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Apr 18, 2007 12:37 AM

Help! Le Creuset french oven size and shape recommendation

I am ready to buy my 1st le creuset french oven and need help picking the correct size and shape for my needs. I cook for 2 and sometime up to 6. I do not like to over cook and have left over but the 2 of us do eat in pretty big portions. I will be using this mainly for coq au vin, pot roast, veal/lamb shanks and any other meats. Soup, stew, sauces and pasta is rarity. I am considering the 5.5qt, 7.25qt round and 6.75qt, 8qt oval. Costco has a good deal on the 8qt but it seems big and might be too big for the 2 of us.

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  1. between you and I le creuset is beautiful until it chips. then you get rust spots which i think affects the taste of your food. and if you use it, it will chip. personally i like cast iron. I have some pieced that date from the 1920s and they are perfect. I've got several sized of dutch oven sauce and frying pans and a really large three legged witches pot that i set into fires for stews and clam bake type fare. its fun and the kids love it. Now the company Lodge makes some really nice cookware, and it comes preseasoned now. seasoning is not hard and if your pot rusts. I mean really rusts like someone feft it out in the weather for a year you can still clean it up and reseason it. indestructable. the down side is that I probablu have 350 lbs of pots and pans. but then again how often are you really lifting it all at once. good luck in your chioce.

    3 Replies
    1. re: nedgreely

      I've had one LC Dutch/French oven for 15 years now - no chips, no rust. I think I have the 7.25 size - there are just two of us and I use it all the time - to make risotto, stews, short ribs, etc. But, I tend to make a full recipe - usually for six (other than risotto) and freeze the leftovers. So the 5.5 qt might work better for you. Enjoy!

      1. re: nedgreely

        I'm a cast iron fan all the way, but I just got two pieces of LC as a birthday gift. Now I'm a convert. If it chips, just send it back and they'll replace it free of charge. I have a 2-quart round oven and a 3.5 quart oval oven. Both are used very often in my 2-person household, but I'm already lusting after three more: I want a low, wide oven (4 quart or so) and a really big one: at least 8 quart, as well as another, larger oval (say, 6.5 quart). These wants come from a thoughtful look at my current pots and their various useages. Don't overlook the LC for everyday stuff....dishwashes like a dream, too (though the company does say that constant dishwashing will dull the luster of the finish).

        1. re: nedgreely

          I've got 4 pieces of LC that I've been using for 30+ years, and not a chip or rust spot anywhere. In fact, you'd have to take a sledgehammer to it to damage it. They're all cast iron with an enamel finish, and they've held up beautifully over the years.

        2. I think you should get either the 5 1/2 qt. round or 5 qt. oval. My first one was a 6.75 oval and it's a little big if you plan to just cook for 2. However, please note that I say my "first one"...they are addicting. I have now added a 5 1/2 qt. round, 5 qt. buffet casserole and a 2 1/2 qt. round to my collection. Love them all.

          1. I have several pieces of Le Creuset. I believe that there is a lifetime guarantee for their cookware. When one of my pots developed a small chip, I sent it back to Le Creuset and they sent me a new one free of charge! Of course, the damage has to have occurred during regular use, not abuse.

            I wouls suggest the 5.5 quart size for your needs. An 8 quart is pretty big.

            1. I have 8 assorted Le Creuset pieces, some of which are over 20 years old, and not one is chipped - if bought from a reputable dealer (must be made in France) it is virtually indestructible. I recommend choosing a size to fit your largest chicken or piece of meat, and make sure you'll be able to lift it with the combined weight of cast iron, meat and liquid!

              1. Start with the 5.5 round. That's what I have (for 2 people most of the time) and it feels perfect. Only recently have I started wantping to get an 8 quart, but even then I'd use the smaller one 90% of the time.