Le Creuset or All Clad?
I want to buy my husband a really special gift this year. He hinted that he would like a Le Creuset 6.75 qt oval french oven, but I was thinking an All Clad 3 qt. saucier may be a better gift. He loves all aspects of cooking especially searing and braising. We don't have any All Clad yet (due to price), but we do have a 7 qt round Le Crueset Dutch oven. I feel like the oval oven may be a bit redundant since we already have the round one.
With that in mind, what gift do you think would be better?
To me, the answer is in your post. Your husband likes to sear and braise and wants another piece of LC. Buy him what he wants. How can you go wrong? Besides, the oval pots can accommodate certain shapes better than the round (whole birds, long shanks).
If you're going to get him a saucier, get him a heavy copper one, not an All-clad one.
He may be wanting the oval oven because of fit. The round one may not fit well with other pans in the oven, and the oval one, because it's longer in one dimension, might accomodate elongated cuts of meat better.
Since you're heading to the Boston area, I'll share my delight in discovering the Williams Sonoma outlet in Wrentham, MA for fantastic deals on All Clad. After finding my first two AC on craigslist, I was hooked, but on a tight budget. I gleefully bought an All Clad at the WS outlet at 30% off an already low price for the Veterans' Day Sale -- although I wouldn't let myself go near there for the 40% off cookware sale on Black Friday. I'm thrilled with my new AC pan (they're calling it a risotto pan, I think ,the James Beard special edition) and I did splurge and get the bigger LC oval dutch oven in one day. :)
I too prefer oval french ovens, but seeing as you already have a 7q round but no All Clad, the oval seems a little redundant. I have a mix of All Clad LTD, Staub and LC and definitely use my AC the most--braising and no-knead bread being the obvious exceptions.
I use the 3q saucier more than any pan in my kitchen other than a fry pan. You can do small braises in it, reheat pasta, make rice, sauces and so on. It can even do an acceptable job for a stir fry. Great pan.