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Le creuset or something else?

Posted by lalitha (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 22, 12 at 2:30

Looking for some advice from cooks ...I am looking for 2 pieces of enameled cast iron ( one of which is a Dutch one but I am open to suggestions for the other). I already have a Le creuset baking casserole and like it. But I see that there are so many more options now and a wide price range. Is Le creuset worth the price?

As for the piece itself .. Which Dutch oven do you prefer and why( size, shape )

If you room in your kitchen for just one more, what would you find most useful?

Lalitha


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Le creuset or something else?

I have an enamel covered cast iron Lodge Dutch oven that I love. Got it at a reduced price from Amazon because it was not one of the popular colors (Spice Island I think). 49.95 sure beats the price of Le Cruset and works just as well.

Gloria


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RE: Le creuset or something else?

"---Is Le creuset worth the price? ---"

That depends on your financial situation.

Enameled cast iron cookware is a very low technology item made with very inexpensive materials.

To a poor guy like me, at three times the price? Way, way, way over-priced.

dcarch


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RE: Le creuset or something else?

Enameled cast iron cookware is a very low technology item made with very inexpensive materials.

Well, yes and no. Le Creuset is able to make relatively thin enameled cast iron. The cheap Chinese versions are much thicker and therefore much heavier. I've also had a problem with rusting edges. So Le Creuset (and maybe other high-quality manufacturers) has some technology that is seriously better.

I think Le Creuset is much superior to the cheapest competition, but I don't know if it's better than a middle range. Start with weight. I was unprepared for the weight difference!

And if you can get to a LeCreuset outlet store, you'll find better prices. Still a lot though.


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RE: Le creuset or something else?

Le Cruset is wonderful, particularily if you can find some on sale.
But Lodge is great too....and there are lots of other good quality enamel cast iron ware.
I have some pieces of Descoware that have seen fairly frequent use for over 50 years.
I think my most used pieces are the 6 quart Dutch ovens. They make everything from soups and stews to braises even no knead bread.
Well worth the price!!
Linda C


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RE: Le creuset or something else?

"--Le Cruset is wonderful, --"

I didn't say Le Cruset is not high quality.

"-----Well, yes and no. Le Creuset is able to make relatively thin enameled cast iron.----"

That defeats the whole concept of cast iron that it retains heat. Ability of heat retaintion equals weight.

Lodge enameled cast iron line is made in China.

There are outlets which sale Second quality Le Cruset cookware at significantly lower prices.

dcarch


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RE: Le creuset or something else?

I have pieces of both Le Creuset and Lodge. While I love lodge for their regular cast iron, the enamelled version--isn't nearly as good as the Le Creuset, IMO. I've never had a problem with the LC, but the Lodge has definite hot spots--unless I stir CONSTANTLY I cannot cook in it, because it will burn in spots.


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RE: Le creuset or something else?

My hubby bought me like a 10 piece set of the red Lecreuset I love love it,I bought the big dutch oven love it for soups etc.I have copper,stainless,even some other cast iron ,but I use this set most,looks pretty hanging above my black aga too,I want some more pieces..ha


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RE: Le creuset or something else?

I've been really wanting one of the covered cast iron casseroles lately. Does anyone have one that they especially love? There are only 2 of us and it would be the perfect size for braising and sauteing.


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RE: Le creuset or something else?

I'd get something else. I'd get Tramontina cast iron from Walmart.com, absolutely. The reviews are stellar.

I shop at the LC outlet occasionally and it is way overpriced. It is imported from France and that is costly. I did purchase an 8" nonstick skillet for induction at $65 and when I got home, I slapped my head. I have also bought gifts there. The cast iron is very heavy.

I have a Martha Stewart, Macy's, 2.75 qt. iron dutch oven. Also have an Aldi's 5 qt dutch oven. Both are wonderful for no knead breads. I only like cast iron for these breads.

I am in the minority here in that I don't love cast iron, because of the weight and it's inability to change temps quickly. Because it retains heat so long, it is not quickly responsive to temp changes. I use stainless on my induction and it changes temps when I want it to change. Also, dh does not like braised food, not even brisketand I rarely, if ever, deep fry.


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RE: Le creuset or something else?

Posted by westsider40, "-----I am in the minority here in that I don't love cast iron, because of the weight and it's inability to change temps quickly. Because it retains heat so long, it is not quickly responsive to temp changes. ---"

I don't think you are in the minority. There are reasons why very few chefs cook with cast iron cookware unless they also sell case iron cookware, restaurants don't use cast iron cookware and stores don't carry many cast iron cookware.

I only use a cast iron frying pan for a few specific cooking techniques.

dcarch


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RE: Le creuset or something else?

I love cooking with cast iron and the majority of my cooking is done with it. Depending on how and what you cook, it may not be a one size fits all type of thing. I find I like certain materials and pots for differing purposes. One advantage to using cast iron is I can cook over lower heat, and even turn the oven off ahead of time and let the dish finish cooking with residual heat, saving energy costs (and allowing for a nice glass of wine before serving dinner).Yes, you have to be a little patient while the piece heast up completely, but on my gas range it is not an issue.

I use Lodge "regular" cast iron for many many, thing including eggs (which will not stick if a little butter is used). I love the stuff. For acidic foods, or for slowly warming milk to make cheese or yogurt I use Le Crueset. It is gentler than stainless. Staub is nice for slow cooking a meal that you want to retain moisture in, because of the dimples on the lid. Lodge also has the dimples so I use that as well.

For making stocks, boiling pasta, and boiling large batches of corn I usually use a good stainless stockpot though certainly enameled cast iron could be used. the stainless will be easier to manage when draing things that need to be boiled. For everything else (chili, and spagehetti sauces) I much prefer the cast iron.

Enameled should be use if making acidic sauces and foods unless you happen to have a very old cast iron piece that is so seasoned nothing could remove it.

I use a very small Le Creuset dutch oven for cooking whole grain brown rice over very low heat and it comes out perfect.

I preheat my Lodge cast iron griddles in my oven at 375, pull them out for cooking perfect pancakes on the stovetop....it takes a little practice figuring out which burner setting works to maintain the correct temp, but once you do the results are awesome. I gave away my non stick electric griddle Hted it and had concerns about chemicals. My cast iron became non stick very quickly with use.

I feel a good Le Creuset dutch oven is well worth the investment. So is Lodge. A Lodge dutch oven makes wonderful popcorn too. (I don't buy their enameled since I don't want any Chinese kitchenware).


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RE: Le creuset or something else?

Thank you all for the feedback. Looks like I am getting a Le creuset braiser or a buffet casserole for mother's day.

I also looked at eBay and there are a lot of vintage pieces. I will report back after I have cooked in them.


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RE: Le creuset or something else?

Both Cuisinart and Calphalon make very good enamel cast iron cookware, and the prices are very reasonable. I found a Cuisinart dutch oven for less than $50 at Marshall's or some such place. You can almost always find Le Creuset, and other brands, at Tuesday Morning, much cheaper than a "regular" store.

Happy cooking


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