Time for new pot for soups- help me decide

marleesmomJanuary 28, 2007

Usually just lurk here but I need your advice. Have been using a hand me down HEAVY pressure cooker base (top is long gone) for many years for making soup, chili, pasta, sauce, etc. It has been my go-to for just about everything (if it ain;t broke...), but Gosh is it ugly! Time to treat myself to something new. I would love to invest in a nice large pretty piece of LC or something like it that can go in the oven also. I have a few pieces of the LC bakeware (stoneware?) that I just love, but would I be better off with Calphalon or All-Clad for general stove top cooking? Storage space is the bigger issue than cost for me, so I need, really need quality, all-purpose pot. Your thoughts?

Thanks!

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gardenlad

Soups, by definition, mean low & slow combined with other techniques (like searing and sauteing).

That being the case, cast iron should be the material of choice. Whether you choose porcelain coated or plain is a matter of personal preference. But I can't see going any other way, myself.

And, of course, the cast iron pot is very utilitarian for other purposes.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 11:38AM
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kitchendetective

If I were only going to get one soup pot, I would go with enameled cast iron. That will work with foods that react with plain cast iron as well as foods that do not. That brings up the lid question, however. If you want the covered pot to work inside the oven as well as on the stovetop, you need to pay attention to the heat limits on whatever handle your lid has, per manufacturer instructions. (And if your soup pot has non-metal handles, there, too.)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 12:15PM
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marleesmom

Thank you. Do you know of any problems with enameled cast iron on glass cooktops? I am about 2 years away from a gas range.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 1:23PM
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elisamcs

First, let me say I'm a QVC junkie in the making. That said, today I saw their Tecnnique cast iron line. Beautiful colors. They have a 5-1/2 qt. pot and the lid can double as a separate pan. $53.40 + $10 shipping. The best part is that if you don't like it, you can return it within 30 days and you get your purchase price and original shipping refunded. There are other styles as well. Take a look at QVC.com.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 3:06PM
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marleesmom

elisamcs, thanks, I 'll check it out.

Pam

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 6:54PM
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bluebloom

Marleesmom - A cheap brand of enameled cast iron pot that I got came with these stated range compatibilities: Gas, Electricity, Radian, Halogen, Oven. I've been using this pot and some other Le Creusets on our glass cooktop with no problem so far... except for scratching it when I didn't carefully pick up the pot without enamel on the bottom.

I wasn't aware until reading somewhere on these forums that sudden temperature changes on the glasstop could break it (eg if hot pot moved to cold area), so it drives me a little bonkers now trying to make sure I've got an appropriate landing spot available if I have a lot going on at once. However, I've never had an apparent problem from doing that... and that wouldn't be unique to the enameled cast iron.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2007 at 1:15AM
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kbjesq

After a major kitchen remodel, I treated myself to some new pots. I ordered a bunch of All Clad from www.cookwarenmore.com (they sell seconds). However, my husband later bought me some Le Creuset pots as a gift. After using both the AC and the LC, I am totally devoted to the LC. So much so, that I may give away my AC and fill up my cabinets with the LC. I had read about LC for years, but thought it was all hype. It is not! Now I have heard about another brand, Staub, that is similar to LC and I am anxious to try it out. I should also mention that prior to buying the AC, I was using pans that I bought at Macy's called "Tools of the Trade" (previously called "Belgique"). For the money, I think these are the best pans on the market. All stainless steel, nice handles, and big, thick copper disc on the bottom to distribute heat evenly. They clean up beautifully and the non-stick pieces work great and last foreever. Especially if you need a full set of cookware and you wait for one of Macy's sales, these pots are a great bargain. I personally did not find that much of a difference in the performance between the "Tools of the Trade" and the All Clad. My vote is for the Le Creuset if your budget permits, or the "Tools of the Trade" if not.
P.S. I have also cooked extensively on Calphalon and Cuisinart cookware, and did not care for either of these products. The Cuisinart pans, in particular, were very disappointing and the lids on every pot were easily dented. They were very hard to clean, as well, and foods burned easily.
P.P.S. Cook's Illustrated recently tested enameled cast iron cookware and found a pot sold at Target (I forget the name) that performed nearly as well as the Le Creuset. Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 4:09PM
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