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Le Creuset "Doufeu"

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  • Tom Meg Oct 15, 2002 08:34 AM
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Has anyone had any experience with this sort of cooking vessel? I saw it in the recent Williams Sonoma catalogue, and I can't tell if I'm intrigued or if it's just silly.

It's basically their usual enameled cast iron pot, but the lid is designed to hold a few handfuls of ice cubes on top. According to the catalogue copy, keeping the lid cool increases condensation within the pot. The dripping condensation continually 'bastes' whatever you're cooking.

Link: http://meglioranza.com

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  1. I just got the catalog this afternoon and checked out that to which you refer. I can't be absolutely certain about this, but I suspect there are a lot of chefs out there who are laughing up their sleeves (I am).

    1. p
      Paul Homchick

      I don't think this makes sense. Why would there be more from-the-top basting from a cold lid, vs. a hot lid ... give that the lid is on the pot. Ask the question, where is the vapor going to go? I suppose it is possible that more of the vapor in the vessel could be turned into liquid, but this is a one-time thing and a very small effect. I'm not buying it.

      1. I'm reminded of Jim H's response to a question about Dutch Ovens a few threads down. He notes that a true Dutch Oven has a ridge of about one inch on the lid, so that when the pot is placed into an open hearth, hot ashes can be placed on top to contribute to the heating and cooking.

        Although I find it hard to believe the W-S, or even LC, could mis-interpret this item, it does seem to be a more logical use.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Pappy

          The Boy Scouts in my house use a plain old cast iron (not enamelled) Dutch oven when camping. They pile hot coals on the lid so the heat comes from the top and bottom when they use it like an oven for making biscuits and cobblers, etc. They don't use the coals on top when not using it as an oven.

          1. re: Pappy

            Here's how the doufeu probably works: The chilled lid causes the rising broth-steam to condense and run down the fins or drip from the nubbins (depending on design) and back into the broth, where another cycle begins. In a regular cast iron pot, the broth-steam will just stay up under the lid and only some of it will condense--then when you lift the lid to stir or check, a lot of the broth is lost in the form of steam, and adding water to replenish the broth level dilutes the broth instead of intensifying it. I believe the doufeu effect necessitates NOT filling the pot more than about two thirds full, because there must be a big space for a big head of steam to make any difference. Then a lot of the steam will immediately condense and only some portion of it will remain up at the lid, which will be lost when you lift the lid. If you fill the pot most of the way up, the proportion of condensate to lost steam may be the same, but the absolute difference will be negligible.
            I am not a physicist, but I have used a doufeu for 15 years, and if the cooking time is long enough and the solids are not overfilled, then you do get a very intense broth. Note that you have to dump the ice or cold water periodically as it melts or heats up, otherwise the effect is too weak. My doufeu, by Cousances, has a moat for cold water, not a trough for ice, thus less temperature differential and less potential for crackling the enamel. But since in my pot there is no sign of crackling, I bet the LC designers tested the newer ice-trough model to make sure it doesn't crackle the enamel, either.

            1. re: hugosaurny

              I just (last evening) got a replacement one, 7 liters or so.
              My first was bought en Suisse nearly 40 years ago and was TREASURED !!!

              Yes indeed they DO work very well.
              The wine in the lid ? Hmmm, other than making the kitchen smell somewhat different I don't "get it" - I suppose that could be a translation error.

              The key is that the condensation ("rain", if you wish) is sprinkled fairly evenly from the little nubs over the center and middle area.
              Very little runs down the sides (away from the main dish) as it does with a more conventional domed lid.
              It IS mostly water and other liquids that are volatile below 100C, but moistness at the very top of the dish is the BIG benefit.

              You can get similar results with a plate over a round pot, though it is likely to be a drip circle.

              I am VERY pleased to have a replacement doufeu pot, REALLY looking forward to using it - a LOT !!!

              BTW, the reverse trick of placing a towel under the lid to keep the dish DRY just came to mind (-:

          2. The following makes me think that the premise behind the doufeu is somewhat less silly:

            According to Richard Olney's "Lulu's Provencal Table", a traditional Provencal daube is prepared in a heavy pot with a plate set on top into which wine is poured, and periodically refilled as the wine evaporates. This supposedly promotes condensation within the daubiere, keeping the contents moist.

            Link: http://meglioranza.com

            2 Replies
            1. re: Tom Meg

              Wait a minute. Putting ice on the top to keep the lid cool, and hence promote condensation/circulation, may have some validity. I'm no scientist, so I can't really say.

              Put pouring wine in the top (on a plate or on the lid), where neither the wine nor it's evaporation EVER comes into contact with the interior contents of the pot, seems like a waste of wine to me.

              Maybe I'm missing something.

              1. re: Pappy

                Just don't inhale ...

            2. This is BS. As a couple of other posters have noted, a sealed pot (assuming the lid is reasonably tight-fitting) is a closed system, so the vapor isn't going anywhere.

              The W-S online catalog notes that the original purpose of the lid was to hold hot coals, which is fine--it's a French version of a dutch oven.

              But putting ice on the lid? Bad idea. Cast iron is brittle, and dumping ice onto a hot oven lid is gonna lead to cracking.

              1. La Grubbe invested in a Doufeu about a month ago, & she has cooked chicken, lamb, & pork in it. [Our kitchen already sports LC dutch ovens & ass't other pots.]

                Le Doufeu is, in a word, INCROYABLE. Skeptical tho I (& many of you) may have been, this thing works. Never -- never -- have roasts been so thoroughly infused w flavor. 1st dish was a simple chicken stuffed w thyme from the garden. Amazing.

                Not certain how it works, but it surely does. Because it is "self-basting", less liquid than usual seems needed & because it works in a sealed environment, none of the flavor escapes. All of the benefits of old-fashioned pressure cooking w/o the deterioration. This is a GREAT, GREAT device. Je ne suis plus un sceptique.

                1. There's a product review of this which explains the theory behind this thing. Maybe it really works. This person was pleased with it. Try the link below. If it doesn't work, just head to epinions.com and search from there for the Doufeu.

                  Link: http://www.epinions.com/content_88435...

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Jane

                    FWIW, LC's Doufeu is VERY expensive. The oval goes for $180 at Sur La Table; round, $160. La Grubbe's is oval (large enough to hold our cat), which she purchased at at a LC outlet store for less than $120. M. Grubbe became apoplectic at forking over $120 for a pot by any other name, but mellowed considerably after tasting the result. M. may never eat out again. Well, maybe not on Sunday.

                    1. re: Mr Grub

                      I got mine at a second-hand shop for $2.50 (US). I love it and use it most everyday.

                      1. re: Mr Grub

                        Since someone has already un-deaded this old thread, I just had to sign up to ask: NO ONE asked this guy why he's putting his cat in a dutch oven??!

                        1. re: Mr Grub

                          In only 8 years... ?
                          About double that now (2011).
                          & BTW cat tastes much like rabbit, even in a doufeu (-:

                      2. I was intrigued also.
                        I really like my Le Creuset for these types of dishes.
                        I have the multi function pot with inverted fry pan as lid. I am going to try using the fry pan upright and put some ice cubes in it.
                        I was at a Le Crueset factory store near Palm Springs , Ca. and they had a green one for $128. US. If this works I might go back and buy one. Oh, they told me at the Le Creuset store that this pan is discontinued.

                        1. Howdy,

                          New to this forum. Any other comments on the Doufeu? I have been thinking about getting one.

                          1. I have no idea how or why the doufeu works but I've had great luck with it. I first saw this in use in a Parisian home kitchen many years ago. The grandmother of the family wouldn't have dreamed of using anything else for her braises.

                            Unable to locate a doufeu in the US, my son carried one home for me about fifteen years ago. My +/- 5 qt oval has seen a lot of action with whole chickens, veal roasts, lamb shanks and the like. They're meltingly tender and I've been a happy convert.

                            Do I always put ice on the lid? No. When I remember, I heap it with ice and use low heat for a long time - 250 degrees for 3+ hours for shallot-vermouth chicken, even longer for a 4# herbed veal roast. The meat melts in your mouth. Last night's lamb shanks w/ leeks must have cooked for close to four hours and were delicious.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Sherri

                              Sherri,

                              Where did you find recipes or techniques for cooking in the Doufeu? I purchased one and am ready to start using it!

                              1. re: Lonestar7

                                Lonestar7, unfortunately, I don't have any specific recipes for you. I'm a certified what-the-hell-cook who learns a lot by watching. The aforementioned French grandmother was main cook in the house where I lived for a year and I hawked her every move. Also, I did a stint in a French resto and, even there, the doufeu was used for long, gentle braises.

                                Molly Stevens, in her excellent book BRAISING, refers to a doufeu but admits she doesn't understand exactly this works. I just know that my food is consistently tender and flavorful when using my doufeu. Good luck on your hunt.

                            2. I wish I could remember the particulars, but sometime in the last year Cooks Illustrated tested this sort of vessel and concluded that it was a lot of $ for a lot of bunk. I can't say whether I agree since I've never used one, but I find my LeC dutch ovens (large and small) do every job I could imagine needing to do. On the other hand, the doufeu is a really attractive piece, and there is definitely something to be said for the pleasures of cooking with beautiful accoutrements...

                              1. We got one of those as a wedding present - almost 30 years ago. I still have it and, although I very dutifully put ice in the lid when I was still a newlywed, I no longer bother. Ever. What you have to realize is that even on the stove top, the ice melts within minutes - minutes - which means that you're constantly emptying the water out and replacing the ice. How useful is it to keep opening the lid when the whole point is to keep all the condensation inside? Maybe the French have some other fancy gourmet gizmo that removes the water from the lid of the pot, but I don't have one. I could use a basting squirter, but good grief. Life is much too short.

                                I love the pot. It's nice and heavy and I use it often. But I'm sure it's not much better than any good quality enamelled cast iron Dutch Oven.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Nyleve

                                  That's exactly what I was thinking. While reading all of the raves above, and I have no doubt that the posters are getting great results, have these posters compared the Doufeu versus a standard LC Dutch oven? I've had great results with the Dutch ovens over the years, and I think the secondary question to pose here is: Does it really perform better than the LC Dutch oven? You never have to remove the lid on a Dutch oven to pour out melted water. I have held off buying one of these special pots for the very reason you mention -- who wants to empty the lid? I can't imagine the nuisance of emptying the lid when using it in my electric oven.

                                  1. re: RGC1982

                                    I've never emptied the lid - the ice turns into water which evaporates. After a while, if I remember, I'll add more ice to the lid --- or not. As stated earlier, I have never found a difference between using the ice or not using the ice.

                                2. I made the plunge and purchased one of these. I needed a good Dutch oven, so I figured what the heck. Ebay had a great deal on one, such a good deal that I doubted the authenticity, but it turned out to be the real deal at $149 plus shipping.

                                  I have not made any meat dish in it yet but I wanted to post a couple of things. Today I am cooking a huge batch of collard greens in it. I had a little water and some hocks in the pan first (no ice/water in the well) and tons of steam was coming out of the lid. As soon as I used the ice the steam stopped escaping. Even after the ice melted. To me this confirms the "science" of it.

                                  Also, to remove the water from the lid, use a turkey baster.

                                  1. Don't bother removing the water from the lid. Leave it to keep the lid cooler then the rest of the pot and the surrounding oven. This will cause condensation inside the pot - like rain; you should be able to cook with less liquid because it won't evaporate.

                                    No matter how hot a flame or how long you heat it, the temperature of water at sea level never rises above 212 degrees.
                                    Then it turns to steam. Then you'll have to refill the depression in the lid...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: MakingSense

                                      So Making Sense, now that you've had the doufeu pot for a few years, do you still love it? I'm considering this pot, but want to make sure that it's worth the money. Do you use it in the oven, or on the burner, or both?

                                    2. I have one and love it. It's thicker than the standard LC and designed for the stove-top. You put ice or about a quart of water in the top, which keeps the temperature at 212 and rains the condensation down to baste the contents.

                                      I've had great success with braises. Short ribs and oxtail come out delectable. I just made a big mess of onions -- a stick of butter, an equal amount of olive oil and about 20 sliced medium yellow onions, simmered for 24 hours into a wonderful marmalade.

                                      It's all-metal, so you don't have problems with deteriorating phenolic handles. Everything is rounded inside, so cleanup is easy.

                                      1. I've been using a cast iron doufeu to braise for over 15yrs... it works so well that I've refused to get any other type of Le Creuset cast iron pot design. Beef, chicken, any meat works well. You might try using less liquid in your recipes because with cold water or ice in the top its a sealed environment of self basting.

                                        My local LeC Factory Outlet Store sells the 7.2 qt size for $191 plus tax. There is a smaller size too. The doufeu style isn't discontinued, only some of the colors are discontinued.

                                        Don't be afraid of the pot's design. Once you use it you'll be hooked forever.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: dickybilly

                                          Is the pot itself the same as any ordinary LC dutch oven? If not, what is different? And if it *is* just a regular pot, is there a way one can purchase the lid on its own?

                                        2. The LC Doufeu is, I think, thicker and heavier than their Dutch oven. The main difference is the lid -- large hoop handles on the sides and no phenolic knob, and flat with a large indent to hold ice or water. Unlike the Dutch oven, it's meant for the stovetop.

                                          The top also has little nibs on the inside, but it doesn't make much difference, if any, to the self-basting properties.

                                          I don't know whether the lid is available separately, and it makes a tight match with the pot, so I think you'd need to get both parts.

                                          1. This pot is designed to take advantage of a simple scientific principle -- known in the lab as reflux.

                                            When heat is applied to the liquid in the pot it begins to evaporate -- a vapor is formed. As the vapor rises and comes into contact with the underside of the top it is cooled, reforms into liquid and drops back into the bottom. This happens in most pots although not very much because the temperature of the top is just slightly cooler than the rest of the pot.

                                            The ice increases the temperature gradient and makes the process more effective.

                                            Some manufacturers add 'dimples' to the underside of their dutch ovens to enhance this action.

                                            Of course, this is a stovetop phenomenon since the pot must be heated from the bottom only.

                                            1. My doufeu came directly from France (years ago) and is marked Cousances which is a LeCreuset company in France. The underside of the lid is dimpled.

                                              My doufeu is heavier than its dutch oven counterpart and is matte black finished not smooth enameled. Its more like a Lodge black cast iron pot peranently seasoned.

                                              I haven't been able to find this type of finish available in the USA. It doesn't seem to be imported. I have seen it online from websites in France but cost in euros with shipping of heavy cast iron makes it cost prohibitive for me to import...lol

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: dickybilly

                                                That's exactly what I have. It's brown enamel on the outside, white on the inside - a wedding present from (can you guess?) 1977. I don't know where it was purchased, but the cousin who gave it to us lives in Montreal.

                                              2. I should have thought that Quebec province in Canada might have doufeu's in stock imported from France....

                                                thanks for reminding me...but I'll wait for summer before considering a trip north...lol

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: dickybilly

                                                  Now - keep in mind that this was almost 30 years ago. But still, I've found that Montreal is so very foodcentric, and they are certainly French-oriented. So it is possible they'll have things not found elsewhere in North America. Yeah - definitely - wait until spring at least. The weather today...YEEECH.

                                                2. I read the Cooks Illustrated article about this a few years back. To my best recollection, in that typical Cooks Illustrated style (annoying to me), they tested the thing every possible way, against every possible other pot, or something like that. And they did conclude it added nothing and was expensive. Personally, it intrigues me and is a beautiful pot. If I saw one second hand in France, I'd buy it.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: rayhnyc

                                                    I don't see the magazine too much anymore, but I've always felt that they're totally in the bag for AllClad when it comes to cookware reviews; any respect that they've given Le Creuset has been grudging, at best.

                                                    A friend has my doufeu, and I've never tried the ice method, but as several posters have mentioned, the idea is quite reasonable (flat top, occasionally cooled to promote condensation, nubbins inside to direct to the droplets, food moistened all over rather than just at the bottom...)

                                                    The only thing I don't like about my doufeu is that it's somewhat inconvenient to need two hands to remove the lid (you can do it one-handed but the lid tends to get banged against the pot that way); they could put a single knob in the top, like on their other pots, and still keep an ice moat. Just an idea.

                                                    1. re: VaFrank

                                                      Bingo! You have figured out the reason why I don't really like my doufeu but love my LeCreuset Dutch oven. It's about the handles. When you want to remove the lid from the doufeu to stir or add, you need two hands to remove the lid, then you have to put it down someplace while you do the stirring or adding. With the LC Dutch oven, you just lift the lid with the knob, stir and replace the lid. You don't even necessarily need oven mitts - which are essential when handling the doufeu since the handles are part of the cast iron lid.

                                                      I couldn't figure out why I've always avoided using the doufeu but actually look for reasons to cook something the the Dutch oven. I never thought it through. The extra steps required to cook in the doufeu makes is a little more clunky in terms of my otherwise streamlined (ha!) kitchen dynamic. Whether the actual result of cooking in a doufeu is better than a Dutch oven is almost beside the point - I don't think the minisucle difference would be anything I would actually notice, to be perfectly honest.

                                                  2. The theory behind these is logical--domed lids will cause condensation to just drip down the sides of the pot instead of on the meat, but the flat lid with the little nubs will cause condensation to drip on the meat...and keeping the lid cooler will encourage condensation. Mine was a housewarming gift to myself on the occasion of buying a new house (I give me the best presents!) I got it from a nearby Le Creuset outlet store in a discontinued color, and it came with a little instruction manual that has a few sample recipes. Since there's been a few questions that the manual covers, I'll try to address them.

                                                    I tend to use recipes for general ideas and throw stuff together loosely based on them, but the gist seems to be that you first warm then grease the Doufeu (olive oil, butter, 10W40 moly), then briefly fry/brown whatever dead animal you're sacrificing that night. Pile assorted plant matter on the bottom for the carcass to rest upon, cover, and put ice and/or water in the lid. By the time you're ravenous and wondering when someone's going to finally serve you dinner, remember that you're the one cooking and by that time it's all done. Voila!

                                                    Some key points! Use lower heat than you think you need. My 7.25qt gets put on the smallest burner at somewhere between medium and low depending on how long I'm leaving it. Also, once the ice has melted, only refill the lid with WARM water. Don't bother dumping out the melted icewater first, that's just silly. And if you forget to refill it that's not a catastrophe, you just lose some benefit of its design.

                                                    Tonight I threw some turkey breast into my Doufeu with some baby spuds, a load of baby bella shrooms, and a sprig's worth of fresh rosemary leaves. Oh, and about a tbsp of butter and a splash of irish whiskey first for browning the meat. Four or five hours later I was treated to breastmeat which was as soft and moist as dark meat usually is, with flavor from the other stuff infused throughout rather than just on the surface, and the meat juice was as flavorful as if I'd gone overboard with the salt (I used none). I'm no chef, so if it worked this well for me I'm willing to believe this basting theory works reasonably well. It's like the best effects of boiling and roasting combined. If only they made one of these big enough for a full size turkey.

                                                    Of course theory and practice are two different beasts, so it'd be interesting to set up a comparison between a Doufeu (or Staub Cocotte) with a regular dome-lidded dutch oven.

                                                    1. I live in Italy and years ago was introduced to the Doufeu which a friend had bought at a special sale here in Rome. It was no longer handled here and I lugged it back on a train from Paris. It does exactly what it says it does and ice in the cover or even water makes for an excellent stew. If the ice or water evaporates completely you will notice steam coming from the pot but if not the steam is recondensed and goes back into the stew, There are little knobs protruding from the inside cover that aid in forming the droplets that drip back into the stew. The only problem I would say is that to my knowledge the factory only makes one base now but originally they made one that was grooved for flame and one that had a European electric base. I think they only make the latter today and the other thing is that I think they have perfected the internal finish as it was pure thick enamel and it tended to get ruined in sauteèing, it should never go dry inside as this will ruin the finish and it is good to use someting to protected flour dredged meat from sticking but as I say I do believe the more recent finish is made with this in mind. I have had my doufeu for 30 years and it is really wonderful. So don't think anyone is laughing at this The French have been using this forever. Especially good is a German or Alsatian meal of sausage, raw bacon, black pudding, pork chops steaming over a bed of sauerkraut (or choucroute if you will!) cooked in white wine or champagne.
                                                      Franco in Rome

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: lazioroamer

                                                        If it's "basting" you want I would check out the 6 quart Staub with the rooster top. Mine has spikes under the lid and when I lift the lid to check on a roast, it always seem to have moisture and condensation under there (in a good way). This also might be in part to Staubs super tight seal of the lid though.

                                                        1. re: lazioroamer

                                                          This is an old thread revived...but I too have had two doufeu pots that I brought back from Dijon more than 20 years ago. Williams Sonoma is now selling the larger kind (which I own) ...if they are on sale, they are worth the price...

                                                          1. re: penthouse pup

                                                            As LC is so expensive I was careful to pick the pot I bought. It just so happened that the Dou Feu was on sale and was my pot of choice. As stated above it has metal handles, so no worries about the phenolic knobs breaking or burning. And I do believe that the condensation properties need to be looked at based on the French swearing by this for many years, and not with skepticism based on not understanding why it works. I think it makes sense that keeping the lid cooler than the contents would help condensation. It wouldn't matter if it is ice or water. It would still be cooler. And I know in cooking you don't have to make heroic gestures (dumping the melted ice water) because that would be too inconvenient. Just refill with ice or water when evaporated. You've got many hours to get it right after all. In any case and what I can't find answers to has to do with how to adjust recipes for liquid to take advantage of the Dou Feu, which wants much less liquid than a similar recipe being used in a regular dutch oven. For instance: a typical braised short rib recipe calls for as much as 12 cups of liquid for 12 lbs of meat. Most Dou Feu recipes (in the booklet that comes with the pot) call for as little as 1 cup for every 3lbs of meat. If I multiply that would be about 4 cups of liquid or 1/3 the liquid overall. That isn't much. Has anyone had experience adjusting recipes for Dou Feu Pots?

                                                        2. After looking this blog, I am bit jealous to Doufeu owners! It looks good although the total cooking time is six hours!! Before getting warmer, I want to try this one with my 6.75 qt oval!

                                                          http://nancyvienneau.com/blog/recipes...

                                                          http://nancyvienneau.com/blog/recipes...

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: hobbybaker

                                                            I have the doufeu.. I wanted a bit larger than 7qts and oval.. this filled the bill both literally and figuratively (purchased at outlet with additional 30% off).
                                                            I use it like a regular french oven and it works great.. I haven't tried the intended purpose of putting ice in the lid. As a regular oven.. it works the same as any other with the larger capacity.

                                                            1. re: grnidkjun

                                                              I find the shape and the lid very cool. Just like her 2nd brisket recipe, I cooked a brisket in the 6.75 qt oval based on the braising book a couple of weeks ago and felt the versatility of the oval shape. It provided a perfect fit to the meat.:)

                                                          2. Way Cool Pot but since I am very cheap it appears rather expensive.

                                                            Does it cook better han a "normal" dutch oven? American Test Kitchen seems to say NO - what do you say?

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: rich in stl

                                                              I say it cooks the same.. it was the capacity and oval shape that pulled me to this one vs. the standard oval.
                                                              Plus I found mine at the LC outlet and then 30% off of that price.
                                                              I ended up paying $176 at the outlet and the only thing wrong is one pin dot of bright red paint in a graduated area.

                                                              May be a plus or minus to some.
                                                              There are no knobs.. built in handles that can withstand high heat but do require pot holders as obviously will get hot.

                                                              1. re: rich in stl

                                                                I had the same complaint. Honestly, I used my old Lodge Dutch Oven from camping and it worked amazingly well.... And MUCH cheaper. Check if outif you want the low budget (but not as pretty) version here
                                                                http://www.lodgemfg.com/seasoned-cast...

                                                              2. I don't understand why thermal shock damage to the oven is a concern when adding cold liquids such as wine to deglaze, and it's not a consideration when placing ice cubes on hot metal. That doesn't make sense to me. If the enameled cast iron lid is heated from below by hot steam, and cooled on top with ice you would think the uneven rate of metal expansion and contraction would crack, craze, or otherwise damage the enamel.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: blondelle

                                                                  Heat transmission between the two sides of the lid is far too fast to permit a big sudden temperature diffferential. The top of the lid will not be 0/32 degrees.
                                                                  I ice cubes don't work as well as a big chunk of ice. All you have to do is put a dutch oven lid on upside down. Doesn't have the nubbins, though.

                                                                2. Well, I've had mine for over 15 years and use most around the holidays of course.. The flat top drips more evenly than the curved and all the water/ice inputs are correct and not using any when you forget is also fine.
                                                                  The very best factor of these pots is the carry ability.
                                                                  I can wrap my leather belt through the handles and over the top and it's the best handle ever for carrying to potlucks etc.. and can sit on the floor and looks great and other goop can sit in the recess and not fall out.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Watchedpot

                                                                    Ha! What's the OTHER GOOP?

                                                                    1. re: Watchedpot

                                                                      I've only had mine for a year now and love it. It gotten a good bit of use here. :)

                                                                    2. I've seen it mentioned in a couple of the replies, but seriously...just buy a Staub, they come with the "basting spikes" on the underside of the lids. Should produce the same desired effect. I swear by them (have 3). Here's my qualification...Avid Foodie/Wino! First Post

                                                                      1. OP's image URL is dead. Here is another....

                                                                        http://s6.thisnext.com/media/largest_...

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Paulustrious

                                                                          But the spikes collect steam only, so you're not really basting with a flavored liquid--it's just water, right?

                                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                                            Not exactly, you're not just boiling the water but evyerthing that's in solution. You're not distilling (seperating), because everything that condenses is falling back into the pot. By the same token, it's probably not the same as sucking up the juces and pouring them back on the ingredients because you can hand bast and pick up things that are not in solution.

                                                                            1. re: mikie

                                                                              I'm afraid I disagree. Most of the stuff in solution remains in solution. It's only those compounds that vapourise below 100C that will condense on the spikes. Primarily water. Alcohol would also condense. You get the same effect on a sauce pan lid. My flat glass ones collect a lot of water underneath.

                                                                        2. I first saw one of these in Paris, in a very old, well-known cookware store which I was visiting with a knowledgeable and quite wonderful tour guide. She described the doufeu and highly recommended it--but I didn't buy one because I didn't want to have something else to carry home. I just bought the Williams Sonoma version, after looking for one for (literally) years. I am looking forward to giving it a try!

                                                                          1. same principle, also a beautiful cooking object
                                                                            http://frenchgardening.com/item.html?...