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what size dutch oven for first (only) one?

Posted by victoriajane (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 21, 09 at 22:59

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!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: what size dutch oven for first (only) one?

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).

RE: what size dutch oven for first (only) one?

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.

RE: what size dutch oven for first (only) one?

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.


RE: what size dutch oven for first (only) one?

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!

RE: what size dutch oven for first (only) one?

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.

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