Le Creuset and Its Imitators
I'm considering a 5qt iron enameled oval pot for the wife this Christmas. The originals are going for about $200. I've seen similarly designed--but obviously copies--in the TJMax and Ross type stores priced at $60 or so. Look to be German or Italian made. Would these be suitable substitutes or will the food come out better out of the Creuset, being French and all :-)?
The only drawback i have seen to the non-LC stuff is that the enameling is not quite as thick and tends to chip readily. This should probably go on the Cookware board for more responses,
I have a Lodge dutch oven and a casserole. I bought them as seconds from the factory store.
I've been ecstatic with the casserole but the dutch oven not so much. I think they've been used roughly the same amount but the DO has some chips round the outside underneath and a few cracks in the enamel inside on the bottom.
The casserole is in perfect shape.
I'm wondering if the DO had a flawed enamel job. Other than that, I love them.
I've been advised that it's not hard to find LC on eBay and other sites at really good prices. I've never looked though.
I only have an LC one, so I can't compare, but I'll share a couple of thoughts. One, if you think your wife wants an LC one, I wouldn't get something else (I say that speaking as a wife). Second, check to see if there are any LC outlet stores near you, or, if you have access, check out Costco. I'm still coveting an 8 quart oval one there that was $150. The outlets have better prices and seconds that are often not discernable from firsts.
Actually - where are you located? My local hardware store seems to be having a pretty good sale right now.
I'll second that advice. If she asked for LC then don't substitute. Also speaking as a wife, nothing is surer to get me ticked off than a substitution of what I have requested. It doesn't matter what it is, for instance I asked my DH to pick up some back-fin crab meat and he came home with claw meat because they were out of the back-fin. Bad move!
I own a non-LC 5-qt oval dutch oven (it might be Innova brand or something) and it turns out beautiful food. There was a chip in the lid when I bought it from Home Goods, but in the last 4 years it hasn't chipped anywhere else or cracked. From a functional standpoint, I think any dutch oven would be suitable. However, only you know your wife. Would she feel miffed that you bought a non-LC pot because it's cheaper, or would she think it's silly to spend $200 on LC when a perfectly good dutch oven could be purchased for less?