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Jan 5, 2008 10:23 AM

le creuset indecision

I just bought a 3.5 quart wide le creuset oven and am now a mess of second thoughts. Should I have bought the regular 3.5 qt.? I need an oven small enough for 2-4 pieces of chicken and the occasional vegetable dush (my 5 qt. oval and 5.5 qt. round are too big). This is my first small piece. Does anyone have any experience with the wide ovens. Please help!!!!!!

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    1. re: MMRuth

      Nope, a 3.5 round wider and shallower than the regular 3.5. It has straight sides though and is not the 3.5 buffet casserole (which it also deeper than). I found it at Williams Sonoma.

      1. re: deirdrec

        Ah - thanks! I actually think that a small oval one might be a good choice for the items you've described, but not sure what has prompted your second thoughts.

        1. re: MMRuth

          W-S does not sell the 3.5 oval. Does it have more of a bottom than the regular 3.5? I'm worried that the 3.5 wide has too much surface on the bottom (I hate having too much space around things), but the regular 3.5 round didn't seem to have enough. I don't know if I want to go to another store as I used a holiday gift card. Many thanks!

          1. re: deirdrec

            It depends on the use I think. Personally, I was worried that I would get a wide when I wanted the original profile. I don't want too much cooking surface area when I'm making something because I'm typically boiling and don't want a big bottom if that makes sense.

            1. re: warneral

              I totally understand. I like to make small amounts of braised chicken. Any idea of what the surface diameter of the wide is versus the regular?

              1. re: deirdrec

                A wider and shallower profile makes sense to me, particularly for braising and oven roasting. For stovetop uses, does the width of the pot work with your burners so that you can use the other burners at the same time as needed? If it's all good, then I think you've made the right choice.

    2. I was looking at both of those in WS too. I put the lid of the regular 3.5 on top of the wide 3.5 and it wasn't all that much smaller. I think your best bet for what you want to do would be the 2 1/4 qt. Le Creuset buffet casserole. It's about 10" in diameter and has the domed lid. Much more versatile. and you can get one on Ebay for less than the other. I prefer the larger 3.5 qt. size though, but if you want it for a few pieces of chicken it's the way to go.

      It's also useful as a small roasting pan, fry pan, saute pan, baker, braiser, and for gratins, and fritatas. Many more uses than the other.