8 qt. round Dutch oven help

awm03January 14, 2009

My beloved Dutch oven just bit the dust. The 5 ply bottom delaminated. The thing that was great about it was the bottom diameter was only 8 1/2 in., and my largest cooktop burner is only 8 inches, so it was a perfect fit. The pot flared out from the base, so even though it had a small footprint, it had good volume.

Now I'm shopping for round Dutch ovens, but the dimensions are unclear. Many claim to be 12 inches wide, but I think that might include the handles.

Does anybody have an 8 qt. Dutch oven, and if so, what is the bottom diameter? I'd prefer a heavy pot, either cast iron or heavy stainless.

Thanks in advance!

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From Wikipedia ~
"A Dutch oven is a thick-walled iron (usually cast iron) cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid."

Traditionally, Dutch ovens are made of cast iron material, either 'bare' or enamel coated. An 8-qt. pot with a tri-ply bottom is usually a stockpot, not a Dutch oven. The difference being that a true Dutch oven performs like a slow cooker, using a low heat for a long cooking period. This allows the food to cook slowly, with the heat to the pot being distributed evenly and held at a constant temperature. I would recommend your looking to purchase a true Dutch oven rather than a pot that's tri-ply. I love my tri-ply cookware but would never expect it to perform like my Le Creuset or Lodge enameled cast iron cookware. Hope this helps ;o)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 12:30PM
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Yes, that does help, mrsmarv, thanks. My old 8 qt. pot could be used in an oven and was heavy, so I thought of it as a Dutch oven. But maybe a stock pot is what I need, really. I used the pot primarily for stews & soups where I saute onions or brown meats right in the pan before adding other ingredients, but I rarely transfer it to the oven. I do have a 5 qt. cast iron Wagnerware Dutch oven, if I need oven usage. But as I cook with tomatoes & wine a lot, the bare cast iron isn't really appropriate.

Was looking at some SS stock pots that came with sets at a department store, and all were a good size for my cooktop. But none were as heavy or as nice as my old pot.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 12:58PM
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Isn't that always the way?...when we have something that we really love and it goes pfttt! I use my Dutch oven both on the cooktop and in the oven. I've used it for everything from stews to chili to Osso Bucco to roast chicken. Would your Wagnerware perform double duty, as well? If not and you're looking for one piece of enameled cast iron cookware, I would highly recommend what's called a 'wide Dutch oven'. It's basically a rondeau and round Dutch oven rolled into one. The great thing about it is that since it's looow and wiiide LOL, you have more bottom surface for browning meats. The height is not as deep, but the capacity is excellent, so you don't need the height. Many times a large roast or poultry pieces are crowded in the bottom of a regular Dutch oven and they won't brown as well. No problem with this bad boy! I purchased mine at Marshall's for less than $150, which is a lot less than paying 'retail'. I've supplied a link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: LC Wide Dutch oven

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 2:28PM
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Just saw your post, mrsmarv.
That LC Wide Dutch oven looks wonderful! Good point about crowded meats can't brown well. My Wagnerware does double duty, but isn't as large as that great LC piece. Can't believe you got it for less than $150. Well, yes, I CAN believe that. You've got the magic touch for good stuff for cheap.

But I'd still need an 8 qt. SP/DO for the stew & soup capacity. We still have boys at home & cook for company a lot too. 6 & 7 qt pots are a bit too small.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 9:48PM
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"We still have boys at home & cook for company a lot too. 6 & 7 qt pots are a bit too small."

Yep, having boys at home would explain why you need a larger capacity pot ;o)
Just an FYI...if you're close to North Salem (I took a peek at your web page), you can try the Marshall's in Brewster. When I was shopping there a few weeks ago, they had the LC wide Dutch oven. We're in Southern Dutchess County by I-84, so it's just a hop, skip and a jump from us.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 1:35PM
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I knew you were in my neck of the woods :) But I didn't know about Marshall's in Brewster. I've only passed through town. Thanks so much for the tip! I will definitely take a look. Southern Dutchess is very beautiful country.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 6:48PM
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The Marshall's in Brewster is in the new(er) Kohl's/Home Depot Plaza right off I-84 (exit 19, I think). Easy on, easy off. It's a smaller one than most, but has some great inventory.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 2:29PM
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The problem I have had with Marshall's or Home Goods or Tuesday Morning, all of which carry very discounted Le Creuset, is their selection is limited. You have to be lucky to find the size you want, and you have to take the color that they have on the shelf. Also, sometimes the LC I've seen at those stores have chips. I just wrote a post on the Cooking Forum (a little over-enthusiastically!) about my score of Le Creuset at a Le Creuset outlet store. The LC outlet stores are having a sale right now from 20% to 25% off their already discounted prices. They have a very good selection, and all the colors, you can barely see any flaws if at all, and helpful salespeople who are knowledgeable. I am not sure where you are in CT, but I can see that there is an LC outlet store in the New Haven area (Clinton) at "Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets". It would be worth the drive.

Here is a link that might be useful: Le Creuset Outlet Store in CT

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 12:11PM
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Agreed about the size, color and selection at Marshall's and TJ Maxx (no Tuesday Morning here). The wide Dutch oven was not the color I wanted, but then again, it was the piece I wanted in the size I wanted. As far as the color...well, I would have been happier with it in Dijon, but for the money I saved, I'll deal with it ;o)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 9:22AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance

Well, don't get one coated in enamel. They claim to be easy clean, but they are not!! I can't for the life of me get mine clean. I've soaked in bleach, boiled in cream of tartar and baking soda. Nope!! Still stained!! STAY away from the enamel. Go with the real deal!! THAT you can stick in your oven, put it on clean, and woosh! Clean! Easy. No scrub.

Stay away from enamel!!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 2:03PM
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Desertdance - what brand enamel pot do you have? There are people who have 25-year-old Le Creuset enameled cast iron pots that still look clean. Although I have heard that the less expensive enameled cast iron like Tramontina show stains more. And what is "the real deal" you mention?

I don't agree that all enameled cast iron gets stained or is difficult to keep clean. And if the "real deal" you are referring to is plain cast iron, well, they are a bit of a pain to keep clean and rust-free. You need to season un-enameled cast iron, and not let any water sit on it. Acidic foods like tomato sauces pick up the iron taste from the uncoated cast iron too. And, do you really run your oven's self-clean function every time you want to clean a your pot? My oven's self-clean takes 3-4 hours and heats up the whole house and uses a lot of energy. An enameled cast iron pot is much easier to clean and maintain than uncoated cast iron.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 8:50PM
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Enameled cast iron is the real deal, in my book ;o) I cooked a giant batch of chili yesterday, which has tomatoes in it, and after cleaning it came out looking like new. I will say there is a difference in the long-term wear and cleaning between the top brands (Le Creuset, Staub, Nomar) and the cheaper brands, which are usually made in China. It's one of those items that I'm willing to spend the extra $$ on because of the quality.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 8:39AM
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Well Le Creuset can be pretty expensive, we were at a Le Creuset outlet a few weeks ago and a 6 qt dutch oven was going for over $200. Academy Sports, if you have one in your area, sells a Lodge 6 qt enameled dutch oven for $49, it runs about $59 at Walmart and $69 at BassPro and $77 if you buy direct from Lodge. If you have an Old Tyme Pottery near you they normally have a good selection of Lodge. Although Lodge is the only American manufacturer of cast iron cookware, their enameled cookware is made in China. We have one we use a lot and it works great and it is no trouble to keep clean at all. We also have an old 3 qt Danish enameled dutch oven that works well. Sams Club had a 6.5 qt enamel dutch oven the other day for $39 I think, it looked as good as the Lodge to me.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 6:36PM
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The Home Goods store in Encinitas, CA has a good selection of Lafont enameled cast iron cookware. I bought a 3.5 qt dutch oven for $40, then came home and researched the quality. It is on par with LC and Staubs, and may be superior with its "advanced, porcelain enamel. Unlike other well known brands, it can endure the use of metal utensils, heavy bladed knives, and cleaning with green scourers". It comes with a lifetime guarantee, and two knobs--wooden for stovetop, metal for oven use. The prices were incredible, and it is endorsed by Michelin rated restaurant chefs in Europe. Also--good reviews on buzzillions and amazon.com. I believe it is made in France of the highest quality materials. Since it sells at Home Goods, you might also find it as sister stores Marshall's and TJ Maxx.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 3:19PM
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Follow up: I haven't found that perfect stainless steel stock pot/Dutch oven to replace my old one yet. But in the meantime, I've been putting the old WagnerWare cast iron Dutch oven through its paces, experimenting with stove top to oven recipes, long slow braising, and some honest to goodness frying. It's great. The 5 qt. capacity filled to the brim is one evening's meal in this household, but no leftovers means a chance to try a new recipe or technique the next night. I was worried about using acidic ingredients, but it hasn't been a problem at all. The seasoning holds up well, and I actually enjoy the nightly maintenance of reoiling the pot. This Dutch oven was made in the 1930s. How interesting to think that a treasured cast iron pot that provided sustenance to a Depression era family is still appreciated 75 years later in another tough economic era.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 11:30PM
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