taking the plunge into le creuset
OK. After much though (and lurking), I've finally decided to get a le creuset dutch oven. My question is: which is the best size to get for a family of four? And should I get a round or an oval one? I'm thinking an oval one which will fit a large chicken...
Any suggestions? Thoughts?
And while we're at it, which is your favorite LC color? :-)
I say take a look at whatever pot you use most right now, and find a LC in a comparable size or a smidge larger.
I prefer the round because it's the shape of the burner on the stove, and any LC I would want is big enough to fit a chicken. It's probably more preference though; when I asked at the store the salespeople said there's no overwhelming reason to choose one over another if you just happen to like how one looks.
The 5 1/2 quart round dutch oven is the single best cooking ivestment I've ever made! I use it both on the stove top and in the oven. It will easily fit a reasonably sized chicken (emphasis on reasonably), and you can definitely cook stews, chilis, etc... in quantities large enough for a family of 4.
I am mad at Le Creuset right now as the enamel on my stock pot just inexplicably cracked and I've heard a lot of other 'hounds have the same problem. I'm sure they'll replace it, but what a pain!
CTL, I am certain I have put some French kid through college with all the Le Creuset I own. I second the recommendation for the 5.5 qt as your first piece (for a family of 4). To keep it clean, without scratching the enamel, use "Bar Keepers Friend" cleanser. Le Creuset's pots will soon become your favorite cooking tools. (Ironically, their skillets are terrible.)
Let me be the 4th person to suggest the round 5.5 quart dutch oven. I use it multiple times a week, ususally on the stove (which is why I prefer the round shape over the oval). I have used it to make chili and stew for 6 adults and there was plenty of room. Plus, if you get a larger size, it may be difficult for you to lift. Le Creuset pots are heavy enough *before* you add food.
As for colors, I think the red is gorgeous! Many of the Le Creuset pots are a single, uniform shade, but the red gets darker towards the bottom of the pot which gives it great character. Plus, I think the red compliments food colors better than, say, the blue or kiwi.
I've got a round oven, an oval oven, and a risotto pot, all in red. It's a great color. Lately we've been acquiring some of the stoneware pieces and prefer the yellow. Like the red pieces, they're not a solid color either. They're light yellow at the top, blending to an egg yoke at the bottom.