what size dutch oven for first (only) one?

victoriajaneJuly 21, 2009

I'm selecting new cookware for our new kitchen, and one thing I am sure I want is an enameled cast iron dutch oven for stews, briskets/roasts etc. My question is: what size should I get for my first (and probably only, for a while) piece? We are a family of 7, so I make large meals. I was thinking a 7 quart oven, at the least. Does that sound right? thanks!

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We got our first DO within the last couple years, and got the LC 7.25 qt size. It's just the two of us here, but I often make large enough batches of food to allow for leftovers (for meals that week or for freezing), so it's a good size for that. I'm very happy with it.

The larger sizes might also be great for your large family; I don't know if the weight and storage of the larger sizes need to be taken into consideration, though.

I recently added a 3 1/2 qt DO to my "collection." It'll be perfect for making small batches of food, or for heating up small portions of things cooked in the larger DO (when I want to use a cast iron DO for reheating, and not a SS pot).

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 10:42AM
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If I could only have one LeCreuset DO (which would be awful!) it would be the 7.25 qt. size. That is the first piece I bought, and still the one I use the most. I have many, many LeC pieces now, and use them all, but the most versatile piece is the 7.25 qt. size, IMO.

Lots of people say that the 5 1/2 qt size is their most used piece, but I tend to cook soups, stews, in larger batches and freeze, so while I do have a 5 1/2 qt size and use it, I use the 7 qt size much more. My second most used piece is a 2 qt round DO, which is perfect for grits, rice, and oatmeal.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 6:40AM
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Also you may want to consider an oval DO, especially if it will be your only one. It does everything a round one will do, plus it's shape more easily accepts roasts, whole chickens and other meats (and spaghetti, too!).

I have a 6.75Q that is perfect for my family of four. With a family of seven, perhaps the 9.5Q would be a good choice for you.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 12:21PM
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Thanks, everyone. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with a - 9.5 quart oval for my first and only - that way I can be assured of fitting in a chicken or brisket or whatever might not fit in a round pot...I've looked at the 7 - 7.25 size and they just don't look big enough for our family - plus I love having leftovers so I almost always double recipes.

So far I've only found the 9 quart oval in the LC and the Mario Batali...any other brands to consider? I'm leaning toward the Batali for three reasons: 1)lower price 2)persimmon (orange) color - love it! and 3)steel knob on lid - prefer it to phenolic. But I am open to any arguments in favor of the LC. thanks!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 10:17PM
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I think you'll be happy with the 9 qt oval. I have both oval and round pots, but I too think the ovals are more versatile. I don't know anything about the Mario Batali pots, but I absolutely love my LeCreuset. They are a lifetime purchase, as they have, I believe, a 99 year warranty. LeCreuset also makes a beautiful orange pot (called Flame). You can also buy a metal pot lid for your LeC if you prefer it. The phenolic pot lids are okay to 450 degrees, so I've never felt the need to change one to metal - in fact, I prefer the phenolic so that I can lift the lid on my pot without having to find and use a pot holder.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 3:01PM
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