Cast Iron Pots by Le Creuset
I'm trying to decide if I want to pay to get a Le Creuset enameled cast iron pot or if a cheaper enameled pot will do. They are a quite bit more in price than non Le Creusets. Any experiences? Is Le Creuset outstanding? If yes, how?
I have LC that my mother purchased in the 60's. It is still perfect...no chips, no dings, no dents. Truly, nothing else I've tried does its job as well. Much as I love certain All-Clad & Calphalon pieces, I always revert to LC. LC is often on sale and the company has outlets that offer excellent deals.
I have been slowly getting an assortment of Le Creuset on ebay. I have yet to pay more than $99 for a pot, and that was for a large 9-quart one. Smaller ones have been much less. It takes time to wait, but it's worth it. I now have 4 of them in different sizes and colors and absolutely love them. Why? Let me count the ways -- They heat up quickly and retain the heat. Fabulous browning and caramelization of meats and veggies. They clean up really easily. Even a pot of polenta that had been sitting around awhile. Just soak in some warm water for a bit and most of the stuff came right off. Very little elbow grease involved. Plus, they can go in the dishwasher...though the larger ones won't fit. Pasta doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan when I dump it in the colander to drain. The colors are wonderful and are decorative. I have mine stacked on top of my refrigerator for all the world to see. :) Oh...and you can go from stove to oven to table...they are wonderful on the table to serve from. Plus (and this may sound silly), I feel very professional using them!! :)
Hope this helps.
I have two of their dutch ovens, both any number of years old. If you think of the cost spread out over almost a lifetime (they will last that long with proper care) they are really pretty inexpensive.
There use to be a brand, Copco, that made the same type of cookware, enameled cast iron. If you can find any of it, it's very good, just as heavy as LC. I have a number of pieces of it, casseroles, pots and my prize piece, a paella pan that is at least 30+ years old. It still makes fantastic paella.
I have two Copco enamelled cast iron pots that are at least 20 years old and in perfect condition. I also have a French made enamelled cast iron casserole - I think it's about 8-9 quarts - that's as good as anything by LC. I don't remember who the manufacturer is. It was on sale probably because it's a weird shade of pink on the outside. Inside it's black. I use it a lot for all my curries, big stews and braises. It is my favorite pot of all.
So my response is you can find equally good quality enamelled cast iron by other manufacturers, it doesn't have to be LC or nothing.
If want to invest money in your cooking equipment (other than a new fridge or dishwasher), you really can't go wrong here.
They make what they make. Do what they do. And it happens to be very, very good.
I waste a ton of money on gadgets and kitchen stuff (just ask my wife) but you can't go wrong with their products.
I would not buy an entire set of anything (including LC), but one or two pots will make your kitchen sing.
Their products are the things you cherish, fight about, tell people not to touch or worse demand during divorce proceedings.
I have 2 pots that I love to cook with. My 5 year old son helps as well.
And when he is going off to college or when he gets married, he will be able to take ONE of the pots with him. It will still work well in 20 years.
And he will cherish it as well.