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Dec 9, 2008 10:23 AM

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 :-)?

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  1. 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,

    1. 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.

      Good luck.


      1. 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.

        2 Replies
        1. re: MMRuth

          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!

          1. re: Candy

            I'm with the ladies on this one, if your wife has her heart set on LC, take the plunge and consider it an investment in your relationship. I'm using LC that I've had for 25 years and it's still going strong; it's worth the investment in my opinion.

        2. I've seen a lot of official Le Creuset stuff at TJ Maxx recently. I've had LC stuff for years and can vouch for their customer service program, which is one of the best I've experienced.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Velda Mae

            TJMaxx will sell Irregulars and over stocked items the mfg wants to get rid of. They are genuine though.

          2. 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?

            2 Replies
            1. re: leanneabe

              I agree with you. When I let my husband know what I want, I want that item not a version of it.

              1. re: leanneabe

                I agree, only you know your wife. Mine is a a lot more flexible than I am about what she requests. I boughgt a Martha Stewart 5.5 qt dutch oven at Macys for $49.95 and so far so good but since I've not used LC I have nothing to compare it too