Keep All-Clad Dutch Oven or return
Dh got me a huge All-Clad Dutch Oven for xmas. We have a very small kitchen and I have tons of stockpots which makes me wonder if I should just return it. Please tell me why it is so much better, for stews and the like, than a stockpot.
Much better than a stock pot. Most stock pots are thin made to boil or simmer stock. You Dutch Oven is thick, made to hold in heat, slowly braise food either in the overn or on the stove top. You can do stews, soups, all kinds of braises in the dutch oven. Keep it and use it, you'll love it.
Well, much better than a cheap stock pot, but a good quality, thick bottomed stainless or anodized aluminum pot will do just as well on the stove top and almost as well in the oven. The only advantage I can see is the lid on a dutch oven is designed to let condensation drip evenly over the surface of the food, rather than mostly running down the sides of the pot, so for a long, slow braise or stew you don't need to stir as often.
Some people swear by them, but it's all a matter of taste, and what sort of cooking you do most often. I happen to have one but use it almost exclusively for baking bread (search for the no-knead bread posts if you're curious). If you are happy with your existing pots, and DH won't be offended, I don't think it would be a mistake to return it.
Stockpots, being tall and thin, are best used for making soups, etc. They can't go in the oven.
A LC french oven is probably the most versatile piece of cookware you'll ever have. Stove, oven, braising, stews, sauces, No knead bread, whole chickens, and on and on and on.