Le Creuset

nmemerApril 8, 2007

So...this is post three in the wedding registry process! I see that some of you are big fans of Le Creuset. I have always loved the colors on the displays, but didn't realize there was actual cooking value behind the looks! We'll be getting some stainless cookware pieces--either a set or individual items. To complement that, if you were to choose just one or two items from Le Creuset, what would you pick and why? Thanks!

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LC's strength is the ability to distribute and hold heat without developing hot spots and without allowing steam to escape. It's the best for recipes that require long, slow simmering. Think spaghetti sauce, stew, chili, beans, etc. I would get an approximately 6 qt. Dutch oven in whatever color you prefer, if you only get one piece. If you get the oval shape, you can also roast a bird in it. You'll find this size mentioned in several threads on this forum.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 12:44AM
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I bought the 7.25 qt. first a couple of years ago and now it's priced about $100.00 more than I gave for it... Cutlery and More is a good place to shop online. They have a good deal on the 2.75 qt. oval french oven for $79.95. I bought one and like it a lot. I'm single so I use it more than the 7 qt.

Here is a link that might be useful: Le Ceuset French Oven Sale

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 8:02AM
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Agree with the above; I do find an oval shape to be slightly more useful, since you can put a whole chicken in it for roasting or poaching.

Another place that often has good prices is Caplan Duval.

When contemplating where to buy, don't forget to calculate shipping. Those suckers are heavy, and shipping can be $$$. It may be cheaper to pay a higher sticker price if the place includes free shipping.

Here is a link that might be useful: Caplan Duval

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 9:24AM
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We have two Staub oval dutch ovens that we love. Our one and only LC pan is this wide and shallow 6.75 quart sometimes called a risotto pan. We don't use it for risotto but for braising, and the wider dimension gives you more room for browning first. It's a very versatile size, and we love it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Le Creuset risotto pan

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 11:46AM
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One other thought: if you go to a Le Creuset factory outlet store, you can get some good prices, especially for seconds. Sometimes there are coupons for extra discounts on certain pieces or colors. The defects in the second quality stuff will not interfere with cooking in any way.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 1:48PM
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There's no reason why you can't also cook a bird in the round LC. If you get a good chicken with a nice wide breast, it will be more square shaped, than oval. The most versatile size to start with is the 5.5 round. You might want to later add a 3.5, or a 7.25 round, or a 6.75 oval to your collection. I would start with the 5.5 round though, but keep in mind it's pricey at about $175+.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 6:11PM
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I have only one piece and I have the 5.5 round. I wanted oval but couldn't find in the Indigo color I wanted in this size range. So far there hasn't been anything I wanted to cook in it that wouldn't fit. I got mine at one of their outlet stores - not a second - there was some type of sale going on. It's a really nice piece of cookware.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 5:54PM
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Here's my Le Creuset story...I'm passionate about cookware and I absolutely love all my Le Creuset. I have 8 pieces total:

Green 3.5 quart round (my rice pot)
Blue 4.5 quart oval which is used for roasting a single chicken. Both were purchased at TJ Max for about $30 each.

After those two purchases I was hooked. I splurged then and bought my third piece which is a lime green 2.25 quart saucier pan on Amazon.com. The lid has a hole in it that allows just enough steam to escape. It's good for melting chocolate or making a cream sauce, boiling potatoes etc.

Then I went all out and purchased from Williams Sonoma my $250 Dune colored covered sautpan. I love this pan and use it for chili, pasta sauce, chicken Milanese, etc. I noticed it's on sale now at Williams-Sonoma.com I highly recommend this pan to anyone wanting to add to their LC collection. (Mother's Day?) Hands down, I use this pan the most.

In between the purchases of the enameled iron, I did purchase two of their white stock pots and a big green tea kettle in their enameled steel. Much lighter and the benefit of using enameled steel over stainless steel for stock pots is the enameled surface is non-stick and washes up beautifully inside and out with sudsy water. The stainless, on the other hand, is hard to keep shiny and new looking. It shows everything. I only wish I had purchased the LC stock pots before I went out and bought stainless stock pots. Now I have too many stock pots, but the LC are the ones I grab first and foremost because of the easy care. I'll probably ebay the stainless eventually.

The last piece of Le Creuset I bought was last month at their outlet store I bought the big 9.5 qt oval baker in Navy blue. I use this for baking turkeys or roasting a big batch of chicken.

I like that they're all different colors in blues and greens which are my favorite colors. I tell my husband, "use the light blue pot", or my son, "hand me the dark green pot". I did notice they have a new blue called Caribbean and I'm so tempted to buy a piece to fill in a gap in my oven sizes, but I really don't need anymore cookware. The LC pieces I have fill all my needs totally.

One thing to add to this Le Creuset thread is the care of this cookware. These pots need special care to keep the integrity of the enamel intact. You must never use metal utensils in them. Le Creuset sells high quality high heat silicone spoons and spatulas that work fabulously with their pots and in their basic colors (flame, blue, green, and citron) and will never scratch. As with everything they make, the quality of these utensils is wonderful. Also they make a silicone covered whisk which is a godsend for making cream sauces or anything that requires constant stirring. I strictly use silicon or wood (bamboo) utensils in my LC. Also no banging the spoon on the side of the pan (ouch!). You must never scrub them or the enamel will no longer be non-stick. No scotch brite! No abrasive cleansers! Bon Ami or baking soda are fine. No dishwasher...the detergent can etch the enamel and again it will lose it's non-stick abilities. The pans can still be used after this, but you will have begun a cycle of scrubbing that will never end. Also, no cold water on the hot pan either. My dear mother cracked the enamel on her big $300 9qt round doing that. If you properly care for them, they will last for generations.

Can you tell I love my Le Creuset?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 1:07PM
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BTW. I heard that LC is discontinuing the indigo color line.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 3:46PM
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Yes, that is true. The LC outlet is selling the indigo and the bright yellow (dunno the color name) at great discounts.

Interesting that the Williams-sonoma has a color that is called lemongrass which looks very close if not identical in color to the kiwi saucier I purchased on amazon.com.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 4:31PM
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OOoohhhh - I just saw some turquoise today. They said it's new. I thought it was very pretty - though I have to say I thought "retro" as it seemed to be the same color as an old turquoise range that was at DH's family's old summer cottage....I liked it though. I don't really need anything though....but I liked it.....it would look nice with my indigo....

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 11:35PM
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you are going to inform us at some point about which pots and pans you got and which you may wish you had gotten????
when is this wedding?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 10:58AM
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Hi folks,

I am planning on buying a grilling (panini) set. I have no prior experience in cooking with cast iron skillet, except for a Wok, which has quite thin walls compared to the typical skillets.

Therefore I was wondering: pure cast iron cookware/grill sets can be found for as little as $20.00 to Le Creuset ($150.00 in Macy's). Is there a specific reason why people buy Le Creuset? Is that *ONLY* because it is enameled and therefore more chemically stable?

Someone on a thread commented about Le Creuset being heavy. Frankly, I am worried that too heavy skillets/pans might give me a fractured wrist, and therefore am surprised that so much importance is given to thickness. Then I wonder, is thicker always better? Or is there an optimum thickness beyond which it does not matter for CI cookware?

Thanks in advance for all the responses!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 1:55PM
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With the exception of my saute pan (which has an enameled interior), I don't own any Le Creuset frying pans but I do own a set of antique Griwold cast iron pans. There is a good informative thread here devoted to the differences in qualities of cast iron (old smooth polished verses new thicker cast products like Lodge). In any case, the Le Creuset enameled cast iron feels lighter and is of better quality then the Lodge, but I don't feel this difference will effect the finished product. Food will taste equally good from either pan.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 9:45AM
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Gibby--I sense. . .resolve...fading...

I think the indigo looks spectacular against Juparana Bordeaux.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 1:18PM
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And don't you think that turquoise would look nice with the indigo and the Juparana Bordeaux?????? Maybe I could just get a small one to replace one of the goofy casserole dishes I got when I got married 29 years ago......

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 10:22PM
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