Favorite Cookware - Le Creuset?
- Suburban Chowhound Mar 31, 2005 07:49 PM
Hi fellow chowhounders!
I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with Le Crueset cookware -- I see a lot of chefs on the food network using this brand. It is so expensive! Is it worth the cost - do people like it, what are the pros and cons? I have all-clad cookware, and sometimes it is so heavy, I don't like to pull it out, and use whatever cheap lightweight cookware I have on hand!
Thanks for your inputs!
We have two Le Creuset pieces, one is the dutch oven and the other is a large oval pan with no cover. We use them all the time. They are very versatile--you can cook with them on top of the stove and also roast, broil or bake inside the stove. We make soup, casseroles, roast potatoes, fish--almost anything. They are very durable and last a long time. I think its good to pick out a few pieces you might use the most--you don't need that many different pieces.
I have a 12" Le Creuset skillet I bought new sixteen years ago, and a 5" skillet I bought used maybe fourteen or fifteen years ago. Both are going strong, with no chips, and I love them. I suppose that skillets are not the sort of thing that enamelled cast-iron is most noted for, but I love how even the heat is, how easy they are to clean (or deglaze), and how they look. They are my first choice for cooking bacon, toasting nuts or wheat germ, and reducing smallish batches of sauce.
The weight is part of the point. It evens out the heat, and makes them sit solidly on the burner. You just pull it out of the drawer and put it on the stove - worry about weight when it comes to things you are handling a lot, like knives.
Is LC worth the cost? Well, if I had to do it all again, I would get some vintage Copco or Descoware versus new or vintage Le Creuset. (I have several LC/Cousances round ovens). And I wouldnt buy a full set, just select pieces.
You might have the feeling that the AC is heavy because of the sharp angle and positioning of the very skinny, highly polished handle. Other tri-ply fully clad up the sides cookware have different handles (chunkier), set at different angles (flatter or curved, and mounted lower on the body of the pot), which may alleviate the feeling of the heaviness
Here is my rather long discourse on AC Alternatives
If you are looking for something lighter weight than All Clad, Le Creuset is definitely not the brand for you, nor any of the enamel cast iron cookware lines, for that matter (Staub, Copco, Descoware, Cousances, Innova, etc.).
You might want to check out the copper disk bottom, single ply up the sides cookware, like the Sitram Retro copper bottom line
Or the Linens N Things Home Pro line.
Good thing about both these lines is not only are they lighter in physical weight, they are also lighter on the pocket book.
Good luck with your search, and happy cooking!