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taking the plunge into le creuset

  • c

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? :-)

Thanks!

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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Zach Georgopoulos

        I agree. The 5.5 qt round is perfect for a family of four and I use it 2-3 times a week in the winter (summer is for grilling!).

      2. 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!

        1. 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.)

          1. 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.

            4 Replies
            1. re: RoseViolet

              I just checked on Amazon & they have the 5.5 quart "french oven" (that's what Le Creuset calls it) on sale. They regularly sell it for $250, but it's on sale for $190!

              1. re: RoseViolet

                You might wait until after Christmas if you can. Believe it or not I got mine (5.5 round) on amazon.com after Christmas a few years back for $99!

              2. re: RoseViolet

                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.

                1. re: Cpt Wafer

                  I have the round teapot in yellow, and I love it! It's such a cheery, summery color.

              3. I have an old 2 qt. orange round, 1 white and 1 dk. green 3 qt each. I use them almost daily, I have a 5.5 round in white, a 6.5 in dk. green 1 white and 1 green each in the lg. lasagne bakers and 1 small lasagne baker in red oh, and a terrine in the classic blue. I also have some of the old Copco enamel on cast iron which is great stuff. Sometimes you can get lucky and find the Copco at E-Bay

                1. I might go a size bigger with the 7 1/4 quart round. Last year, my parents sent them from amazon.com to me (red) and my brother (blue) for Xmas, and I must say, it was the best gift ever! I don't know if they still have this deal, but at the time, the French Oven came with a free grill pan. I use both all the time. I'd suggest the slightly larger size because food cooks so beautifully that you'll want to cook enough for guests and leftovers! As for color, I figure that red and blue are classics -- they'll never be discontinued. And they're both great. The red does have a nice color gradation, but the blue is very "classic French" looking.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: djdebs

                    The most traditional LC color is Flame, the red-orange color.

                    LC outlet stores have had a tough time off-loading the hideous light blue color that was created for Nigella Lawson.

                    1. re: Karl S

                      I saw a 5.5 qt round going for $80 in that color. It was almost enough for me to go ahead and buy it. If it had been even one shade darker, I would have gone for it. But it's practically white, which doesn't seem like the best of ideas.

                      1. re: Karl S

                        I've did'nt even know that they had made a line for Nigella Lawson. I've never seen any in this color.

                        1. re: nicolars

                          LC outlet folks told me that LC developed a special color to go with NL's light blue kitchen concept (which extended to non-LC products); it was hideous.* Here's a link to some images to convey the color:

                          http://images.google.com/images?svnum...

                          Anyway, LC realized it was a mistake and discontinued it fast. Took a while to move the unsold stock....

                          * Why "hideous". Blue is a difficult color to match with food; it's the anti-food color. Deep blues are fine, but the lighter shades just are about the most food-unfriendly color imaginable.

                      2. re: djdebs

                        the 7.25 is wonderful - wait for a sale but CHECK the quality - Le cruset will exchange it but you will pay the ups charge(25.00 from CA) - I recently bought one,loved it but after a week noticed small black dots (enamel faults?) called them and they will take it back and send new one - however, I will be without the unit for t'giving as it takes a month or so to get it back!-Bummer!I had grey and ordered red for the replacement unit.

                        1. re: djdebs

                          Sadly the "classic French" style blue has been discontinued.

                          They (LC) now have a darker blue with a color gradation known as 'cobalt' for a replacement.

                        2. I love the flame color -- but since it was a gift from Mom and Dad, and Mom hates orange, my collection will be red!

                          1. I've gone for price over color, and therefore have a mishmash of colors - but, since I've done the same with my Waring Blender & KA mixer, I live with it. No Sandra Lee kitchen for me - every appliance in a color to match her theme!

                            1. I have a 5.5, 7 and 9 and would definitely suggest the 7 over the 5.5.

                              I cook for two plus leftovers for the freezer and it's great for that as well as the times I need to cook larger batches of something for a party or for Tgiving.

                              A 5.5 is too small to cook for a crowd, IMO, whereas the 7 is fine for smaller meals, thus more versatile.

                              CHECK TO SEE IF YOU HAVE ANY LC OUTLET STORES NEARBY. SOMETIMES THEY PRACTICALLY GIVE STUFF AWAY.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: C. Hamster

                                I know that the LC outlet nearest me is giving a 25% off entire purchase the day after Thanksgiving, I don't know if that's the case with other LC outlets but it's worth checking out if you're looking for a bargain.

                              2. I'd say get at least the 7 1/4 qt LC. That's what I have, and it's just me! I have the blue btw ... :)

                                1. Call me contrarian but I do not own ANY LC and braise and roast all the time. Eight years ago I bought a Calphalon 8.5 Qt pot. Over the last 8 years I have cooked tons of beef, chicken and anything else I would like to braise. I need not worry about scratching the porcelain, using Bartender's Friend or treat it any differently than any other pot/pan I own. After 8 years it looks great and the results are as good as any LC pot could have delivered. On sale these pots are probably 40% the price of LC.

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: jfood

                                    Jfiood, I agree with you. I don't own any LC and I don't plan to. I have a few Lodge dutch ovens of various sizes and a few commercial aluminum and stainless roasting pieces, but LC seems to be more style and fashion than substance. I like the appearance of LC, but anything that I have in my kitchen is there as a tool, and I don't want to have to coddle it.

                                    I have never seen enameled porcelain pieces in commercial kitchens where I have worked, and If I remember correctly it is not allowed, as it isn't NSF compliant.

                                    JMVHO

                                    1. re: Kelli2006

                                      And my favorite pot is a Club Aluminum 10-quarter that I wrestled from my sister when my mother broke up her house. Parents received as a wedding present in 1948. That pot has cooked more red gravy, chicken soup with matzah balls and beef stew than most Jewish delis.

                                    2. re: jfood

                                      Well if you don't own any LC then you're not in the best position to compare it to other cookware, much less even review it, are you? I've had two LC dutch ovens for 25 years. They were wedding gifts along with a bunch of professional level Calphalon pots. There is absolutely no contest in terms of performance, durability, and usefulness. The LCs do not, in my experience, require any special care and mine, which get used so much they sit on the stove and rarely get put away, are virtually unmarked. I have no doubt that my children will take them when I shuffle off in 25 years and they'll get another 25 years themselves. The Calphalon? The anodizing is worn clear off. Yes they are great pots and I have no complaints about them, but in terms of even heat distribution, braising, roasting, etc they don't hold a candle to LC. Oh and yes, the 5.5 quart round is the single most useful size for a family of four. If you buy two, get the 9 qt. oval if you entertain with dinner for 8 or more. I also have a third piece that I picked up at a garage sale, the 6.75 qt. oval. The enamel inside was worn and dirty. I took some automotive polish to it and it looks shiny smooth clean and new now and has for a few years.

                                      1. re: LovinSpoonful

                                        I'll chime in only because I agree with you 100%. How anyone can make a statement on the performance or comparison of two items without ever having used one of those items defies logic. Having only purchased French enameled cast iron within the past few years, I can't say much about the longevity from a first hand basis, but I can say that having had meals prepared in these pieces and in competing technology (SS), there is a difference and it's in favor of the enameled cast iron. If someone doesn't want to spen the money on LC or Staub that's fine, but they shouldn't make comparisons as to the performance of something they have never cooked in. Frankly, it's like stating apples are better than oranges, but I've never had an orange.

                                        1. re: LovinSpoonful

                                          LovinSpoonful: You are 100% right about not dissing LC if you've never compared it. *However*, IMO you are 100% wrong if you think cast iron provides better heat distribution than commercial-grade aluminum.

                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                            I don't disagree with you, I'm not sure when someone refers to "even heat distribution" that everyone is refering to the same phenomenon. I've read the posts and the studies, and I believe I understand what you are making reference to when you discuss "even heat distribution", but I'm not sure everyone is refering to that same thing. What else might they be refering to, you might ask, and I must admit I'm not entirely sure, but perhaps because of how well enameled cast iron tends to hold heat, it may give the illusion of the heat being distriuted evenly. Or maybe because it heats so slowly and people know not to put it on high that it gives the illusion that the heat is even. There just seems to be a disconnect somewhere.

                                            1. re: mikie

                                              Hi, Mikie: Well, the "evenness" myth of CI is just something that keeps being repeated, so every once in a while I'll speak up and try to restore reality.

                                              One possible disconnect here is that LC itself keeps repeating it, and since they do, imagine all the retail reps who pass along the misinformation. Maybe they were under FTC scrutiny--LC's website now touts "even heat" only for the ovens (as if they were only meant for *inside* an oven, like that immunizes them from the truth). But the myth is probably enough for them to sell a bunch of their new 15-inch skillets, skillets that will end up on itty-bitty hobs, and folks will wonder if they're doing something wrong...

                                              Another disconnect here has to do with the near-death of good, thick, cast aluminum cookware. Pound-for-pound, aluminum holds far more heat than CI, but few home cooks actually have used very thick cast Al pans (e.g., Magnalite, WearEver, Wagnerware) for a meaningful comparison.

                                              There's a 2nd hand shop near me that has 3 pieces of what looks like 7- or 8-mm cast AL ware, I think WearEver. I think I'll buy one just to have and measure/experiment/compare with.

                                            2. re: kaleokahu

                                              Yes I was not clear. I should have said "combination of heat distribution and heat retention." The iron holds heat remarkably well and so provides for a very stable and even temperature. When you are browning several batches of meat etc. you don't get cold spots and you get very predictable results which allow you to work more quickly. Again I'm not dinging commercial grade aluminum...I use it constantly for sauteing, making omlettes, and any application where rapid even heat and the ability to CHANGE heat level quickly is critical. If you want even STABLE heat, iron wins hands down over aluminum. It's a right tool for right need thing.

                                        2. I have recently experiened the joy of cooking with Le Creuset. I love it. I have a few kinks and old habits to break, since I have used Ultrex for years, yuck. I have a family of 6 give or take since 2 are in college and they come and go. I find the 5.5 qt and the 7.25 to be the most used. You also may want, but not need, a 5 qt oval for those different roast and stuff. but I have done the roast in the 7.25 and didn't miss the 5qt oval till I got it. Unfortunately, I collect the white, which was discontinued last year. I spoke to Sur Le Table salesperson and he says the blue #9 is going to be discontinued, replaced by darker cobalt. Anyone else heard? So if you like that shade, which I think is a classic better get going on getting the pieces. I think a mix of colors is great, alot of folks do that. I'm just too color blind for that that. Anyway, I think I just enjoy the hunt of getting discontinued stuff.
                                          By all means start with those few pieces and you will be hooked.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: yellowrose3502

                                            The blue #09 'traditional blue' has already been discontinued. This is the uniform-color medium blue they've had just about every piece availible in for the past 28 years or so.

                                            Cobalt #60 is the replacement. It is darker overall than the old blue and does the same sort of shading change the red does.

                                            Cooking.com has already had their closeout on the blue. City Kitchens in Seattle has been closing out the blue since July and is almost out of all of the round sizes. If you hunt around you might be able to still find some deals.

                                            1. re: flatline

                                              Very odd... I was in a LC outlet today and was told that the cobalt was being discontinued. The pieces thay had were in the discontinued and seconds section. I was asking specifically as I had been given a piece in the French Blue as a gift many years ago and wanted to match the color in the 5.5 Qt. The sales person assured me that the French blue was the classic. They still had a full display of it along with the other colors on the showroom floor.

                                          2. I love my LC dutch oven. All I know is it's the biggest one they make. I swear I use it a couple times a week at least. It's the round one. And it's that burnt red color. My husband ordered it for me and it came with an LC broiler pan that we use even more often.

                                            I can't wait to keep adding to the collection.

                                            1. Have you tried baking bread (aside from the no-knead bread of Lahey) in your LC pot? Actually, have you tried baking anything in it? I just figured, might as well make use of it as much as you can, right?

                                              1. I have a small and a large French oven, and bake in them all the time. One of the great things about LC is it's so beautiful you can serve out of it. I use a little non stick skillet daily, but the other skillets, I agree, are worthless-mine are stored.

                                                1. I have purchased many Le Creuset items through this website. Their prices are the best I"ve seen and they frequently give bonus coupons for an additional 20-30% off. I have many different colors. I am amazed at how easy they are to clean, even baked on food. You have to be careful when storing them so they won't be chipped. They give you little protectors to prevent damage to the lids. http://www.ekitchengadgets.com/lecreu...

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: DVL

                                                    sorry here is the correct website for le creuset with great discounts http://store.kitchenhut.com/sets.html

                                                  2. First - a comment regarding Kelli2006 and jfoods comments - couldn't Disagree more. NSF compliant? Puhleez. Not used in restaurants? - Order Pot au Feu in any Paris bistro and chances are it will appear at your table in the LC original Flame. And - while I agree with Kelli that a Lodge Dutch oven is a good thing, there is a difference: Leaving food sitting in an unlined Dutch Oven (such as the Lodge) degrades it's seasoned finish and (may) lend an 'off taste'. As I recall Lodge even suggests cooking in but not holding and serving. Jfoods - absolutely correct, however, about roasting. LC is wasted money for such use. Use it for what it's intended and you are well served!

                                                    I have every size of round and oval from 2 qt to 13 and find I use the 7 quart most often, whether cooking for 2 or 6. I use the smallest and largest the least often; the 13 quart only about once a year. But, I wouldn't trade them for anything.

                                                    I'd also agreee with others - their saute pans are awful...but then I'm an old fashioned untreated french blue-steel sort of guy.

                                                    Colors? Flame was (as I recall) the original. I own Red. I'm buying some in Kiwi for a second kitchen. Had never seen the light blue.

                                                    Finally - I don't think I coddle my LC, I just take care of it as I do my knives, my copper, my rolled steel...it's just different care.

                                                    1. A little off topic, but I noticed this morning that my little lc pot has a strange spot on the inside enamel, kind of like it's scraping off, or deteriorating. i just got these pots from my mother (they were my great-grandmother's), but she didn't really use them much, so she wouldn't know if it's been there for a while or if it's a new thing. I haven't noticed it other times i've used it. Is this kind of damage to the enamel common? problematic?

                                                      1. I had the same thing happen and returned mine to Williams and Sonoma( where I purchased it) with no receipt and was given a new pan. I would contact Le creuset to get a replacement.

                                                        1. Unfortunately I'm not sure that's going to happen. I can't find a similar product new from LC. It's part of a set that was bought for my great-grandmother about 40 years ago. It's a very small saucepan, probably only about 1 quart. I haven't seen it online anywhere, which makes me think it's something discontinued. Plus, I can't really justify and exchange, sentimentally. My family does not have a lot of continuity with older generations, half being holocaust victims. I've got the pots and one small necklace and that's all I know about in the fam. from the great-grandparent generation.

                                                          1. Firstly, try not to use metal utensils to cook with. It will aggravate anything that may be going on. I have just recently began using LC and love it's performance. I do not cook with metal utensils nor do I serve with them, although I understand that serving is ok. But that one person that decides to scrape the bottom for the last bit may be the one that does the damage. I soak and then use one of those pampered chef plastic scrap cleaners they supply with their stoneware. Then, I use a mild sponge/scrub thingy with dish soap. Drain a few minutes and I hand dry. This may be overkill, but it is an investment.
                                                            The next generation can do as they see fit, but I wont have to watch (LOL)

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: yellowrose3502

                                                              Thanks for the input. I pretty much only use this pot to cook oatmeal or boil an egg, so not much sticks to it at least. (it's tiny! but i love it.) I do usually use a regular teaspoon to stir oatmeal, so I'll stop that. Is it ok to keep using it with the little spot?

                                                            2. According to the Sur le Table salesperson, He said that it is perfectly safe to use. If you have a bare spot, meaning no enamel left, just dot it with a little of olive oil or veg oil of some kind after you wash and dry it. It is just aesthetics.Even the grey we see on the rims is not bare cast iron, that is still a coating of a gray enamel.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: yellowrose3502

                                                                My le cruset guru says to watch out for those spots as they may be a hole down to the next level - supposedly lecruset uses a layer of tin to aid the enamel adhering to the cast iron - cooking on tin can be very dangerous! --- Send what you want back to LC, they will return a new product providing it was not abused.

                                                              2. well, my little spot is not bare or even close to metal yet. it really just looks like scratching or a little bit of the top layer of enamel got roughed off. It's a little bit brighter white than the rest of the interior and it's a little rough.

                                                                I'll keep an eye on it. But also like I said before, I don't think LC makes this size anymore, at least I couldn't find it new. It's the size 14, a 3/4 quart saucepan. Plus it was from great-grandma's kitchen, so it's not going anywhere.

                                                                1. Don't know if they still do it, but the LC outlet store where I bought mine had a "color of the month" special. Waited for the one I wanted (flame) and saved even more.

                                                                  1. I am looking into purchasing a Dutch/French oven. My top two choices right now are Le Crueset and the Mario Batali one. I would like the 5.5 qt round dutch oven. Both choices will cost the same. If I buy the Le Crueset, it will be from a T.J. Maxx. If I buy the Mario Batali one it will be from Crate and Barrel. Crate and Barrel basically has a lifetime warranty for it. If anything happens to it, without or without a receipt, you can bring it back and have it replaced.

                                                                    Any thoughts or suggestions?

                                                                    Thanks in advance.

                                                                    1. Well, I like my Le Creuset. It is good that you can have a lifetime warranty with the Batali. However, it is rather new on the market compared to the LC. The warranty with the LC is tried and true. It is an 80 year old reputation behind it. You may not be able to get a Batali replacement in 10 years. So I would stick to the LC.

                                                                      1. I got a flame 12 inch skillet at the outlet store over the holidays. Can't wait to use it!

                                                                        1. I would suggest buying Staub from amazon.com. Currently they have several round 5.5 qt cocottes for $99. I have both Le Creuset and Staub and I personally prefer Staub. Someone mentioned Mario Batali which I would avoid for several reasons, the first being that many people have reported negative quality issues.

                                                                          1. Hello
                                                                            Has anyone considered this? Innova Cast Iron cookware. I just couldn't bring myself to paying that much for a pot, seeing that I know about Lodge products. I saw Innova on Amazon and tried them. I ended up with the 6' yellow with teflon coating and the large yellow oval dutch oven. I am single and can afford anything that I want even with the Mickey Mouse job that I have, but could not spend that much When $59.00 got me What I wanted. And it is just as heavy and attractive. As mentioned above. The enamel is for looks not function. And it does require additional cleaning. But it does look very nice and I wouldn't replace them.
                                                                            Jim

                                                                            http://www.google.com/search?q=Innova...

                                                                            1. Cooks Illustrated has just rated dutch ovens in their Jan/Feb issue. Here are their top Four:

                                                                              1) AllClad stainless 8 qt $257.95
                                                                              2) LeCreuset 7 1/4 qt round $229.95
                                                                              3) Chefmate 5 qt Round Enameled $39.99. CI calls it their "Best Buy". What they say...similar to LeCreuset only smaller and a lot cheaper....less cooking surface...but a reasonable trade off to save $190.00. Lid has tight fit...steady, even heating...
                                                                              4) Mario Batali Italian Essentials 6 qt $99.99

                                                                              Recommended "with reservations"

                                                                              Lodge Pro-Logic pre-seasoned
                                                                              Calphalon One Infused
                                                                              Tramontina Stering II
                                                                              Emerilware from AllClad
                                                                              Innova Color Cast Porcelain

                                                                              1. The Staub deals on Amazon (I think that they're closing out the old colors) are too good to pass up. Unless you really have your heart set on LC, you can get Staub (which most people feel is equal or better to LC) for 50% off.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Sam Harmon

                                                                                  I'm so glad to hear you say that. I'm a buyer for smartbargains.com who was just offered a % off to bring in staub cast iron...

                                                                                  you've just solidified my decision that this stuff can be comparable to LC (which I adore, and own a ton of) and will buy to offer to my guests at a significant savings!

                                                                                  Thanks!!

                                                                                  1. re: stephanieb

                                                                                    I just bought a huge Chantal Talavera cast iron dutch oven at Marshalls for $70. It is made in China---should I worry?

                                                                                    1. re: stephanieb

                                                                                      I bought a large talavera cast iron dutch oven today as well,at Marshalls.70 dollars but now I am also concerned if it is safe.??

                                                                                  2. Hi
                                                                                    In answer to your question;
                                                                                    I would recommend the following. Staub at http://tinyurl.com/335ojl then of course there is always Lodge, which is as good as any and much less expensive, http://tinyurl.com/36r3fl
                                                                                    And I also have several of this brand Innova, http://tinyurl.com/2vuaoa
                                                                                    If I wanted the best, as I have one already, I would definitely choose Staub.
                                                                                    good Luck
                                                                                    Jim

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: jim2100

                                                                                      This is my #1 reason that I think that the Staub line is better than Le Creuset. My LC pots' enamel wore down after years of use leaving me with a enamel finish that was no longer non-stick. The staub finish (on the inside) is different. It just keeps getting better and better the more I use it. I'd never go back to LC now.

                                                                                    2. Let's see, favorite color: I have light green (I think it's called kiwi), cobalt, french blue, flame, cherry red, black, dark green, carribbean blue...I buy whatever's on sale, so I have the rainbow of colors. I started my nephew on his own set and made sure to buy two different colored pots so he'd continue the multi-hued tradition. I need some yellow & white/dune to round things out, though.

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                                        Hi,
                                                                                        You mention getting what's on sale. Where is the best place or places to check for sales on Staub. I want to give one as a warming gift soon? I really like mine too. The enamel is chipping on the Innova (Here http://tinyurl.com/4k8az26) . But I only paid $49.00 dollars for a large oval Dutch Oven.

                                                                                        Jim

                                                                                        1. re: jim2100

                                                                                          I bought several Staub pieces at Dillards for greatly reduced prices, they were having a closeout. They seem to change stock on a regular basis, so the store in my area doesn't have Staub now. I also picked up an auction piece on e-bay, but that is really touch and go as most pieces are "buy it now" and not greatly reduced. The piece I bought came from Dillards, still had the Dillards sale tag on it. You really have to shop around and check stores regularly to find the best deals. I ended up paying about the same price as the off brand stuff.

                                                                                          1. re: mikie

                                                                                            I don't have any Staub, so I don't much follow the prices. I do know that Sur La Table carries Staub, so you might try their semi-annual closeout sales.

                                                                                      2. I have an oval and a round. I use the round more often than the oval BUT if I were only going to buy one, it would be the oval. I have pots I could use for soup/chili/etc rather than my round dutch oven but that oval is great for doing loins and long pieces of meat.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: hambone

                                                                                          I would go with the bigger size 7.25 quart round. I have a 5 quart Staub and find it just a wee bit too small for many recipes. Love them both, but use the larger one more often.