Le Creuset - what size?
- Colleen Nov 24, 2005 01:03 PM
I am requesting a Le Creuset French Oven for Christmas... what size should I choose?
I usually only cook for 2 people, but am looking for an oven that will allow me to cook for up to 6 people if needed.
I was leaning towards a 3 1/2 quart size... is that big enough for a small roast?
And finally, round or oval?
Round and though I have 2 of the 3.5 qt. I do find myself using the 5 qt. most often for braises. I do have a 5 qt. oval too and do use it especailly for things like ribs and kraut I just don't use it as often.
It depends what you want to cook. If you do lamb shanks, you will appreciate having the oval size. The small Le creuset is okay for two people, but you will do better, in my opinion to go for the larger pot.
Personal opinion, gotta get at least a 5 qt round. I'd go for the 7 qt. round. If you wanna cook for 6, you're going to need it. If only for 2, it'll still work. And it cannot be beat for soups, stews, gumbos, braises, sauces, etc. where you can freeze some and use it later.
I own a 5.5 qt oval, a 7 qt round, and a 7.25 qt. soup pot. I have two kids, 9 and 3, and hands down use the 7 qt. most often.
re: Tom M.
I agree. A 3.5 won't let you cook a big piece of meat and have enough room left for anything else. That would mean no whole chicken in lots of soup, no lamb shank with tons of side veggies, etc.
I also cook for two, and we have a 9 qt. It's a little big for us ($70 at Marshall's, couldn't pass it up), but it's great when we have guests and I'd rather have one too big than too small. We cook a lot of soup, stew, big pieces of slow-cooked meat, and porridge so that large pot is great.
Judging from my personal use and what others have said, a 7 qt. sounds about right. When I was shopping around the woman at the LC outlet told me she nor most of her customers find much use for the 3.5, which is what I thought I wanted before giving it much thought.
If you live near an outlet store, buy your French oven there. Not only are the prices lower, but now through December 31 they're having a "35% off everything sale." The sale is for folks on their preferred customer list only, according to the coupon, but you can get on that list by buying something cheaper (I was put on the list when I bought a Windsor saucepan). There are probably cheaper (free?) ways to get on that list, but I was buying the saucepan anyway so I didn't ask.
I had a 5 1/2 qt and thought that was all I would ever need until I was given a 9 qt. For a small batch of soup or stew the 5 1/2 qt is perfect but for lamb shanks, osso bucco, etc, bigger is better. I cook for 3 and use the 9 qt much more often - both round. Leftovers are good!
I'd get the oval, so you can fit a whole chicken in it. Get the largest that will fit in your oven.
THE standard size is the 5 quart. It's just my husband and I and for years I used the 5 quart all the time. You want at least that diameter on the bottom to give you space to brown onions or reduce a liquid. But more recently I moved up to the seven quart and I do prefer it. The 3 quart is just too small to do a lot of things, let alone give you leftovers. A lot of things that I cook I like to make extra portions to freeze for those days when I don't want to cook. So, I recommend at least the 5 quart.
I have the 3.5 qu. oval french oven. If I was doing it again, I'd go one size bigger, but I'm relatively happy. The oven can take 4-5 drumsticks, 3 breasts, that sort of thing. I think a chicken would have to be quite small to fit. It rarely makes enough for leftovers, but I'm not such a leftover person, so that doesn't matter.
It's perfect for frying onions and making apple butter - the enamel allows for great caramelization, but the thickness prevents easy burning. Good luck with deciding!