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Jul 29, 2008 05:49 AM

Okay Le Creuset, Defend Yourself

Hey Hounds.

On a recent trip "Down yonder" I stopped in at the Lodge Factory Outlet Store in Sevierville, Tn.
I picked up a 6qt. enamel on cast iron dutch oven from the seconds (which meant it had a dimple in the enamel on the top of the lid) pile for $40. (Regular $87.95)
Later on our trip I was in Williams Sonoma and saw basically the same pot for $220.95 (MSRP $295).
Is there really a $200+ difference?? All you LC owners/swear by it people convince me that it's a good idea to spend the extra cash.

BTW, I used it for the first time last night to make gumbo and it was fantasic.


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  1. You should check out kitchenware sale (every two weeks) or their Friday Sale, the Lodge enamel cast iron Dutch oven 6 qt frequently comes up for around $39.99.

    I got a green 3qt for $19.50 a few weeks ago, it's excellent for soups & curries (but I do not have a LC or Staub to compare it).

    1. That price tag always troubled me too. I was in TJ Maxx and they had several Le Creuset dutch ovens for sale for about $100 bucks. I bought one, thinking that was as good a price as I was gonna find. I then went into Target and they had an enameled cast iron pot (same size) for $40 bucks. I bought it, took it out to the car and visually compared the two. I just couldn't see any difference other than the quality of the lid knob/handle and of course the imprinted name. I took back the Le Creuset and have been very happy w/ my Target pot.

      1. Trying to upset us LeC fans are you? I have two LeC Dutch ovens that I have had forever and which I love. After many years they still pretty much look like new, and I'm pretty sure they will look the same when I leave this planet. That said...if I had seen a Lodge enameled cast iron Dutch oven for 40 bucks when I bought my LeC, I would also have grabbed it. I'm sure it will be just fine and I'm jealous! And if worse comes to worse, if in several years it wears out (highly unlikely), I'm sure you will still have gotten your money's worth.

        3 Replies
        1. re: josephnl

          And it's not like Lodge isn't a very good name and product.


          1. re: Davwud

            The Lodge stuff looks pretty good to me--I haven't used it, only seen it in stores (specifically, Wal-Mart). I have way too much LC cluttering my kitchen to be considered impartial in this matter, but in my defense, I bought all of it at a deep discount (outlets, closeouts, Tuesday AM, TJ Maxx, etc). My young neighbor, who just set up housekeeping, bought the Lodge after admiring my LC....she says it cooks great.

            I will say, in defense of LC, that the lifetime guarantee is a great thing. Unless you've done something totally ridiculous to your pan (and then told LC about it!), you can get LC to replace it. So that's part of what you're paying for, in addition to the living wages & benefits paid to French workers as opposed to the Chinese-made Lodge (no, not all Lodge is made in the USA).

            1. re: Hungry Celeste

              And even if you do something ridiculous like breaking the lid by dropping it, and tell them, they'll replace it for you! They sent it to me for free, including the shipping.

        2. We've had the Lodge for a couple of years and it's held up very well. Didn't come from the outlet (and was much cheaper then). The outlet is pretty cool, though.

          I was all psyched to have bought American. Too bad the enameled Lodge is made in China.

          1. Here's a news flash: there are items in retail stores that are at higher price points because people will pay for them.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ferret

              Yes, I understand that. However some things do command a higher price and are worth it.
              I doubted it in this case. Hence the post.


              1. re: Davwud

                Whether something is "worth it" is an individual determination. Clearly Le Creuset isn't "worth it" to you. Just as clearly, it IS "worth it" to those who choose it over lower-priced alternatives. Personally I wouldn't pay retail price for Le Creuset, even though I think it's appreciably nicer than most of its competitors: higher quality enamel, more attractive colors, lighter weight, more finely finished, etc.--and the company provides excellent customer service. But even if all a person cares about is the status of owning a luxury-brand item, or giving one as a gift, it's a worthwhile expenditure for that person, no matter how silly someone else considers it.

                1. re: Miss Priss

                  I guess you're right about the term "Worth it".
                  To me, having a name for the sake of having a name is certainly a waste of money.
                  To others, it most certainly isn't.

                  By "Worth it" I was wondering if it could possibly out perform by that much. I certainly don't think so but have never done a cook off.

                  I'm also hoping this forum will help people realize that there are some cost effective (And possibly smarter) alternatives so they don't have to blow their brains out on LC.