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Great Enameled Cast Iron Deal

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I was surfing around a couple of weeks ago, coveting a dutch oven I knew I couldn't afford, when I discovered that QVC is selling a "Staub Basic Enameled Cast Iron" 5qt French oven for $50. It's not the same style as the Staub currently sold (at prices similar to Le Creuset), and is probably being made specifically for QVC. It's not even marked with the Staub brand. No matter; it's got a limited lifetime warranty, and it's a high-quality, French-made pot that is suitably heavy and performs wonderfully on the stove (I haven't used it in the oven yet). The green pot's color is very, very close to the green Le Creuset I have.

Link: http://www.qvc.com/asp/frameset.asp?n...

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  1. Hey Caitlin,
    If possible, can you perhaps write up a comparison with the current Staub model? I don't know if the QVC model is specially made or a discontinued model, but it's hard to get a good gauge from just the picture on the QVC website. For instance, does the lid have the basting stumps? Same weight? The knobs look a bit different too. In any case, great spot by you and Anne in SF.

    The enameled clad iron market is getting pretty crowded with Staub, Le Creuset, Chasseur (I posted recently but didn't get too many responses) and the new Lodge enameled pans. Would be great if anyone could link any comparison or rating articles...

    6 Replies
    1. re: Pupster

      I saw this pot before, but along with Pupster, I'm curious how it compares to a true Staub. Most importantly, is it lighter/not as thick?

      1. re: Pupster

        Le Creuset seems to end up buying so many of the good enamel cast iron companies (Descoware and Cousances).

        There are other makers as well--innova if you want to go the bargain route (amazon.com--especially during their Friday sales, smartbargains.com, etc.) and no-name brands (overstock.com).

        For vintage stuff, you can pick up Descoware and Copco for a steal off of ebay (and IMHO they have much more hip mid-century modern shapes).

        1. re: Pupster
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          Caitlin McGrath

          No, the lid does't have the basting spikes. It's a plain lid with a slight dome, like the lids of Le Creuset dutch ovens. The knob not a separate piece that's attached, the lid and knob are cast as one piece (that's why the knob's the same color as the lid and pot).

          As for Spade's question, I don't have any previous personal experience with Staub, so I can't compare its composition to their other pieces, but this pot is comparable in thickness, weight, and sturdiness to my Le Creuset (comparing their makeup was the first thing I did when it arrived).

          It's just a basic enameled cast iron dutch oven, comparable to the others you mention but without special features, at a good price.

          1. re: Pupster

            I believe this is part of a discontinued line that was manufactured by Nomar, the French company now known as Staub. The Marshall's-T.J. Maxx-HomeGoods group used to sell them at prices even lower than QVC's. As Caitlin says, they're about the same weight and sturdiness as the Le Creusets of comparable size (which makes them slightly lighter than the Staubs). The interiors are black matte, and there are no basting bumps on the insides of the lids. I have a couple of them and am quite satisfied--very good value for the price. Nomar also made a Paul Bocuse series that had basting "wavelets" ("vaguelettes") inside the lids; those too were available at Marshall's et al., but are probably sold out by now.

            1. re: Miss Priss
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              Caitlin McGrath

              Actually, the one qVC is selling has a beige enamel interior just a tiny bit darker than a Le Creuset pot's (i.e., quite light, not matte).

              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                I stand corrected! The outside of your casserole looks so similar to the ones I have that I simply assumed the inside would be the same also. If the interior is enameled, this line is even more similar to Le Creuset than I thought. In any case I completely agree that it's a great buy.