Schmoozer - 5/26/10 at 2:27pm
Schmoozer
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post #9 of 33

I have a LOT of Le Creuset ware.  Full set of saucepans and quite a few casserole dishes of various sizes, griddle, omelette pans and lasagne type pans.  I've had most of them for over 30 years - they are still as good as new!

 

I find the saucepans quite heavy to use nowadays, and so have gifted them to one of my children. But the casseroles and other dishes and the saute/griddle/omelette/crepes will be with my till I die!

post #10 of 33

I stand corrected, schmoozer, thanks.  I'm still really happy with my lodge, though.  We'll see if I still love it after 30 years.

post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmoozer View Post

Quote:

You can read my review of the Le Creuset oven here:

 

http://www.cheftalk.com/products/le-creuset-enameled-cast-iron-5-1-2-quart-round-french-oven-red

While Le Creuset is an excellent choice, so is Staub.  I now have both and am extremely satisfied with both brands.  There is another French brand,Fontignac, that is less expensive and, IMO, better quality than the Chinese-made pots.  Prices are somewhat comparable, and better in many instances when shopping at Bed, Bath, & Beyond and using their 20% off coupon.  I have heard that Fontignac is made by, or are a subsidiary of, Staub, but I have not verified that.

 

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=119833&RN=787

 

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=119832&RN=787

I also have Le Creuset and Staub, and I agree, the Fontignac product (yes, a subsidiary of Staub) is excellent. I would rate it as a bit better than the current breed of Le Creuset and not quite as good as Staub. The only Le Creuset that I have are some terrines which do their jobs excellently, but they lack the refined finish of the Staub. All are much better products than the enameled Lodge which I experimented with a few years ago. I also had a Chinese made product that came out under Mario Batali's name, and it disintegrated within a month of regular use.

 

My big ovens are well kept old Descoware from the 1960s, holding up exquisitely. When the day comes that I need to replace them it will likely be with Fontignac.

post #12 of 33

I've been cooking with cast iron dutch ovens since childhood and have nothing but good things to say about Lodge. (I own 4 DO's, 2 camp, 2 regular oven models).  If an oven can stand up to decades of abuse by teenage boy scouts without missing a beat, I doubt a home or pro chef would accidentally damage one.  The downside is they need some care.  Proper seasoning, cleaning and storage are key and I don't know how many folks are into the maintenance side of cast iron these days.  But, the non-enameled ovens are much more versatile, performing well in a regular oven or a campfire.

 

The enameled ovens I've used (LC) are really nice and easy to use, but I choke on the price.  (I do like to go to William Sonoma and drool over the LC display, though...)  I was very wary of the Lodge enameled ovens as they are made in China, but they do independent testing for lead and cadmium and their products meet FDA and California standards. 

 

If I was purchasing a new oven based on price and performance, I'd choose a Lodge oven.  If I needed to have a big recognized brand name with a wide choice of colors, and I knew I'd never be tempted to toss it in a campfire or on a grill, I'd go with the LC.

post #13 of 33

I have a lodge enameled dutch oven. Fit and finish is good and it performs well. Its a beast to move though

post #14 of 33

I concur that the cast iron Lodge Dutch ovens and camp ovens are about the best currently manufactured; at the very least, they are the best that I have encountered. There are applications, however, for which an enameled Dutch oven is irreplaceable, specifically when making highly acidic dishes, the iron not being resistant to acids in the same way that stainless steel or enamel is.

 

When evaluating enameled Dutch ovens, the Chinese Lodge had an inferior quality enamel as compared to the Le Creuset and the Staub products. It showed unevenness and bubbling. The products were waranteed and the customer service at Lodge was excellent and I had two items replaced, but over all, I like the Staub product the best.

post #15 of 33

I have a lodge logic and it is great, I also have a Kitchenaid and it is total crap. I returned the first one i got because large chunks of enamel were broke off and sitting in the bottom of the box. The replacement has done the same thing only it took 4 or 5 uses. Plus the handle is stupid, it is stainless and gets super hot, as opposed to the plastic everyone else uses that doesn't get hot when used on the stove top. 

 

I can say though that have compared my lodge to Le cruset stuff at different stores, the enamel seems to be of considerably better quality on the Le Cruset. Having said that though, the price is right on the lodge if you can get it for less than $50.00 , because I have seen my 6.5 qt at over a $100.00 some places and as little as $30.00 (what i paid). 

post #16 of 33

I have a couple of lodge's cast iron dutch ovens which I *LOVE*. I haven't yet gotten an enamled dutch oven, though its on the proveribial 'list' :p Someday I'll be rich, and have nothing but lodge cast iron & le crueset pots... Someday... :p

post #17 of 33

LC has sales at its outlet stores about twice a year, once around Christmas and the second time in the summer.The pieces sometimes are "seconds", but the ones I saw tended to be a small scratch or surface nick.  The prices, though still high, are better. It's a good time to buy.

post #18 of 33

I bought my dutch oven at Ikea, it's cast iron, cheap & very reliable.  If LC is out of your price range, I strongly recommend the Ikea one (think it hasn't even got a brand name).

post #19 of 33

i just purchased a staub oval dutch oven and am extremely happy with it. i almost bought a LC, but i liked the staub's "basting spikes," which made total sense to me. plus, the staub just seemed a little more substantial.

post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

Why replace something continually over the years when you could buy a Creuset and have it last a lifetime?  I'll never understand this logic... buy a $10 item 10 times over or a $100 item once.  At least you'll save yourself the gas money from going to the store 9 extra times for the cheap item.

I got a no brand (really, there was NO brand) of dutch oven, pot and two small frying pans 30years ago, when i started being into cooking and they were already very cheap and then on sale at some store (cambridge coffee tea and spice house,  i think, if anyone remembers it - it was so sad when it closed).  It was NO brand.  It is still with me now, a few chips on the top edge, nothing worse. 

 

In any case, if you drop a cast iron pot on something really hard it can crack.  Do you want to risk it with a 250 dollar pot?

 

I think buying a cheaper brand, even if it is worse, and in my case it wasn;t, is sort of like people who can;t afford to buy a car with cash will pay in installments.  I couldn;t afford, in any case, to dish out that much money, i;d think twice before getting an appliance for that, certainly not for a pot.  Much as i love them.  If i had that kind of money i would buy it, for sure, but spending 50 is already a lot and I'd just consider it as if i were buying a good one in installments.  And... i might just be lucky like i was with the first one. 

 

Didn't i see that in some store, don;t remember which, but where all the american wedding presents come from (not bowl and board, not bed and bath, but something and somthing - escapes me now) there is a cast iron alternative to lecreuset, with an italian name (it's not italian, they don;t have them here. but someone;s last name) for less, not sure how less. 
 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #21 of 33

Siduri, I think you might be thinking of Crate and Barrel (Linens 'n Things went toes up a couple of years ago).  They carry the Mario Batali line.  I believe they are made in China. 

post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by BHToad View Post

Siduri, I think you might be thinking of Crate and Barrel (Linens 'n Things went toes up a couple of years ago).  They carry the Mario Batali line.  I believe they are made in China. 


Thanks BHT, crate and barrel, i never remember, but keep remembering Bowl and Board, a store in Cambridge Mass, that I always used to go to.   I never even saw one of those batali ones, so i don;t know.  "Made in China" is not too reassuring, though, i admit.  

Also, yes, Ikea has one now too.  And in London there was a brand i saw (name not remembered) in a professional cooking supply store I believe in Soho, or near Neal's yard area, covent garden, where all the shoe stores are.  It looked REALLY good, and was significantly cheaper than le creuset.   I was thinking of it as a present for a very good friend who i got interested in making bread.

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #23 of 33

by the way - flea markets and garage sales might yield a good find. my wife found a sixties descoware (belgium) dutch oven for a dollar once a while back, and we use that thing quite a bit!

post #24 of 33

My dutch oven is a "no brand" one as well.  I bought it seventeeen years ago on St Clair Avenue in TO.  (Little Italy area) It has served me very well, survived two moves, two children helping with dishes, and more than one road trip to Woodstock as my mother in law needs it for potatoes now that our family has grown to include married grandchildren at gatherings.  I recently discovered the Staub line and when mine finally dies I think its' successor will be a Staub. 

 

Has anyone here had any experience with the Microstoven line?  I saw them for the first time today and kind of heasitated to buy the tajine they had.  It says that the cookware can be used in the microwave, stove and oven but before I drop $90 on a tagine I would like to know a little more about the stuff first.

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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post #25 of 33

Leeniek, I have one.  Haven't used it  much though, probably used it a dozen times at most.  It is the first tajine I've ever owned (forgot to jump on the tagine bandwagon when it became fashionable i guess).  So far, I've been quite pleased with it.  On the other hand, I could easily have used a dutch oven for any of the food I've cooked in the tagine.  I think I won't miss it much if it disappears.  It does look good in the middle of the dining table though, when you lift the lid and your guests go "oooohhh.... ahhhhh" =).

post #26 of 33

Thought I would chime in here. I bought a 7.25 qt Le Creuset bouillabaisse pot two years ago at an outlet store here in Texas. At the time, they were selling for around $300, but I got one at the outlet for under $100. The only reason it was at the outlet was because of a bubble on the side near the bottom. It took me 20 minutes to find that, and it has absolutely no bearing on the performance of the pot. While it's not a dutch oven in the truest sense of the word, it can do just about anything that a dutch oven can do, and it's about 1-2 qt bigger than your standard dutch oven. I use it for everything from gumbo to braising lamb shanks. Absolutely 100% worth every penny I spent on it.

 

On the other hand, I have had three items made by Lodge Logic over the past few years. A smaller dutch oven, a 12'' skillet, and an 8'' skillet. The skillets work fine, but aren't anything special. The dutch oven, on the other hand, wasn't worth the cast iron it was made from. It wouldn't brown evenly, the lid didn't create anything near a seal, and it was a pain to keep seasoned and rust free. This is something you never have to worry about with LC.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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post #27 of 33

This fall, I purchased my first Le Creuset Dutch/French oven and I couldn’t be happier with it. Initially, I had purchased a Ruff Hewn oval oven, which was a 7.5 qt oval casserole.

 

However, the lid was not quite oval (there was an indentation along the circumference of the lid). And after hearing how Chinese-manufactured ovens were notorious for shoddy workmanship, and learning that my oven was manufactured in China I returned the Ruff Hewn and soon bought the oven I really wanted, my Le Creuset, a 6¾ quart beautiful oval oven in cherry red. And I got a great deal on it from Chefs Resource as well.   

post #28 of 33

hi all,

 

i'm in the process of buying my first dutch oven (splurging on le creuset!), and this thread has been very helpful!  i have an additional question about size...

 

they have 2, 3.5, 5.5, and 7 quart round french ovens.  which do i get?  if i had to choose two?

 

thanks so much!!

 ~expert eater. novice cook.~
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 ~expert eater. novice cook.~
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post #29 of 33

Personally, I'd buy the two largest - it's easy to put a smaller portion in a large pot - less easy the other way round !

post #30 of 33

My name is Jason and I live in North United States of America (N. USA), I am from N. USA and I was born in N. USA

I am new here and will help you out.

 

I recommend going online such as Google, Yahoo etc. and even go to thrift stores, Wal-Mart etc.

 

Also Dutchoven safety (if it will not be any hazard(s)) where heat resistant gloves when putting food in or out of a dutch oven, if serious burn(s) call either non emergency number or 911 (if in N. USA) or other emergency number(s).

 

Great luck and I hope you find an excellent dutch oven.

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