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Aug 20, 2008 12:51 PM

anyone out there with the le creuset risotto pot?

Received this as a gift from a well meaning person who figured it was the same thing as a dutch oven. What do you use this pot for? I assume it isn't just risotto. And do you also have the buffet casserole/braiser? Are they similar in function or completely different? Would appreciate some help!

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  1. I have both the risotto and the buffet casserole (both the 2.25 qt and the 3.5 qt). I find that they are not necessarily interchangeable. I can make most braises and roasts that I care to make in the risotto pot if necessary, although at least when it comes to roasting I do prefer to use one of my dutch ovens. I use the risotto pot for a lot cajun style cooking because it is deep, has a large surface area (great for making a roux) and it has high sides making it easier to stir. I've never used it for risotto but I have Mario Batali risotto pan that I do use and frankly I think I'd prefer because of the sloped sides. In my buffet casseroles - i use them most often as skillets to be honest. Two pork chops in the small one, four in the large is pretty standard. I have also used them to brown leeks for braised leeks (finished in the oven in an au gratin pan) or to do a quick (and non-authentic) fried rice. My 3.5 qt buffet casserole is almost never put away. Goes from stove top to oven to sink and back nearly daily. So I guess this doesn't answer your question as I have them all. In a pinch the risotto pan can do most of what I describe above but it tends to be a little deep and large (and thus ineffecient) for use as a skillet/saute pan. Which of course is not what it's for but once I have one of those pans out I tend to use it. Best of luck!

    6 Replies
    1. re: redgypsy

      redgypsy, thank you so much, that is exactly the response I was seeking. You have me completely sold on the buffet casserole, and I want that one. But I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to do what I would normally do with a dutch oven. I am new to cooking, and loving it, but have no food loving people in my life to educate me. Could you explain to me why the dutch oven is better for roasting? And why is that better than a roasting pan? i have yet to master (ie) attempt) the roast beast.

      1. re: toutefrite

        Oh good, you'll love the buffet casserole. It's lovely. As for why a dutch oven is better for roasting...well I think a lot of folks on this board would say it's not! I tend to use mine for roasting whole chickens a lot and I think a purist would disagree with that use because the skin only gets golden on the top. However, I always take the skin off and give it to the dog (not because I don't want it but because I need to still fit into my clothes) so having my meat exposed is not a concern of mine. That said though I do prefer a pot roast in a dutch oven, and I think that's pretty proper. I really don't know the food science behind it but I'm sure someone will be able to reply and tell you why a dutch oven is good at certain applications that the risotto pot would not. HungryCeleste has both pieces I know and she could probably tell you why one is preferred over the other. Honestly though, if you can swing it I'd keep the risotto pot, go ahead and try roasting some things in there, a small roast will fit fine and if need be cover it with foil, and save up for a good size dutch oven. If you have an outlet nearby you can get very good prices on "seconds" - also check Tuesday Morning if you have one of those nearby.

        p.s. for a beef roast try the low and slow method written about in the Washington Post about a year ago. Most wonderful roast beef I've ever made. And so easy.

        1. re: redgypsy

          thanks again redgypsy. O am in fact heading to an outlet this weekend so I was hoping you would reply! your answer totally makes sense to me and is really helpful. And I will try the roast, I have a habit of beef-jerky-izing large chunks of meat in my oven.

          1. re: toutefrite

            i have the risotto pan and love it love it love it!! i didn't make risotto in it until recently (have had it for a few years) & it worked great for that, but i don't use it for roasting. i love it for braising as RG does, largely because of the huge surface area. it can heat a lot of meat (or cajun-style food or saute stuff). you can make a lot of stuff in it for a dinner party, for instance, quickly, whereas in a smaller pot you'd have to take out cooked meat, repeat, etc. enjoy!

            1. re: alkapal

              Sorry for the delay -- that recipe is similar but not the exact same one. It ran in the summer of '07 in the Post but I couldn't find it. But really I think the slow low roasting is more of a technique than a recipe per se. Good luck!

      2. I don't like the risotto pot. Looks very nice, but a good risotto must flow, and you have much better control when using a pan/skillet than a pot, since risotto requires a lot of stirring, and when it's just right, you want to pour it out of the pan immediately. I find most people make risotto too gummy, letting it set up to thick. Pan better than pot, IMHO.