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Le cruset French Oven , buy it or not?

Have been looking at the LC french ovens - any size reccomendations and any comments about LC? These arent inexpensive and I appreciate the input! Thanks

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  1. I have a large dutch oven style pot, and love it. Direct from stove to oven, holds heat really well, easy to clean. I've been considering getting a stove top grill as well.

    However, I can't compare Le Creuset to other enameled pots as I've never tried them.

    I would suggest that you do not purchase your pot at William's Sonoma as the prices there are outrageous. I found mind at Homesense (in Canada.....similar to TJ Maxx I think, only for housewares) at 50% of the WS cost.

    1. I have two -- a medium and a large -- they look the same, but I think one is a Le Cruset and one is some other brand. I love them. They are perfect for any soup, stew, pasta sauce etc and clean up quite easily.

      If it matters, I inhereted both from my mom. They have to each be at least 30 years old and have held up beautifully. They were not cheap when she bought them, but based n number of uses over the years, I'd say the price works out.

      1. Were I banned to a desert island and allowed to take only one piece of cookware with me, it'd be my Le Cruset dutch oven. Fry, poach, boil, braise, roast, bake -- there's next to nothing it doesn't do and doesn't do well. I think the oval ovens are preferable, as they can handle just about everything the round ones can and lots the round ones can't (whole fowl, legs of lamb, whole leeks, etc. -- it's surprising how many things we cook that are longer than they are wide).

        1 Reply
        1. re: carswell

          I agree - I love my Le Creuset - I use it for risotto, braises, soups ... boiling pasta in a pinch. I only have the 7qt round one, though I can see the oval making a lot of sense for somethings, my round one has served me well for about 10 - 12 years now - including some abuse - soaking overnight etc.

        2. Count me in the LC fan club. I have a few different pieces.

          I personally don't use my oval that often. My most used is my 3.5 qt buffet pan but I mostly cook for two people. When I'm cooking for a group I pull out my big 8.75 at round.

          When I was working at a kitchen store I usually recommended the 5.5qt round as a good all-around piece.

          Saturday I received a flyer in the mail from Tuesday Morning with Le Creuset all over the cover. If you have one around you, you might want to wait until Nov 7 and check out their next opening. They usually have great prices when they carry this. The flyer said it would be first quality in paprika and slate.

          1. I love my 9 qt. LC, which I got at Marshalls for a fraction of the retail cost. I wish I had a 5qt as well, because the 9 is so huge.

            I would say the oval looks like it'd be great for a whole chicken or other oval shaped meats (a roast, for example), but I like the round because it's easy to store and I can't wrap my mind around the idea of a pot on the burner that isn't the shape of the flame (I know, silly). I do like being able to stack smaller pots in and on top of my enormous LC though, and it'd be hard to do that with an oval pot.

            1. YES! Buy one. You won't regret it. I got a 5.5 quart on Amazon.com in April for $115 or so because they had discontinued the color (white). Amazon has great prices and you don't pay tax or shipping.

              I love it, it's very versatile but it's best of course for slow cooking- I make soup in mine regularly and absolutely no steam escapes.

              1. Oh btw the 5.5 quart is the perfect size- it's not too big that you can't pick it up, but it's big enough to make a full sized soup recipe, or to cook a roast. I would recommend that size, as the 7 and 9 quart sizes seem to be a little too big.

                1 Reply
                1. re: silverlakelisa

                  If you want to braise something like short ribs for more than two people, I think you will need the 7qt - just something to think about.

                2. I use that pot more than any others that I own. From stovetop to the oven, it does it all. Just get it already!!!

                  1. Look at it this way. There's not really a "wrong" one.

                    1. Costco is selling a blue 8qt. one right now for $159 and I don't know how anyone's gonna find a better price.

                      1. I would highly recommend Le Creuset. The 5.5qt is very useful. If you cook for a lot of people, the 9qt would be a good investment. I only have 1 oval french oven. The rest are round ovens. I use the round ones more often. Amazon seems to have the best prices. Once you buy one, you'll be looking for more. It's quite an addiction.

                        1. I got my first piece over 30 years ago at a church rummage sale. I have 1 5 qt round, 1 6 qt. oval, 2 3qt. rounds, 2 of the large lasagne bakers great for groups when you want to do a big casserole, 1 smaller rectangular baker. I also have some pieces from Copco from wedding gifts over 30 years ago. They are still great and you can occasionally find them on E-Bay. They are quality porcelain enamel on cast iron too.

                          This weekend at TJ Maxx I saw Staub and Le Creuset in the pot and pans. I did not buy any 'cause I think I have enough.

                          1. I'm still using the 5-ish quart one that my grandmother got as a wedding present in the twenties, and it is the most indispensible pot in my kitchen. Sometimes I wish it were bigger - it only fries five pieces of chicken at a time, for example - but on occasions where quantity counts, I just use two. Bigger ovens (which I also have) tend to have cold spots, and you have to move food around a lot when browning.

                            1. I have the 7.25 qt. round. I find that it fits well for a 3-5 lb. roast with adequate room for vegetables.

                              You can find good deals especially if you are not color conscious.

                              I don't think you'll be disappointed.

                              1. I just got my first Le Creuset pots (and I mean JUST--took them out of boxes 10 minutes ago). Just looking at them makes me want to cook nonstop. I got the 7.25 round and the 3.5 buffet for my starter duo. The 7.25 seems like the right size for us when we make soups, which is often. The 3.5 qt, I don't know, just seemed like we would get a lot of use out of it as well. First use will be tonight when my partner and I can cook together--I just have to decide which dish(es) and which pot to start with.

                                It's a banner week for me...just joined Chowhound, going to start the cookbook club with the November book, and get a new stove on Thursday! I'm going to gain 10 or 15 pounds in the next few weeks...

                                1. The Le Creuset pots are great, if you have the cash. If you're concerned about saving a few dollars, you might want to look into Mario Batali's line of enameled cookware. I got mine for $60 shipped from amazon.com. Excellent for roasts and stews with very good heat distribution. Highly recommended.


                                  1. Buy it! I bought one last month (7 1/4 qt blue French oven), and I love it. I was able to find a great deal on Amazon btw, including free shipping (which is great when you have something so heavy!)

                                    1. Our 26 (5.5-quart?) gets used more than any other pot in the kitchen with the possible exception of the similar-sized All-Clad, which is often in use at the same time. Cruset's better for long simmering and presentation, All-Clad's better for high heat and quick changes of heat.

                                      We've also got a 34 (13.5-quart?) which is handy for big parties.

                                      1. I couldn't live without mine.

                                        I have a 5.5quart, a 7 quart and a 9 quart. By far, I use the 7 quart the most. And I cook for 2 plus leftovers or for small dinner parties. The 5.5 is too small IMO for entertaining but good for day to day stuff without leftovers.

                                        I bought them all at the LC Outlet store in Wrentham, MA. The first 2 (5.5 and 7) were "cosmetic seconds" and were half price. I couldn't see anything wrong with them and I figured that I'd beat them up on my own so who cared? The Big Mama 9 quart was a discontinued color and was 75% off and just jumped into my hands so I had to buy it!

                                        Never buy it full price, as you can always find it on sale somewhere. Bloomingdales actually sells it cheap as does TX MAxx. The LC website has a list of their outlet store.

                                        My mother has one that is at least 50 years old and is still going strong.

                                        1. One reason to get Le Cruset is the lifetime guarantee. My mom has some that are 35-40 years old and they still work. One pot however has started to orange peel on the inside and she recently contacted them and they said to sent it in.

                                          OTOH, I don't think I could cough up the current prices for Le Cruset. I guess it depends on use. I doubt I'd use it that much so something less expensive would work for me.

                                          1. Le Creuset dutch ovens can be expensive but are well worth the money. Le Creuset cookware can last you a lifetime and so much easier to maintain than traditional cast iron dutch ovens.

                                            I have a red 5.5 quart round french oven, which I've used to braise meats, make pot roasts, soups, bun bo hue (Vietnamese oxtail soup), etc. It's a good size for everyday cooking. Occasionally, I really need the 9.5 qt oval oven when I'm making a really big, long hunk of meat.

                                            Size is really dependent on your cooking style. I like to cook in mass quantities and typically use my 5.5 quart french oven along with another 5+ qt. dutch oven. I think most people will be fine with the 5.5 quart size. But get a larger one if you like to cook large portions.

                                            Here is a pricing link...

                                            I would wait for a sale and buy from a trusted store. You won't regret it.

                                            1. Don't know where you live, but Tuesday Morning is having a 1/2 off LC sale beginning Nov 7, accord. to their sales flyer. Call and ask if there's one nearby.

                                              1. My 8 qt round is perfect for deep frying, braising, soups, stews, you name it.

                                                For smaller applications, I actually just purchased a 5 qt lodge dutch oven, which is much cheaper (although taking care of cast iron is a little harder than enamel).

                                                1. Yeah, I vote for Le Creuset. We have a small one (1 1/2 quarts) and a large one (8 quarts or something similar) as well as a newer medium one (5.5 quarts), all flame orange. Have had the first two for over 25 years. My wife and I use them all the time, especially for braising. You can buy 'em at discount when the marketing folks at LeC decide they want to up sales or through an outlet or even over the web (but shipping, because they're heavy, may be expensive). There are others that looks and feel like Le Creuset, some from China, and I'm sure they're cheaper and as good. Yeah, Le Creuset is pricy but when you think of how long they last, no problem, and how much pleasure, as Bob Lauriston above has written above. Long braised stuff rules! Le Creuset is one of the top brands for it! But, if you want to save money, don't be afraid to look at the others like Batali.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: EclecticEater

                                                    Yeah we have a 5.5qt LC dutch oven and love it to death, but our Batali panini pan w/lid is also lovely, and half the price of the LC equivalent.

                                                    We got our LC pot at the Gilroy, CA LeCreuset outlet store, which sells ever so slightly marred items for ever so slighly discounted prices ;-)

                                                    The LC pot cooks noticeably more evenly than our Calphanon One set, and I use it whenever what I'm cooking fits into it, which is pretty often!


                                                  2. Bloomingdale's is having a one day sale on them Tomorrow, 11/4/06

                                                    1. Thanks to all - I bought a 7.5 qt french oven yesterday at Tuesday Morning sale ($149.00)-- used it last night -- love it!

                                                      1. What is a french oven? I have a LC 7 quart dutch oven and it is the perfect size. Everyone should own one as a very basic part of a decent kitchen set up. Don't pay top dollar though - Amazon, outlet stores.

                                                        1. I received about 7-8 pieces of LC as a wedding gift 35 years ago, and love most of them. The only piece I have an occasional problem with is the 12" fry pan. That's because it has a wooden handle that won't let me do any stove top-to-oven dishes. But these pieces will outlast me, and my daughter has asked me to make sure I leave them to her in my will.